Rosie 4


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We stopped in at Halls Creek, topped up the fuel at $1:97, glad we didn’t need to fill up. We met some people here who are also heading for Darwin, they work at the. Motor racing for the Red Bull team, setting up and selling merchandise. We had a coffee and a yarn and then hit the road again. I have rung ahead and booked into Katherine on Monday so that we can have a few days by the hot springs before heading into Darwin. It is another beautiful sunny day but there is quite a breeze which is nice for keeping us cool, but not good for fuel economy. We stopped at Warmman, the old Turkey Creek and caught up with Anne and John from this morning, they are stopping a few days in Kununnura, but we are pushing on. Most of the creeks we are crossing still have some water in them and the bush is quite green, this is unusual and would be from the late rains they got a few weeks ago. The breeze has dropped off a bit and it is getting quite warm. We just passed some wild horses on the side of the road, the first I have seen in 5 years, but I was too slow getting the camera out and we were past them. One of the joys of traveling with a truckie, they hate stopping unless they have to. Well we made it into. Kununurra, even had time to grab some supplies, fueled up, topped up the water, camped out and then back on the road again. Kununuura has a large indigenous population which gives it a real outback feel. There are black red tail cockatoos in the Main Street where they love the seeds on the trees. We saw the sun beginning to set over the sleeping Buddha. I love the outback skies, the sky goes red and yellow at the horizon and the rest of the sky takes on a purple hue. When you see a sunset like this you know you are up in the Kimberley, a typical desert sunset. desert sunset NT     Oopps, very squeezy, just entered roadworks and right in the middle of the cutting you meet a 5.2m oversize load. The photo of the rock is out my window, we were over as far as we could go and the other picture is Colin’s side as the truck literally squeezed through. All’s well that ends well.

Over width vehicle

Truck coming towards us

This was the truck with the 5.2 m load, see how much of the road he takes up!

Outside my window

Rock cutting

This is looking out my window.

Holding our breath

Looking out Colin window

This is out Colin’s window.       We were both holding our breathe…well I was anyway. We have just crossed the border, we are now in the Northern Territory where the max speed is 130km/hr for most part and some sections have an open speed limit. We also just went from 8am to 9:30am in a split second. I know time flies, but that’s ridiculous! We decided to camp out just short of Katherine and go in in the morning, so we pulled up at Mathison roadside camp, it was very dry and there had been a fire, so lots of burnt ground, but once we settled in there was a nice breeze and I decided to go and create some photos. I say ‘go and create’ as to look on the surface there was nothing worth photographing. I wandered down the station fence line and was amazed at the termite mounds that had started under the fence, when they reached the barbed wire they just built around it and kept going. Fascinating how they seemed un fazed by the obstacle and just went on is if nothing was there.

barbed wire fence with ant hill

anthill

The other thing that intrigued me was all the different shapes of the anthills, they were like sculptures in a barren land. Then as I looked around. I noticed the green shoots growing on blackened trees, life regenerating itself, like the phenix rising from the flames.

new life

phenix

Photo tip: when you want to accentuate something get in close with a narrow depth of field (f1.4-f4) as this will throw any distractions in the background out of focus and the viewer will be drawn to the object you are highlighting with your focus point. After this I headed back to the bus and we had a nice relaxing avo catching up on the episodes of home and away we had missed:) I didn’t have to do any work as we didn’t have any internet!! We got up the next morning and casually prepared to head into Katherine, we are booked into Riverview which is right at the top of the hot springs, so I am looking forward to going in ASAP. As soon as we got into phone range the phone beeped with a message from the bank saying that a hold had been put on my credit card due to suspected fraudulent activity. So I rang them straight away and they said someone had used the card multiple times at the Ord Co Op for 100s of dollars one after the other……the joys of having duel fuel tanks that hold 200 liters each. We had filled up the bus which is about $600 and so the ‘Eagle’ Anz security had swooped into action and froze the account. We laughed and explained that yes it was us and wasn’t fraudulent and they unblocked the account. Good to see they are on the ball and looking after our security and money. We arrived in at Katherine at 10am and were able to check into the park early, so I left Colin to set up while I went down to the hot pools for a soak. They are so beautiful. katherine hot pool 2014           When I came back, after a shower, we headed into town to MacDonalds for lunch and to try and use some free wifi. The wifi enabled us to download our emails, but was too slow for me to be able to access the photo Dash site, so after an hour of frustration we headed back to the bus so I could set up my personal hotspot and get my work done. We ended up heading to the Barra Cafe for tea. The food was lovely, but what makes the place so special is the murals painted on the walls. It took the artist 9mths to paint it and in each panel she hid a butterfly for you to find. I had great fun taking photos and looking for butterflies. Photo tip: try to look what is in the image that shouldn’t be there and remove it if possible or otherwise crop it out. See the image with Colin in it, you will see the high chairs in the background that take away from the shot.  Normally I would clone this out:)) Of to bed now, night night.

Rosie part 3


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We camped the night and when we got up there was a fifth wheeler with aussiehelliadventures.blogspot.com on it, so naturally I had to go over and have a yarn.
He built the helicopter and fifth wheeler himself and is traveling around OZ. He has video cameras attached to the helicopter and has captured some amazing footage, be sure to go over to his blog and have a look.

Colin managed to fix the 12 volt plug, it was a wire that had come loose, so everything is working again.
It is often the little things on the road that get to you, the big things you handle, the little things seem to take time and be the most annoying.

My back is really playing up today, I have been taking extra pain killers since we left Perth, but I had a bad night last night, so today we are only doing a short run of about 300km.
Most caravans only travel 300km a day, however in the bus it is much more comfortable, with air ride suspension and captains seats, that I can lay back like a bed and sleep as we travel.

We have passed a lot of cattle on the road this morning. You learn that on the road the cattle have right of way, they are big heifers and will even wreck a truck, so you have to be extra vigilant and only travel during daylight hours.

It is another beautiful day with blue sky’s as far as the eye can see. There are lots of termite or white ant mounds all along the trip, but up past Broome they build them facing east west so that the sun has the smallest face to shine on, so they stay cooler. It is truely amazing how nature works.

white ant hill

termites minimize sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have just seen our first lot of water in the creeks. We are between Broome and Derby and when the built the road they had to build the ground up as it is all flood plain. So the holes they look the dirt out of are now man made lakes, one is called Ski Lake, we didn’t see any skiers.

Up here they have 1 lane bridges, that means only one vehicle can cross at a time, so as you approach the bridge you have to stop and wait for any traffic coming towards you on the bridge and when it is clear you can go. Last year at the first one there was a head on between two trucks and one caught fire, it was a real mess.

We just saw a bush turkey, first one for the trip. We have seen a lot of wedge tail eagles as well, they are huge, magnificent birds.

We stopped at Fitzroy. Crossing for lunch and there were about 50 kites hanging around, Colin threw them some chips and I took heaps of photos, sometimes they came so low over our heads you could hear and feel the wind on their wings.

Kites

Birds

 

Photo tip for today:- when shooting moving animals or children use the burst mode on your camera you have more chance of capturing that special moment.

 

 

We decided on a shorter day today so pulled up at Nungumban cliff rest area, it is perched atop a cliff, great for getting photos and watching the sunset. Someone in one of the caravans had a guitar and he was playing it and singing as we watched the sun set for another day.

Cliff top sunset

Sunset over station

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got up and took a few photos at sunrise and then prepared for the day. About 7:30am a black dog wandered into camp.
When we pulled up last night we noticed a sign on the toilets saying there was a young female dog all on it’s own and if it showed up please give it some food and water, so we figured that it was her, she was very timid, a beautiful looking dog. We gave her some chicken and a tin of Tuna and refilled her water bowls, hopefully someone coming through will adopt her.

Photo: This dog is on it's own and is very friendly. We gave her food and water. She is at the Cliff top rest area between Fitzroy and halls Creek. Please share with your friends, if no one rescues her, she will die a slow lonely death.

I put a message on FB and hopefully the right people will see it and rescue her.

Today it is on to Kununurra.

Rosie part 2


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We traveled to Sandfire roadhouse and decided to stop for a toilet break. Sandfire is a very appropriate name as in summer he sand is so hot that it is like fire. Well we finally found some tourists, there are about 20 vehicles here, caravans, boats, camper trailers, trucks and us.

Sandfire has a few peacocks walking around and I was able to photograph a white one.  A quick photo tip: when photographing something white always underexposed the image a little so that you don’t end up with an image that looks like a bright white blob.

white peacock

photographing white

overexposed white image

This is a correctly exposed white peacock, we can see the details in the feathers

 

 

 

This is the overexposed image.

 

 

 

 

They also have a little water garden, an oasis in the desert and an old machinery area, where hey have old engines, old fuel browsers, old trucks and more. They also have heaps of signs that they have collected over the years.

While we were there an indigenous family were having something to eat and the older man, an elder, was staring in contemplation out into the distance. He had so many lines in his face, it was like he pages of a book and I dare say he could share as many stories. I politely asked if he would mind if I took his photo, he said, okay and then his family started giving him a good natured ribbing, “Oh, you gonna be a movie star” and the like, I smiled and took a couple of pictures. I would have loved to have sat down with them and had a yarn, but Colin was waiting and Rosie was wanting to get those wheels turning again, so I thanked them and left.

Indigenous

Aboriginal

 

 

 

 

 

We are driving through station country at the moment, we have passed Anna Plains, Neta Down and Shallamar. We are now driving through Shamrock Market Gardens and Bidgedanga. They mainly grow watermelons in this area.

Colin used to call in at these stations to deliver mail and supplies and pick up melons for the Perth markets.

Just before you get to. Roebuck, there is the Roebuck plains and at certain times of the day when the sun is low in the sky you can see the yachts racing off in the distance just like the yachts in the shot below.

roebuck plains

sail boats

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stopped at Roebuck for an icecream and I checked the internet to see if any students had uploaded, for those of you who don’t know I. Do photo coaching/critique for The Dash, there were 7 photos needing my attention, so I downloaded them so I can work on them tonight and then post my reviews when we come into range again. The joys of being on the road.

I brought a 12v adapter for my laptop so I could work when we didn’t have power, so I plugged it in and blew a fuse, unfortunately this is also for our car cam, our GPS and for charging our phones, so I am not very popular at the moment. Hopefully Colin can fix it when we pull up for the night.

Fortunately we passed some cars in the variety bash, so that diverted Colin’s attention.

 

Ralley car

Variety bash car

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are headed for Nillibubbica parking area for the night.

It is already blisteringly hot. Only a few days till Katherine and the natural springs to revive the body in.

Rosie’s travels 1


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The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round….
Yes Rosie is back on the road again. (For those of you who don’t know Rosie is our Motorhome, a Mitsubishi Fuso Bus)

We left Busselton on the 24th May, a little later than planned as C Olin’s Mum passed away.
A long life finally rewarded with peace after 15 years with Alzheimer’s.
We were happy for her, but saying goodbye is always hard, but I knew the best thing for Colin was the open road, so off we set.

First stop Perth and catch up with family. It is always good, knowing you are on the road, but knowing you are still close to home and close to shops so that if you have forgotten anything then it’s easy to sort out.

bird in tree

Bird feeding in a tree outside our Motorhome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Had a great time with Kev and Jen and caught up with Mum &Dad, Wendi,Peta and Terri as well as all our wonderful ex Neighbors from Perth.

We stayed till Wednesday the 29th May and then headed for our first main stop, Mt Newman. We made good time the first day, getting to Mt Magnet before dark. We added about 70l fuel to be sure we had enough to get to Hedland. It feels so good looking out over wide open vistas and feeling the warmth of the sun through the windows on the bus.

The night was still cool but fine once Colin and I were cuddled up in bed.
We awoke fairly early and hit the road again, arriving in Newman about 4pm.
Malou was waiting at the gate and Colin backed the bus onto their lawn. We had stopped at the hookup area just out of town and unhooked the car, so I drove that in while Colin drove the bus.

motorhome at sunset

first night camping out

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were sad to hear that Buster, the pup they had just got on our first trip 5 years ago had run away, maybe he will come back soon, everyone is looking for him.

Malou is a great cook and loves cooking so we were thoroughly spoiled and Col got a break from cooking. We had cooked breakfast lunch and tea!!!
It is so good to catch up in person with Brian, Malou, Tom and Uncle B. On Sat morning we went and watched Tommy play soccer and I got to take some great photos. Then in the afternoon we went out and watched the jet boat racing. It was a lot of fun and Brian won the lottery for a jet boat ride, he said it was exhilarating. They sure move a lot of water, some are super fast and a few lost it and had to be helped back onto the River. I had lots of fun taking pictures. The night got very cold so we headed home.
Sun we just took it easy and Mon was a public holiday so we just all hung out together. Col & Brian went down to the clubhouse and then went looking for Buster, in the Afternoon, Col & I had a drive around town and up to the lookout.

soccer story

 

 

 

 

 

We have been here 3 times before, so we had been to the mine and out to Wanna Munna and Willi Wolli, and Kalgans pool, so decided to just stay around town.

flying jet boats

Jet boat white water

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday we topped up the water tank and got the bus all ready to hit the road again. We took the family out for tea at the Kiwi club and had a nice meal.

It’s always hard to say goodbye, but we need to be in Darwin for Col to go to the motor racing and me to go to Kakadu.

Wednesday morning we left and headed for Port Hedland. I love seeing the beautiful white of the ghost gums against the vivid blue of the sky.
And the undulations in the hills along the way. The red of the soil, the orange rocks and the misty grey of distant hills makes the drive interesting.

We passed a lot of cattle that had been killed by vehicles and a poor mother lowing and licking her dead calf, so sad.

There are an incredible amount of trucks on this part of the road especially quads carrying ore. They say. Port Hedland is the Kenworth capital at the moment with all the mining going on.

All the old mining towns that had very limited services are booming, new schools, new hospitals, new roads, new shopping center, new leisure facilities.

It will be interesting to see what happens if the mining slows down. Ale ready in Newman a lot of workers are opting to be FIFO (fly in, fly out). Twelve months ago there were 2 houses for sale, now there are 102. The price of rent has dropped from $2000/wk to about $800. So at least some correction is happening now.

galah

galah at sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we got to Hedland we unhooked the car, went into town, did some shopping so we could get 4c off our fuel and had McDonald’s. Then back to the bus, fueled up, re hitched the car, had a shower, watched a beautiful sunset and then headed off into the dark. We don’t normally drive at night, but we wanted to get that bit out of town, so we went to the first parking bay 40km north of town.

As we were driving we could see a large wildfire burning to our right and fortunately heading away from up. It was fascinating to watch as the flames licked over the ridges looking like a golden river and then the glow above the flames as it filled the sky with smoke.

We pulled up for the night and I took some photos of the fire, partially obscured by hills when we noticed another smaller fire burning on the left. I was a bit nervous but Colin said it was a long way away. Col drove trucks on these roads for 40 years, so knows how the fires move and when you need to drive through them or when it’s safe to stop.

bushfire hedland

bushfire near our camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was still quite early but we decided to go to bed so we could get an early start in the morning. The weather has really warmed up and we slept without any covers on.

bushfire blog

 

 

 

 

 

6:30am and we were up enjoying the sunrise, having breakfast and getting ready for another day on the road. There is a tiny bit of wispy cloud in an otherwise blue sky and we are raveling with the windows open as even at 10 am it is hot. We have reached the warm weather!!!

sunrise out of Hedland

sunrise over motorhome

 

 

 

 

 

 

The road seems to stretch endlessly on and the terrain is fairly flat, with low bush and lots of spinifex. We are amazed at the lack of other tourists on the road, they must either already be up here or are starting late this year.

We have only see two caravans. The roads are great with wide flat shoulders, a delight after Queensland’s uneven  roads a few years back.
Rosie is purring along, happy to be our home again.

There are lots of mine cars and rental cars used by the mines on the roads and a few cars, the rest are trucks.

……..to Rosie 2

Road trip to Darwin


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Well we are on the road again. We left home and had a few days in Perth.

Enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and some of the native birds while we caught up with family before heading to Mt Newman.

Sunrise

Sunrise over palm trees in Perth’s northern suburbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

bird in tree

Bird feeding in a tree outside our Motorhome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We camped out near Mt Magnet for the night before heading on to Mt Newman. The peace and tranquility as well as the beauty around us makes camping out a delight.

motorhome at sunset

first night camping out

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Newman we caught up with friends and went to watch Jet boat racing. What a blast that is, they really spray the water and our friend won the raffle and got to have a ride.

flying jet boats

Jet boat white water

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is good to be on the open road again, just enjoying the freedom and space of the open road.

“Rosie” as our motorhome is called has been purring along, I think she likes being on the road too.

Will add the next installment in a few days.

I am still doing photo coaching as we travel, so if you want to learn how to take great photos for yourself go to The Photography Dash