Today we arrived at Red Rock (pop 274).
We pulled in late afternoon, found a beautiful little park with a view and put the kettle on.
Our plan was to engage Ripley’s stealth mode for the night and find a quiet spot to snuggle into.
After a sleepy cup of tea we all went for a walk up along the bank of the Corindi river a ways before cutting back through the town to see if any shops were still open. In fact we couldn’t find any grocery stores. Most of the accomodation in Red Rock appeared to be empty holiday houses.
Red Rock has a bit of a dark history behind its name.
The original Gumbaynngir inhabitants were massacred by police back in the 1880’s. Forced from their camps many were shot and killed as they were eventually driven off the headland. The Garby elders refer to the area as Blood Rock, and it is considered a sacred site for contemplation and reflection.
Unable to find a supermarket we wandered back in the dusk light towards Ripley. On the way we passed through the local van park which turned out to have a small cafe/shop that provided burgers, fish and chips and a few essential supplies. Dinner sorted.
Back in Ripley we were exactly mid meal when there was a knock at the door.
Kelly and I both looked at each other. We both knew what was going to happen next.
In Ripley’s porch light the lady looked very familiar. Ah yes, she was a manager at the van park we had just returned from. We had seen her watching us from the office earlier.
“I am sorry, but you cannot stay here tonight…the rangers patrol here and you just cannot stay.”
“No problems, I replied. We will just finish up our dinner and be on our way”
Truth is, as it was now dark, we were actually planning on staying at that location. It was a parking area right next to a little park with a great view and public toilets nearby. All the boxes ticked.
But we had already decided that if ever challenged we were never going to argue the point.
We packed up Ripley and drove off. In the darkness I was reluctant to drive all the way back to the highway. Out into the nocturnal stream of juggernaut trucks and ectopic wildlife.
So we drove around a little and found this huge vacant lot next to the bowling club. Hidden away in darkness this would do perfectly as safe shelter until the morning.
No sooner had we settled in, pulled down all Ripley’s shutters and put the kettle on…….there was a knock at the door.
This time it was a lady from the bowling club.
“Sorry, but you simply cannot stay here. This land belongs to the bowling club and if the council finds out we had an RV stay here we will be fined”
I thought to myself: Hmmm. This is a huge vacant lot in the middle of nowhere in the pitch black of a tiny town, with nobody within cooee, and we will be gone again at dawn.
And at that moment a drunk dude on a wobbly bike rides past and yells out, “ah ya fucking idiots. You can’t park anywhere in Red Rock (something garbled and unintelligible)….go away ya (something else garbled but obviously not complimentary)”.
“OK, no problems” I repeated to the lady, ignoring the bike dude completely.
The lady was nice and everything and she did suggest a rest stop back on the highway.
So off we set again. This time we did drive back out onto the highway and about 10 kilometres further up the road to the Arrawarra rest stop. This is a massive overnight parking spot with ample pull in spaces for motorhomes, trucks and anyone else who needs a break from the road.
It is well lit and has toilets and picnic tables. The only down side was that being right next to the highway there was a lot of road noise overnight.
But it was fine…we both slept pretty well and woke up amidst quite a community of other travellers in the morning.