8/7/14 – Big washing day today, all 12 washing machines are in use, clothes line is at a premium. Our clothes were free of red dust but came out with a bucket load of fluff, we had to buy a brush to de-fluff our clothes. Time to catch up with the kids back home and do some posts, photos and wipe everything down and have a bit less dust for a few days. After the best part of 3 weeks on dirt dusty corrugated rough roads it was nice to be on the bitumen for a few days. Never got to see a sunset at the wharf, time difference back in Qld meant we were on the phone at that time.
9/7/14 – We did the tourist things today. Went back to the wharf and walked all the way round. It’s rather weird driving out so far on the mud flats with no water for miles. Tides in Derby are Australia’s highest with tidal variations being as much as 11 metres. It’s a popular spot to watch the sunset and fish. The current wharf was built in 1964.
We drove around the back streets of town before heading out to the Boab Prison Tree which is believed to be around 1500 yrs old. It’s fully fenced now and you are not supposed to touch or go into the tree as it is a registered Aboringal site.
The cattle trough at Myall’s Bore is 120 meters long and was built in 1917. It could water 500 bullocks at a time.
Time to head out of town for our next leg of the trip. Which was heading towards Middle Lagoon via the back way on the Bedunburra Rd which is 110km from Derby or Broome. Turnoff is not sign posted look for the Kimberley Coloured Stone and a track with a closed gate. Our plan was to either free camp or go into Middle Lagoon early as we weren’t booked in until tomorrow.
Well laid plans go amuck, only it’s not our plans this time. First the road is stated as being less corrugated than the main road from Broome up to Middle Lagoon. It is pretty good road to start, a bit sandy and some bull dust.
The further you go into Aboriginal land the road got a lot worst. Narrower, corrugated, sandy like driving over sandhills, the trees were closed in, nearly forming a canopy, a swampy area that we had to take a side track.
Some very deep sand which had some side tracks for which we took, we actually said you wouldn’t want to do this road towing a caravan. Now we didn’t have any trouble, and thought the road was actually quite pretty. We saw 3 other vehicles coming the opposite way. One told us there was a caravan ahead of us. We thought he must be talking about a small caravan or a crossover never a full van. Even the Kedron boys might question that.
Well we came across a Supreme 22 ft full van well and truly stuck in deep sand. There was a side track so we took that. The poor people had been previously stuck back further for 1 1/2 hrs when someone helped them out of that. So the Max Traxs came out, the van was struggling on them so we were about to bring the ute around and winch them out when some friendly local Aboriginals came and were able to bring their vehicle in close and snatch strap them out as they weren’t towing. We told the caravan friends we would stay with them until we all got back onto the main road.
Well that proved a little more difficult as we all had to take several side tracks that weren’t an issue for us but the trees were for the van, so we had to clear the way in some places to get the van through. About 15kms from the main road we all pulled on in a clearing for the night as we were losing the light.
Our new friends (Peter and Shirley) cooked dinner for us before we all retired early for the night. They were booked into Middle Lagoon for the night, they are sticking with us until we all get there. Their van is 12 mths old and had copped a beating. The awning poles are damaged, external lights have been ripped off several thousand of dollars damaged. They were advised to take this road by someone who worked in a roadhouse and knew the area. Poor people once they recover they will have a great campfire story.