The Kimberley - The infamous Leveque Road strikes again as we head for La Djardarr Bay.

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 00:00


Tuesday 20th July 2010,
Bush camp on the back road to Derby

Well it was time for us to reluctantly leave Cape Leveque. It didn’t take long to get camp packed up and squared away. I got a little bit of clothes washing done. J & S and the Darlings had decided to do the mud crabbing tour so they headed off a little after 9:00 a.m. Vikki and I headed around to the main beach for a swim and then a cold beachside shower before heading back round to the staff area and hooking up the trailer. From there we ambled down the road to Lombardina for a look about the community.

Lombardina is an anachronism as far as communities go. It is ordered, neat and tidy with cut lawn and not a piece of rubbish to be seen. House lots are not littered with old vehicles and automobile detritus. The old church is another heritage listed building built of tin and paperbark. The roof is also lined with the bark. On returning to the vehicle Vik noticed a bit of the trailer spring hanging down. Indeed the left and spring was buggered with the number four leaf broken and the number 5 missing all together. With two leaves out, the rear plate had 10mm of play and it was only good luck in that the seating pin hadn’t dropped and the axel moved backwards. I was carrying a complete spare spring so this didn’t cause a lot of concern. I just wanted to get it down to Beagle Bay so the well oiled team could provide some assistance there for a quick fix was needed. Finding a nice concrete slab to park the trailer on, I had the thing jacked in no time and to effect a GGS (get going solution). I backed off the bottom plates and rammed both ends of the broken spring in as far as I could under the plate and then screwed the plate back up again.

Heading south on the Leveque road, we received a message from John that they were yet to leave One Armed Point after their crabbing experience. They would catch us at Beagle Bay. Reaching the bitumen without further mishap, we ambled down to the church at Beagle Bay and found a shaded and grassy spot to pull up nearby. While Vik got some lunch together, I pulled out the spare spring and clamped it to remove two leaves. It was just a matter of waiting for the other boys to arrive to assist with the removal of the old spring.

Everything proceeded with a minimum of fuss (although the mozzies were a little vicious!) and it was also a good opportunity to ensure that everything was cleaned out and regreased, particularly the greaser bolts and pins. It didn’t take too long and then we had a look around the Spanish mission style church of which Beagle Bay is famous for. The interior is adorned with polished Trochus shell throughout. Leaving the grassy surrounds of Beagle Bay, we continued south to the turn off. Here we intended to push east and then south down to meet the Great Northern at a point well north of Broome rather than backtrack. The track was largely in good condition with a patch of water to be negotiated here and there. It was fairly dense bush and the thought of pulling off near the well grazed areas around water sources was not inviting due to the number of biting insects.

Towards sunset, and with Mick O’s rule number 1 looking like being dangerously broken, we located a small cleared area with the remains of a camp fire. A fire was soon underway and the Whithorn shower bucket was soon full of boiling water for the cooking of the days catch. These had all been euthanised humanely in the fridges while we travelled. It was a huge cook-up of crab for the four of them but not being a fan, I kept a good distance. It was just as well that I did as anyone coming too close to Gaby could have lost an appendage such was the frenzy she was in. I’ve never seen someone polish a crab shell with their tongue before! It’s not a pretty sight!

Tomorrow we head to Derby where we’ll get some last minute supplies and then commence our trek into the Kimberley.

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''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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