Sunday, August 25, 2013

Goodbye Barn Hill

Today is our last day at Barn Hill Outstation. It has really been a wonderfully relaxing place to stay. I have seen some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Let my inner child play in the sand. Fished often, but didn't catch anything. Although I did get a small stingray on my line and he almost took me for a jog along the beach as he swam from side to side, before breaking the line and swimming free. Today there was a Sunday Market so I set up a stall with my jewellery I have designed and made.  There ended only bring three stalls but it turned out to be a pretty profitable day for me. Every Sunday night the have a Sunday Night Roast. For $15 we got soup, roast beef & veggies and finished of with fruit salad and ice cream. It was very tasty and turned out to be a very entertaining night.
So until I next have Internet reception keep safe and enjoy life. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Barn Hill Art ........

Yesterday I was so excited about sharing my day with you, and then the internet connection was no longer. So here it is now. I woke at 4.30am unable to sleep any longer, so I just lay there listening to all the birds start their day. A couple of days prior I rececived a facebook post about a guy called Tony Plant in the UK that does beach art with a rake. Check out this link on his amaing creations. I remember saying to myself as I watched the video "Gee wish I had a rake with me". Well the universe answered me and low and behold the next day there was a rake at the back of the van. The campers who had left that morning left it behind as it was a little broken. So seeing I was awake so early I decided to head off down to the beach and have a play. Walking down to the beach I was lucky enough to welcome the day in with a beautiful sunrise.

Playing around with the rake on the secluded beach was extremely theraputic. A few people walked past with comments about having fun and strange looks on their faces, wondering what the heck this woman was doing. I had a bit of an aiudience from the hilltop. But my inner child was definately just having fun. I was down there about 2 hours creating my masterpice and loving every minute of it. I could really relate to the comment by Tony Plant when he said he didn't mind when the tide came in and his work would be washed away. I was down there doing it just for me, but if others enjoyed it that was fine. Then I was happy for Mother Nature to come and clean the slate.

The rest of day we had to drive back into Broome (130km) to stock up for our next week or so in the wilderness. There was quite a haze across the sky as there is a fire out of control up at Cape Leveque, where we were a few weeks ago. We arrived back at Barn Hill just in time to wander down to the beach for the sunset. Theres nothing like smoke in the sky to make a great sunset.

As I sat there bidding the day goodbye, I thought what a great day I have had.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tummy Bug!!!!

That's right "Tummy Bug". I have had a couple of days where I'm a bit off colour. Lets just say I would really like my own bathroom and pillow top bed at the moment. Although I do feel a little better today I'm still not 100% so I'm having a lazy day in and around the camper people watching and playing on my laptop. It's really interesting of a morning watching campers pack up and head off along the dusty dirt road and within minutes in comes another van ready to set up in their new location. Most campers are full of excitement to be at a new location, some are just plain and simply tired after their drive. Once set up most jump into a pretty relaxed state of mind, some find they have to be doing something. Its funny watching the men that have to be doing something, they potter around their van doing any little job they can invent. Some campers become very precious and protective of their little plot of land they have book for X amount of days, but most just want to enjoy the surroundings and relax. This camp - Barn Hill - is one such location where you can totally relax.

This guy got hooked by a shark and off it took with his line.
He was really struggling to try and wind it in -
but all of a sudden the line went ZAP and broke and the shark was free.

No luck for Shane - NO Sharks, NO Fish not even a little crab liked his bait.
Oh well lucky he just likes the joy of fishing.

Someone has found a snack!

Tried a bit of arty stuff with this shot

Last night was a Blue Moon, but I thought I would much prefer it PURPLE

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beautiful Day at Barn Hill .......

Last night lying in bed listening to the waves crash against the shore was another experience I will treasure. Barn Hill is situated on Thangoo Station, which is a working cattle station. Alf and Maria Grey purchased Thangoo in 1964. The property is approx. 430,000 acres and stretches 85 kms along the coast between Broome and Port Hedland. The property runs 8,000 head of Brahman cattle which are marketed to the live export port trade through the port of Broome.

Yep, another red sand road to drive along!

Make sure you close the gates!

To keep these guys in.
Brahman Cattle
Driving in yesterday along the 10km of sandy road and having to get out of the car and open and close three set of gates that keep the cattle where they are supposed to be, I never dreamed at the end of the road would be such and idyllic location. The camp is still pretty busy but as we are getting to the end of the holiday season we are noticing things are starting to quieten down a little. Barn Hill seems to have attracted a lot of campers that have been coming here for many years and stay for quite a long time. One lady I spoke to had been here for four months.
Can anyone tell me what sort of birds these little guys are. They are keeping us entertained around our camp, with the males constantly hanging around the girls trying to tempt them with their charms.
What sort of bird is this? Can anyone help?

They are so cool how they lay back with one wing up, having a shower under the sprinkler.
This morning I decided to go for a walk along the beach that is a two minute walk from Myrtles door. The crashing of the waves and peace and quiet was once again a moment I will remember. This camp has quite a few activities to keep the guests entertained, one being lawn bowls on a pretty rugged lawn. The long stayers obviously play it regularly and needed a fill in this morning. So guess who got roped in - yep me! Even though I had no idea what to do it turned out to be a lot of fun and our team got into the grand final, but came second. But we got an ice-cream voucher as our second place prize. So I was happy I got an ice-cream.

Our day ended with being treated with yet another beautiful sunset. While sitting on the beach looking out at theses amazing colours I didn't know which way to turn. I had this sunset in front of me, the amazing red rocks to one side, an equally amazing Blue Moon on the other side of me, while dolphins frolicked out in the water.
Tonight we have been treated with a Blue Moon.

Yep I know just another sunset!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Our Aussie Adventure so far.......

Today we drove from Broome to Barn Hill Outstation, which took us a whole 2hrs 30mins. It was the first day our adventure has done an about face. We have spent the past 89 days heading to the northern parts of Australia, but from today on we are now heading south. This got me thinking about some milestones we have encountered, what things I love about this lifestyle, what things I miss about my life back in Eltham and just how much my life has changed in the past 12 months. 
We have slept in 39 towns/road houses around Australia so far. 
We have driven 12,229 kms (7599 miles). 
What I love about my lifestyle:
I love all the amazing things I have learnt about this beautiful country I live in. 
I have met and read about some amazing Aussies from the past, especially some amazing strong Aussie woman. 
The colours in Northern Australia are amazing. The sun is brighter, sunsets are more stunning, birds are more colourful. 
I have learnt a lot about Australian Aborigines - some bad but mostly good. 
I can be creative in my jewellery making without having all my craft supplies close at hand. (See below)
What I miss about my life in Eltham: (other than my wonderful family)
I miss my Sunday bath night, with bubbles, candles and soothing music. 
I miss my early morning visit to the loo (bathroom). I still go there but all the different smells from the other travellers just doesn't do it for me. 
I do still miss my craft room supplies a bit. (See above) 
How much has my life changed in the past 12 months
Wow where do I start with this one. This time 12 months ago I was sitting at home recovering from a hysterectomy. Dreaming about my 12 month Aussie Adventure wondering if it was really going to happen. I had two beautiful grandchildren - Clare and O'Shea who had both just turned one. Now I have three adorable grandchildren - Clare, O'Shea and Mikayla is 3 months. I also have another grandbaby due in December, compliments of Shane and Stacey. I thought the birds I listened to in the morning sounded pretty good, but now the sounds the birds I listen to as I lie in bed are absolutely amazing. 12 months ago I believed that to be the best me I could be I had to be doing stuff, didn't matter what it was, learning was doing. Now I really feel to be the best me is to be me. To finish off I think I have finally found the real me. 
Note: No photos today, but I'm sure the camera will get a bit of a work out tomorrow. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Goodbye Broome........

Today was a day of cleaning, shopping, packing in preparation for our departure from Broome tomorrow morning. I have really enjoyed staying here, the weather has been superb and I have had some wonderful experiences. Broome has a really safe feel about it and I think it would be a nice place to live in the dry season. I think the wet season would be a bit hot, humid and basically wet for me. So with my goodbye to Broome I thought I would just share you a couple of photos from this beautiful part of Australia.

Our Journey so far - now turns into a southward adventure instead of a northward one
Not only was this road an experience but having red dirt in everything
 (and I mean everything) was an experience too!

Mum and Bub come to visit

Just one of the many beautiful sunsets I have seen so far

The joy of watching a baby sea eagle take one of its first
flights out over the ocean was so amazing

Tomorrow we head south - not very far, under 200km to a place called Barn Hill Station. Having never been there I don't know what to expect. But I have had some good reports from other travellers and I like the sound of it on their website. We're not sure how long we will stay there, just play that by ear. I think I may have some electricity and mobile connection, but I doubt there will be Internet coverage, so it may be a while before I can update my blog.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Busy weekend in Broome

This weekend is a very busy weekend in Broome. Last night the Broome Rodeo was on. This night is the last of six Rodeos in the Kimberley for the 2013 season. So off we went with our chairs and warm clothes on, to watch the Rodeo. I think everyone from the district was there too. There were thousands of people there and we were cramped in the dust with them. But it was great, so much fun. I didn't think I'd ever like a Rodeo as I don't like to think the animals might get hurt. But from what I could tell the cowboys came off second best and I found myself barracking for the horses, calves and bulls.
To start the evening off they had the little (and I mean little) kids riding the poddy (see note below) calves. Well they weren't really riding they were sort of being held on the saddle and then lifted off when the time was right. I couldn't believe how little some of the kids were.

This little Girl did pretty well with a lot of help

Get a load of this little fella, he was only 4!!
He had just completed his ride!!
Part off the crowd just next to us!!

Even though I couldn't get an unblurred shot I like the way
this one gets the motion of the bull.
The clown in the red shirt behind was amazing.
If the cowboy was in any danger he would just put himself between the bull and the rider.
Brave or Crazy??

Not Happy - He even tried to jump the fence!!
We had decided prior to going that we would have something for our dinner there. But there were so many people there the lines for the food stalls were 50 plus people long. So my dinner was a Chocolate Cracker, small but yummy.

Hows this for a nice healthy dinner??
Today was another huge day for Broome as it was the Broome Cup. As horse racing is really not my thing Shane headed off on his own, while I had another day doing Davine stuff. I wandered around the shops, went to the market and sat around the camp playing on my laptop and listening to a great YouTube presentation by Wayne Dyer, Power of Intention Part 1.  My favorite quote in it was "Don't Die with Your Music Still in You".

Note: Here's a bit of trivia I learnt. A Poddy Calf is an orphan calf. In instances where a calf loses its mother it is commonly reared by hand or with another foster cow.  Although in most cases this phrase is used to describe a generic calf.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Horizontal Falls - a dream come true

Wednesday 14th August 2013
As my eyes slowly opened, my mobile phones alarm screamed, yes it was 4.45am. I didn’t moan that it was so early because I was already feeling excited about my day ahead. I was about to start a day where one of my biggest dreams would be realised. This day I was heading off on my Horizontal Falls Tour. At the age of 19 years old I saw an Australian documentary by Malcolm Douglas on this part of the world and from that moment on I have dreamed of visiting the Horizontal Falls. Walking up to the reception office for my 5.20am pickup, I could feel the moisture of the night gently touching my face in the darkness. I was first on the bus and as we travelled around Broome to pick up the other travellers I wondered if they were as excited as I was about our morning’s adventure. Once at the airport luckily all the fog had lifted and there our 12 seater seaplane was waiting for us to board for our one hour flight to our destination. I was the only person travelling alone and I really hoped the pilot would ask if anyone wanted to sit in the co-pilots seat up front. After asking one man if he was travelling alone, which he wasn’t, he turned to me and said “Davine you are travelling alone, would you like to sit in the co-pilots seat”. Well I answered YES so quick I think the other passengers almost jumped. Even though he told us the first 30-45 minutes would be pretty boring, I didn’t find that at all. Just after take off and flying low over the Broome outskirts, the glorious sun rose on the horizon and all the light fog below radiated out from the suns glow.

Finally after an hour our pilot  Greg announced we were approaching the Horizontal Falls and we would fly over the two of them first before landing on Talbot Bay. My heart started to beat quicker with excitement and I felt a tear in my right eye. I said to myself the tear was just from the air conditioner blowing on my face, but my heart told me differently.

Horizontal Falls is a natural phenomenon caused when a fast moving tidal flow through two narrow, closely aligned gorges of the McLarty Range, located on Talbot Bay. The direction of the flow reverses with each tide change. As the tides in the Kimberley can reach 10 metres, a peak tide gives rise to a significant difference in the sea level on either side of the gorge.
Landing on water is obviously a totally different sensation than landing on tarmac. As the floats touched the water there was a slight bounce and then it was sort of like sitting on a water bed with just a slight wobble from side to side. We then taxied up to the pontoon and climbed out of our little plane onto a pretty extensive pontoon.
While we waited for the tides to be at the optimum time we checked everything out. Then we were asked if anyone would like to put their bathers on and hop into the tanks and watch the sharks being feed. At first I was a bit dubious but when I saw how safe they looked I didn’t hesitate. The Tawny Nurse or Sleepy Sharks were actually fed in a separate tank next to were we where. Although I must say even with wire and some Perspex between us, I was still a bit scared when the came really close to us. Then it was time to sit down for our very tasty egg, bacon, rolls, juice, tea and coffee breakfast.  Finally the announcement was made that we could all make our way down to our Jet Boat named Full Throttle, for our ride through the Horizontal Falls. I think I almost ran to get my life vest on and board the boat. I almost sat in the front but thought it best I didn’t because I didn’t want to get my camera wet – I didn’t care about me getting wet.

As we slowly approached the first and widest, although it was only 20 metres wide, opening I could see the water pouring through the gap causing a huge swell. We sat in the raging water for a while with the motor in forward but not actually getting anywhere due to the force of the water being pushed through the narrow opening.  Then he gave the 900hp engine a push and off we went surging our way through the washing machine like swell, up the horizontal falls and once again in calm water. The boat then turned and back through the washing machine we went again. We did this about three times and then it was off the check out the second opening, which is a lot narrower, only 10 metres wide.  If the first one was a washing machine I haven’t got a word for the second. The water coming through the small opening was as fierce as any water I have ever seen. Under different conditions we would have gone through this gap but the difference in height from one side to the other was about three metres and it just wasn’t safe enough to take us through. Although we drove up really close and definitely got the feeling of the power of the raging water. At one stage I felt that little tear in my right eye again although this time he had a friend in my left eye and I knew my heart was correct.

Then we went for a nice quiet cruise across Talbot Bay, into Cyclone Creek and back again. The scenery along the river was nothing short of spectacular. The sandstone cliffs along the river and Cyclone Creek resemble a chunk out of yummy baked Lasagna. The lines have been formed over millions of years of tectonic plates moving under the surface.

Once back at the pontoon it was time to board the sea-plane again and head back to Broome. The flight back was ½ an hour longer. As we took off from Talbot Bay we continued flying low over the many many island of the Buccaneer Archipelago, Cape Leveque, Lombadina, Beagle Bay, Willie Creek Pearl farm, Cable Beach and Broome township prior to landing. . It is such an amazing part of the world and even more spectacular from the air. The artistic designs nature had drawn into the mud flats during the huge tidal changes was amazing.  

Then before I knew it I was back in Broome sitting in Myrtle reliving my amazing morning. My very special experience had me a bit speechless and it wasn’t until now I could write about it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Day to Myself

Before leaving on our trip we discussed that every now and then we will have a day apart to get some quality self time, and today was one of those days. I started my day by visiting the Broome Saturday Market. It's a lot bigger than the Sunday one but still has a bit of a hippy feel to it. It was pretty warm so I indulged in a homemade orange frozen icy pole - very refreshing and also very yummy. Then I totally indulged myself. Ever since I was a teenager when I saw an Australian documentary by Malcolm Douglas where he visited the Horizontal Falls in far north Western Australia I have wanted to visit them and see this spectacular event for myself. When I finally got up this way it was an even stronger dream but it is quite expensive and I just couldn't justify the cost. So at the market this morning I started talking to the lady selling the tours and she was saying that there aren't any tours Friday, Saturday or Sunday because of the low tides. So I asked if there were any seats available prior to then and there was one seat left on Wednesday. I just knew that the universe had kept that seat for me so I booked it. So Wednesday it is, when I do something that has been on my bucket list for a very long time. I can't wait to share my adventure with you.
It's now 8.00pm and Shane and I have had our day apart and we are now sitting at Broome Raceway watching Motocross (motorbikes) and some pretty powerful cars burning up the dirt track. This is so much fun. We are sitting on one of the bends and getting sprayed with dirt as the cars tear past us.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Broome to Cape Leveque to Broome

Yeah I'm back after a week away having a holiday while on a holiday. Firstly for those who read my last post, Zoe is doing fine now - thank you my darling daughter Rachel for looking after her so well. My week has been filled with lots of excitement, challenges and overall been a wonderful week. Cape Leveque is about 217 kms north of Broome and is absolutly beautiful. But getting there can be a little bit of a challenge. The first 22 kms is fine as it is a sealed road then you have to tackle the sand, gravel, corrugations, rocks for the next approx. 90 kms. Luckily the last halfish is then sealed again. I have never been on a road like this, it was pretty exciting. Thank goodness Shane drove on the unsealed parts, I am a fairly confident driver but I wasn't confident enough to tackle this terrain.
Off we head along the Cape Leveque Rd!!
Luckily on our way home the grader was out smoothing out the corrugations and the last 30 kms was a pleasure to travel along. The road to our first location, Middle Lagoon was once again along 5 kms of a very sandy road, it had heaps of dips just like the big dipper. We stayed for four nights at Natures Hidaway at Middle Lagoon, where we pitched our little tent and spent our days relaxing, fishing and enjoying this beautiful relaxed location.

Middle Lagoon - One of the beautiful sunsets we watched
Then it was of to Kooljamin at Cape Leveque. This location was a little bit more civilized but still very relaxed and beautiful. This time our little tent was pitched over looking the Indian Ocean and watching the most amazing sunset every night. We once again spent most of our time relaxing although we did spend a day further north, in fact the most northern point you can travel, checking out One Arm Point. One Arm Point is a laid back Aboriginal Community. While there we visited Ardyaloon Trochus Hatchery & Aquaculture Centre which had some very interesting local sealife in tanks. Then onto Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm where we did a very interesting and informative tour of the pearl farm. 

One Arm Point - What a view
On our last day we decided to go out on a fishing charter. So off we headed with 2 other men and the skipper Greg. There were plenty of fish out there but they were all undersize. Shane caught a pretty big Bat Fish, but threw it back as apparantly they taste terrible. Much to my delight I was the only one who caught a fish big enough to keep. It was a Blue Line Emperor and I was pretty chuffed with myself that I had caught dinner. Even though our time fishing was not terribly successful it was still worthwhile as out in the ocean we saw sea snakes, a dolphin, quite a few turtles and heaps and heaps of Hunpback Whales, most of them being mums and their bubs. It was so magic wathcing then, one Mum and her baby came within 20 metres of our boat.
Blue Line Emperor

Mum and Bubs come over to say Hi.

A very BIG Wave
On our way back to Broome we called into a small community called Beagle Bay to visit the historic and well known Sacred Heart Church. I am so glad we did as this church is amazing. It is decorated with literally millions of mother of pearl oyster shells. Beagle Bay is the home of the Nyul Nyul people who are the traditional owners of the land. They originally called the area around the mission Ngarlun Burr which means Place Surrounded by Springs.
The Mother of Pearl decorated Altar

Sacred Heart Church - Beagle Bay
So now we are back in Broome for about 10 days to just relax and chill out before heading down the West Australian coast.