We moved a bit closer to Broome today after a relaxing night at the rest area. It’s often the case that the rest areas seem to be quieter at night than the paid for sites.
We stopped off at the first roadhouse we came to and topped both fuel tanks off with some trepidation after what happened last time… No drama this time thankfully and we left the forecourt dry.
Anyway, first diversion was to 80 mile beach which, as the name might suggest, is quite a long stretch of beach. We took a look at the camp site there but it looked crowded and it was too early in the day really to think about setting up camp. Instead we drove down onto the beach and parked up, deploying the side tarpaulin for a bit of shade. We spent a couple of hours there watching the world go by, it seems to be a bit of a Mecca for fishing.
Continuing towards Broome we stopped off at the roadhouse we’d originally considered for an overnight stop but there was little/no shade there and with the temperature pushing 38C we didn’t fancy that in the heat of the afternoon so chose to continue for the remaining 200+ km to the Barn Hill Station camp site.
It’s not the most interesting road, to say the least, and seems to continue forever with very little change in landscape or even any bends to speak of and hardly any traffic. At around 30k from the camp site we came across a saloon car sat on the verge and the occupants waved us down. They’d had a front tyre blow out and had a spare tyre but no jack.
We carry a bottle jack and a Hi-Lift jack and with the car sat on the wheel rim there was no way we could get the bottle jack under without lifting the car first so we suggested flagging down another car in the hope that they had a smaller jack that was easier to get to.
When you consider how little traffic there was on the road and that we’d not seen more than 3 or 4 Defenders since Perth, it was more than a bit of a coincidence that the next vehicle to come down the road was another Defender ! It was nice to get a chance to meet another Defender owner but didn’t really help as they pretty much had the same jacking options as we did !
In the end I dug the bottle jack out of our tools box and between us we managed to lift the front of the car up and slip the jack under the front frame where it looked solid enough to support the weight. The other Defender is also heading to the Gibb River Road but will be there at least a day ahead of us, driving into the night. The saloon car driver was very grateful for our help and offered money, which we refused, so hopefully we’ve gained a few karma points.
We got to the camp site just before sunset which will probably be the last sunset we see over the west coast as our route now will almost certainly mean we won’t see the coast again until we get to the east coast in Queensland. We might see it again in Derby I suppose.
We were inundated with insects tonight after dark, attracted by the lights at the back of the Land Rover as we cooked. Lots of crickets as well as a multitude of flying bugs of all sizes. We ended up taking refuge in the tent after eating !
Tomorrow we’ll continue past Broome towards Derby, no idea where we’ll stop… We want to stock up on food, water and fuel in Derby before heading out on the Gibb River Road and given the Easter holiday we’re bit certain we can get that done until Tuesday morning. That means if we get to Derby tomorrow we’ll need to stay a couple of nights unless the super market is open on Monday.