Last night some people drove in after dark and it must have been a bit hair raising even though they weren’t towing anything. This morning they told us it had been a struggle to get their vehicle level enough for sleeping because they hadn’t been able to see the way the rocks lay.
I’ve decided that a Navigators’ License issued in Mt Isa should not be considered a demonstration of competence in any other location! The driver/navigator did however manage to avoid getting us bogged or stranded on top of a rock ledge!
Heading to Normanton we passed through familiar vegetation, sometimes expansive grassland other times small Eucalypt forest and also areas with hundreds of Termite Mounds but others bare. We saw a flock of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos in trees beside the road, that’s a first for this trip.
We called into Burke and Wills last campsite, N0. 119, where trees had been marked to show that they’d been there. The water in the billabong didn’t look healthy but the Norman River had plenty of water in it.
Normanton is far more appealing than Burketown, it almost seems to have a sense of humour with buildings painted in vibrant colours. Most houses have gardens and there is a sense of pride about the place. We’ve restocked our Ginger Beer ans Cider…the Ginger Beer we buy on special in Foodland for about $6.50 was over $14 but out here the enjoyment of it is magnified too.
A drive round the wetlands gave me a chance to snap away and Alex had a little play.
We thought we might have a hot drink at Murray’s before leaving town but there was a line-up of caravans at his place so we did without. A workman had just finished “cleaning” the toilets and warned me that the seat might be wet, the method of cleaning is to simply blast the cubicle with a high pressure hose so not only was the toilet seat wet the floor was awash.
Nothing remarkable happened on the journey to Burketown though there was more roadkill than we’ve seen so far. What looked to be some kind of bandicoot, a feral pig, wallabies, calf and an eagle. When we found the Burketown Caravan Park a sign said they had cabin vacancies but no available sites.
Some parts of the town seem to have plenty of water, Fergus enjoyed rolling on the lawn outside the Information Centre. The “Morning Glory Cafe” where Alex had some brunch, had planted pots out the front and a colourful mural on its wall and there was a central section of town with some play equipment, toilets etc and that had lawn. Most of the town though looked dry and unattractive even the pub the “most popular place in town” had no garden or garden features at all. (Not many photos, I’m having camera issues.)
Alex found the “Leichardt Falls” in the Camps book and we decided to try that for the night. There is water in the river but the falls are dry even so it’s a great setting. We were early enough arriving to have a good choice of campsites and chose one with shade. The area is very sandy and rocky in parts so the driver needs to choose the track wisely sometimes the “chicken track” is the way to go other times the original track is better.
We scrambled down to the river bed.
While it was still light enough to be safe we walked to the top of the Falls.
We’ve managed to book the last site available at Normanton for tomorrow night and will be able to restock our supplies. It will be a can of Mackerel for me tonight, Alex will have to survive on the Barra Burger he had earlier today, the Ginger Beer is all gone and the last can of Cider was finished this afternoon, things are getting desperate 🙂