Day 20 - Rest Day - Cooks Hut Camp
Ivan and Lea (Seisia):
Full Diff Repair Timeline here..
Andy had been on to Toyota, and only two diff centres available in Australia - one in Townsville, which would make it to Bamaga via the various freight systems by Saturday, and one in Sydney - which due to a public holiday in Cairns on Friday, wouldn't be here until Monday at the earliest.
Unfortunately, the one in Townsville was only an empty box - incorrect computer records, so it was looking like it would be later than we would have liked before we got back on the road again.
We looked at hiring a boat, but one big enough for all of us was $330, so we opted for a charter with Dan from John Charlton - the same mob that Craig and Jo went with. He offered an all day trip for us. We were hoping for a day of fishing and snorkelling - just what we were looking for to fill in the day while we waited for the car to be fixed. Looking forward to the day!! - See tomorrow for photo's ;-)
More fishing off the wharf - they boys getting quite good with the bait jig, rod and lures.
The Rest of the Crew:
The Bennett's and Everett's went into Lockhart River to get some fuel (Diesel $1.88/litre, ULP $2.00/litre) to make sure there was enough to get out onto the main road and to get some fresh supplies. Fortunately the township has subsidised fruit and veg and was cheaper than Canberra, everything else was EXPENSIVE!
After visiting Quintel Beach and refreshing our water supplies at the airport we thankfully left to go back to camp. On the way back we met up with the Gunderson's and Rutter's who were heading into Lockhart River.
Once everyone had returned Craig and Ian dismantled G-man's GPS whilst G-man tightened Ian's spare wheel carrier. An inductor had broken it's pigtails and come off the PCB. A quick poke with a soldering iron restored operation.
The Ranger had come to clean the toilet and advised that the road to Chile Beach was OK as long as you picked the right line. We decided to head down to Chilli Beach to check things out. The trip in turned out to be pretty muddy!
It was just as well we hadn't gone in the day before as the road was bad 24 hours later. We took an hour to travel the 20 odd KM with Steve G having to snatch out another bloody tourist! Unfortunately Chilli beach suffered from the recent cyclone (as had the rainforest in the area) and the big beaches were washed away.
Everyone headed back to camp with the Everett's planning a roast and Sandy wanting to bake bread, however Helen and Ian elected to follow Portland Roads Road (no I haven't stuttered!!). At it's end is a small community called Portland Roads consisting of 11 houses and a public phone. Lovely place but unfortunately no camping allowed. Ian spent a few hours fishing whilst having a chat to one of the locals who had some interesting stories about living in a remote area.
Note from Sandy's Diary: We were stuck behind a tour bus towing a trailer suspended from a tree on a winch at the top of a steep greasy exit from a water crossing, the guy thought we werenb t willing to help, but we were just waiting for him to come to the back of the vehicle rather than approaching what could have been a dangerous situation if the winch gave way. Turned into a heated argument between Rutman and the other driver, but the two Steves still helped him up. Funnily enough he ended up our neighbour and was quite a nice guy, funny what a little stress can do to a situation
Further Note from Sandy's Diary: Ranger Chris turned up for a chat and had just returned from Chili Beach and said with care there was no problem with getting down there, but there was a lot of mud, the two Steve didnb t need and written invitation and the other were all keen to go, so off we set, driving along we were starting to wonder what all the drama was about and then we hit the mud, thick oozing clay stuff. Not sure about anyone else, but Ib m sure Steveb s face was starting to ache from smiling. Came to the Chili Beach turn off and there was another road with a local stuck so Steve pulled him out and then we continued thought the mud! When we got to the beach there was an absolute gale blowing and the beach basically didn't exist anymore (result of the cyclone?) So then we had no choice but to head back through the mud back to camp
Prawn trawlers anchored off Portland Roads. They were waiting for sunset before heading out.
Yeh - I know - still not
A bit of fun ahead
Look at this mud - yummo!
Aaannndd - moooorrre mud!
Made it to Chili Beach
An unusual rock formation at Quintel Beach
Lockhart River Supermarket
Everett wagon muddied up
Steve G crossing the Pascoe River