Another day of driving but we had a couple of options for some sightseeing along the way so hopefully making it just that bit less intense. At our campsite we where were just about the only campers there! The bonus was that there were no flies about too but perhaps they had only gone away for a short break or holiday as their mantle of major annoyances was now being taken up by the pesky ants! My wife discovered them as she put the frying pan down on the ground whilst it was soaking. They were biters too, which although they made us gnash our teeth, shake our fists and threw plenty of hot water their way, they kept on coming. So we did what any right-minded people would do in the face of such overwhelming odds and … skidaddled – Ants 1, Hughes 0 … Doh!
Downtrodden and beaten away somewhat we jumped into the van and left and today it was going to be Liz’s turn to get behind the wheel so I could sit back and relax. We needed to cover a good few kilometres today too but the scenery always eases the soul especially as we neared our first stopping point a wee place called Wyndham. The visit was quite a bit out of our way and was to be a flying one too but we hoped it would be a good one.
Wyndham is one of your typical Australian small towns but it does have quite a singular way of welcoming you – it has a huge concrete crocodile, hi there folks! Not really sure what it means but it is a big fella and made me feel every place should have one. Now I come from a place called Grimsby in England and I suppose our concrete ‘mascot’ would have to be a Haddock, so you could drive into our town and see a giant concrete Haddock smiling at you! Anyhoo thus welcomed, we drove on up to the five rivers lookout point, the Bastion. Now this was something of an experience for us and proved to be quite a struggle for our little van too as the road had lots of really tight switchbacks we had to negotiate on the way upwards. We were not sure what to expect but when we finally reached the summit we were pleasantly surprised. Out in front of us was the view of the five ‘rivers’ which to be honest were looking quite bereft of water but whilst at the top there were a number of eagles just swooping and gliding there way about on the thermals. I could watch raptors all day but when they are showing off like they were at the Bastion it is simply amazing to behold, there is an ease to their flying which transcends anything mere man can try his hand at! Up here it felt like you could see for miles and miles or even kilometres for that matter but whatever the currency it was still great viewing.
When we got back down to the base though we were quite surprised to also find out that Wyndham was home to the ‘World’s’ largest ‘captive’ Boab tree. Reading about it, I did wonder whether there had possibly been other trees but that they had managed to escape. This was too good to miss so off we went to find it. It turned out that it was being held captive at a campsite so I went up to it and gave it a nice big hug and left it a file in a cake so it could escape, go tree, go! After our tree visiting we felt that we had rung the best out of this little town so it was off to our next stop further East – Kununurra.
This was just a ‘short jaunt’ away at 100km so we were soon enough there and drove in to the place over the dam which was quite an impressive way to get to our new resting place. First off, yet another trip to the visitor centre where we got one or two ideas for things we could do, then we walked down the street to a diamond seller to go and have a look at their wares. The place even sold pink diamonds which were, to put it mildly, quite a price. Let alone the shirt off my back, even both my arms and legs would not cover the price of the ring – which does beg the question, with no arms or legs, where would I put a ring? (Lol).
Shop visited, we wanted some entertainment next, so drove out the town to a Hooch distillery to have a look round the place. Before the tour started I needed to go for a quick wee and there I was standing at the toilet and inside the bowl there was a green frog which I thought was a novelty item so, as us guys do, I tried to pee it into the water. So there I was looking and peeing at what I thought was a plastic frog and then, possibly sick of being weed on … it blinked! I am deeply sorry my green froggy friend for my actions, I am quite sure this never happened to Kermit.
The tour guide lady showed us round and talked us through their process of making the rum which seemed to be very similar to the way it was made back in ye goode olde days of bootlegging! The lady and the tour were both quite entertaining but then we did the tasting part of the tour and to be honest besides the flavoured rums the standard rums were, quite frankly, horrible to our tastebuds at least. This stuff could probably power vehicles and the like but as to it being a palatable and smooth beverage now that was an entirely different matter. The bar the tasting was held in had character by the bucketloads too and looked quite Wild Western in its aspect but it had all been a good and thoroughly enjoyable diversion. It was now time to find our campsite and get set up for the night.
Driving away from the distillery it was just five minutes to the campsite which turned out to be a most brilliantly atmospheric place to lay our heads. It had all the usual facilities but it also had a cliff or canyon wall at the back of it which made a most impressive backdrop and whilst it started off as a dusty red it slowly deepened in clour as the sun began to set. After grub we made like ET and rang home and spoke through the magic that is Skype to our loved ones back home, who it appears were all meeting that night for a drink anyhow. No wonder our ears were burning. It was really quite a funny moment as as we were ringing home kangaroos were watching us watching them back home, somewhat surreal but in a really magical way.