Back on the road again. The earth has turned red, trees are sparse, river beds are empty. Termite hills decorate the never ending landscape. ‘Towns’ are 6 hours apart from each other and consist of a petrol station, maybe a church and some old corrigated iron buildings. Goats, cows and kangaroos wander around the unfenced land of the 300,000 acre stations that the highway cuts through. Some have sadly met their makers and lay dead along the side of the road, at varying stages of decay between fresh roadkill and completely rotten skeletons and piles of bright white bones. Touch wood though that no beasts have died at the mercy of our little Coaster. The same can not be said for the hundreds of dragon files and other winged things we pick off the windshild every night.
It is all beautiful though despite being a little rough around the edges, and we still feel excitment as hills turn into ranges on one side of the road and empty desert stretches for miles on the other. It is only now, as we slowly edge around the coast, that we are starting to appreciate how big Australia actually is.
Yesterday we drove for 6 hours without passing, or arriving, at a town. Our home for the night was a roadside stop next to a river that Wikicamps assured us was crocodile free. Today we drove for another 7 and are still 4 hours away from Broome, our next stop after Ningaloo where we spent more time under the water than on land.
Our weekly budget is out the window at the moment as these long drives need so much fuel to get from one place to the next. This week alone we have spent over $700 on diesel and I’ve had to forgo my weekly jar of peanut butter to save money elsewhere. We are also washing with shampoo as body wash was deemed an unnecessary expense so I’m trying not to moan about my lack of PB. Jobs will be sought soon as a few more weeks like this and we’ll be stuck in some dusty town forever. For the next few days we are exchanging four hours of labour per day for food and board at someones property. I wonder what we’ll eat and Jot wonders if we can use the laundry.
It has almost been a year and a half that Jot and I have called Bus our turtle shell home. Our plan of a ‘year off’ going the same way as our year in Australia did back in 2011. There’s no rush or time constraint or end date. The only limitation is that Bus isn’t a 4 wheel drive so as we say goodbye to certain places we hope to be back in a sturdier vehicle next time around. We’ll stop when it’s not fun anymore. Or when there’s something we want to do more than this. But while we are high fiving each other with glee 10 times a day, we’ll keep going.