Thursday, 21 August 2014

Life Lessons

IMG_4028There are so many life lessons your parents? preach that can really only be fully appreciated once you?re actually faced with them head on.

So, when those legendary aussie outback adventurers, Mavis and Jack Burns (aka nanna & pop) would proudly tell us that they never travelled more than 200km in a day and had always set up camp by 2.30pm we used to laugh?no wonder it took the olds so long to circumnavigate the country in their trusty rusted old caravan every year!

Alas, we now have a confession to make: images

?Bless us Father for we have sinned, it?s been 6 weeks
since we left Broome and we?ve only made it about
1500km further down the north west coast?.

Despite my extreme distaste for maths, even I can work out that this means that we?ve kept up a rollicking pace of around 250km a week – or if you want to compare apples with apples, (of course, I used the calc on my phone for this one, we were out of apples) that equals a whopping 35km a day!

At this rate, we may never make it back ? so how does Christmas lunch in a winery at Margaret River work for you guys this year, Leanne & Col?

In our defense, we?ve spent more time taking dirt roads and rough sandy tracks filled with pot-holes, passing through station gates and giant ant hills amid rolling desert paddocks scattered with wandering cattle, emus, sheep and wild goats. And it?s been one hell of an adventure.

Amongst the many delights we?ve enjoyed along the way were a few days fishing amongst the turtles in an old pearl farm lagoon, celebrating Christmas in July with a great bunch of travellers on a cliffside cattle station, collecting pocketful after bucketful of gorgeous shells on the widest, whitest beaches in creation, battling a wild storm with our old pals Marilla and Dick Gorman while camped on the western edge of the world and then almost getting washed away from our roaring riverside campfire while the driver was in the middle of baking bread at another roadside stop.


Dan Hyde
Dan, Dan the mining man!

We?ve also visited the wealthy mining towns of Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow and discovered there?s loads more to see around there than just mining, like magical old ghost towns and shady riverside camps, haunted historical gaols and mansions, cool beachside campgrounds right on the sand (for the princely sum of $10 a night) as well as some very interesting locals – including this fine young man we found wandering far from home.

And we?ve camped on the dunes off Ningaloo Reef in Cape Range and Coral Bay snorkeling amongst the cleanest, brightest most amazing display of coral, turtles, sea-birds, dolphins and tropical fishies that you can imagine. We?ve watched whale mummies at play with their calves from lighthouses and witnessed super-sized exploding blowholes.

Oh, and the driver has been fishing with any old codger he can find almost every other day – so we now have a freezer full of seafood. Mud crabs anyone?? No, how about a shark or two then??IMG_3949

And now we?ve set up camp at Bush Bay just outside of Carnarvon. Yet another great free-camp right on the beach, populated by a select community of very well established and very friendly grey nomads who?ve forgotten to leave. The driver is keeping busy with his chatting and fishing along with enjoying a cool bevvie or two (maybe even three!) and some other travelling pals we met earlier on have just turned up. So, it looks like we could be here for a while.

So, Nanna and Pop, looks like you were right all along ? yet again!


Nicole Ellen Harrick" alt="Nicole Ellen Harrick">

Nicole Ellen Harrick

Ooooh Rob and I would LOVE Christmas at a winery in Margaret River… Hmmmm let’s calculate the amount of travel time + jet-lag recuperation + enjoyment + travel back to Italia… seems do-able! He, he, he… maybe I need a training gig in Western Australia in early January to top it off? I’ll need a lot of apples to work this out 🙂

August 21, 2014 at 9:59 am


Of course Nana & Pop were right, you should’ve known. Amazing who you meet way out west, great photo 🙂 and of course Margaret River would be lovely.

August 21, 2014 at 10:56 am


You two might never be able to settle back into the mundane life at home! Surely the little fella will get sick of fishing eventually? Or maybe not…

August 23, 2014 at 1:12 am
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He said, ‘No way, still got heaps of places to fish yet!’- so we could be quite a while!

August 23, 2014 at 2:15 am
Eddie and Marg

Eddie and Marg

Glad you guys are having so much fun, it is a beautiful country to travel, especially the West Coast. The shell as you said, are amazing, I had a bucket full to bring home when we did the trip. Eddie and Marg

September 7, 2014 at 8:28 am

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When Danielle?s not busy writing, she loves to read, attend writing events and travel as much as possible. Exploring also provides plenty of opportunity for Danielle to indulge in her favourite sports of eavesdropping and people watching, which manages to fill her notebooks with even more story ideas.

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My Favourite Books

Past the Shallows
We Don't Live Here Anymore
The Last Ride
Darkness on the Edge of Town
The Ottoman Motel
The Shadow of the Wind
The Book Thief
On the Jellicoe Road
Dirt Music
The Broken Shore
Foal's Bread
The Midnight Dress
Burial Rites
Angel Rock
The Vale Girl