Tag Archives: caravan

in our wake

This is the last post in the “on the road” category until we set off on the next trip on the menu – time and destination at this point unknown.  (Please note – the blog will continue on other themes as usual).

As I watched the wake at the end of today’s boat trip, I started to reflect on what will be stored in the memory bank.  Not in any particular order, here’s a selection for deposit.

bloody van 1


moon on Wolfe Creek Crater

big skies

on top of the dune - Big Red

big dunes

Lizard Racing Track

bush entertainment


country pubs


tides writ large from the air

deck chairs - Broome's outdoor cinema

outdoor cinema

road train on the Tanami

road trains


small towns

Bitter Springs reflection 1

swimming holes

Closed sign - Fran's Teahouse

care-free attitudes

Old Derby gaol


Wyndham - Rusty Shed Cafe

good coffee in out-of-the-way places

Chambers Pillar 1

tall features in the desert

1 August wildflower


Blanche Cup


Giekie Gorge afternoon 1


Matso's Brewery

alcoholic ginger beer at Matso’s

fishing beach - Cape Leveque

white sand beaches

Freshie - Lake Argyle


1 Aug - behind Little Merten Falls


Kati Thandi - Lake Eyre sunset



eating out

1 Aug - ripped tyre

evidence of road conditions

fresh tracks

over 17,000 kilometres

Flight 3

awesome aerial views

blue winged kookaburra water colour and pencil

bird life

Five Rivers Lookout 1

big landscapes

Purnululu fire place

campfire conversations

As we get closer to the home front dear ones, I thought you might appreciate an analysis of the common phenomenon of waving to each other that you will notice on the open road if you ever decide to get out there and tow anything akin to a caravan. Here are a few of my observations.

The point.  “I see you mate, let’s not make too much of a deal of this”.

The lazy index finger lift.  “If I have to”.

The enthusiastic full-hand-all-over-the-place wave can mean a number of things. You have to be particularly careful not to ignore such apparently over-the-top excitement because if it’s point 3, it’s to your advantage to pay attention.

1 “We’ve only been on the road for a day and I’m excited”.

2 “I ooze friendly and I love this game.”

3 “The load on top of your car is listing very dangerously to the left.”

The V for Victory wave. “Yay, dude”.

The backwards middle finger wave. Now that’s just rude!

The sorry I was a bit late with that wave.  You’ll never know what that one looked like.

The compensating passenger wave. “My husband doesn’t do waving”.

The salute. “I see you”.  Often this wave is given when the opposing driver recognises a mirror copy of his rig is coming his way and he is complimenting you on your shared good taste.

The no wave at all.  Be careful not to interpret this as discourteous as I’ve identified a number of scenarios where the no wave is appropriate.

“You and I both know we can’t let go of the bloody steering wheel because these *$!#ing road corrugations are REALLY bad”

“This is a bendy bit of the road. I hope you understand”.

“I don’t wave” Still not necessarily discourteous. Sometimes you just don’t feel like waving to someone you’ve never met and are very unlikely to do so given you are traveling in opposite directions.

Occasionally on this trip, I’ve felt a bit like the poet Stevie Smith when she wrote “not waving but drowning”. Ten days out from arriving home, I am pleased to say that I have largely survived being out of my comfort zone, but I tell you something.

I don’t wave.

Saturday 7 September

For Freddy, from whom I first learned about Lawn Hill.

We drove up from Adel’s Gorge to Boodjamulla / Lawn Hill National Park soon after breakfast.

The morning canoe paddle began on a placid waterway. The fish were jumping and darters were drying their wings before their next piscine onslaught.  Schools of Archer Fish and Sooty Grunters swam beneath us, and cuckoos flew above.  It was early enough in the morning for the breeze to be cool and for some shade to be cast by the cliff faces.

The trip up the Middle Gorge requires a 2 minute canoe drag to the Upper Gorge.  Not a mean feat given we had a three-man canoe and only one man was pulling it.

As I was getting back into the canoe, the distance between the vessel and the small jetty rapidly increased. Let’s just say it was at a pace that beat my reflexes.

From the water, I reverted to my go-to curse word (an ungracious but hugely satisfying response under the circumstances) as Himself kept his cool, reminding me that my camera case had joined me in the drink.

Me: “*!#*!  !#*!”

Himself: “Camera! Camera!”

Any shin grazes and bruises aside, the camera and lenses survived. The second leg was happily uneventful.

Lawn Hill Gorge - canoeunderwater lilies - Lawn Hill Gorge

waterfall vignette - Lawn Hill Gorge

Archer fish - Lawn Hill Gorge

cascade bubbles - Lawn Hill Gorge

Today it was south on the Tablelands Highway, a narrow stretch of bitumen through scrubby grassland and then east on the Barkly where the trucks frequent.  Note that no matter how far off the beaten track you go, you can’t forget there’s an election happening.

Tablelands Highway 1

Tablelands Highway 4

Tablelands Highway 3Tablelands Highway 2Barkly Highway 3Barkly Highway 2Barkly Highway 1

It was a day full of quirks and curiosities on our way to the Heartbreak Hotel at Cape Crawford, a town that is located 100 plus kilometres south-west of the nearest coast at the Gulf of Carpentaria.

After Mataranka, the signs advertising Fran’s Teahouse in Larrimah were plentiful. It was mid-morning as we arrived and fresh rain water filter coffee sounded like a plan.  She had us hooked with the promise of cold and sweet delights. Until ……..

Fran's Teahouse signFran's TeahouseClosed sign - Fran's Teahouse

So it was on to Daly Waters. I see that Jonno, Nugget and Shuffle had beaten us to the town.

who was here - Daly Waters directional signDaly Waters is the pub.

cartoon history of the pub

Daly Waters pub
traffic lightsNo parking

For the past few days, we’ve been treated to the dressing up of termite mounds along the road. Today’s fashion included a beanie-clad one, with a football jersey and a fishing rod. T-shirts, workmen’s safety vests and slinky little numbers are also common. I cannot vouch for what this does for the health of the termite colony.

Termite mound - dressed for the occasion

In conclusion today, this sign on a water tank at a roadside rest stop. Take a punt people, take a punt.

Water may not be suitable for drinking

After a number of very hot days, it’s been good to stay in places with pools.  Tonight we are at Mataranka in the Northern Territory, camping near the natural hot water swimming hole called Bitter Springs. Attempts at underwater photography varied in quality. Himself, pictured below, is very able to swim deep enough for a passable image to be taken. Myself, not pictured here, had to hang on for dear life to a submerged tree trunk to stay down long enough, resembling a goggle-clad squirrel with nut-filled cheeks as I held my breath.

Bitter Springs - panoramaBitter Springs reflection 1Bitter Springs reflections 2Bitter Springs reflection 3

Bitter Springs - Rob