We left Broome at 7am with a few possible overnight destinations in mind. One was Fitzroy Lodge caravan park, the next was Ngumban Cliff Rest Area, and the other possible was Mary Pool. We had Ellandale Station Rest Area pencilled in for our breakfast stop.
We reached our breakfast stop mid morning. For some reason I had expected this stop to be a bit more scenic than the usual roadside pit-stop. It wasn’t. Still just the usual long drop toilets, dump point, bins and picnic tables, with a few trees for some shade. Nothing fancy, but still a well positioned place with reasonable amenities for either an over night, or a mid-trip break. I’m so grateful for the work that goes into providing these pit-stops for weary travels, first in creating them, and then for the continual maintenance required for the up-keep. It must be soul destroying at times for the maintenance crew when they see the mess some of the travellers create. Everything was clean and tidy on this occasion I’m pleased to say.
Another 87 kms saw us in Fitzroy early. We fuelled up, and decided to make the next day’s travel shorter by continuing on. Ngumban Cliff Rest Area, another 97km down the road, looked quite picturesque but we weren’t quite ready to stop. Another 84 kms saw us settled in at Mary Pool around 2.30pm.
We’re nearing the end of August now and well into the dry season. All the creeks and river-beds in this region are dry by this time of year, so water in Mary Pool, and the Mary River was non-existent.
Although the area was a dust bowl, the gum trees and birds were abundant.
I was delighted to find a resident Bower Bird busy decorating his bower and it’s verandahs in the hopes of enticing a willing female or two. He must have been doing ok, as towards dusk we saw a few bower birds paying him a visit.
Early in the season when there’s still water in the river this place must be absolutely stunning. It was still quite nice, but that’s because it was a calm night. If a wind had come up, I dread to think what it would have been like – a dust storm I suspect. I had wandered around investigating the place with just thongs on my feet (Aussie thongs that is – flip flops). A good, long soak was needed to get my feet clean enough for bed at the end of the day. If you’re wondering what time the end of the day comes when we’re travelling like this, it’s usually by around 7.30pm. Note to myself – next time get my boots out from under the bed!
Next stop will be the last in Western Australia before we cross into the Northern Territory. Watch this space…..