After a few hours of smooth driving down the Great Northern Highway, it was time for a break so sometime after 6pm we stopped at Kumarina Roadhouse. Aaron ordered us some food so while we waited we had a little look around. Kumarina is quite big and also doubles as a pub and a motel, like most roadhouses (except minus the pub bit). In a cage was a lonely white cockatoo that Renae took a shine too. After the initial "hello" screech was given, it quietly asked for a scratch and pointed its bottom towards her. As she stuck her finger through the cage to oblige, the cocky swung round and nipped her. Nae didn't like the bird much after that. On one wall of the place was a big outline of Western Australia and major towns were pin pointed on it, including Kumarina. I took a photo of it as it was a good way to show people where our travels have taken us. Our meal was taking quite a long time to get to us, but that was due to the pub meals orders that were taken before ours, so we sat in the alfresco section
. Not long after, a group of Aboriginal men came staggering into the alfresco area and proceeded to talk very loudly in their own language. With the men were a couple of young lads, who soon had the lady in the shop section yelling at them. One of these lads stumbled to the doorway and had a bag of crisps fall out from under his shirt. He left it and carried on stumbling out. The lady came to the door and told the seated men to make the lad give back the other bag of crisps he got away with, pay for the stolen goods, or be told to leave and never come back. The seated men yelled something out to the lad, but I didn't actually see any resolution in the form of a payment or return of the goods. Finally we got our meals and we ate somewhat quick, so we could get away from the noisy characters before they came over and started begging for stuff, like we're used to happening in Perth. While eating, one of the men came out of the shop with a goon bag of wine. By the time we had finished eating, that goon bag was empty. These men were more drunk than when they had arrived. As the four of us were leaving, the man who got the goon bag, pointed at Brett and ushered him over saying "You got the blood in you." He had recognised that Brett was part Aboriginal and wanted to shake his hand. Aaron and I kept walking while Brett and Renae stayed for a bit of a chat. I sneakily took a photo through the bushes, cos sometimes if Aborigines see you take a photo of them, they'll try to charge you for it or claim that you've taken their soul. The owner of the place came out and started trying to shoo the men away, but just as the four of us got in our cars and were about to drive off, two more car loads of Aboriginal men arrived and pretty much blocked us in. Brett was able to get his car through, but we with our trailer that sticks out further than our car, weren't so lucky. Now we were surrounded by drunk Aboriginal men completely oblivious to having blocked us in, and too engrossed in saying hello to each other
. We didn't know what to do. The Aborigines at home in Perth are not friendly at the best of times, so we weren't sure what reaction we would get if we asked someone if they could move their car, so we just sat there. A truck driver who was fueling his truck beside us, had a huge smile on his face as he enjoyed watching our obviously dismayed facial expressions. Eventually one of the men moved his car and let us out. While driving to a rest area listed on our free camp sites print out, Brett told us over the 2-way what the men had been saying to Brett and Renae.
They all worked as stockmen and were on a bit of a walkabout, otherwise known as a getaway. The men were elders and they were taking the young lads to learn the way of the land and to respect it. Though their sentiments were good, their actions did not match seeing as they were all drink driving and stealing. We came to the rest area we thought we were after, and parked way down the back away from the noise of the road. Again we parked our cars to act as a protective shield. At one point we heard a car load or two of the inebriated men of the land, pull up and thankfully drive off soon after. While making up our bed, Aaron and I spotted a little hole on the topside of the air mattress. Seeing as it was velor, Aaron had his doubts that the tape would stick properly, bit it seemed to stick quite well. By 9pm we were all tucked up in bed.
Today is Mother's Day, but though we're in the middle of WA with no reception, our butts are still covered as we all sent the photo cards before we left Derby a week ago. This morning we woke up at about 7am and we were flat on the ground....again!! The tape had come off during the night with the moving of our feet. My right shoulder was in extreme pain
. Aaron gave me some painkillers, put more tape on the mattress, pumped it up again, and we tried to go back to sleep. Aaron slept with his head at my feet and his finger in the hole that was now bigger. I woke up two hours later flat on the ground again but thankfully pain free. Thankfully we only have one more niht to get through on this holey mattress and then it's going in the bin. Once camped was packed and we were driving again, we passed the rest area we had actually meant to find last night, but boy were we glad we hadn't. The place was filled with 6 or 7 car loads of Aboriginal men, who had littered the rest area with beer cans and rubbish galore. So much for their ideals of respecting the land. We were disgusted and relieved at the same time as we sailed on down the road.