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Archive for July, 2007

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West Coast Odyssey

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

As it turns out I could rent a car with just my international driving permit (even though it clearly stated it wasn’t valid without a driver’s license. I didn’t point that out though.) On Sunday I finally had luck finding a travel companion in the form of a 21 year old German (they really are everywhere) girl named Jasmine. She had put a notice up on the board in the hostel and needed to be in Perth by July 31 for her flight home. We met and after several phone calls decided to rent a car for nine days from Europcar. As stated above they were willing to rent me the car without my US driver’s liscense. We ended up with a very nice new Hyundai Tuscon that needed to be delivered back to Perth so they waved the one way drop off fee. The “car” looked like it had been birthed from an amorous encounter between a hatchback car and an SUV so I am not exactly sure what to call it. [read on]

The Gibb River Road and Derby

Friday, July 20th, 2007

The comments have been pretty slow lately. Hopefully I didn’t offend any of my female readers with my last post. I did have fun with the all girl group, but I was being honest when I said it took a long time to make a decision. Enough of that though, on with the trip.

After spending one night in the new hostel, I was picked up by Paul in his Toyota 4WD. Paul was going to work in Derby as a pilot and had decided to take the Gibb River Road to get there. We headed out from Kununnura and was soon on a dirt road. Non-paved roads in Australia are normally just hard packed, very red, dirt instead of gravel. The terrain was what I had come to expect in this part of Australia, namely small stunted trees, large termite mounds, and large red rocky hills in the distance. The sky was a bit cloudy but no rain was immenent. I haven’t seen rain in nearly a month. The road was surprisingly well maintained and we were able to maintain speeds of between 80 and 100 km/hr for most of the trip. The first major river crossing was the Pentecost River. This river dwarfed any crossing that I had done while 4WDing to date. The water came up nearly to the doors of the SUV which was pretty high off the ground. Later after crossing the river, we turned off to view one of the gorges that line the road. I forget the name of the gorge, but the road there was nothing if not exciting. At one point the vehicle had to clamber over some pretty high rocks. It came slamming down on the other side bending one of the bash plates. We stopped for the night at the campround for Manning Gorge. Upon stopping we found that we had a flat (most people get at least one flat tire from sharp rocks while traveling the road) which we had to get repaired the next day. For the second time in Australia, I set up my tent and then went and had a “refreshing” cold water shower. Since we had no source of hot water, my supper that night consisted of a sandwich that I had bought earlier, power bars, and apples. Paul subsisted off of crackers and cheese. [read on]

Kununurra and the Bungle Bungles

Saturday, July 14th, 2007
I spent the morning of my last day in Darwin trying to figure out a way to get to Broome. Since I had no luck finding a traveling companion, I finally decided to take the Greyhound Bus to Kununurra and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Welcome to the Tropics

Sunday, July 8th, 2007
My tour is now officially finished and I am sitting in Darwin contemplating how to get to Broome. I met with my group that I was leaving one last time for supper before going to bed for my early morning ... [Continue reading this entry]