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adventurocity October 26, 2006

Posted by faelix in ocity.
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(names have been changed to protect the guilty ;)

photos to come once we receive them from Mil and Fil)

Cue the music …

“Travel all over the countryside,
Ask the Leylands, ask the Leylands,
Whatever it is that you wanted to see,
Ask the Leyland brothers.”

But it’s not the Leylands. It’s actually StupendoMan, ExcitoGirl (thats me) and Fil and Mil.

Our adventure starts with the flight from sunny Brisbane to sunny Broome, via a brief hour visit to the Sydney airport – with the obligatory observation of the Krispy Kreme donut cart. We did NOT buy any. We already bought Terry Pratchett’s THUD!, Tad Williams’ ShadowMarch, and Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth.

Saturday evening and night was sunset at Cable Beach, cocktails and then dinner at Carlotta’s – a little italian place that is very hard to get into. Mil was organised enough to book 3 weeks in advance.

Sunday – Broome markets, brunch at Aarli Bar (aboriginal (apparently?) for fish) – the big brekky is recommended. We visited some art galleries in Broome, then went to the Kanagae Mango Winery, seeing all the fruit laden mango tree on our way there. We drove around town and looked a some of the shops that were open. Blooms for dinner (very disappointing) then we watched “The Devil Wears Prada” at the indoor Sun Cinema. We looked into the Open Air cinema, but didn’t get to go. :( Next time perhaps.

Monday – <insert activity here – curse the bad memory> all I can currently remember is that we took StupendoMan’s sister to the airport. :( Dinner was with friend’s of Fil’s.

Broome also consisted of a visit to the historical centre, Matso’s brewery – nice ginger beer, the Japanese cemetary and the Chinese cemetary.

Tuesday – The driving begins. Fil drives us to Fitzroy Crossing. We have lunch there then I drive up to the old crossing and back out. We keep driving, and end up at Halls Creek. First night of camping. We set up the tent that Mil and Fil brought along for us (they have a car top tent) – one of the corners tear. Jaffles for dinner. :) StupendoMan is happy about that.
Visit Geike Gorge

Wednesday – I drive – we’re headed for the Bungle Bungles. We get there at about 9.30am, then Fil gets to drive the 1.5 hours from the highway to the visitor centre. The road worsens from light corrugation to significant ruts and creeks that require 4WD.

1115am: Fil’s driving again. first stop: Echidna Chasm. Thankfully it’s starting to get a little bit overcast. It cools things down a bit. Then it’s down to Picaninny Gorge. We do the Domes walk and Cathedral Gorge. We’re VERY grateful for the cloud cover. We cannot think how stinking hot it would have been had it been a clear day. We get out of the gorge and back to the car at about 4.30pm. We have the choice of making camp in one of the camping facilities in Purnululu National Park, or heading to Warmun. Mil thinks it will be way too hot for us to camp in the Park, so we get going.
We look for suitable camping grounds in Warmun – it’s NOT the place to be. We drive a bit further and see the Turkey Creek roadhouse. Jaffles for dinner again and camping.

Thursday – we drive to Kununurra (the spelling seems to vary). We went to the visitor centre to try to book tours to the Argyle Diamond Mine(ADM), but there was only one seat left on the flight at 10.30am, so we booked for Friday. If you’re wondering, we were on the road by 8 am most days. Sun-up is at about5/5.30am so it gets too hot to sleep very quickly. So we went and checked out two potential caravan grounds. We ended up at the Ivanhoe Caravan and Camping Resort. Mil was quite impressed – the cooking area had two bbqs, a gas burner, a double sink, a TV, microwave and conventional oven! I was impressed too!
We pitched our tent – which, by this stage, while still mostly intact, one of the corner peg hole thingies had completely come off – then we headed out around town. We visited the Zebra Rock Gallery, then drove to the Ord Dam wall. We went to the bottom of the dam first, where the water was gushing out. Mil announced that she had found some zebra rocks – big ones! So, of course, I had to look for some too! And I found two. Little ones. :D We drove to the top of the dam and went to the look out and looked out. On our way back to town we drove through the Lake Argyle Tourist Village where they try to convince you that eating Silver Cobbler (aka: catfish) is a good idea. I’m sure it’s not. Fil said that the village used to be really good and thriving, but it was rather run down when we went through. Bad Cobbler sales if you ask me. ;)
We get back into town and buy some food for dinner. StupendoMan and I cook steak and veges. I cook creamed rice for the boys, much to the dismay of Mil. Oh well.

Friday Still in Kununurra. Today we drive around town a bit and look at some of the shops before StupendoMan and I head off on the SlingAir flight to the ADM. Oooooh boy. Obviously, StupendoMan and ExcitoGirl do not regularly fly in turbulence. StupendoMan is somewhat distressed by the unnatural behaviour of the plane in the turbulence, and my stomach’s contents cannot handle the excitement within the confines of the stomach and insist on exiting to see things from a different point of view. Unfortunately for them, they only got to travel to the inside of a (patented) “Sic-Sac“. (isn’t it amazing what you can find with google?)
We survived the flight to the ADM and continued on with the tour. The ADM was kind of under repairs at the time. One of the huge conveyor belts had broken down so they could not move a lot of the processed ore into the next stage of processing. Everything was huge. It’s an impressive operation. And they look after their staff VERY well. 7 flavors of icecream!
After the ADM tour, it was back to the plane for a scenic flight over the Bungle Bungles and Lake Argyle. I made StupendoMan take photos. My lunch wanted closer views of everything.
We survived and headed back to camp. Rest and recouperation before dinner. Sleep. I was glad to be on solid ground again. Vowed never to fly in turbulence again. (Also, never wear a cape.)

Stay tuned for part two, where we visit Wyndham, El Questro, Derby and head back towards Broome again.

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