Blog 22: Western Australia - Geraldton to Denham
This week we have been taking it easy. After so much continuous long distance travel, single night stays and corrugated roads, we need a break from our holiday! Mostly we have been relaxing in the sun by the beach in Denham and indulging in the hobby projects we have been carrying around with us but not doing because we have been so busy adventuring.
After 260 000 km and thirty or forty oil changes and a little corrugation assistance, the thread of the bolt securing one side of the centrifugal oil filter cover had stripped away. Not an uncommon issue with high mileage Td5 engines that have visited the occasional non-gentle mechanic who thinks 7 Nm of torque is hand tight with a 1/2 inch socket. A longer bolt into the remaining thread solved the problem for now, but I see a proper helicoil thread repair in Gary's future. Still not technically a break down.
Denham is a nice lazy seaside town. It hasn't had a heavy rain here since February last year, so water is scarce and precious. Every day is blue sky, calm waters and salt sea air. Not a bad place to relax.
On Friday morning we drove out to Monkey Mia for a dolphin experience. The Department of Parks and Wildlife (or whatever it is called now, something with Attractions and Tourism after the last State Government reshuffle) does a great job of balancing the interest of tourists who flock to Monkey Mia to interact with the dolphins with minimising disruption to their natural behaviours. We got to see the dolphins up close, then wandered down the beach for a swim. A great way to start the day - and no oil leaks on the drive there and back.
We hung out an Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, working on a couple of job applications for Tasmania (yes, moving there is a real thing if you haven't been following our Instagram), before enjoying a sunset picnic on the foreshore last night. Antipasto and (surprisingly!) vegan cheese from the Denham IGA.
This morning we wandered up to a lookout above the town and enjoyed the calm expanse of the ocean.
It is interesting not having a looming deadline to rush and meet - making the ferry for Tasmania, getting to Byron Bay for Bluesfest, meeting up with Grant and Ayesha in Yulara. Our rapid pace of travel has been set by a desire to see people or have time dependent experiences. Now we don't really have a driving force like that, until meeting Ruth's folks in Cairns in mid July (which is, comparatively, ages away!). It feels a bit weird and unsettling to spend more than a couple of nights in a place, but it has given us a chance to actually relax and indulge in some hobby time.
We still haven't quite figured out how we want to proceed from here - breakneck, chilled out or a happy medium. Making it up as we go seems to be working so far. But today marks 5 months on the road!
More relaxing and another beach picnic tonight I think. It's a tough life to live, the vagabond road tripping adventurer, but someone has to do it ;).
All our love,
Adam and Ruth,
Days on the Road = 153
Distance Driven = 19 604 km
Mean Distance per Day = 132 km
Mean Fuel Economy = 13.76 L / 100 km
Best Fuel Economy = 12.17 L / 100 km (Port Lincoln to Port Augusta)
Nights Free Camping = 33
Nights in Roof Tent = 135/152
Coffees Purchased = 48
Instagram Posts = 354
Instagram Followers = 170
Geocaches Logged = 32
Gary Breakdowns = 0.25
Drone Flights = 2
Videos Made = 0
French Land Rover Drivers Scared = 1
State or Territory Borders Crossed = 14
Bucks Parties Accidentally Crashed = 1
Vegan Vanilla Slices Eaten = (Adam 2, Ruth 1)
Times Set Up Camp after Dusk = 2
Chairlifts Not Used = 1
Waves Returned by Tasmanian Land Rover Drivers = 2
Cups of Tea Made for Strangers = 1
Tasmanian Short Walks Completed = 10/60
Rounds of Lost Cities Played = 68
Longest Continuous Sleep in Roof Tent = 11 hours
Gary Oil Changes = 2
Blood Donation Dates = 1
Sick Days = 4 (Adam 4, Ruth 0)
Australian Deserts Visited = (5/10) (Strzelecki, Perdika, Great Sandy, Gibson, Great Victoria)
Cattle Stations Camped On = 1
Iconic South Australian Track Completion = Oodnadatta 100% (617 km), Strzelecki 26% (122/475 km), Birdsville 0% (0/517 km)
Uluru Climbs = 0
Tyre Punctures = 1
Tasmanian Job Applications = 2 (Adam 1, Ruth 1)