Day 192 – 10 Sept 2015
Left port Gregory bound today for Kalbarri. We had seen thick black smoke coming from that direction yesterday and hoped the road had not been cut. On arrival at Kalbarri, the town was without power and the fire set by a farmer had got out of control and taken out 15 power poles. Ouch! The fire produced a huge cloud above it.
Next stop was headland overlooking the Murchison river mouth. This is a magnificent view with the Zutydorp Cliffs in the background. From here we headed to a local lookout and then onto Kalbarri national park to see some amazing wildflowers and gorges.
We took the walk to Natures Window before proceeding into the gorge. The rockwork here is just stunning with its horizontal layers of colour cut by the years of floods.
On return to the car park we found a scene that really made us scared for 2 travelers. 2 young 20 year old girls were in the car park without transport. A French Canadian and a Dutch girl. Their French backpacker travel companions had simply dumped them 35kms from anywhere and outside mobile phone coverage. There was only ourselves and one other car left in the car park. We can legally seat only 2 people in our 4WDaus. We let them use our satellite phone and offered to not leave them until they had worked out their situation. Quickly, they approached the other people and they offered to take them. So at this point they were getting into what appeared to be an already overloaded 4WD with 4 other people which had a large amount of weight on its roof rack. You could see the driver was not happy with the situation and you felt they could end up in the same situation again soon.
When we suggested they could be making a bad situation worse and we were kindly dismissed. We left feeling uneasy about what we had witnessed. Later we received a call from one of the girls boyfriends and explained the situation. We slept better when we received a txt from the boyfriend, the girls were back in Kalbarri, which was strangely the opposite direction to where the other 4WD was travelling and girls had said they wanted to go.
Day 193 – 11 Sept 2015
Headed off from camp early this morning towards z bend to do the river trail. Although only 2.5km trail, there are a few ladders and many rocks to scramble over. It was really nice walking over a track that was not thoroughly sanitised for a change. The views at the bottom of the gorge were incredible.
Next stop for the day was the loop end of Kalbarri national park. This is where the well know natures window is. We decided to celebrate the day with a totally awesome thick rump steak and veg meal. Having the baby q with us is always wonderful. Yum!
We also met the owners of Oka XT-109 Rick and Sue.
We have come to realise there is certain quality levels to be found in truck motor homes generally. Rick (a qualified engineer) and Sue have done a job that would be the pride of any commercial builders. As their Oka comes in at 5.5ton they have similar weight to tire issues that Amesz do. They have adopted the Bridgestone M729 305/70r19.5 tires. These are approx 20mm wider that the Toyo MZ680’s Steve and I run, purchased from AT Warriors. Oka xt149 gets about 14l/100kms highway which is great economic for such a large vehicle. They carry about 300l of diesel and 180l of water. The springs had been recently toughened up and certain gave the Oka some good clearance. It was lovely meeting Rick and Sue and we hope to bump into them again in our travels.
We also met a lovely couple Graham and Carmel and heard of their exploring of the wildflowers. We shared our secret location for the Queen of Sheba with the as there are wildflower lovers.
After lunch settled it was off the revisit Natures Window before heading for camp.