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2011 Trip

July 2011

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July 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

July 1

I believe I made the mistake of saying Murphy was keeping his head down! Today he played a neat trick - the sliding door refuses to latch or lock. I went out to get a new battery for the camera with the door fastened shut with an ocky strap. I couldn't fix it so phoned a Mercedes dealer who put me on to a fellow who does work on their commercials. He is busy with work booked three weeks ahead but made an exception and will do it on Monday. Jayne and Michael graciously said I can stay here till then so Yemmy will get a bit of a rest.

I managed to get the battery after drawing a blank when I phoned a few places and Tom took me straight to the camera shop in Leederville. When we were doing school photography all those years ago we worked out of Leederville but I didn't recognise anything today.

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July 2

This was a very relaxed day of doing very little. I did go for a nice long walk in the afternoon and the area is very nice. I had a chat on Skype with my daughter who was at my other daughter's home in Melbourne and I suggested that I could drive their vehicle down from Geraldton to Perth Airport to pick them up when they return on Tuesday week. They have the keys with them so would need to post them back here. They will let me know. I'll probably book in for a week at the caravan park they stay at in Geraldton after a leisurely run up the coast.

I'm being looked after wonderfully well here - we had yummy home-made pizza for dinner tonight.

Yemmy's home for a few nights in Michael and Jayne's back yard.               Staffie 'Dozer' taking it very easy on the couch near me. She likes company
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July 3

This has been another unremarkable day as I didn't go anywhere except for a walk No pictures but tomorrow is another day and I'll be up early to do a car shuffle to let Jayne get her car out to go to work. Michael will be off very early as he is flying down to Albany for the week. I think Dozer and me will be in charge of the house till I leave around 10.30.
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July 4

After a very cold start the day warmed up and with the sun shining it was a great day for travelling under blue skies. First stop was to a Mercedes mechanic to get Yemmy's sliding door fixed. This man was an expert and in less than an hour had the offending locking mechanism changed for a new unit, adjusted everything so it now works perfectly and didn't charge an arm and a leg. He was originally Swiss and worked on Mercedes in Europe before coming to live in Australia.

After that I headed north and eventually found myself on the Indian Ocean Drive and visited some lovely little seaside towns. On the way to the coast I passed a little rural caravan park and decided to stay there for the night when I came back on the same road. It's a nice park and quite busy. I'm not getting an Internet connection even with my antenna array so this will have to wait until the morning to post this.

I have however got the sat dish working but not before I moved so I could get a clear view of the sky unhampered by trees in the way. The dish fell over as I moved it and the new plastic gizmo holding the LNB broke again so I had to resort to duct tape again.

These pictures are all from the lookout at Guilderton and are of the estuary of the Moore  River. A nice looking caravan park is situated right on the beach front.

The ocean along this coast is incredibly blue on a sunny day like this and this doesn't show properly in these shots.

Jackie and her partner 'Duck' are not due back in WA until Tuesday or Wednesday and Yemmy and me will pick them up from Perth Airport and we will drive back to Geraldton. This means I've plenty of time to thoroughly explore the coast  this week.

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July 5

I'd spotted this delightful little park as I drove past earlier in the day when heading for the ocean. At that time I didn't know that they had made a new road that goes all the way to Geraldton along the coast so after a look at Sea Bird on the way to Lancelin I turned back and decided to stay at Willowbrook Farm,

It wasn't particularly cheap at $28 for a powered site but it had a good camp kitchen and unusual sort of en-suite showers/toilets all in one building.

I managed to get my TV working last night after moving to a site that had a clearer view of the sky so when I woke today and had my early morning cup of coffee, I listened to the sad news of yet another Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan.

In conversation with two ladies who had vans next to me I found some good fee campsites along the coast and one they gave me is not far from Sandy Point Recreation Reserve where I'm staying tonight. It's a lovely spot as the pictures show. It's $15 a night with no concession for being on your own.

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July 6

This was a glorious day even if it was freezing when I went to the toilet at Sandy Point. It was environmentally friendly with a pump to flush. Very clean and modern.

I didn't rush out from under the doona to get on the road and surprisingly still had an Internet connection and was able to talk to son Chris in Adelaide using Skype.

It was a lovely day for travel and I popped into every little seaside town along the way before settling on this lovely free campsite about 100 km from Geraldton. It's Cliff Head and as you will see I've found a nice little corner for Yemmy. The solar panels are working OK and I've enough battery reserve to stay here a few nights. I rang the hearing aid people in Geraldton hoping to get a test and aids organised here but unfortunately that's not possible. They only have one clinic day a month here and that's fully booked! Never mind - I can still
hear the birds sing and only have trouble hearing in a noisy environment.

Dynamite Bay - one of the nice spots along the way.                                        Yemmy's hideaway - other vans are in sight but not close

Piles of seaweed are all along the beach but don't detract from the ocean views.

For a free camp this is great. There are toilets but I'm told they are not the best.

I may stay here a few nights as Jackie and Duck won't be back in WA until about Wednesday when I'll pick them up from the airport.

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July 7

A very relaxing day. I moved camp to a spot closer to the sea as it gets more sun for the solar panels. The batteries are holding up well - with the extra battery I've got about 195AH so even though I use a fair amount of things during the day and evening plus the fridge 24/7 I'm still showing about 70% full. That means I have about 140AH left so can afford to stay another few days in this lovely free spot. I have a Board Meeting on Sunday so will move into a park in Geraldton to make sure of a good Internet connection.

I tried again without success to get the sat TV working and rang iTech World in Perth to get a new holder for the LNB. I rang Geraldton but they didn't have them. I'll get them to check my whole set-up when I'm there next week. My idea of staying in Perth isn't going to work as Jayne's 'spare' bed will be in use but I'll still stay there on Tuesday night to save too many km next day. I got out my Hot Ozzie Barbie for the first time this trip and cooked some fillet steak and lots of vegies plus scalloped potatoes. Yum.

                                 Yemmy closer to the sea with solar panels working well.                                   My battery monitor is hard to photograph but it's a great asset

July 8

I'm always surprised when I find how many people are following my travels - both here and overseas. A lady in the US who travels full-time herself and writes great accounts of her travels asked if I had any interior shots of Yemmy so today with little else to do after I'd cooked and eaten a batch of pancakes, I took a number of pics. Yemmy did talk about an invasion of privacy but I didn't listen.

I left the ambulance overhead cupboards                 I use a re-chargeable lantern to save power off-road     There are three drawers in this useful unit

The seat is ex-ambo as well and the table folds down.  The Coleman 'Hot Water on Demand' unit is great            I can see the telly from my seat

The kitchen unit has useful drawers                        Cooking outside is easy with my little stove
                      Water tank and gas bottles, etc live inside 
                                                                                                         and Hot Ozzie Barby                                                  the sliding door on the drivers side

Looking towards the back - dark because curtains are drawn   View out of my door ......                                        ....and through the windscreen

More cupboards at the back .....                                         ......including one for glasses and crockery              No wardrobe so hanging suit-bags do the job

I didn't mention that I have a PortaPotti under the sink and an outside shower with a vinyl screen!

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July 9

Another relaxing day by the seaside! My Internet worked - when it and Murphy felt like it - but I did have a nice long chat with daughter Sue. She told me that 'My Dog' Jock had sat in a drawer that was far too small for him. What a dumb dog! They call him my dog because he makes such a fuss when I visit.

The lovely glow in the sky lasted a long time  and I was able to cook by dinner by it's light
. Bangers and mash for tea - but the mash had peas and carrot besides spuds. I was able to watch some of the V8 action at Townsville now my sat TV is working.

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July 10

Today I awoke to grey skies - it came hard after all the sunny ones I've been having earlier this week. I awoke to the sound of my mobile and it had a message," are you awake?" to which I replied "Am Now!" It was my friend Ros from Wales and it was good to talk to her. Amazing how good communications were from my bush camp and how lousy they were later in the day when I moved to a caravan park in Geraldton.

I tried to run a meeting via the Internet but the MSN connection kept dropping out much to everyone's frustration. At least I'm on power here and can get everything that has a battery  charged. It's cold so I've got one bar of my electric heater on.

                     The lovely little seaside town of Greenough showing the mouth of the river.                         And here's from a lookout further along the beach.
It was a pity the sun wasn't out as it looks pretty uninteresting under the lowering clouds.
We stayed here once in a nice caravan park.

I went for an explore Gerandton trip - mainly to do some much needed shopping but this is WA, and being Sunday, the supermarkets were all closed.

I did find one a little out of town so the cupboards are full again and I won't starve.

The Yellow submarine was built as an underwater craft for crayfish fishing but it didn't work too well as fumes from the batteries used to propel it under water made the two man crew sick

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July 11

Amazing! I connected to the Internet before 7am this morning and stayed hooked up until after 9am and it didn't look like dropping out once. They told me in the office that they have been having trouble with Telstra connections lately and said it might be because they are putting in a new tower in the town. Whatever the cause it was a blooming nuisance.

It poured with rain all night and I'd left my modem on the roof. Not good for it I'm sure - but it still worked this morning. There was a flood to wade through to get to the ablutions so there must have been a lot of rain. After doing some more shopping and collecting mail from the Post Office I headed back here to Cliff  Head where it's free. $35 and no Internet didn't make me a happy chappy.  I was booked in for four nights from Thursday but when I rang Jackie she told be their camper is at the repairers all packed up so they will head north on Friday. I rang and made my booking just the one night so I can travel with them for a little while.

I bought a spirit level to make setting up my sat dish easier so I see tonight if it works - Monday night is a good telly night on the ABC.

The modem has packed up so I'm using the dongle. Trying to recharge it but Telstra is a nightmare on the phone so I'll go to a shop in Perth today!

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July 12, 13 and 14

This has been a busy few days since leaving Geraldton and my friend Murphy has been at his most active. I drove down to Perth on Tuesday and Tom took me to the wrong suburb looking for a Telstra Shop. I finally found the right shopping centre and the idiot salesman insisted he had given me the right modem even though I pointed out it said ADSL on the box. He assured me it was wireless and was only $99. I was surprised and said the last one was more like $270. When I got back to Yemmy and looked at the CD that came with it I saw that it was indeed ADSL so next morning took it back, got a refund and then got a BigPond Elite. All the running around on the Tuesday meant the iTech world shop had shut before I got there  even though it wasn't quite 5 o'clock.

When I tried to set up the Elite all when well until I tried to connect and then it insisted it couldn't find the device. A frustrating hour and a half on the phone to Telstra and being shuttled from one consultant to another left me still un-connected  but I'd run out of time as I needed to get to the airport.

It was great seeing Jackie and Dennis and we were soon speeding northwards to our destination at lovely little Ledge Point. Their room was good. I parked nearby and the camp kitchen was close. We had a nice BBQ and we made friends with a lady from Perth who was on holiday with her son. J&D when to bed fairly early but I stayed on with new friend Ros, drinking wine and yarning till about midnight. A great evening!

Today (14th) dawned bright and sunny and we were on the road before 10 and making good progress when we got a puncture. The road edge was soft and the jack kept sinking in and not lifting. We did an illegal but practical thing in desperation and drove across to the other side of the road so that wheel was on bitumen and the jack couldn't slip. BUT it wouldn't lift high enough! Sniggers from you know who. We solved that by driving that wheel up onto a piece of rock and finally got the spare on and got back on the road. I'd driven over, and picked up, a huge screw and the tyre was ruined. When we reached Geraldton the Bridgestone people were very happy to sell me a new tyre and fit it for me some $318 later.

Tomorrow we head for Kalbarri - hopefully with no more interruptions from the Murphy clown. I took a few pictures but I'll post them tomorrow. Tonight I'm too tired.

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July 15

These things are known as 'Black Boys' - I'll leave it to you to work out why!

Their real name is 'Grass Trees' and they are typical of many parts of Australia. I put them in because my diary is being followed by friends from overseas who may not be familiar with things we Aussies take for granted.

Today was a good day. We filled up both vehicles at the cheapest pumps in Geraldton and then I went to the Telstra Shop while J&D did some shopping.

Dennis the Tech was great. He plugged the new Elite modem into his computer and in a very short while had it registered to my account and showing the Internet connected signal. Much better than the frustrating runaround from Telstra by phone yesterday! I won't know for sure that it's OK until we move to somewhere with a good signal.

We are camped in a huge 24-hr camping spot by the banks of a lovely broad river. Once the camper was up and sorted we relaxed and sat a while until a bit of rain came to spoil what had been till then a lovely sunny day.

There were a lot of campers here when we arrived and many more arrived after us.. I imagine it would be crowded in summer.
Tomorrow Yemmy will take us all into Kalbarri in search of Findlays Fish Shed and other sight-seeing.

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July 16

What a magic day!

We left J&D's outfit here at the camp and drove into Kalbarri in Yemmy - about 75km of fairly uninteresting countryside. Every so often there was a camera sign and a pull-off but what you would photograph eluded us. Then we came down the hill into Kalbarri itself and a wonderful panorama evolved of ocean and river. We went to the visitors centre and got maps and brochures and then took a drive around the sea front and a nearby lookout before doing some shopping.

There was 3G access and I soon had my new wireless modem hooked up and could post yesterday's diary and deal with emails.

We then had lunch overlooking the estuary  before driving along the road to Horrocks and taking in magical views from every vantage point. Unfortunately it was a bit hazy when I tried to get shots of the river and ocean. The famous Finlays Fish BBQ was closed as it only operates at night but memories linger. On the way back we went to Hawks Head to look at the gorge.

Then home to our camp and a chat to our neighbors decided us to head for Hamelin Station tomorrow before going on a dolphin visit next day. 

The pics of Kalbarri are a bit hazy as I mentioned but even when the sun came out it was hard to get a
clear shot - sorry.

Hawk's Head was different and we lingered quite a while soaking in the beautiful colors of the view. The pic on the right shows the diversity of wildlife found in th e gorges in the Kalbarri National Park

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July 17

Today it rained. And did it ever rain. Luckily we'd packed up before it really started pelting down but it then rained nearly all the way to our night stop at Hamelin Station Stop. This was a fabulous place and we booked for two nights with our cheerful host John. We had heard about this camp site from our neighbors last night - Dan the Man and Sharon. It was all they claimed and we are pleased we came.

Tonight we had a BBQ and afterwards had a great time chatting to fellow travellers. Up early tomorrow to visit the dolphins at Monkey Mia = 6am I believe.

This afternoon I did a write up of here and tomorrow once John's OKed it I'll send it to Caravan World. Here's a couple of pics from the story.

The ablutions are 5-star in my opinion     A bore output is used to drive a generator to charge batteries. An inverter then turns the power to 240volts and the lake contains the surplus water from the bore. Unfortunately there's not enough power to allow powered sites and the only drinking water is from a tap in the kitchen.

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July 18

We were up a bit after 5am and woke to fog and all windows steamed up. We had a long way to go to Monkey Mia and it was a challenging drive with visibility next to zero in the fog patches and when the sun eventually came up it made matters worse. However J&D got to see the dolphins while I took advantage of the strong Internet signal to catch up on emails and post yesterday's diary.

There are many wonderful scenic lookouts along this road and we went into many of them before visiting Hamelin Pool and seeing the quarry where shell blocks used to be quarried for local building. This is not allowed any more to preserve the history but a few buildings in Denham including the Church of England were built from it. We stayed there about 25 years ago and it hasn't changed much in that time. Monkey Mia certainly has changed with a very modern visitors centre etc.the
After a very early start we decided the afternoon would be spent relaxing - it was warm and pleasant after a shocker yesterday. 

I fixed my lnb mount and soon had telly - I don't bother with it too much while we are all travelling together

We finished the day with a bbq of nice thick steak from the butcher in Denham and chatting to a lovely family group from Adelaide - Mum, Dad, two daughters and 2 sons-in-law. They had overnighted the previous night at
The Blowholes' at Qobba and we are heading there tomorrow .

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July 19

Bright and sunny and a good day for travelling. I finished my pics of Hamelin Station by photographing the guest rooms in what was once the shearers' quarters and we hit the road before 10am heading for the Quobba Blowhole via a shopping visit to Carnarvon. We ate our sandwiches overlooking the ocean and then after a little Murphy deviation got on the road to Quobba. The blowhole is spectacular and I may get a pic or two on the way out in the morning. My sandals collapsed as I was clambering over rocks to the blowhole. Murphy!

The camp site is jammed with caravans and other RVs. Packed out = but the ranger lady said we could park in the No Parking area tonight. Thank goodness for that as there was no-where else!  No pics today as when I got to the blowhole I found the camera battery was still in the charger with Yemmy!

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July 20

These are the pictures that I didn't take last night!  They were fishing from the cliff and caught a beauty in the rough sea. The 'blow' was great but you had to be quick

We were lucky and scored a nice spot in the 'No Camping' area below while the main area was jammed like
sardines.  Today we drove in perfect weather and had our lunch break at Coral Bay. An extremely pretty spot but crowded with caravan parks full of units almost touching each other, I thought I might have to stay as Murphy jammed Yemmy in park and we only freed it by J&D rocking the van and me selecting the gear lever.

We ended up at a quite nice station stay - Bullara - on the road to Exmouth where a number of horses roam about the place to the delight of children. Campfires are allowed and a large crowd of people gathered around a communal fire for happy hour tonight. I got reception at Coral Bay and was able to post yesterday's diary. No go here so it will have to wait.

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July 21

This place is an animal lover's paradise with horses wandering around plus sheep, goat and chooks. We had a lovely relaxing day enlivened by the arrival of three tractors towing caravans! I couldn't resist a story when I smell one, so not only took pictures but wrote them up for Caravan World.

These smiling people belong to the Chamberlain 9G Tractor Club and were taking three weeks R&R with their tractors and Coromal off-road caravans.

Sheep and goats - so Dennis was in his element - he loves 'critters' as he calls them and spent a lot of time seeking them out..

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July 22

This was another great day. We took Yemmy into Exmouth about 95km away and bought some lovely looking frozen prawns for dinner and then went on to the Ningaloo Marine park where there are campsites all along the coast. These are booked through the Visitors Centre and were all full this week - I guess school holidays would have a bearing on that. The coral reef is not far offshore here but we didn't have time for snorkelling although you can hire the gear at the Centre..

Coming back we stopped to look at the huge radio transmitting towers used to communicate with submerged submarines. Shopping was next and I posted the tractor story to Caravan World plus caught up with a lot of email and skyped daughter Sue.

The prawns were delicious and were almost enough for the meal in themselves but we finished off with sausages in bread rolls and were very replete! We spotted the Chamberlain Tractors again in Exmouth - the certainly get around even at their lowly speed.

I have been without an
Internet connection every night since Perth - this is often inconvenient. 95% of Australians may have mobile coverage but 95% of the country isn't covered.

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July 23

We couldn't leave without a picture of a joey they are rearing - apparently he was orphaned at an early age

The map will give you an idea of our travels. It shows the route from Perth to Broome with a few deviations thrown in to visit places of interest along the coast.

We are currently in a rest area on the banks of the Robe River about 200km from Karatha - we should be there tomorrow. We plan to reach Port Hedland on Tuesday and after Jackie's birthday on the Wednesday we will probably part company as they intend looking for work there and I need to keep moving if I'm to get to NSW by mid-October.

This was tonight's sunset

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July 24

A fairly short hop today but unfortunately the last 14 km or so were on horrible corrugations. However it did lead us to a magnificent coastal campsite all on our own at Cleaverville. We couldn't find a site until directed to the caretaker - an officious woman who gave us a great site when we said we would stay two nights. We have to go back in the morning to fill out a permit application - talk about red tape! We were going out shopping and sightseeing tomorrow but the road is so bad we've decided to stay put and have a a lay day - there couldn't be a nicer spot to do that. It's sunny and about 27degrees - lovely. We rang Melbourne and they are rugged up with the heater going.

Lovely free stop at Robe River Rest Area                                    Our view at Cleaverville                                                    Yemmy's spot at Cleaverville

Rocks on 'our; beach                                                                                Sturts Desert Pea on 'our' track                                         Some other flowers

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July 25

What I didn't tell you yesterday was that we couldn't get any gas to J&D's stove so resorted to cooking on my Hot Ozzie BBQ and the chops and vegies turned out just fine. This morning we did some further investigation after a long walk along the beach to fill out a ridiculously complicated application for a permit to camp.

We've had Internet connection at Robe River and here. We couldn't find what was wrong but when I rang my good mate Lazo in Melbourne he suggested it might be that the lid wasn't fully open. It was open but Lazo's suggestion caused us to look at the little button that controls the gas when the lid is open. The nut had come undone and with a little bit of luck and patience I managed to get the nut back on and the stove working again.

It was a lovely warm and sunny day and we spent the rest of the day relaxing until evening when Dennis lit a lovely fire with wood someone had left on our site.
While sitting around the fire Jackie spotted a little hermit crab and that solved the mystery of strange tracks in the sand around our campsite!

             You would never tire of the view from this site - or of the sunsets over the Indian Ocean                  Nothing's better than an open fire - even if it's hot!

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July 26th

Reluctantly we left our lovely seaside site and headed for Port Hedland and arrived without fuss around 1pm. Having booked in we went shopping at Woolies and then went to inspect the other PH parks. The one at South Hedland looked OK and although full today had vacancies later in the week. The other park was the pits!
We came back and after a much needed shower went to listen to a singer for a while. Not an exciting day but the weather was superb. Later we BBQ-ed steaks and had them with veges in the nice camp kitchen. A bit of red didn't hurt either!

Yemmy's site in the caravan park at Cooke Point                       View of the seafront from the park                               ..... and on the other side a river view

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July 27

This is the last day I'll be together with Jackie and 'Duck' aka Dennis and it has been a great two weeks since I picked them up from Perth Airport all those km ago. Today is Jackie's birthday and the best present she got was a job here in the caravan park cleaning cabins. Although the park is full and they have to move out today to a park at South Hedland, they will have a permanent site here when they return in a week. Come cyclone season starting on the 1st November, they will have a site with tie down eyelets - a bit scary!

I've been chasing sandals for a while as my repaired ones won't last long and it's too hot for lace up shoes. You would think here in the tropics sandals would be plentiful but K-Mart said they were waiting for summer stock. 29C and it's mid-winter! I settled for a chemist's slip-ons that are supposed to give your feet a gentle massage that helps the rest of your body - I'll wait and see.

We did a little shopping at South Hedland that has a much bigger shopping mall than Port and then returned for more R&R. It wasn't really relaxing as I'd washed my sheets in the morning and had to re-make the bed. The washing took a bit longer to dry as a fool of a groundsman turned on the sprinklers and wet all the clothes on the line. Being so warm they didn't take very long to dry again.

I bought a kg of large prawns as a birthday treat for Jackie (and us!) and they had bought chicken so we didn't go hungry.

I'll be travelling north tomorrow on my own - don't know how far or where.

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July 28

It was a bit sad saying goodbye to J&D this morning but time waits for no-one and Yemmy and I hit the road after filling up with the cheapest diesel of the trip - it was $158 less 8 cents with a docket and buying $5 worth in the servo. I needed milk and some cola so got the discount. It was a pity Yemmy wasn't empty!
I had no fixed destination in mind and when the sign came up for Cape Keraudrin I remembered when we were here years ago and turned off to this beautiful spot. Talking to the people camped on the spot we were in last time I found there was to be a Christmas in July at the roadhouse tonight so I'm going - I've even got a lift arranged.

   Marble Bar holds the record as the hottest place in Australia but I didn't choose to go there today                           I'm at beautiful Cape Keraudren instead
Yemmy's not too crowded out and I can see the ocean through the windscreen.  Just opposite is the fish cleaning area and this Trevally was going to be good for somebody's dinner tonight,

Talking of dinner, the Christmas in July put on by the Pardoo Roadhouse was superb and we all had a great night. Thick fog on the way back didn't spoil our evening and we all commented on what a great job the roadhouse staff had done.

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July 29

I was going to stay another day at Cape Keraudren but when I woke up I had an urge to travel so packed up, said goodbye to the new friends from last night's Christmas function and hit the road. There was nothing calling for photos along the way and I pulled into this rest are about 150km south of Broome for the night. It was hot - more than 30 degrees.
The solar panels were not charging properly so I removed the flimsy cable they came with and fitted some much heavier stuff I'd bought as an extension. Bingo - it was charging at 4.3 amps and obviously that had been the problem. I may have to buy some more to use as an extension but I'll wait and see how this works out.

Tomorrow I think I'll ignore Broome and continue on towards Derby - there are a few free camps along the way and they help my budget stay on track.

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July 30

I said I might ignore Broome and now with wonderful hindsight I wish I had!

All went well at first and with great Internet and mobile phone connection I was able to make a number of calls and catch up with family and friends.

Then the sandal problem solved at last.

From the left- one of each pair-: my old sandals repaired with Tarzans Grip, new sandals found in SportsPower in Broome, my NuBalance shoes with elastic laces - great but too hot here where it was 32C today, the slip-ons from a chemist in Port Hedland and some beach shoes from the South Hedland K-Mart.

I have another pair of going out shoes under the bed!

Feeling rather pleased I went looking for an AutoPro shop to get some extension cable for the solar panels and while driving, Chris rang. I pulled off the street on to a bit of waste land and enjoyed a nice chat. When I tried to move Yemmy was stuck in park and wouldn't come out. It happened once before at Coral Bay but we got it out that time.

I rang the Call Connect as I couldn't find the Road Service number and was told the local contractor would be with me within the hour. I used the time to have a nice long chat with daughter Sue and finaly the man arrived. Fixing it was simple - just poke a screwdriver down a little hole and it unlocks! However he did say the reason was that the brake light switch was faulty and so didn't send a signal to the parking brake and a new switch would fix it. I didn't have time to spare so continued with screwdriver at the ready!

I didn't feel like a long drive so pulled into a spacious 24hr rest area and settled in for the rest of the day. There's no reception so this won't be posted until tomorrow - if then.

The day ended up nicely because the people next door invited me to share Happy Hour with them and their neighbors - sorry I don't remember all their names.

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July 31

Wow! Another month has flown by and tomorrow starts a new page.

Today was a good day. An open road stretching into the distance, very little traffic, Yemmy humming along at a steady 105kp/h and the sun shining brightly from a cloudless azure sky. What more could I ask? Internet I hear you say. Well I did get a connection where the Derby road heads off to the coast so I stopped and posted yesterday's diary and dealt with a few emails. Then in Fitzroy Crossing I saw I had signal once again and pulled up to make a few phone calls.

Day's end saw me at a wonderful free campsite on a high place in the East Kimberley with a lovely view from Yemmy's door. It was into sun so the pic doesn't do it justice
. The only blot on the day was that I couldn't get the sat TV to work. There was a shelter in the line of sight and I didn't want to move once settled. It was a nuisance as I wanted to watch the Formula 1 tonight. I'll try to get my hormone implant done in Halls Creek tomorrow but if no luck I'll wait until Kununarra where there must be at least a GP. If I can get it done this week it will last until I get home in three months time.

I remembered this huge boab tree from the time Anne and Don were with us and I stopped for a cuppa again this morning. While there I chatted to a couple who own a Coronet - if you read this Andrew you will be pleased they are absolutely wrapt with it! Sunday is bacon and eggs day and today was no exception plus mushies and tomatoes. The view at the night stop was magnificent but the pic doesn't show it well. I'll try again next month - tomorrow.

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