MONDAY 12 JULY MILLSTREAM NATIONAL PARK
By morning, the rain had lessened to showers only, but it had been heavy and steady through much of the night.
M had survived the night, quite cosily.
The campground was a real mess – all mud. All the other campers packed up and slipped and slid out. We thought about going, but really wanted to try to see the place. I had wanted to come here ever since we had to miss it on the ’93 trip.
Then two Rangers arrived and told us they were closing the campground.
It was on river silt, which was why it went to slop so quickly. We explained that we’d only just arrived yesterday, and looked sad, and they relented and let us stay, with conditions. We had to promise that we would not try to drive anywhere today. We were not to drive in and out more than once a day, after that, providing there was no more rain. More rain would mean no driving at all. Fair enough, we thought.
The Rangers indicated the weather was supposed to clear.
So now we had a campground all to ourselves!
We discovered a pit toilet closer than the one we’d used to date, that we’d been skiing up to!
The rain stopped. The ground around our camp slowly dried.
We managed to play boules in the afternoon, after a fashion. Couldn’t play a normal game, because the boule just landed with a splat in the mud, and stayed put. But it filled in some time. The boules needed a very good wash, afterwards.
It seemed a really pretty area, from what we could see. It was on a great, deep, wide section of the Fortescue River. There were reed warblers in the reeds, white plumed honeyeaters about, and plenty of corellas. Watching their antics was very entertaining.
Deep Reach was one of the most sacred areas of the local indigines; their Warlu serpent lived in there.
Although it was still cloudy through the afternoon, there was no more rain. Looking promising! The solitude was worth the inconvenience of the mud.
Had to run the generator again for a while in the late afternoon, to charge up the batteries. At least, there were no neighbouring campers to be disturbed, although it ran really quietly.
Again, we huddled in the van for our meals. One of us had to sit on the bed – only room for two at the table. But it was comfortable enough. We talked for a little while, after tea, then had another early night.