Thursday 4th June 2015,
Warm 36, Hot 37
Broome to Derby
It’s a little strange getting back into ‘on the road’ mode. The Broome Caravan Park has been a home away from home and we’ve had a very social bunch of neighbours.
Woody notices that our batteries are not up to full strength even after having been plugged into 240 volt power for 10 days or so. Back into town it is, to get a new battery charger fitted and the electrician at Allvolts recommends that we stay at least two nights in a caravan park to charge up to capacity and ensure that our batteries aren’t also faulty. Ouch, that was expensive but better than our neighbours who had to fork out $3000 for a new fridge after crossing the Tanami Track.
Brown kites wheel in the sky constantly looking for road kill, they should consider moving to Tassie! A mustering helicopter buzzes back and forth across the road. We pass through tall grasslands until the whole scene changes in what seems an instant to ‘spot the biggest boab’. They’re everywhere only to be outdone by termite mounds and then we cross the mighty Fitzroy River on a series of one lane bridges. Woody tells me that it is beautiful but I’m driving and the bridge is narrow… We pull into the grassy green oasis of the Willare road house and Woody goes off in search of hot chips (I think ‘road house’ is code for hot chips) and returns with fried dim sims. What a treat, steamed would have been better but beggars can’t be choosers especially out here. As we turn off to Derby the sign says “We like our lizards frilled not grilled”. We have now reached the south western edge of the cane toad migration, we should have brought a golf club.
Derby is a real outback town. Boab trees line the streets and parks and most buildings are of corrugated iron. It is hot and it must get very hot in the wet season because older buildings have those iron shutters that open out. The petrol station even has trellis to shade the pumps.
The Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park has gravel sites, plenty of shade and birds aplenty. There is a white peacock that roams the park and pretty green parrots similar to ‘peach face’.
Banks and ATM’s are scarce in most small towns so Woody goes into the ANZ bank and asks a lady customer if there is an NAB in town. She says “It used to be down the street. They told us they were closing and we could go to Broome (200kms away) and we told ’em You can go to buggery, we’ll go to the other mob (ANZ).”
The historic wharf stretches out into King Sound in an arc. This was a cattle export wharf in the early days and our van park backs onto what was once the cattle route. The causeway across the mud flats that joins the town to the wharf is about a kilometre long and once held a railway line. We arrive at high tide and the pier is busy with fishermen casting lines and tossing crab nets. The wharf cafe is gearing up for curry night. The mangroves are almost submerged in murky water. This place must be quite a sight in a king tide.
With 11 metre tides Derby has the world’s 8th largest tide variation, Mont St Michel, in France, is the 2nd and probably the most famous.
Travelling Kms: 217Kms
Note: We had replaced our battery charger prior to the trip we were later reimbursed under warranty.
Tasmanian roads are littered with small roadkill.
Whether you eat your dim sims steamed or fried is as important as your football team or voting preference in Melbourne.
In reference to the Frill Necked Lizard. Poor little buggers have a habit of wandering across busy roads.
The imported and poisonous cane toad is working its way south and west from the sugar cane regions of Queensland destroying native wildlife. Golf clubs are sometimes used to dispatch these nasty pests. Freezers are also used, as in bagging the toad and freezing it, though throwing the freezer at it would also prove effective.