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Published: April 1st 2013
Head to the sea
But make sure to stop in time Bernie
We got into Carnarvon and immediately liked it for its ease and simplicity. When traveling, there is something to be said for compact, convenient towns. In one short drive through, you can figure out where the best place to park in the shade is, where the information center is, where the best internet is, and where there are public toilets and supermarkets. With this out of the way in a few minutes, you can then proceed to doing what you need to, and still be out of town in a few hours. In the world of traveling, as far as we are concerned, small towns are king.
We stopped for lunch at the bay, and went online for a while to keep in touch with the goings on of the real world back home, and decided to head out to Bush Bay to spend the night. It is the only free camping area for miles, and is right on the beach, so we expected it to be crowded, but we did not expect what we found, which was that people were living there permanently, in converted buses, old caravans and makeshift sheds. It had a rather “movie title” feeling to
Bernie parked at our spot at Quabba station where we spent a few nights
it, undeniably. We had a nice evening though, and had a corner of the beach to ourselves until a couple of German guys decided to arrive after dark and out of the whole beach figured it would be best to park about 5 meters away from us. And they had to play some nice drum n' base for us as well, just for kicks. Oh well.
We drove back through Carnarvon and after stocking up decided to head up the dirt road to Quobba Station, spend a couple of nights there and the days exploring further up the coast.
We stopped at the Blowholes on the way up and were amazed at how cool the scenery was. The sharp red edge of the cliffs, the lunar landscape of the rocks, and the water shooting up through small crevasses, creating sudden gushes of mist shooting up through the red rocks. We were both reminded of when we went on an excursion on the volcanic island off the coast from Santorini...
We immediately liked Tim and Sara, the couple who live at and run Quobba Station, as well as the entire coastline and the campsite at Red Bluff, and
A great place to be
With a bit of help, we found the spot to be, free from people, gators and stingers. Just us and the water and the sun
Gnaraloo. They homeschool both their kids, and are very friendly and welcoming. They even have a mini helicopter that Tim uses (among other things) to drop fox traps up along the property. We haven't seen more than a few, but they seem to be a real problem. Quobba Station had a very rough feel to it, it really is the only place where the outback meets the sea.
After our first night there we were halfway up towards Red Bluff when we realized our fridge had died. The icy coolness of its interior had slowly but surely been replaced with an unchanging warm soupiness. We now had some melting butter and sweaty bacon and insulin on our hands, so forfeited our explorations and decided to spend the mid-day heat trying to find the problem. Tim and Sara were super helpful, and we were able to repair all the obvious problems (a few melted fuses, a worn cable, a bad connection) without it making a bit of difference to the fridge. Our food safe in one of their cottages, and our options exhausted, we spent the rest of the hot afternoon submerged in a tiny pool of shark-free water, attracting
curious tiny fish.
The next day we headed back into Carnarvon to face the possibility of having to spend even more money on repairs. After checking out our options, we ended up paying for a refrigerator repair man to figure out that the fridge was running fine, but it was our auxiliar battery that was not giving it enough power. So we found a caravan park in town (where we got a 3 for 2 deal!) and got up the next morning to visit yet another auto electrician.
At the end of it all (and having done a lot of the work ourselves) we had an extra output working in the back, with updated plugs and not the 80s model that had come with the car, a new auxiliary battery, a working fridge, working headlights, repaired fuses and connections now safeguarded from motor heat, as well as a few newly soldered wires. All in all, we were much improved, and had avoided the abismal expense of having to buy a new fridge.
Since we had two days left, we decided to hunker down and get the rest of the work done on the car, so we would
Sundown at Quabba
Beautiful evening skies are still following us
be done with it once and for all. This involved sanding, filling, sanding, priming and painting the car, often in very windy conditions and in pretty obliterating heat. But, after two days, we were finally done, and ready to continue our trip in an improved, safer, and definitely much more sellable car. Yey!
- Carnarvon insider tips: the Library is better for internet, the public toilets next to the library are infested with mosquitoes, go to the ones on the main street instead, and get a voucher from the Woolworths to get a discount on fuel at the Caltex! (don't be like us and realize this after you've filled up...)
- Fun in the sun: the play area by the water has a picnic area, and awesome adult-sized swings and playthings. OK, the zip line is child-sized (as proven by my feet dragging on the ground when I tried it)...
- Other travelers: I met a family with three kids, from Melbourne, who had just sold their house and were traveling around Australia for 6 months before figuring out where they were going to settle down. They were really lovely, and
A spectacular view when waves, wind, sun and light is right
the kids were a lot of fun.
- We stayed at Wintersun Caravan Park in Carnarvon, they let us do all the work on the car, and were really helpful, and we got 3 nights for the price of 2 😊
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