Monday, July 17, 2017


It was an early start this morning as we had over 400 kms to travel today.  John and Barb left a little before us as they wanted to go into the service station and have tyres checked before they left.   We all checked that our 2 ways were working and that we were able to contact each other…

We were out of the van park just after 8.15am but  as we got down the road, Kathy realized that she still had John and Barb’s en-suite key, so they turned back to drop it back at the van park whilst we waited on the side of the road…
None of us had slept much last night,  I think it was more the anticipation of crossing the border today and a bit of excitement in that we were all together at last and were going to be doing it together.
The drive to Camooweal was quite pretty, still undulating hills,  and the couple of hours went fairly quickly.

 We started to come across lots of termite mounds along this stretch also.
 And lots of long road trains....
I sure wouldn't want to meet one of these head on

 Camooweal is a pretty small town with a population off just over 300
Water tower in Camooweal
Drovers Statue at Camooweal

We arrived at the border around 11am and had to stop for a group photo.  We were not the only ones to stop for photos at the border. It seemed that every car that was about to cross, stopped so that they could have their photos taken.  We were all keen to have a cuppa so even though there was not picnic table, there was no shade and no toilets we just decided to make do and have one on the side of the road.  Barb bought one of her little tables over and a few stools, and we just sat on the side of the road and had a lovely hot cuppa and the rest of the apple turnovers we had for desert the previous night.

Arriving at the Border into the Northern Territory
Crossing the border together
 Cuppa time...
Unfortunately there were no picnic tables or shelter sheds so we just had to improvise and out came a few stools and a little table and we had morning tea..
 Of course we had to get a few photos if the grassy plains behind us also...
They went on forever...

Happy girls
Happy boys
 It was a long haul the rest of the way.  One thing we have noticed about the Northern Territory is that their rest areas are few and far between.  Also there are no toilets at them, and no sheltered picnic tables to take a break and have a stop.    This seems a little strange to us as we were constantly driving past signs that said, “If you are sleepy take a break”.
The country side was pretty much the same,  miles and miles of grasslands, not a tree or hill in sight. The road was bumpy and shook us all around quite a bit, and the roads were straight.  It almost seems like the Nullabor of the north.  
Miles and miles of grassland with not a tree in sight
Red soil
Helicopter flew overhead at one stage
Stock yards
Bales and bales of hay
and cattle
And the road just keeps going on
And on and on and on and on
We arrived at Barkley Homestead, a little after 2pm.  It is a good  thing we arrived when we did as we got the last of the powered sites for the night.    We decided to fill us with fuel first,  boy it is not cheap in the Northern Territory,  Fuel at Barkley was 178.9cents per litre.  This is the dearest price we have had to pay so far.

Our destination for the Night
We have arrived
A bit of an oasis
Fueling up - very expensive fuel

We saw this really unusual caravan..
Someone has had a lot of fun decorating it and it looks awesome.
We have come across this little van a few times on our travel since...

By the time we fuelled up got onto our sites and set up (the little that we were doing, as all their sites their allow you to remain hitched.  It was close to 3pm.  
  We were all feeling pretty tired, so we decided that we would go over to the homestead and have a meal there rather than cook tonight, so it was decided that we would all meet back at our van and wander over to the restaurant for dinner around 6pm.
Steve was exhausted so he had a bit of a nap for an hour or so,  I used the time to catch up on photos and my blog as we had really good phone and internet coverage there so I thought I would make the most of it and try and catch up on the last couple of days of our travels.
We all had showered and actually got a little dressed for dinner tonight,  I think I even put some makeup on which is the first time I had since leaving home (there is something freeing about not having to be dressed up each day)
A night out for dinner
The meal we ordered -Fisherman's Basket

The restaurant was pretty packed and we had to find a table around the side.  This was pretty good actually, as they had live music and it was fairly loud, so had we have sat in the front area we probably won’t have heard ourselves think, never lone hear each other talk.
Y The meals were lovely, very big, most of us ordered the seafood baskets, Ian ordered the Bangers and Mash, and John ordered a Chicken schnitzel meal.  We were all pretty wacked from the big day driving in the hot sun, so a little after 7.30pm we called, it quits and all went our separate ways.  An early night was in order for us all as we had another day or driving tomorrow again.  At least this journey was only going to be about 320kms, but we wanted an early start as we were heading to the Devil’s Marbles and wanted to make sure that we got their early enough to get a good spot to camp.


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