“Wow!”. The view approaching Tom Price is amazing. The vivid outback colors of the red soil, various greens and browns, and the yellows are breathtaking. The shapes of the rolling hills and the rocky outcrops are accentuated by shadows.
My favorite, as usual, are the wide, dry creek beds. The tall ghost gums highlight the creek beds from a distance, as the long line of trees wind through the arid landscape.
Not quite so perfect is the kids’ behaviour. They are restless, and want to be out of the car.
Earlier that day, nine year old Susan had warned me about their I’d called to her, “Maths”! She’d looked at me disdainful. “You cannot be serious! You are going to constrain your kids in a car for three hours, and before you constrain them, you are going to make them sit down to do school work?”. She paused, to check its effect on me. “Make this quick, Mum. I want to go ride.”
I laugh, “You are telling me to make this quick? Quicker than the six hours it would take to go to a school for a day?”
“Double it,” Jarrad suggests. Susan decides to cooperate before it gets tripled. I do maths with Susan and give six year old Lucy her spelling words at the same time, while hoping that Peter is actually doing the writing I’ve assigned him. I doubt it, because I can’t see the computer screen.
We are driving out of the rest area when Jarrad says to Susan, “There were lots of clay animals and pots on the car tyres when we went to leave this morning. Do you know anything about that?”
“They weren’t clay. I didn’t have any clay. They were mud.” She starts laughing.
The drive goes on and on. It’s only about three hours, but it just seems to drag. The scenery is beautiful, and we go through a section where it is just parched red soil. It becomes hillier as we get closer to Paraburdoo and Tom Price.
Out of the blue, Peter asks, “Mum, those kids we were playing with earlier said they are only going to be here for two months. They are going to take flights to London, and then they’ll hire a car and spend three months in Europe before they fly to Asia. I think they said that they were going to go to India and China. Can we do something like that?” I tell him that if we sell the campervan we are hoping to go overseas. He seems satisfied.
The landscape is incredible, and I’m looking forward to getting to Karijini National Park, and the gorges that are supposed to be there. It’s just a shame that so many places in Western Australia that seem to be in the middle of nowhere are signed “No Camping”. It’s so difficult to free camp here, and the campervan parks are expensive. The campervan parks often want to charge more for our kids than they do for us. The lack of free camping in the state makes it difficult, and means that we are spending more time in the car than usual. Maybe it is time for a change. Peter’s suggestion of travelling overseas is sounding good. I’m so frustrated with how expensive everything is in Western Australia.