Sunday 11th November 2001, Geraldton Oz.

We had a lazy morning.  Strictly speaking, we should have checked out at 10am … But we got talking to a rather nice Dutch couple from Sydney, parked on the site behind us.  It started with a discussion about last night’s rugby (England 29 : Australia 15) and went on from there.  They put out some deck chairs for us, and we put the kettle on …

After a couple of hours very pleasant chat under the shade of their awning, we felt we really ought to move on and leave them to their exploration of Carnavon.  We said our goodbyes and hit the road for Kalbarri.

Brigid had meant to take over the driving about half way – at the “Billabong Roadhouse”, but (predictably) she dozed off after about 150kms and awoke to find we had passed it about half an hour before.  Unfortunately, we should also have refuelled at Billabong …

We reached the next service station at Binnu with less than a quarter of a tank of petrol, an unreliable fuel gauge, and 66kms to Kalbarri. At 3.30pm on a Sunday afternoon, it was closed!

Our only option was to try and make Northampton, 40kms south.  This would mean that we would bypass Kalbarri (disappointing, as we had hoped to have another go at windsurfing!), but had the advantage that if we ran out of fuel on the main highway, someone would almost certainly stop and help. (It is an unwritten rule of motoring in outback Australia, that if you see a motorist in apparent trouble, you stop … even if it is only to share some of your fly repellent.)

We made it safely to Northampton and filled up.  Needless to say, we were not as low as we had feared, but it was better to be on the safe side. We drove on to Geraldton, and spent the night in the Belair Gardens campsite to the west of the town.