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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 201: Exmouth to Karijini National Park

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 24 May 2008 | Views [1403]

Saturday 24th May

I checked out of the hostel at 07.00 and got on the bus with about fifteen other people, but all of them were new to me at best up until the day before, so it felt odd to be on a bus full of 'strangers'. Our new driver was an older woman called Val who we had met when we stopped on that first night in Kalbarri (she had driven the bus to 'Finlays' restaurant where we got the slap-up fish dinner). Some of the guys told me how bad she was, having got lost on the straightest of roads between Coral Bay and Exmouth the day before (how anyone could get lost in the remoteness of WA is beyond me, the most difficult it gets is making the decision between left and right). I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and was just happy to be on the road again after almost a week. I had really enjoyed my time in Exmouth, the diving had been good, the facilities at the hostel were excellent, but there is not a great else to do if you aren't interested in diving.

Most of the day was spent on the bus, made all the worse by the fact that the air-con wasn't working and there was no iPod adaptor for the stereo. It was a fairly dull drive, as we made our way towards Karijini National Park, which was to be our destination for the night. Most of the scenery was made up of the usual barren expanses that we had become used to. However, we did come across an accident in which an elderly couple driving a large SUV and trailing a caravan had overtaken one of the huge road-trains that pass along these roads; the car and caravan jack-knifed with the result that the car toppled over several times onto the scrub at the side of the road.

The accident had happened just before we arrived, and we were the first ones on the scene, the distressed driver of the road train flagging us down before he even had time to check on the condition of the passengers in the crashed car. Fortunately, Val had driven ambulances in a previous life and knew some first aid, so she was able to attend to the man and woman who were thankfully not seriously hurt. After spending about an hour at the crash site, we set off once again. We saw the emergency services pass us by further up the road, and we worked out that it would have taken the ambulance about two hours to arrive at the scene of the accident after they had been contacted. This illustrated that you really don't stand a chance in a location like this if you requite very urgent medical attention.

It was dark before we arrived at the campsite in Karijini National Park where we were to stay for the night. Easy Rider have set up several large, permanent tents in this outback location, complete with very comfortable bunk beds. After we got settled, we cooked up a barbecue (with too much food put on, about eight sausages per person plus other kinds of meat and vegetables) and chatted amongst ourselves. The night sky was beautiful, with the stars looking at their very best because there was no light pollution at all. But, there was nothing else to do, and it had been a long day, plus a group of us had arranged to meet early the next morning to watch the sunrise over the park, so we all headed to bed and had the lights out by 22.00.


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