Saturday, January 7, 2012

Road Trip to Exmouth - Day 3 - Exmouth via Carnarvon & Minilya Roadhouse (twice)

We packed up the tent after a windy, restless night, and headed into Banana Town. We West Australians call Carnarvon Banana Town because it is where most of our bananas come from. Unfortunately last year a lot of the banana crop were wiped out by heavy rains and flooding and bananas became very expensive.

We stopped at a Banana Town cafe because we didn't really have any breakfast food to cook up in camp - we have a special egg carrier for camping which is made of plastic and protects the eggs from breaking - but the free range eggs we bought the night before were too big to fit.

Carnarvon is not a very pretty place, though there were a lot of backpackers around of all nationalities. I think that a lot of them were around looking for work on the banana plantations.

After we had our breakfast, we let the dogs out at a local park. We were met by this local.

She didn't seem to like us being on her turf and barked at us. She kept her distance. I just thought she looked a lot like Bender. I wonder if she was one of his sisters!

Back on the road again, and we started driving through Termite Mound country. A few of them had spraypainted graffiti on them, but this delightful modification gave me a little giggle.

We went to the effort of turning the car around and driving back to get a picture of this termite mound/beast.

By now it was getting very hot. We got to Minilya roadhouse and pulled over to get some fuel. It was here that Barbie jumped into the car completely voluntarily with no coaxing and no treats. I think her feet were hot. We broke out her cool coat and wet it down. She seemed to enjoy it.

The guy at the roadhouse asked N where we were going. She told him we were heading to Exmouth. There are two ways to get to Exmouth and he neglected to tell us that one way (the way we decided to go) was closed due to a raging bushfire.

We drove for quite a while towards the turnoff, thinking 'that fire is awfully close to where we are going'. N flashed the headlights at an oncoming car, and they told us they had headed up that way and the road was closed. We had to turn around and go back. By this stage it was hotter than it had ever been before, and the car airconditioning was just blowing hot air at us. We had to drive at 90kph with the windows down to provide some relief, but if you stuck your arm out the window it felt like it was burning.

We had to go back through Minilya in order to get more fuel. We also bought a bag of ice and 3 litres of cold water since all the water we had in the car was just about hot enough to brew a cup of tea in.

Bender happily licked iceblocks I held for him and that kept him cool. We wet Barbie down again, and headed up the other road towards Exmouth. We saw a few cars on the side of the road with the bonnet up - overheated.

Weirdly, as we approached Exmouth we went through a patch of really cool air. The windows of the car went back up, and the air conditioning back on. We could go 110kph and the car temperature did not increase.

It didn't last, and it got hotter as we passed Learmonth Airport. Then we finally got to Exmouth!

The puppies were pleased as we got a great camping spot underneath a tree. They were exhausted from all the panting they had been doing - so they slept very well that night. They even waited patiently tied up while I made dinner.

Barbie always used to wiggle out of her collar or harness when she was tethered but on this trip she learned that there was no point. She would just be told off. She only whinged when it was too hot or if there were ants or something.

Here we are all ready for bed. I read my Kindle until I was tired enough for bed. Barbie actually stayed on her bed this time and they were both on their best behaviour - despite all the noisy birds perching in the tree over the tent!

To be continued....

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