Leaving Darwin was easier than the 3 grand worth of straight desert roads klm’s that lay in front of me. It takes two days just to get out of the Territory. I was tempted to go east just to see some green and a few different vistas but I stuck at it down through dinosaur country Winton, Longreach and when the road was still moving whilst stationary, I figured it would be time for a good break!!
I stayed for a few days in Mitchell so I could frequent the artesian baths daily. How EXCELLENT are they!!! Dipping into 40 degree pools and soaking in the healing minerals then popping into a <19 degree pool… seriously could have been a Turkish baths in Budapest.
The camp was a lovely riverside camp and it was totally a revive/survive stop. Crunched another grand just to get to Coonabarrabran. What a treat driving into country with hills, gullies, sheep, emus, shacks, chimney’s and winding roads! Very Stimulating!! From here on in it will be easy drives under 4 or 5 hundred km’s at best.
I was really looking forward to getting out to the Warrambungles to test drive my studio set up! The park is so beautiful and I was totally inspired to get drawing. Scored a yearlong All Parks Pass and wound down into this gorgeous campground. Then the apocalypse came! I had almost finished getting the tent up when I heard a bit of a rumble. Looked up and saw this pinky, orangey, dirty brown cloud bellowing up over the mountain.
My first thought was bushfire, but there was no smell and it was moving in and fast. I literally started chucking shit in the car and tying down all the canopy sides when it just hit! 120kph dust storm. I was in Interstellar! It just ripped through pulling out my tent poles and making my tent look like a tissue as it flapped wildly with the wind. I was shitting myself … where was Matthew McConaughey???? And is my tent going to get shredded???
I few tree’s got stripped and The rangers came round to check on us, warned there was a massive storm front coming through and we’d probably be ok. At that point it was as clear as! I totally tied that tent down with every available guy rope and seriously drilled those pegs in proper.
Some other campers pulled in and I was very happy that they stayed camped next to me. Uta, Jorge, Linda and Benno… in a van! If it got hectic… I was jumping in with them!! had an excellent evening with red wine, cheeses and fruit and laughed and laughed… till about midnight when the storm lashed down. Again shitting myself!!! Blair Witch Project came to mind at about 3am as I sat inside the tent and feeling like a sniveling, scared old lady using up all my data looking at bloody weather maps!!!
Seriously THAT’S when I grew some balls and went to sleep for a couple of hours.
The following day I gave Bertha a clean out. Sorted the dust and had a very good nights sleep… with one thought in my mind… TOMORROW I’m test-driving the studio!!!!