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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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