Monday, August 8, 2011

A relaxing day

We decided that we would stay a second night at this lovely spot so we didn't have to pack up this morning. Because we have no power (and being a National Park there are no showers but only environmental toilets) most people go to bed when it gets dark and get up when it is light. Peter was up and about by 6.30 am and I woke about half an hour later. Peter unfortunately couldn't find the camera but took a lovely photo of the sunrise on his phone.

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
Chilli Beach
 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
Portland Road
Customs Officers come ashore
 Airport at Lockhard River
 Runway Lockhard River Airport
Commemoration to US Air Force Lockhart River
 WWII information
 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

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