Saturday, June 13, 2009

Variety Kids 4WD Challenge in Western Australia!

Okay. It seems like a daunting task to blog about the 4WD Challenge that I participated in while I was in Australia -- more because I am totally going to mess up on reporting on the areas that we traveled through and visited. But, really, unless you're from Western Australia, you're likely not going to know the places and names anyway, so I could butcher it completely without anyone being the wiser. But, I will give it a go and see what happens.

We started in Meekathera and traveled throughout areas of the Pilbara for nine days before we finally arrived in Coral Bay. For those that are interested, and in the know, here is where we went: We traveled along the Canning Stock Route for a while, made our way to Kumarina Roadhouse, up to Newman, stayed the night at Weeli Wolli, traveled through and stayed in Karijini National Park, headed to Tom Price, took a look from the top of Mt. Sheila, stopped in at Millstream Homestead, headed to Pannawonica, off to Nanutarra next and then Giralia, and we finally ended up in Coral Bay. Something like that anyway. It was quite a distance that we traveled and most of it was all on off-road tracks. We saw all sorts of different landscapes... the colors are just so rich in that part of the world.

My sister, Leah, and I traveled together in one truck and my brother-in-law, Andrew, and his two friends -- Wayne and Doug, were in a different truck. I tried hard to break our truck -- it got a flat on one of my drives, the truck somehow got a small dent on the side as a result of very narrow passageways at times with trees and branches, and the truck started a slight fuel leak too. I don't really take ownership for that one... I don't think.

I met so many great people on the trip, and it was organized very well.... I felt like we were on the Amazing Race at times in the sense that at the beginning of each day you didn't know where you were going to end up. They would send you off with directions of where to go by telling you when to turn at certain kilometers etc... our GPS was our friend for sure. Anyway... It was hard to pick out a small selection of photos that I have... but here's a little glimpse of our fun.

These photos are in no particular order because I don't have the patience to figure out how to rearrange...

This is our truck with the bed popped up on top

My sister and I coming on through

Above and Below... just different types of track that we drove

I love that the sign is riddled with bullet holes

This was so fun... it was like Jurassic Park. We were making our way to Weeli Wooli but had tons of water crossings to make in the dark. Hence the convoy to make sure we didn't lose anyone.

Morning tea stop

Goanna stew... and below is the particular goanna that we ate

Gorgeous landscapes

There were many theme nights along the way -- We were chefs this night

Truck #77!

Our last lunch stop... Near Coral Bay

Wayne getting ready for dinner...

Doug and I -- Country Western Night

We were also all split up into 4 teams and responsible for providing cocktails one night -- We were the gold team and this was our night.

This doesn't translate as well in the photo... but when we were done driving that day and I got out and took my sunglasses off -- I had raccoon eyes by all the red dirt caked on my face.

There were even fireworks one night....

Our support crew so graciously changed and repaired our flat tire....

Another morning tea stop


The view of dawn from inside my swag...

It was amazing how they transformed the middle of nowhere into this...

We had entertainment every night by a few guys that were participating on the 4WD Challenge too -- the music was awesome. A bunch of backpackers staying nearby were excited too...

Another night of music...

There was a lot of dancing too

Widow's peak... above -- the successful way to go about it.
Below -- getting high centered and required winching!

Driving along the Rabbit Proof Fence

Arriving in Coral Bay and successfully completing the journey

Doug and Wayne...

Red Team's cocktail night...

More Jurassic Park action

Everyone camping

A kangaroo and her joey hanging out at Millstream Homestead

Sleeping swag style


Anonymous said...

I still can't get over the goanna stew! Or your swag bags. But otherwise, it looks like so much fun. Thanks for posting pics!!!

Great to see you last night...

Rosanne and Brian Carter said...

Absolutely amazing!!

The Hoke Family said...

As always Shauna... AMAZING trip!! I'm disappointed that there were no wild pigs on steroid pix! ;)

Everyone looks great & I can't believe how big Emma & Josh have!

Eastiopians said...

I would love love love to do a 4wd challenge in Australia sometime in my life. I hope we can travel to Ethiopia together so I can hear all about it. The pictures are amazing!