MONDAY 16 SEPTEMBER KINGFISHER CAMP
John went up, early, to phone the school to say we would not be in.
We decided, last night, to drive to Doom today, collect the rest of our things from the house, leave notes about where my classes were up to – and notify them we were leaving for good. It was only another couple of weeks till the school holidays, and we would certainly have been considering going then, anyway.
We drove the most direct way to Doom – back to the Gulf Road, then east to the town.
It took us less than an hour to finalize things at the house, including turning off and defrosting the fridge, and leaving the place clean. Someone else would no doubt avail themselves of what was left on our power card, and in our gas bottles!
We got 25 litres of fuel in Truck at the Store – $1.22cpl – then left town for good. There was no one we wanted to say personal farewells to.
We took the long way back to Kingfisher Camp – out the Burketown road, across the river, then about 5kms out, took the Lawn Hill track. About 40kms along this, at the T intersection where the Lawn Hill road went south, we kept straight on. The dirt road wasn’t too bad, for the most part.
On a straight stretch of this part of the track, we came upon a vehicle and Phoenix caravan, just sitting in the road. They had broken an axle on the van. They had driven back to Bowthorn after it happened and been able to arrange for a replacement part to be flown to Doomadgee. A mechanic type at the station would help repair it. In the meantime, they were just camped there in the van, waiting. A smart move on their part – anything unattended in these parts was not safe!
We spent some time sitting and chatting with them – alleviated the tedium of their day, anyway.
And thus it was back to Kingfisher, churning through the sandy dry channels of the river bed in a dry section of the river. In the Wet, Kingfisher Camp was often cut off from the parent base at Bowthorn – although the more direct route to the Gulf Road stays open longer. But it too was impassable at times. We commented to each other that being the wet season caretakers at the Camp might be interesting – though maybe it was a bit close to Doom!
We paid to stay until Thursday morning. It was so pleasant there, and out of the way. We could really relax – and sleep well.