Some places we've been and some places we're going.

Archive for August 3, 2022

Day 28 King Ash Bay to Daly Waters

When we left King Ash Bay we drove back to Borroloola to see if we could get some salad ingredients and hopefully some Iced Coffee. I was astounded when I went into the Supermarket to see 2X 2 litre containers of milk in the fridge and that was it. There were no salad vegies and definitely nothing GF. The woman was talking to someone about the impossibility of getting staff and problems with supply. I then went into a shop nearby called a Superstore expecting it to be like Harvey Norman or something but it was a much better Supermarket with more fresh fruit and veg. Though still very little in the way of dairy. It did stock more than foodstuffs. All the staff and other customers were aboriginal and I think it might be a special initiative to improve the health of the local people. I hope it succeeds.

The road from Borroloola to the McArthur River Mine was a two lane sealed highway but after that it was back to largely single lane with short distances of two lane. There were graders in a couple of places. As a big truck hurtled towards us in a section we both obviously couldn’t fit Alex asked the driver for instructions and the driver said, “Pull over on the passenger side”. Alex managed to weave between some cones to pull over and then the driver said, “I meant the other side so you didn’t have to go into the roadworks”. Alex said, “Oh, so YOUR passenger side” and the driver agreed and laughed.

It was a bum numbing drive and there were very few rest areas so we pulled into a truck parking area for a break. In Qld the rest areas are very few and far between but we’ve come to expect them everywhere else. We stopped at Cape Crawford and our Iced Coffee was one of those little tetra pack ones with the attached straw. Some Brahman cattle were enjoying the life of Riley lying on irrigated lawn, I guess at some stage they wander back to the dry range. An Emu came wandering up near the outdoor tables, maybe it’s used to getting table scraps.

Our destination today was Daly Waters and judging by the Caravans etc here it’s boom time. It’s a quirky place with chooks wandering about, resident buffaloes and a horse that wanders at will though I didn’t see it and a crocodile that doesn’t wander. There is also a “Junkyard” which has many very expensive collectors’ vehicles ranging from a fifth wheeler motorhome to an autobike.

We enjoyed a meal of Beef and Barra at the Pub and in the company of a couple from Alice Springs. The man is a golfing enthusiast who belongs to the Alice Springs Club. Fergus behaved himself impeccably until we came back to the camper when he came through the door, leapt up on the bed and expected me to play chasey with him! It’s the first time he’s ever just jumped up on the bed, I think he believed he’d been so restrained and polite for so long he had every right to go nuts!

The live band is still playing at the Pub and their music choice is ideal for this setting, currently, “Ring of Fire” but they’ve been playing Creedence music and Country and Western which had everyone’s feet tapping.

Day 27 King Ash Bay

The Angling Club owns the rights to all this area, there are parts designated for casual visitors like ourselves, Members Only areas, a Life Members area, the lodge which has accommodation, Alice Springs Outback Angling Club reserved spaces and of course, “Residents Dwellings” AKA shacks.

It spreads over several kilometres of MacArthur River frontage.

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Some of the shacks look very neglected but have a lot of fishing paraphernalia in the yard. One had a collection of Honda outboards but the one on the boat nearby was a Suzuki, I think he finally gave up on Hondas. I can imagine someone coming up here for many years until they were unable to continue and the family not willing to part with the shack but not using it.

We drove out towards Black Rock and Batten Point as they were marked on the map in our Information Booklet, we were expecting to be able to investigate the areas but the road ended suddenly at an Aboriginal Permit area. A lady who lived there told me the name of an impressive plant growing near her house and offered me some seeds but I told her the plant wouldn’t survive the cold and wet at home.

Also in our Camp Info booklet are details on what we have to do in case of a Cyclone Warning Siren, that’s an 8 point list as is the Flood Warning info, the Fire Emergency Siren means we have to follow the 7 steps on that special list. Also listed are the 7 things we should have in our “Grab Bag” and one of the steps on our emergency warning lists is, “Grab your Grab Bag”! I’m confident we’ll be able to leave tomorrow without having to implement any of the action plans!

Last night we could ……he could…. have had Pizza at The Groper Bar & Grill followed by an exciting night of Bingo but I slaved over blog writing instead! As will be obvious by now I didn’t find any way to post it. King Ash Bay is a Telstra black spot area and our info booklet tells us places we might be able to get coverage because a repeater has been bought and installed by the Angling Club. We only found a magic spot this afternoon and maybe it will still be working this evening.

Maybe twenty cars and trailers were near the boat ramp this morning so those owners were out on the river fishing. A notice near the ramp says that Freshwater Sawfish are sometimes caught, Australia is one of the last places on Earth where they are still found. Since 2006 research has been carried out and Sawfish have been tagged, anyone catching a tagged fish is asked to pass on relevant information to the Environment Dept. I hope any caught, tagged or not, are returned to the river.

We watched some boats returning at the end of the day. One boat trailer was attached to the front of the vehicle which looked weird going down the boat ramp.

There are lots of birds around here, Kites, Mudlarks, WillyWagtails, Diamond Doves etc. Today I saw Double-bar Finches for the first time.