Karma Waters Station on the Mitchell River – Camping around Cairns – North Queensland

Complete solitude and relaxation by a remote Gulf Savannah River. An all day lazy campfire, the sound of running water and sunny blue skies. That’s camping at Karma Waters.

We have two reasons for coming out here. Firstly, to recharge our depleted mental batteries in a way that only being by a campfire next to an outback river will do and secondly, to test out our new Trayon on a Trailer configuration a little bit off the beaten track. How adventurous can we really go now?

It’s a lovely drive from tropical rainforest into the drier Gulf Savannah. Two hundred kilometres northwest of Cairns, Karma Waters Station is just over a three hour drive. We travel for 2 hours on sealed road up the Kuranda Range to Mareeba, Mt Molloy and Mt Carbine before turning off 10 minutes past Mt Carbine onto the dirt station track sign posted to Karma Waters and Hurricane Station.

The next fifty kilometre stretch of dirt takes just over an hour. On the left, 10 minutes after turning off the bitumen, is the short track to Cooktown Crossing. We take a quick detour to check it out.

This causeway on the Mitchell River is a free camping spot and is popular (because it’s free) but doesn’t have many ideal sites. It’s much better at Karma Waters despite the $25 per night camping fee. The drive from here follows the Mitchell River and is slow going with dips, creek crossings and cattle to avoid but lovely with nice views in the distance.

Karma Waters Station is private property and they have nine camping locations on the banks of the Mitchell River. The beauty of camping here is that you have absolute privacy and solitude. The spots are a considerable distance apart. After checking in at the station homestead we head for camp site number two, through our own private gate, go over a sandy, somewhat dicey, 4WD only crossing into a lovely canopy of shady paperbark trees right along side the river.

This little bit of sand would be not a problem with just the car but add a trailer and its a whole new ball game. Going in was fine but getting out again a little bit more challenging.

There is the option here of canoeing down the river, swimming, fishing and catching a few cherubin (yabbies) in opera house nets. Or you can just be lazy and sit on the banks with a good book and enjoy the views. We choose option two as the river still has the after wet season flow and is flowing very wide and strongly. Too strong for our inflatable kayak. We did have a refreshing dip or two though.

Just sit and read a book while enjoying the view and the sound of running water.

So we learn some things about travelling with our new trailer while at Karma Waters. On the open road it tracked behind us beautifully with only a slight difference to fuel consumption. On a dirt road it’s great and it handles the bumps and dips really well but there are limitations we need to be aware of now. We realise that we are now the length of a bus and need a very wide turning circle. We realise that this will create situations where we will need to unhitch the trailer and manually push it around because there is no other way to avoid low overhanging branches. We realise that two thick sandy bumps close together with jagged rocks to the side can be a bit perilous with a trailer. Being bogged and wedged between them in a V shape is not much fun and serious off road stuff should be avoided. There is no way we’d take it through the Simpson Desert. We learnt that we are virtually a mini caravan now. Gotta love those adventurous learning curves.

Ummmmm. No room to go forward, no room to go backward, too many low branches. Lets just unhitch and turn the trailer around manually.

However, we were still able to access a remote site that would be completely inaccessible to a caravan. We were able to unhitch easily and be independent of our living quarters. We were able to stop on the way and collect heaps of firewood and just chuck it in the back of the ute and we had storage space in abundance. Empty cupboards in the Trayon is unheard of. Amazing.

Nothing beats an all day campfire with all that firewood

Karma Waters is a nice weekend escape destination from Cairns, especially if you want to a break from the coastal humidity and need a dose of outback scenery. You do need to book ahead though, especially on long weekends. Some rules apply as well – there are no facilities so they request you bring a chemical toilet, no weapons or hunting dogs allowed, no motorbikes and quads. This is all good as it makes for a much more pleasant camping experience for all.

Did I mention the flies got a little annoying.
Some enjoy the views from a chair, others from a tree. Each to their own.
A shady home amongst the paperbarks

Love an early morning campfire with campfire vegemite toast. Yum.

Another great cattle station camping option in North Queensland is Woodleigh Station. A bit more easily accessible and very lovely. Click on this link to see Woodleigh Station – Camping Around Cairns – North Queensland

If you have a taste for remote station camping, check out my post on Lorella Springs. Now this place is truly amazing Lorella Springs Station – Savannah Way, Northern Territory

Coming Home and Lessons Learned

So we’re home. And home is lovely. After months of living in arid landscapes, red dirt and deserts we had forgotten just how ‘green’ Cairns is. It’s so pretty with the mountain backdrop and rainforest. The ocean isn’t the glorious aquamarine of the WA coast but its lovely in a north QLD kind of way. Isn’t it wonderful we have experienced it all?

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The beach vista in North Queensland. It is rather lovely.
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The West Australian Coastline is worlds different in light and water clarity. Totally lovely.

So we did it, the trip of a lifetime, and it was just grand. No regrets. We gave up our jobs and drove 20232 kilometres across the top, down the west coast, across the middle and a quick dash down south. Fantastic. Australia is amazing.

So here are some random statistics on our experience travelling remote Australia by 4WD.

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Free camp near Karajini National Park. Totally splendid view and I have ordered this photo as a huge metal artwork for our wall at home. Great photo by Kevin.

The ultimate trip cost

  • We were away for just over 16 weeks in total and we spent $18 681 in total. I’m happy with that. I had budgeted for $1000 per week plus an extra $4000 for car repairs and maintenance. We came in under budget in our weekly spending averaging at $800 per week and went over in the car expenditure which blew out to $5860. Three services in Kununurra, Tom Price and Kapunda, front wheel bearings in Broome, rear parabolic springs and 4 Cooper tyres in Geraldton and, thanks to the Simpson Desert, new rear shock absorbers in Kapunda. We didn’t actually need the new Coopers but we were getting frustrated with the flats we were getting on the skinny split rim tube tyres and opted to replace them with fatter tubeless. No flats since so it was worth it.

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    Sexy beach shot on the beach in Geraldton. New shoes and a nice butt lift.
  • We travelled 20232 km and spent $4696 on fuel. The most expensive fuel was at Mt Dare Station SA just before the Simpson Desert at $2.15 per litre and the cheapest in Kapunda SA at $1.21 per litre. That’s a bit uncanny that South Australia wins the crown in both cases and it wasn’t even planned.

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    Good on you South Aussie – both cheap and expensive
  • Food came in at $4514 and we ate way too much chocolate. We would stock up on chocolate and other assorted snacks when we got to a big supermarket as that sort of stuff is too expensive to buy in remote locations. We bought 6 blocks of chocolate in Broome (after 2 weeks on the Gibb River Road) as it was so cheap and ate them all in 3 days. That’s why I had to buy moo moo’s in Broome. We ate a little too well and were not as disciplined as we are at home. Let’s not talk about all the kitchener buns and chocolate donuts in Kapunda. I’m paying for that extravagance now.

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    A South Australian Kitchener Bun. Taste bud heaven. One for breakfast every day. Need more moo moos.
  • Accommodation costs were very reasonable at $1957. A good mix of free camping, national parks, the luxury of three nights in a cottage at Geraldton and a couple of nights in a cabin at Kapunda because it was freezing cold.

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    Free camping at its finest. James Price Point north of Broome
  • Miscellaneous spending was $1654. This money was put aside for tours, entry fees and everything else. There were quite a few Op Shop purchases in there. It was one of my favourite activities in a town; pottering through an Op Shop in an exotic new destination. My wardrobe expanded unnecessarily and exponentially much to Kevin’s perturbed amusement and mild disgust. (Chuckle)

See my other blog on more detailed trip costs The Savannah Way from Cairns QLD to Broome WA: How much does it cost?

Other random observations as follows…..

  1. Between us we managed to read 28 books and listen to 3 audio books. Every book swap was taken advantage of with much gusto. That’s what we did in the evenings. Read books and ate chocolate.
  2. Ugg boots are just the best footwear on holiday, even in warm country (clean feet with ease)
  3. I made bread 14 times in the Weber Baby Q, and with home made lentil soup this was our most popular meal choice. (Chocolate for desert of course) We called our Weber ‘Baby you fat bitch’. A little harsh I know, but she was so big and heavy and took up a lot of space in the camper. We wouldn’t have gone without her though. She gave us so many awesome meals.
  4. The two equally worst roads were the Simpson Desert crossing and the Kalumburu Road to Mitchell Falls in the Kimberly. Both were particularly punishing to our vehicle but the scenic reward was worth it so no real regrets there.
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    Simpson Desert bounce over 1000 sand dunes like this. New shock absorbers……
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    Corrugations on the Kalumburu Road. They were doozies….

    See my blog THE GIBB RIVER ROAD for more on this…….

     

  5. People ask what was the absolute highlight of the whole trip and I find it impossible to narrow it down to one place. We saw and did so much that was absolutely stunning, each in its own unique way. So many ‘wow, moments. I loved it all.
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    Dales Gorge at Karajini National park

    So the highlight has to be the length of our trip. Four months was an ideal time frame. We didn’t feel pressured for time and we felt the pure joy of freedom to explore at our leisure. That was a sufficient length of time though as by the end we were both weary. I don’t think you can keep appreciating it as much if you do it perpetually. It was time to come home and we actually started to look forward to a couch, a TV, our own toilet and a bed where Kevin doesn’t have to climb over me to go out for a wee. It’s the little things.

  6. Kevin and I, for the first time, spent 24 hours a day with each other, for four months in a confined living arrangement. We survived, we laughed a lot, we became more tolerant, we relaxed into a comfortable camaraderie and it made our relationship stronger. It was a fantastic experience to share.
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    A shared experience at its finest

    See my blog for more on snorkelling with whalesharks Waves, Wild Wind and Whalesharks

  7. We saw hundreds of emus in all states. They were the dominant wildlife on this trip which was great because I love them. They’re so quirky.

Lessons learnt along the way

Follow the weather. The perception of a holiday is 95% dictated by the weather, especially when living under a canvas roof. A place that is simply magnificent in sunshine becomes bleak and horrid in wet, bleak, cold and overcast weather. During the winter months the North of Australia is the place to be. Gotta love warmth and sunshine.

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Just add sunshine to turn an ordinary scene into paradise

 

Less is more and will save you grief. We overpacked. Too much ‘stuff’. I tried to be minimalist when we packed but failed and it became obvious when at our first service, the mechanic assumed we were there to get our suddenly sagging rear springs replaced. We carried too much ‘just in case’ stuff and things that only got minimal use. The heavy generator and max tracks sat on the roof rack the whole way with no use, the boat only got used twice, the BBQ plate that got used once, there was too much stuff in our internal cupboards like the heavy camp oven that didn’t get used, too many clothes (in my section). The excessive weight of our vehicle became stringently obvious in Kapunda when the mechanic replacing the shockers couldn’t lift the vehicle with a 4 tonne hoist (our gvm is 3.3 tonnes). No wonder we suffered trying to cross the Simpson Desert and had the considerable expense of replacing our suspension.

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Up and over the dunes with our heavy load. There is a lot of useless weight on that roof rack just to start with and I’m pretty sure ‘Baby the fat bitch’ was bouncing her way up and down the floor. See my blog Crossing the Simpson Desert: What the heck were we thinking?

It’s nice to have a home to come back too. We did actually consider selling up everything to travel perpetually prior to this trip. Sell the house, hit the road and be totally free. That’s a romantic notion though and I’m glad we didn’t go down that path. It’s wonderful to be free but living in a confined space, always on the move takes its toll. I’m positive that the thrill of travel wouldn’t be as great if it was a way of life rather than just a holiday. I guess it’s a personal thing because some people happily do it but we need a place to go ‘home’. Then we can plan and get excited about the next adventure. And there will be more………..

Thank you

So to those people that faithfully followed my blog on this adventure, thank you for coming with us, thank you for the likes and nice comments and I hope you enjoyed the journey. I hope I encouraged other people to do similar and inspired you to visit these amazing places in our beautiful country. It is so worth it. We are much richer for the experience. Kevin and I have luckily both got our jobs back straight away so we didn’t even have to line up at Centrelink, which is a huge bonus. We took a risk and the reward was beyond our expectations.

There will be more………….

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Cape Leveque with my favourite WA colour scheme

Broome and Dampier Peninsula

OCHRE CLIFFS, BLUE SEA and CREAMY SAND with a touch of MELANCHOLIA

Laverton to Uluru: The Great Central Road into Australia’s RED HEART.

Just what is it about Lawn Hill Gorge?

QUOBBA STATION AND RED BLUFF : SWELLS, SURFERS AND HUMPBACK WHALES

Adrenaline filled adventure at Karajini National Park

and more …….

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Home is beautiful too, lets never forget that.

The Great Packing Conundrum

Our Trayon has wonderful merits. It’s so quick to set up and pack down, its simple, its comfortable, has ten storage locations and every place we camp at it always attracts envious glances from other campers.  There is one aspect of it though where I need it to be more like the Tardis on Doctor Who. My clothes cupboard. Kevin and I have one cupboard each as our allocated storage space. That’s for clothes, shoes and other odds and sods. This is my space.

I`m positive that every female reading this has just gasped in horror and said `no way!`.

Unfortunately this is the sum total of my space for up to 6 months of travel. Travel that will include warm weather in the North and frigid weather in the Central deserts. Every thing from swimming togs to ugg boots and beanie. Not to mention all my lotions and potions and hair brushes, toiletries, a couple of books.

So I laid out my clothes on the bed for starters. Bear in mind that this is the already thinned out, must have, totally essential pile!Its a collection of purely daggy, long wearing camping gear. Stuff that is great in the bush and around a campfire. Nothing flash enough for a fancy restuarant or a night on the town. Just tees, shorts, jumpers, tracky daks, togs and of course my ugg boots. There is no way I can leave my ugg boots behind!

ITS THE GREAT PACKING CONUNDRUM. How do I fit this much stuff in a space that small?

Kevin thinks I`m crazy getting organised 2 months in advance. He packs the day before. One jumper, four tee shirts, 2 pairs of shorts and enough jocks so that he can wear one pair inside out and then back to front before he needs to change them. Its a guy thing. He’s more interested in the tool box. I always have the last laugh though because the inevitable happens. He runs out of clothes. Then he has to wear mine. Its true . Here’s the proof.

So pretty in my purple jumper.

Anyhow where there’s a will there’s a way. Everything that was on my bed is in that cupboard. Packing pods is the answer. Everything is separated into categories and packed in a pod. Going across Northern Australia first so the winter woolies are at the back, shorts, tees and togs at the front. Even got 4 books in ready for lazy days on beautiful beaches. High five to me.

(Anything extra can always be snuck into Kevin’s box anyway. He`ll never know until he needs to wear it)

Camping in the royal swag – The story of why we bought a Trayon Camper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike a turtle, we carry our accommodation on our back. It’s a wonderful way to travel because we have no restrictions due to towing. We are comfortable, can get out of the dirt, have a refuge from the weather and most importantly wherever the car can go, we can go. There are no extra registration fees, no extra wheels or maintenance and less weight.

If we stop somewhere for more than a couple of nights we can put the Trayon on legs so will still have the freedom to use our vehicle.

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Kevin and I have always loved 4WD camping holidays. We have had other types of holidays too. Backpack hiking in New Zealand and Tasmania, trekking up Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa and cycling in Holland but our Australian camping holidays are our perennial favourite.

Over the years our style of camping has sporadically changed. We started off sleeping under the stars in swags. There is something awesome about waking in the middle of the night and being able to see the stars. Our big double swag was warm and toasty and was carried on the roof rack.  I did worry a little about creepy crawlies and on one occasion we could hear wild donkeys braying nearby and Kevin got his shot gun out the car and put it under his pillow. Just in case. I slept in the car that night. The drawback is there is nowhere private to retreat too or get changed and you live in the dirt.blog trayon 1

When we had kids, we got a bit flasher and progressed to a camper trailer. It was great for a couple of years but it was a more time consuming set up and pack up procedure and all our gear was under the bed in the trailer. We found the more space you have, the more stuff you bring. Then we had the extra expenses associated with towing. Registration, tyres, broken trailer springs to fix and the limitations on where we could go.blog trayon 3

A bit later we decided to go back to keeping things a bit simpler, carry less ‘stuff’ and purchased a canvas touring tent instead. It was a bit crowded with all five of us and you can’t see the stars in ‘chateau de canvas’ but served us well for a couple of years. It was big and bulky to carry though and a bit of a pain to set up and fold up every day.blog trayon 2

Then we decided that it was more fun camping when we kept life really simple. So we went back to swags; five of them, one each, all lined up on the roof rack. We travelled all the way from Cairns to Broome this way, with mosquito nets. What a sight we were.  We would line up our swags between two trees and tie a rope from tree to tree to hang our mosquito nets.  These weren’t hardy outdoor mosquito nets either. They were the coloured indoor variety.  Bit silly now when I think of it. We must have caused a few laughs on the way.blog trayon 4

Anyhow when we finally got to Broome we splashed out and purchased 5 little mosquito dome tents. These were brilliant and served us well for many years. We were still sleeping in swags under the stars but had the protection of a fly screen tent and our own individual ‘chateau de flyscreen’. More work for me though as I usually ended up rolling up the kids swags as well as my own as they couldn’t roll them tight enough.blog trayon 5

Eventually as our kids got older, the thrill of camping with the old folks became a burdensome chore and Kevin and I started leaving the older two at home when we went for short jaunts. On one of these trips we spent a week at Lawn Hill Gorge with our youngest son, Riley. We were camped at Adeles Grove with our three little mosquito domes and our gear spread out all over the ground around them, living out of boxes, feeling dirty.

Then a 4WD Landrover ute pulls in to the campground with a white box on the back, a bit like a smoko van.  It was a Trayon. They flip open this box to reveal a little canvas house with big windows and 5 minutes later they are sitting on chairs under their verandah enjoying the serenity. I was a bit envious and I was intrigued. My curiousity got the better of me eventually so I casually made like I was walking past to get a better look. As luck would have it, we had a chat and they invited me up the stairs to have a look.

It was awesome. Inside was a double bed, a table and lounge chairs, lots of storage cupboards, a gas cooker that could be moved outside, a 90 litre upright fridge and a kitchen sink with a proper tap connected to a 110 litre water tank and pump. This was camping in style but still keeping it simple. All this was on the back of a ute; in a box. I went back to Kevin and said “we are so getting one of those when it’s just the two of us”. So we did.

That was it. Decision made. We saved ourselves at lot of comparing, analysing and confusion at Caravan and Camping Shows and in hindsight it was just one of the best decisions we have ever made. Those impulsive gut based decisions usually are. It was a bit more costly than a swag of course but we figured that it would be a long term investment that would reap dividends. And it has. We absolutely love it. Finally we have close to the perfect set up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We have had it for 4 years now and done a few long trips as well as lots of weekend camping forays.  We travelled from Cairns to Tasmania for 6 weeks and the bonus is that it’s the same price as an ordinary car to put on the ferry. Makes going to Tassie very attractive compared to the exorbitant cost of towing a trailer or caravan.

So now on the ‘big trip’ the accommodation part is easy for us.  We know we can easily head up the Roper Bar Road, up to Mitchell Plateau and take the dirt track from Karajini to Mt Augustas and live in complete comfort with our house on our back. Just like a turtle (but a bit faster). We nicknamed it our royal swag. Its simple like travelling with a swag but oh so much flasher…..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The Map on the Dunny Wall

Map in the dunnyMap in the dunny

I get so much value from planning a trip; almost as much as the trip itself. It’s the anticipation, the imagining and the dreaming. I look at a map and I paint a picture in my mind of how it’s going to be. From a tiny splodge on a map I can visualise some version of paradise.

So I like to plan a holiday. I like to organise the finer details. It’s not a chore because it gives me so much pleasure using my imagination.

So let me tell you about the map on the dunny wall.  It’s a big map; really big.  After all Australia is a big country with vast distances and I was planning a workable format for this big adventure. I was having trouble picturing the complete journey. Google, such a wonderful resource most times, kept leading me along the black top roads. We want dirt.

So I found a big dusty map of Australia in the dark recesses of a disused drawer and a black marker pen became my best friend.  That black line that I drew on it travelled from Cairns along the Savannah way all the way to the Western Australian Coastline. Along the way, in my head, we canoed along peaceful gorges, frolicked in natural hot springs and created clouds of billowing bull dust as we explored remote 4WD tracks. Such pretty mind paintings. When we got to Western Australia those paintings became staggeringly beautiful, an explosion of colour. Corrugated dirt tracks leading to picturesque waterfalls on Mitchell Plateau, red sand and turquoise sea near Broome, red ochre gorges with enchanted fern laden pristine water holes at Karajini, the sublime vast views from the summit of Mt Augustas and swimming in the azure Indian Ocean with the whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef.  I could see us throwing in a line and lazing aimlessly on the most beautiful white beaches, where ‘the only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair’ (Thanks Zac Brown – that’s my theme song).

Wow. That great big partially torn map with its ugly black scribbled lines is just the most beautiful work of art I have ever seen.map of 2017 holiday

So, over the last couple of months it has taken pride of place on the dunny wall. A location where one has the time just to sit and ponder. It has provided inspiration, reminded me to stay focused on the end goal, to budget and save furiously and remember that in a few short months we are going to be really following that black squiggly line.Map take 2

 

Defeating the ‘But’ Monster – Planning a lap of Australia

Our dream has been to travel remote Australia without a time schedule, to have total freedom, to be whimsical.

My heart has always said ‘just do it’, after all life is unpredictable.  It’s not wise to procrastinate and say we’ll do it one day. One day may not happen. The only moment is now.

My head however is under the domain of the infamous ‘But’ monster.  For the benefit of my sons I must add that, no, this has nothing to do with anuses so don’t even go there………. (It’s a boy thing)

The ‘But’ monster is the stifler of dreams because it thrives on fear.  It’s been sitting on my shoulder for years and whenever the possibility of following our dream was raised, it was smothered by BUT, BUT, BUT.

But the kids have school, but we have to pay for the kids university expenses, but we have a mortgage, but we have bills, but the car isn’t right, but how can we travel without an income, but we can’t save enough money, but we have to save for our future, but we are too young to give up our jobs, but we are too old to give up our jobs, but maybe we should pay off the house first, but what do we do with our house, but what if we rent it out and have bad tenants, but we have a cat, BUT WHAT IF A GREAT BIG BLOODY METEOR CRASHES TO EARTH AND DESTROYS OUR PLANET.

You know what? The fact is that there will never be a precisely ‘right’ time where all the planets line up to say “go now”. Life just doesn’t work that way.

So the ‘But’ monster, although it still hovers, has been banished from the Preston kingdom, because now I know the formula to successfully following our travel dream.

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Opportunity is a bit random and involves some planetary alignment, but 2017 happens to be a year when for the first time our kids are independent. University is done and dusted. Two of those kids are currently living in the family home this year. So that eliminates the house issues. We have house minders and with a bit of persuasion (or blackmail) some rent keeping the mortgage afloat. Plus our ancient cat can live his life out at home still. That is opportunity.

Preparation is the key though and preparation is all about money. We decided over a year ago on the all important ‘when’. This is so important as it gave us a budget time frame.  We then worked out how much money we would need IF we went for 6 months. Significant research and calculations are required here on everything you envisage spending money on. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING including spending money, remote expensive fuel, supermarket food, pub meals, camping fees, tours, entry fees, gas bottle refills, all the bills back home, mortgage interest, vehicle accessory purchases, emergency car repair funds, car services and spare money to survive a couple of weeks when we return with no jobs. The figure is staggering and we divided that enormous mind boggling figure by the number of saving weeks. Amazingly, with some discipline, it was possible. That is preparation.

We have both kept our employers well informed of our intentions and although we have to resign to go away for such an extended period of time, there is a really good chance we may get our jobs back again.

So that folks, is how you resign from your jobs, and travel in complete freedom, worry free, for up to 6 months without any income. That is how you triumph over the ‘But’ monster and live your dream.

For us preparation and opportunity will meet on the 26th of May 2017 to be precise – with a bit of good luck being the icing on the cake. The wet season has been amazing this year so the West Australian and the Northern Territory landscapes will be stunningly vibrant.

Haha ‘But’ monster – I laugh in your face!

Michelle’s countdown begins

mapsKevin and I have gypsy hearts. Australian gypsy that is – the kind who craves the pure, unfettered freedom of life on a dusty, outback road. A simple longing for red sand between the toes, sapphire blue skies, crystal nights under carpets of stars, wafts of lazy campfires, the sky ablaze with colour at sunrise and sunset and the chorus of budgies and galahs.  A longing for a life that is simple in a vast land that is quite simply stunning.

Of course reality dictates that such an unfettered life of freedom is just a pipe dream except in short joyful bursts of annual leave. We have jobs, debts, bills to pay, house to maintain, obligations and schedules.  We work hard at our jobs to earn money to pay for this life and in the evenings we sit inside our four expensive brick walls blankly watching reality tripe and bad news on a TV.  That carpet of stars is out there but we don’t see it. We don’t see the sunrise or the sunset except in brief glimpses while we are doing something else. It’s wrong. We know that. We have known it forever but it’s the life we have been conditioned to live in.   We are blessed to have our health, food on the table, shelter over our heads, a collection of ‘stuff’ to make life comfortable and of course an occasional adventure. But we want more and we want less if that makes any sense. More of the extra-ordinary and less of the ‘stuff’.

So 2017 is our year. We have put ourselves in the position to give our gypsy hearts a glimpse of the freedom they are seeking. We have saved hard and put a little money aside each week for the ‘big trip’.  The one where we resign from our jobs, leave our house in the hands of our children and run away into the sunset. Towards the west where the sun sets into the sea and that great big Kimberley moon makes a staircase. And oh the anticipation.

Not forever. It’s just a taste. One of two things will happen. It will either get it out of our system for a while or we will enjoy the taste so much that we will yearn for more and have the courage to dismantle the shackles that bind us.  But that’s for later. In the here and now we have 54 days until we hit the red dusty road that’s paved in gold.