THURSDAY 20 AUGUST MORETON TO CHILI BEACH 229kms
After breakfast, I phoned T at Wonga Beach to let them know we would be back there sometime next week, and would want to move onto a site. All ok with them. I guess the height of their busy season is over, now.
Once across the Wenlock, we were back on the roller-coaster-like ups and downs, and the corrugations and dust patch sections. Once we passed Batavia Downs and the turnoff for the short cut to Weipa, we were on new ground for us, until we reached the corner with the main Weipa road.
We decided that, since we were up here, we might as well go to Chili Beach, after all. But we had heard, several times, that the Pascoe River crossing, on the Frenchman’s Track, was high and fast flowing, and a generally nasty crossing, so we took the longer way round, via the southern route in there. Came south past the road to Weipa, and then took a little short cut route across to the Portland Roads road.
The track was variable. It wound about a lot. There were a lot of creek crossings, but all quite easy, though it took a bit of effort to work out the route through the Pascoe River.
We travelled through beautiful rainforest in the Iron Range National Park. The trip in, from the Peninsula Development Road, to the Ranger Station, just north of Lockhart River settlement, took us nearly 4 hours. We booked in at the Ranger Station, to stay at Chili Beach, and paid $7 for a night.
The track from there to Chili Beach was pretty poor. Narrow, winding, rough.
There were a surprising number of people camped at Chili Beach. We had to cruise around a bit to find a spot to camp. We found a site just behind the beach and the coconut palms. It was a bit exposed, and very windy, but I think everywhere there has some wind.
We put up the small tent and John put up an ingenious shadecloth shelter for us, which provided a degree of protection from the wind. We got water from the well there – it was not for human consumption and was very muddy, but would do for washing up. There are pit toilets.
There were lots of rainbow bee eaters around – more than we’ve seen in one place before.
We walked on the wide, sandy beach for a while and found it very attractive. Restoration Island is quite close, and there are other islands dotted around. The tide comes in quickly, here.
A group from the Suzuki Club of SA is camped near us; we chatted to a couple of the members for a while.
Tea was eggs, bacon, fries. I was not all that hungry. Have been feeling rather off colour again, for the past couple of days. My suspect tooth has been aching off and on, since we were at Seisia, and I have been taking Panadol fairly regularly, for that. A bad tooth and these corrugated roads are not a match made in heaven!