We had a leisurely morning and around 11 am decided to go and pay a visit to the other two areas nearby. The first is Portland Road which is significantly different from the Portland Road that we know in Auckland. However, there is one resemblance and that is the cafe which had been recommended to us. Unfortunately it was closed today for some R and R so we missed out on some good coffee. The cafe is the only shop and there are only about six houses and a community hall. The Customs boat was out in the shallow waters and two of the Customs officers came in on a small boat and were talking with us. The coast here is the main thoroughfare for boats coming to Australia and is the closest to the coast. They said that the waters are constantly monitored.
From here we drove the 35 kms to Lockhart River - just to have a look. It is embarrassing to admit that there is a community as run down and appearing destitute as this in Australia. We bought fuel here @ $1.82 litre for diesel (no service, just enter your credit card and enter in how much you want to spend and once approved the bowser will work). I had to ask a local man how the system worked and he offered to have his photo taken. He was pleasant and said he had lived in Lockhart River all his life but had attended secondary school in Townsville in the 80's.
Back at the camp we walked along the beach to see the "thong" tree which is a coconut tree which many people have nailed a thong (jandals) on to. A number of coconuts made into faces are placed at the base of the tree. I waded along in the water which again was
beautiful and warm. Some guys were fishing but we didn't see any caught. We liked the crab designs in the sand - Peter said the ones with the long strands are when the crabs have dysentery!
Today the census is being conducted in Australia. We had picked up a remote pack when we were in Cooktown and we completed it today listing ourselves as having no employment and of no fixed abode. It was quite liberating! The census lady called into the park this afternoon handing out packs and she was happy to take our completed documents. So we have been counted.
|Chilli Beach campsite|
|Sunrise Chilli Beach|
|Recharge the battery|
|Portland Road with tide out|
|History of Portland Road|
|No luck at Portland Road Cafe|
|Customs Boat Portland Road|
|Customs Officers come ashore|
|Airport at Lockhard River|
|Runway Lockhard River Airport|
|Commemoration to US Air Force Lockhart River|
|Diesel at Lockhart River|
|Our helpful local, Arthur, Lockhart River|
|Library Lockhart River|
|Supermarket Lockhart River|
|School Lockhart River|
|Residential street Lockhart River|
|More housing Lockhart River|
|Another abandoned car Chilli Beach Road|
|Coconut faces Chilli Beach|
|Thong tree Chilli Beach|
|Fallen trees still growing Chilli Beach|
|Boat passing Chilli Beach|
|Crab holes Chilli Beach|