It was 30k’s from Windjana back to the Gibb, and it had been about 30k’s from Windjana to Tunnel Creek. That makes 120k’s in total that I had completely forgotten about when estimating my distances, and more importantly, the amount of diesel required. So when we reached the Gibb, the final 20k’s of corrugations before the bitumen didn’t bother me at all.
It was the 120ks afterwards that now concerned me. Until we reached a petrol station.
I have two fuel tanks in the car, which can carry us roughly 1,000km’s. But it all depends on the type of driving you’re doing. So on rough roads, it’s going to drop a little. I was sitting about 850ks when we got back on the Gibb, with 140 to go. Hmmm… this should be close…
I coasted, kept my speed down, didn’t over rev and eventually, we made it to Derby, the seaside town at the end of the Gibb. Phew. At last. We made it!
Because of my fuck up with the fuel, I think, it wasn’t quite as satisfying as when we’d finished the Cape. I was just relieved.
We fuelled up, aired up the tyres, and drove to the pier where you can see some of the biggest tides in the world. Unfortunately it was high tide and nothing much was happening. We grabbed some fish and chips, and motored another 200k’s to Broome.
As we approached I noticed a few signs for the Savannah Way, and realised that we hadn’t just finished the Gibb River Road, we were also about to finish the Savannah Way too. The 3,700km route between Cairns and Broome. Woo hoo!
We drove directly to the famous Cable Beach, parked, climbed over the sand dunes and then I’m not entirely sure what the rest of my family did, but I walked down in a dwam, straight into the sea like Reginald fucking Perrin.
Finally an ocean that you could actually get into, without worrying about crocodiles for a fucking change! Finally the end of the red dust, at last!
We stayed in Broome for a week. And we needed it. We spent a lot of time at the beach, and the pool where we caught up with lots of people we’d met along the way. Skye took off her swim vest again, and the two of us would go swimming every day without it. She would just put her head in the water, and power along like a little bloody torpedo. Amazing!
By chance we also caught up with our friends from Charters Towers too! They were planning on staying, and working for a few months. That would have been brilliant actually. Erin and I would both have happily done that, but we didn’t have the time.
Our return, we had decided, would be mid-November. So Katie could re-join her class before Christmas, and get acquainted with all her pals again before the break. That gave us roughly 10 weeks to go.
Having set off from Sydney about seven months ago, we were never entirely sure how far we’d get. Darwin was a bit of a goal but it wasn’t set in stone. Well Darwin had come and gone, we’d crossed the Kimberleys and now, we were about as far away from Sydney as you could get.
I may have hoped, but never expected to make it this far, and now it looked like we might actually make it all the way around. To have a shot at that, we certainly didn’t have time to hang around in Broome for a few months. Oh well. Time for a quick camel ride though 😀
Cable Beach Camels
Camels were introduced to Australia over 100 years ago, and there are 750,000 of them roaming wild in the outback now.
Which means there are more camels in Australia, than anywhere else in the world. The girl on our camel tour also told us that they even export camels to the Middle East!
I’m not exactly sure why camel riding has become a ‘thing’ in Broome, but with three different companies to choose from, it’s worth a shot 🙂
Stairway to the Moon
A couple of times a year, the moon rises over the bay creating a reflection across the sandbanks, that looks like a stairway.
Broome lays on a night market for the occasion, and we were lucky enough for it to have happened when we were there.
On a low tide, you can see dinosaur footprints here. We’d timed it badly but nevertheless, the place was beautiful.
The contrast between the cobalt blue sea, and the suddenly red ochre of the cliffs, was startling.
In the end I was quite conflicted leaving Broome. I really wanted to stay, but it was time to head home.