We put in a mammoth 8 hour drive from Broome, our first choice of a rest stop was dingy and neither of us had a great feeling about the place. We decided to plough on to West Peawah river. The countryside was uninspiring and despite the previous three days rain, looked barren and dry. Seldomly, a hill or rock would appear in the distance and we made a fuss about how beautiful it was, well we couldn't play the number plate game as we never saw any other vehicles.
The nearest main town to our destination is Port Hedland, a dusty and messy mining town. We stopped to top up our petrol and immediately just wanted to leave. It had a bad vibe about it , like after dark it turned into a lawless town from the Wild West or that as soon as the sun went down it became a town suffering a zombie apocalypse. Another hour or so on we arrived at the rest stop, it was another gravel site with a drop toilet and not a lot else. The site was still quiet despite the late time of day. We pitched up, cracked a couple of cold ones and sat down to a plate of crudités and dips (aah the sophistication). We had a brief chat with some of the fellow campers who it seemed just wanted to brag about their rig/route/holidays/amount of wine they have, but they were an ok bunch and at the end of the day, we were all in the same crappy, free campsite.
Night drew in so quickly and before 18:30 we were in pitch black, not even able to see our hands in front of our faces.
The following day's drive was a short one of 2 and a bit hours, we were achy from the previous day's marathon and just wanted to make some progress towards Exmouth. Our stop was at the Fortescue Roadhouse, a petrol station, bar and campsite. We rocked up and were less than impressed, but with no backup plan, we didn't fancy carrying on a further 5 hours. So we parked up for the day. At that stage we had just one neighbour, an older guy who turned out to be half aborigine and half white, after about an hour of being there, the guy came over and said hello and gave us what seemed like a day by day account of his life, which if it wasn't for the raging stench emanating from his direction would have been aurally bearable. Dougie had laid and sealed the roads from Kununurra to perth, he'd been a dingo trapper, a truck driver, an artist and a drover. We called him 'The Drover'. He was friendly enough, but a life in solitude can make you lose your social etiquette and as he stood whimsically recounting his years and blowing his cigarette smoke into our van, we cut him short and said we needed a nap.
He had his revenge, 6am we awoke to none other than Englebert Humperdink blaring on the Drover's car stereo. Fair dinkum.