I can barely believe it’s only 30 days since we left Busselton on this rushed trip. We’ve packed a lot into those 30 days including two lovely stays in Broome, and a special wedding in Katherine. Now it’s time to commence the home stretch.
We came up the Great Northern Highway, so are going home via the coastal road so as to make it a bit of a circuit. We left Broome at 7.50am on the 30th day of our trip. That’s quite a late start for us, but we didn’t want to get to our first planned stop, De Grey River, to early in the heat of the afternoon.
Breakfast was eaten before we left, and Mr Tilly had a short walk. Our Thermos mugs were filled with coffee, which kept us going until we reached our first stop. Stanley Rest area, 209kms into our day’s travel, is perfectly placed for a toilet break and a leg stretch. That done, we grabbed our chilled water bottles from the fridge, along with some vita wheat crackers, butter and Vegemite, and some grapes.
If you’ve ever wondered how we manage to enjoy our sometimes lengthy car travel days – this is how we do it. We have our music lists on the iPod which we plug in, with a huge variety of our favourite music. This keeps our toes tapping and gives us something to train our vocal cords to. Next we have our travel mugs – the Thermos mugs are fantastic. They keep our coffee hot for hours of sipping. I make the coffee strong, and by adding a helped spoonful of milk powder as well as cold milk it makes it creamy too. After the coffee runs out, which usually coincides with a toilet break, we switch to chilled water, fruit, and vita wheat crackers (sometimes with cheese, sometimes with vegemite). I take a small board and a knife into the car, and it’s my job as passenger to keep Paul supplied with a slow continuous supply of sustenance. If you find car travel boring – try these tricks. We find they really help the day to go along brilliantly.
But I digress …… We continued on from Stanley to our destination for the night, arriving at De Grey River around 2.20pm. The car told us the temperature outside was a still 35 degrees, and there was a hot, dry wind blowing. We found a shady spot under a tree, and by opening all the windows and top vents, managed to get a cooling cross breeze blowing through the van.
De Grey River is perfectly positioned for a stop from Broome. Last year, when we passed by, it was closed because of some botanical issues.
I’m pleased to say it’s re-opened now, and although access to the lower, more shady areas beside the river are completely blocked off, the council has managed to do a marvellous job of providing weary travellers with a place to rest their road weary tires.
There must be space for at least 100 vans extending way back from the highway. All the roads are gravelled, so there’s no dust, and there’s still plenty of birdsong to wake up to in the peace of the morning.
Alas there’s no TV cover – not something I’d usually care about, but the Eagles were playing in an elimination final. ( We’re passionate Eagle supporters). Never mind, we could at least listen to it on the radio, only the van radio was extremely static. The car radio was fine, so we sat outside, watching the stars come out, and listening to the match from the car radio. The Eagles lost – oh well, there’s always next year.