Monday, August 8, 2011

The Corrugations Continue (08.08.11)

After a disturbed night (due to a group of guys talking loudly, with "f" word regularly until 4 am) we packed up at Archer River Roadhouse camp and headed on to Chilli Beach. We have found it doesn't pay to take too much notice of what people tell you. The same guys who kept us awake all night told us there were thousands camped at Chilli Beach. We wondered if we would take the side road for an additional 130 kms each way of Corrugations with the chance that we could not get in however decided to risk it - however the reality is that they told as many lies as they swore - what a beautiful place white sand beautiful sunsets and sunrises certainly well worth the drive and we had no trouble picking a spot that totally overlooked the sea.

The road in was a different matter. The road was very corrugated and varied between red dust, brown dust, heavy gravel, road works and a small amount of bitumen just to tease us. After 35 kms we turned off the Development Road and took a side road to the Iron Range National Park. After crossing the Wenlock River we took a side track to see one of the original grave sites. It is so old that it was impossible to read the inscription on the headstone. We followed the track further to see the remains of the Batavia Goldfields. The road left a lot to be desired but we continued and saw the rusty relics of the goldfield including an old truck. We had to return to the road using the same track so again had to go through a dusty dry washout which was great for the suspension.

We continued on crossing three more reasonably major rivers and many creek crossings and the dips with shingle base continued. As we crossed one of the creeks our book told us that there were the relics of a bridge built during the war on the left. Sure enough we were able to see it and stopped midstream to take a photo. Fortunately there isn't a lot of traffic. We had a total of 130 kms to travel on this road and stopped off at the Mt Tozer lookout where we were surprised to hear beep, beep and suddenly we had some limited telephone coverage and we were able to collect my birthday messages from both the phone and then the email.

Close to Chilli Beach there were some small campsites in the rainforest and we thought if the camp is too full we will return to one of these. However, when we arrived we easily found a site, registered our stay at the self registration area and set up camp. The beach is a long white sand beach with the camping areas scattered along the foreshore. The book warned us not to set up the tent under the coconut trees and this was wise advice.

Unfortunately there is a sign warning of crocs in the water so swimming is out but we did walk along the beach wading in the water. It was so warm even I could have easily gone in! Not only did the sign say crocs Peter saw a snake slither under our tent. We didn't see it come out, and looked for lumps in the tent floor but saw no more sign of it. Apparently they are seen from time to time so we are on snake alert.

Late in the day a group of four camper trailers arrived. They are four couples who are friends travelling together from South Australia. Both Peter and I had a laugh when one of the woman got out her apron to cook dinner, and then placed the place mats on the table and set out the cutlery. Obviously we didn't pack all the essentials required for camping. We now nick name her Mrs Bucket.
Wenlock River
Crossing of Wenlock River
Historic Grave near Wenlock River
 Road conditions Wenlock River
Machinery from goldfields Wenlock River
More machinery relics
Machinery relics

 Even an old truck
Dip that hit really hard
Another river crossing - Pascoe River
 And another
Getting ready to enter river
Remains of bridge taken from creek crossing
Mt Tozer lookout
 Iron Range National Park
Mt Tozer
Self registration at Chilli Beach
Chilli Beach
 Patrol protecting tent from sea breeze
 Chilli Beach
Sand formations from crabs
Sticker tells it all
Constant alert for the Crocs
It used to be clean - then again
it also used to be new once!

1 comment:

  1. Well I am disappointed Gill if you are letting your standards slip. Didn't you pack your apron and Nigella Lawson camping cookbook?
    I believe you can eat snakes. You can eat crocs too but they are slightly more challenging to prepare. Check with Nigella. Enjoy! Julia x