Gibb River Hilton – Part 6 “Digital Detox … well my version of it”

Everyone is mad keen for a “digital detox” these days.  Not me … well not voluntarily anyway.  Part of Mr W. & my big adventure was an enforced digital detox on my behalf.  And let me tell you, there was not soft landing, it was straight out cold turkey.  Now you may think that this sounds easy, but remember not only am I a mad keen blogger, I also run an online jewellery business and my iphone is normally surgically attached to my body …

I mean, you’re talking to a girl, that on the 2nd June was sitting at an outback caravan park as opposed to where I would normally be … SATC2 premiere with a glass of Moet in my hand.  How life changes hey.

My first part of the detox happened straight up … 4 days at 80 Mile Beach where there is not so much as a hint of phone reception or internet access.  In fact they haven’t had any since Cyclone Lawrence ripped through last year.  I was completely cut off.  Although I did find a place to plug my laptop in so that I can write my blogs … thank goodness.  I walked up to the little “mini mart” at the caravan park and used their power.   And this actually worked out fabulous as I had a chance to talk to all the Grey Nomads … about sex and other things lol … (I’m sure you would have read my “Post Cards from 80 Mile Beach” …)

Now going cold turkey was bloody hard … ask Mr W. … he had to put up with my mood swings, sweating and shaking.  God bless his cotton socks he was still talking to me after 4 days of this … just.  Although let me tell you, he couldn’t get me to Broome quick enough.  In fact, at this point, I had decided that this whole trip was just a cruel ploy to make me detox from my entire life.  Everything I loved was gone … mobile phone, internet, music, chocolate, wine in a bottle, my mum, my hair straightners, hot showers, toilets, my hair dryer, sex … you name it, it’s wasn’t there …

And so, you can imagine that by the time I got to Broome, I was sweating at the thought of being so close to being able to plug in.  We ended up at the Roey Hotel … everyone else was out the back enjoying a beer in sun … I was at the bar, my laptop plugged in to the nearest power point uploading my latest blog and trying to upload photos to Facebook.  Yes, yes, I know it’s sad … but come on, you love my blogs don’t you?  I had a 2 hour window to post all the blogs I’d written, check 1000 emails, maintain my website and play on FB … it was a close call.

We then went to Derby, where I had it all for 2 days.  Oh how I remember those 2 glorious days.  And then … it was time for the Gibb River Road … no phone, no internet, no power.  How would I cope??  I think Mr W. just wanted to leave me in Derby with the Boab Trees and a power point.  But I was determined …

And you know what, it was actually quite refreshing (yes, I know you think I’ve been drinking that cask wine again … well only a few glasses, it’s only 11am after all).  It really was nice not to have to worry about my phone ringing or FB beeping … well for a week anyway.  For that week I swapped annoying mobile phones for a million stars in the sky, camp fires, amazing sunsets and adventures from your wildest dreams.  And I hope Mr W. is reading this, because he probably thinks that I just whinge all the time … but really I did enjoy it.  Well, almost all of it 😉

Even though I had no internet ... I still managed to do some blogging at Windjana Gorge, even though I couldn't post it ... this was the first day on the GRR ...

And so now that I’ve returned to what we call civilisation I think that I might make a few changes, after living without all these mod cons for a few weeks.  I’m not saying that I’m throwing away my Iphone … but I might only check my emails a few times a day, rather than be on it all day.  Well, I’ll try, obviously I can’t promise anything … I am a mad keen blogger after all!!!

pp xx

Gibb River Hilton – Part 3 “Doritos Are A Meal, Aren’t They?” …

What does your other half refer to you as?  Mine, god bless him, often calls me his “cook”.  Now, I used to get rather offended at this title … but a few months in, I’m beginning to understand that this is just a term of endearment (well, I’m going with that ok, otherwise I’m going to start crying again).

Anyway, I’m not alone in my status as “cook”.  Mr W. was not stupid when he came camping with all these chicks … he has his own team of personal chefs, although, that’s not to say that he doesn’t pitch in … or at least pick up the wooden spoon when the camera is around.

We have been eating like Kings since arriving … we’ve had spaghetti and meatballs, the most amazing chicken curry, “bush cheeseburgers”, a rather impressive bbq complete with garlic bread and couscous, pork chops and scotch fillet … and that’s not to mention the Turkish bread and chilli oil we had for entree last night.  It really has been a culinary affair.

Mr W.'s "Bush Burger" ... who needs the Golden Arches?

Well until the fourth night when we got a bit lost, missed the turning to James Price Point and ended up in Middle Lagoon at about 6.30 … completely pitch black dark and had to set up camp … so it was just a bag of Doritos for dinner that night.  And not pointing any fingers … Mr W. … 😉

I think the thing that makes me laugh most about camping is the massive effort that goes into every meal.  Maybe it’s cos there isn’t much else to do … but it is always such an ordeal to get everything ready.  I mean, take my attempt at making spaghetti and meatballs on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert.  We had to get the neighbours to boil the spaghetti (cos we only had a single gas burner and you’re not allowed to light fires here) while we cooked the sauce and the meatballs.  This nearly resulted in The Gibb River Inferno as the little gas burner caught alight inside.  A rather intoxicated Mr W. just stood and looked at me while I explained to him that our kitchen was about to burn down.  Five minutes later his brain must have returned to the building and he managed to put out the fire and save the Hilton.  Lucky.

And this doesn’t even begin to compare to the home made colander we had to make in order to drain the rice for the curry.  Turns out if you punch holes in the bottom on a 2L Mount Franklin bottle it is the perfect way to drain rice.  We want to cook rice every night now just so that we can use it again.

Now before I go, I would like to share with you some wisdom that Mr W. imparted upon us last night while we were all sitting around looking at the stars.  He said, I learned a long time ago not to upset the room cleaner, the cook or the bar maid.  I looked over to Mr W. and I said, honey, I’m all of those things to you and you upset me all the time.  I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen Mr W. speechless.  He didn’t have answer to that one.  Ha ha love it.

pp xx

Gibb River Hilton – Part 2 “It’s a Steep Decline into Cask Wine”

Well … we’re on the road … and by we I mean, Mr W., me and 3 other chicks.  Yes, that’s right.  Mr W. is camping with 4 women (he will have 7 women by the time we get to Derby!).  A lucky man you may say … and you know I think that at the time he thought so too.  However now he’s actually on the road, I think perhaps his perception has changed.  Now you may ask how a good looking rooster like Mr W. ended up at Eighty Mile Beach with his gorgeous princess and 3 other lovely ladies, but that my friends is a whole other story … which I might leave for another day.

So Mr W. and I left on Tuesday and headed to Port Hedland.  We shared the disappointment at how the cheeseburgers really didn’t taste as good as we remember.  And Mr W. held me as I cried when they removed my acrylic nails.  Yes folks, you heard it here first.  It was decided that acrylic nails and camping were not a great combination … and so a lovely lady in Port Hedland removed them for me.  After not feeling my finger tips for well over 2 years, you can imagine the shock.

After a night in Port Hedland, we have ended up at Eighty Mile Beach.  A beautiful caravan park (before Cyclone Lawrence got hold of it).  It’s no longer a green oasis on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert … although the beach is still spectacular!

Now, after about 3 days of camping I really have learned a lot.  And like any good princess, I feel that it’s my duty to share these lessons with you, so that they may help you on your way, especially if you ever find yourself out here …

  • Don’t eat copious amounts of chilli prior to undertaking a four hour drive.  If you would like further details on this, please feel free to contact Mr W.  He will be only too happy to share his experiences.  It’s quite funny to see him charging through the bush like a bull that’s just seen a red rag, roll of toilet paper in his hand, holding his belly and thinking the world is about to end.
  • Spinifex hurt.  No seriously, they are very painful … especially when you are traipsing across the country side in thongs and get them stuck in your feet.  Note to self … while sneakers may not be the height of fashion, they will prevent serious injury.
  • Racehorse goannas bite!  They may look cute from a distance … but they aren’t much fun close up …especially when you see the size of their claws!
  • When travelling cask wine is a much safer option than bottles (and remember, this side of the Tropic of Capricorn, it’s all about safety).  However, it should also be noted that sometimes, you can’t buy more than 2 casks at a time (which is bad when you are heading bush for 4 days) and often, these casks can’t be purchased prior to 2pm.  Again, remember that you often end up drinking way before breakfast up here.  And even flashing certain parts of your body will not change the Bottle Shop Attendant’s mind, just in case you were wondering.
  • Leaving casks of red wine in the sun makes port.  Port made in this manner is not pleasant.
  • When camping you need to multitask.  You can use the power points in the caravan park ablution blocks to charge your laptop and camera while you shave your legs.  It’s just good time management really.  Well that and generators are not allowed in the caravan park … no matter how much you argue with the ranger.
  • Bourbon and coke is a very acceptable alternative to coffee upon waking while camping.  In fact watching the sunrise with a bourbon is something you really should put on your bucket list.
  • If you don’t have shot glasses, just have “Bush Jagers” … a swig of Jager straight from the bottle, followed by a swig of red bull … shake your head side to side to mix them together and then swallow.  Continue until there is no red bull left.  This is great fun at 10am in the morning … really sets you up for the rest of the day.
  • Camping is not romantic.  You don’t make love under the stars and snuggle up together in a sleeping bag.  You don’t sip wine and watch the sun go down, holding hands.  And you certainly don’t stay up all night getting to know each other better.  No girls, it’s really not what you thought.  Although … I’m sure that Mr W. has some romantic things planned for later in the trip … don’t you darling?
  • When the “tide guide” says high tide at 2.30am …. you can’t go fishing at 2.30am and expect to catch anything.  You need to be there approximately 3 hours before high tide.  However waking up at 2.30am for a failed fishing expedition is a great excuse to stay up drinking for the rest of the night.  There is nothing like greeting your princess in the morning with bourbon breath.
  • Ooooh and back to the cheeseburgers that weren’t as great as we remembered … well turns out that if you have leftovers, wrap them in alfoil and put them in the campfire the next morning … they actually don’t make a bad breakfast!

My stash of cask wine ... OMG!!

That's the Gibb River Hilton on the right ...

Racehorse Goanna

Amazing 80 Mile Beach Sunset

Tomorrow we are heading to Broome and then to Derby … and then the real fun begins.  After that point there are no more showers or swimming for that matter, unless you want to be eaten by a crocodile.  And so you can imagine I am just about bursting out of my crusty salty skin to get to that bit.

Until next time … keep the bourbon cold and the casks out of the sun.

pp xx

ps … I’ll be out of internet range again for about 3 days, so my next post will probably when we get to Derby on Monday or Tuesday … and lots more photos … I’m sitting in a pub with my laptop plugged in at the bar in order to post this!!   pp xx