Monday, 1 September 2008

Day to Day Stuff - Part II

As we are now in Western Australia, having travelled through Northern Territory, and I last wrote about day to day stuff when we were in Queensland I thought it appropriate to write another one as our routine has changed somewhat - mainly due to the weather!

Since leaving the Cape and travelling East to West across Gulf Country, NT and into WA via the Gibb River Road the days have been getting progressively hotter, and the nights too with some exceptions.  In the last couple of weeks especially, travelling from Kakadu to WA I am talking about 35-36 degrees in the day, not just for a while in the afternoon, but hitting 33 about 10am, then heating up to 36 by 4pm and dropping down to a "cool" 22-24" overnight!  Sometimes we have a decent nights sleep when it drops below 20 degrees, I am guessing that's what it is anyway!  To be honest me & Em are'nt cut out for this kind of weather as you can well imagine I expect!  So to beat the heat we wake up at sunrise (currently 5:30am in WA) when it is at its most cool, pack up the tent and mattress, etc. have brekky then get in the car as it's hotting up and basically try to drive for 8-9 hours until the sun is going down again!  Quite seriously, we have driven a lot of miles recently, which is fine as the car is comfy and we can pump the aircon out at 16 degrees.  Funnily enough I was going to say we hadn't seen or felt rain since we were in the Cape - and that was only large drops for a few hours, not really rain, but we had the same experience in the Bungle Bungles, large drops I mean.  It was really odd as it is so dry up here everywhere.  Apparently we are right in the edge of the "build up" to the wet season so clouds are becoming more frequent.  But we aren't missing the rain either, don't get me wrong, we just don't enjoy the heat all that much!

Apart from the weather then we are doing laundry when we need it, but aren't wearing much apart from swimming stuff, shorts and the odd t-shirt/singlet!  We resupplied on cryovacked meat in Katherine as we found a decent butcher there and are still going on that meat (Em made homemade meatballs for dinner last night, a recipe she had tried out with Nik before, mmmm meatballs).  Lunch stops are wherever is convenient, yesterday we were at the mighty Fitzroy River near Derby in WA, apparently there are numerous salties there, but we didnt see one.  The river is a shadow of itself at this time of year though I guess.  When we are out of fresh bread its mountain bread for lunch, with cheese, meat and cabbage (its lasts better than lettuce!).  On that note we have taken to wrapping fruit and veg in newspaper and putting them in our soft esky rather than the fridge, just as an overflow, but they seem to last quite well even in this heat.  Here's Em in the kitchen under the shade of a tree making wraps:


We tend not to camp in such proximity to people if we can avoid it, caravan parks are like a bad dream, but sometimes we have to.  Having met some really nice people so far on our travels too, I guess we feel a bit reluctant to spend time meeting others in a funny sort of way.  Strange.  But people can be annoying - the caravan park in Broome where I am writing this is a prime example of too many people in a small space....the backpacker's camping area reminds us of Glastonbury.  And of course with our accents we get pigeon holed by the caravan parks as they presume we are in a Wicked van too!  Enough of my rant....

What we try to do before we set off somewhere is - if we are staying near one - get to a waterhole or gorge/waterfall and have a swim.  At ELQ we went to Zebedee Springs which is a natural thermal springs (same as Mataranka and Katherine), you might think 32 degree natural spring water is too much on a hot morning, but actually it was lush, and the surroundings were stunning.  Otherwise a cool dip in fresh water is an unbeatable way to start the day.  I wish we could do it every day for the rest of our lives.  Can you buy property in the Bath area where you can tap into the thermal springs still I wonder?....


Looking back at the original Day to Day Stuff article, I was surprised how green the photos looked compared to the NT and WA ones, it really is dry up here.  And dusty.  And there are lots of flies.


Yeah, so that's about it for the second installment of day to day stuff I think.

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