What sort of lifestyle gives you a buzz?
There are so many varied travel destinations and accommodation standards available to choose from. A part of me hankers to explore the far north crossing of Australia, the area know as 'the Gulf Country.' If you can find a time following the wet season and after the roads have been graded, but before they have been churned up by 4 wheel drivers, you can actually get a smooth road to drive on, even on the most remote route to the top end of Australia.
Misjudge your timing however or have nature take a hand and give some unseasonal conditions and you can easily become stranded as top end of Australia, roads, can quickly become rivers. Remote country is not the place to travel if you have tight deadlines to keep.
Reg and I once had a wonderful holiday with our family when they were both very young. We headed into the Flinders Ranges in January and there was an unseasonal 9" of rain. We camped on high ground, not hard to find as we were in 'the ranges' and we waited several weeks until the road ceased being a rapidly flowing river and we could drive though the water covered sections. We did quite a lot of costly damage to our vehicle but were able to laugh it off back then and buy a new car when we got home. That sort of thing isn't so easy to do on a fixed retired seniors income, which is why I urge caution and doing your homework before exploring the extreme far north of Australia.
Thoughts of towing my pristine condition caravan though river crossings or traveling with a poodle though crocodile country, has so far caused us to put aside trip plans to the Gulf of Carpenteria and go to places where both the car caravan and even our selves can emerge at our destination looking refined. Four wheel drive holidays are not everyone's idea of fun. Off the beaten track travel, best suits the well prepared adventurer.
Most gray nomads do not want to put the car or caravan at risk and do enjoy dressing up at night and being able to go to one of the service clubs for a meal at night and like me, they are still fantasizing about catching that barrumundi in Australia's Gulf country. Lots of great and safer travel fishing opportunities a little further south, though only the adventurer is going to get those fighting baramundi. The baramundi and the shark are two of the totems of the Ahrnemland Indigenous Australian people.
News from Normanton in the Gulf country today, is that the Normanton Tourist Park opposite the Purple Pub has beautiful shady sites pool and artesian spa. Sounds like a place I would love. The weather is warming up enough at this time of year for the Barramundi to just start to bite. This is a trip Reg and I must take one day.
If you do plan to go, seek advance information about road conditions from several sources. One person's idea of 'the road is in great shape mate,' is 'towing though a meter deep crocodile infested river,' to another person, lol. Bush advice can be variable so be prepared. Leave excess weight behind when you pack. Make sure your vehicles are in top condition and have plenty of spare parts, extra fuel and water (especially water) with you. Travel with a means of radio communication, your mobile phone will not work 'out there' at least not until you make it into the town. Enjoy the adventure when you are well prepared and ready.
Ryn Shell writes stories of crime, love and Australia.
artist and author
Formerly Kathy Shell of Buninyong Gallery.
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