Hann River – Sweetwater Lake .03
Determined to get away before it got too hot we were up and at it early. Not having crossed the Hann River yet, it was time to get across it and have a little explore. So beautiful. An easy crossing with a causeway built through it, and a chance to cool off. With a few Little Rock pools about and with good visibility people were not only stopping to cross, but bathe and cool off. Bliss!
How could anyone resist. Some spectacular scenery here, birds, flowers and water falls. Just the way to start the day.
I was getting to drive today, yeah! It really doesn’t happen very often. Ken does the lions share of the driving (he enjoy’s it), and I am often sat in the back with Lulu keeping things happy or getting her off to sleep. But back to the driving. OH fun fun fun but also intense. You’ve got to have your wits about you. You need to be fast enough to minimize the shuddering of the corrugations but slow enough that you can react to miss large sharp rocks on the road, brake quick enough without locking everything up to get through or around dust bowls (massive sandy holes in the road), and handle corners safely on the gravel.
The track surface changes as does the scenery and terrain pretty rapidly. Occassionally you’ll have a small stretch of bitumen, but mostly gravel or gravel and rocks, or clay bed, or sand, sand on clay, and most often corrugations ranging from the ‘smooth coasting over the top’ type to the ‘bone schuddering, check you still have teeth at the end and shock that the van and car are still in one piece’ type!
But the terrain today was just lovely and varied. Dry scrubby bush, blackened burnt out bush, tall towering trees (that’s been a rare site), dense small woody river gums forrest, dry sandy river beds with big boulders, vast sweeping plains with swaying beige tall grass and even tall charcoal coloured termite mounds, and more lily pad covered lakes.
It wasn’t a long drive and getting to our camp site got even more interesting. Ken shares with me these camp sites aren’t really for caravans especially not 22ft ones. Hmmmm. Anxiety rises slightly and then we hit the dry sandy river bed. With a few murky large puddles, it’s windy and narrow, with protruding tree roots and branches and the exit isn’t easy. It’s a steep, sandy climb to get out, oh and it’s on a bend.
Slow and steady we get through. Phew. Nice driving Kenny! And then just up the road a super site. Just the one so no neighbour’s tonight.
Causalities from todays drive, the light fitting on my side of the bed had shaken out but easily screwed back in, but more immediate and concerning was the entire power system had shut itself down for some reason. No step working, no fridge on, yikes! We’ve had a few issue and had plenty of spare fuses and lucky that was all we needed.
Camp set and again roasting hot. While free camping managing battery usages is key. Kenny said we could lash out and put the aircon on, but only till the battery hit about 50%, grateful for any chance to cool off, it was bliss.
The battle of getting school work completed continued for most of the day, a long with the daily bread making, endless laundry in small batches to keep up, dishes and food prep.
Ken set about trying to catch a croc in the lake. When I say catch I mean capture some drone footage of a croc and after hours of searching he got his footage.
Night time finally arrived and cooled everything and everyone off but only a little and we sat by the fire, for chilli con carne, star gazing and a performance of Aladdin by the ‘Sister Starz’. Quality entertainment considering our remoteness. They’ll laugh and/or cringe about their Sister Starz performing troup when they are older. Golden memories.
I hadn’t really cottoned on that we were going to be free camping for five days and we were running low on supplies and had rubbish stinking us out, so made the call to only stay the one night and head for Weipa and civilization tomorrow.