Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Trip to Bamboo

After coming back from Hedland last Tuesday, things were pretty quiet at the camp, a couple of blokes turned up early Thursday morning to pick up a dozer and take it to Bamboo Creek, I did what I could to help them put it on the float then cooked them some breakfast, they had been on the road since about four o clock so they were more than chuffed with a cup of tea and some eggs and bacon, and as for me, it is always nice to have some real, flesh and blood people to talk to.

They buggered off to Bamboo Creek, and I settled back into my routine, which you all know is very, very little, checked around the place, checked the generators, did a bit of tidying up, had a little explore and came back to make some lunch. After lunch, well about four o clock in fact, I had phone call from Bamboo, their freezer had broken down and they were going to come and get some freezers from this camp, I bustled around, and got as much squeezed into the two upright freezers, and the little one under the fridge in the kitchen, made some curry and rice in case the blokes who were coming over wanted a feed when they got here and waited.

Two guys turned up about half past six, and brought with them a little tuckerbox freezer, we got most of the stuff that I had not found a place for into that, they took some stuff back with them that I had no room for, we loaded the tree freezers on the back of the ute, had a quick beer and they rushed back to Bamboo. So after most days when I see nobody and talk only twice a day on the phone to somebody at Bamboo, I had a day when I had four visitors, the place suddenly seemed crowded.

The next few days were very quiet with me just going about my normal routine until around nine o clock on Tuesday morning when I got a call from Bamboo, asking how much bread I had, I had about eight frozen loaves in one of the freezers, so they asked if I could chuck them in an eski and bring them over as they had run out, and it was a couple of days before the tucker truck was due, I of course jumped at the chance.

I loaded up the wagon, checked the oil and water, fueled up and set off on the 150 kilometre drive to Bamboo Creek. The drive down the dirt road was as usual a joy, I run down the west side of the George ranges, and through a section that can only be described as a roller coaster ride through an area where the range has a spur running west, then along a flat plain, where I saw a few groups of cattle, one group being all black with a calf that was pure white, I just wonder if this calf was an albino or merely an ordinary white calf. I saw a movement away to my left and about fifteen horses came heading towards the road, I slowed and they came across the road about twenty metres in front of me, whether they were Brumbies or stock horse I don't know but like to think they were Brumbies (a Brumby is a horse that has reverted to the wild state) and out onto the bitumen.

The drive down the bitumen was pretty uneventful, I am now running up the east side of the George ranges, heading towards Marble bar, the view is of course the George range on my right and a flat plain on my left with a small range of hills in the distance, and the odd hill rising a bit higher, past a rest area with a rather strange name, something like Dess Strekkler, I stopped there on the way back and it is a memorial rest are, so is probably named after someone, I will look into this.

Driving through the hills just past the Coongan River is always a delight, very tight curves and needs a wee bit of skill not to run off the road, no soon as I had gone through them hills, I had to turn left on the old Woodie Woodie road, back on the dirt, along a rough road that winds all over the place for about twenty seven kilometres, then a right turn for about another twenty seven kilometres on a smaller, rougher road with a lot of twists and turns, as I was approaching Bamboo Creek the road gets more twisty as you drive up into the hills, and then there is Bamboo creek.

Now Bamboo creek is very hilly and the accommodation units are all set in little hills and very picturesque, I pulled around to the kitchen to deliver the bread, had a cup of tea and a few smokes with the cook and a bite to eat, then went down to the plant to see Lee, who is running the show whilst the boss is away, had a yarn to a few of the fellas there and was back on the road home again. I drove the 54 or so kilometres back to the bitumen, but decided that I would make a detour into Marble Bar, as it was only twenty kilometres down the road, I drove there and had an iced coffee in the roadhouse, had a drive around town, visited an old abandoned battery, got another iced coffee for the drive home, and zoomed back up the road heading for Hedland.

Just after I left Marble Bar, I could see some rain clouds in the distance, and smell the rain on a hot country, now that smell is indescribable, but once smelt it is something truly wonderful, a few kilometres up the road I drove into a bit of rain and it was showering off and on most of the way up the bitumen, it cooled the car down a bit and gave me the wet smells of the bush all the way home, I stopped at that rest area I mentioned before and took a few pictures, special the long drop dunny that is an Ozzie bush marvel, back up my dirt road, through the hills and back to my camp.

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