Leaving Nhulunbuy for Kununurra

Picnic at Turtle Beach
We left Nhulunbuy following Allan’s car for our trip to Gurrumuru which is about 140km down the Central Arnhem Road and then 25km off on a side road that is as rough as guts to visit his Yolgnu family. When we arrived, we found out that Allan’s family were still in town even though they knew we were coming, however Trevor, the tribal elder, welcomed us and said that we may stay, that maybe Susan and her family would turn up later. So we set up camp, Bob & I were going to sleep in the car and Allan had a tent for his family. The town part of the community is nothing much, maybe 3-5 acres with a dozen houses we could see set out far apart, with a school, a community phone booth as the local landline phone for the whole community: people can ring in and someone will answer it and get the relevant person. Trevor came and invited us to go to the (tidal) river and meet up with the others that were already there fishing. He asked Allan if he had some lures with him and with his negative reply then asked him for some steak to use as bait. Allan gave him a Scotch fillet steak. To me it was hard to see a scotch fillet being used as bait. I was half expecting or rather hoping that they were using spears to fish but it was just a line and hook like boys do, not even a rod. They didn’t catch any fish whilst we were there (waste of good steak!) though they did catch a catfish before we arrived. Finally we go back and cook up our remaining steaks and baked some potatoes on the camp fire. Trevor came back and socialised with us for quite a while after dinner. Hospitality is a very strong tradition and he felt that he was responsible since Susan’s family were not there. He is very nice. We had the company of 5 dogs nearly all night too. We slept reasonably well in the car, considering it was the first time we tried it. I am so glad that I had made a flyscreen cover for the windows as it would have been too hot to leave the windows up and there were heaps of mosquitoes.
Camp at first light. (Swiped photo off Hol's blog)

It was still early when we woke up, (rather Bob slept on but the rest of us were up and about!) Allan got a fire going again and made coffee (he even has a camp coffee percolator which Benita gave them one time and they love it!) Toast and honey was the order for breakfast and soon it was time to pack up. We had all been invited to go fishing again this time to a fresh water river, though Bob & I declined as we had a long drive back to Katherine and we wanted to get there before dark.
Aaah... It was so good to hit the highway again. Bob and I seem to have this ritual thing where we are so happy to finally be back on the road again that we grin like mad at each other and then we whoop for joy. It sounds silly and it probably looks ridiculous but we enjoy the silliness of it all. Well the drive was a long 8 hour trip. A lot of the road had been graded since we were on it last but this didn’t necessarily make it better as they didn’t compact the road and thus there was a lot of dust corrugations. We stopped for lunch at the Goyder River and were pleasantly surprised to meet up with 2 couples that we had met back at Kakadu. The river had gone down a fair bit and now was only bumper height deep (instead of the top of the bulbar).
Entering the Goyder River on the way back
See the water only goes up to the bumper this time!!!

We arrived in Katherine just around 6pm with just enough light to hook up the van and relocate it to the park proper and reverse it into place. We decided to buy dinner at the caravan park since we were so tired. We decided to take it slow and easy. We were on our way to Kununurra but we decided to just travel 180 or so kilometres each day and free camp until we got there. We started to see Boab trees for the first time. Each morning we enjoyed a lazy morning start and left late as usual if and when we can get away with it. We still arrived in Kununarra before lunchtime and that’s without the 90 minute time difference.

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