The drive from Kununurra to Mary Pool took 6 hours and by the time we arrived I was knackered. Jan set us up as I languished with a drink, shoulders aching and eyes stinging from the aircon.
Our destination was quite scenic, on the bank of the Mary River, in the trees a large flock of cockatoos called loudly as crows cawed like old men laughing "Ha-ha-ha-haaaaaa". Other magpie-like birds and finches chirped away happily and everything quickly started to feel a lot nicer.
It was another free campsite but it was much larger than saddle creek and the communal feel was zero. People said hello when passing but there was no conversation between fellow travellers. In fact the couple pitched opposite us took their chairs round to the far side of their van after being spoken to by an elderly gent, horses for courses.
It is dark by 5:30 and without lights, we decided to cook our meal early, by 4pm we'd eaten and were ready for bed. Rock. And. Roll! We resisted the temptation, in part because neither of us could be bothered to set up the bed, which, by the way involves a Krypton Factor mental agility and fitness test rolled into one.
So we sat outside and watched the sun set and listened to the cockatoos as they flew off to their roost for the night. With the sun going down, so did the volume, as it became pitch black, we were once again in silence with the Milky Way.
Jan got some great photos of the distant nebulae, green, blue or red just speckles all these millions of light years away. We sat looking skyward until our necks ached our eyes burned with tiredness. It was about 8:30pm.
We rose at 6am to get the jump on the other 3 cars on the road to get to our next leapfrog destination, Fitzroy Crossing.
We arrived in good time despite a minor incident concerning Jan forgetting to pay for some petrol but remembered my steak pie and her custard slice (good girl!). After some frantic phone calls to the garage in Kununurra it transpired she had paid after all but it livened up the drive.
We got to the campsite, pitched up and vegged, we did nothing, zero, nada, diddly squat and it was NICE.
Our camp chairs broke by day 5, so we laid some towels on the grass and lounged with a drink or two. As the older owners of the big-rigs walked passed, a knowing smile crossed their lips and a look of reminiscence appeared on their faces. I reckon we would have swapped homes for the night if asked.
Night rolled round once again, the dazzling LED lights from the surrounding caravans and motor homes obliterated the starry night, no star gazing tonight.
It's strange for us to take 2 or 3 days to get somewhere, to stop at places that are no more than somewhere to rest before continuing the journey. The vastness of this country is bewildering and yet we're only seeing a very small part of a very small part.
Destination Broome, the coastal show town of the west. Endless beaches and long sunny days await us just 5 hours away.