28 May—29 May 2002
We broke camp at Tumbling Waters and set out on the road to Kununurra. The drive was uneventful until we reached Gregory National Park, which announced itself with dramatic, rocky cliffs rising out of the surrounding countryside. We stopped there to buy some of the most expensive petrol ever. The park looked so good that we cast about for a suitable place to camp.
We picked up some ice and some more petrol at the next stop, and drove into the ranger’s station to check whether Big Horse Creek would be suitable for our rig. We went on a short distance down the road and we were not disappointed. We picked out a lovely campsite with a fireplace near the river. There was a long-drop toilet nearby and a water tap further on. We camped under a Boab Tree with a low rocky ridge between us and the river. I cooked up a big kangaroo stew. One of the purposes of this was to use up as many veggies as possible before we hit the quarantine station at the Western Australian border.
We liked the camping spot so much that we stayed another night. Unfortunately it was impossible to swim in the Victoria River due to the presence of saltwater crocodiles. We exchanged travelling information with a Grey Nomad who displayed the racist attitudes that are frequently encountered among white folk up here.
On the second day we worked on the kids’ distance education and I actually got a bit of time to myself to work on a song. I took the kids down to the river to check out the scenery (without getting too close to the river bank!) We had leftover kangaroo stew with damper made by Susan the night before in the Dutch oven. I worked again on the song with Susan around the campfire in the evening.
We were slow to pack up the next morning due to a big disarray. We drove to Keep National Park after giving away our remaining vegetables to other travellers. The day use area was closed however, so we pushed on to Kununurra.
When we arrived in Kunanurra we went shopping to stock up on vegetables again, and we set up camp on ground right next to the lake. It was nice enough, but not a patch on Big Horse Creek. The big attraction was other children the same age as Ruby and Clare. They got to know each other while I cooked spaghetti Bolognese.
The parents came and chatted to us over drinks before dinner. They were a couple from Bondi in Sydney. We exchanged travel advice while the kids socialised over a game of cards.
The country here is stunning. Rugged, rocky outcrops hang over the town.