The humidity here, and the day/night temperature range, was causing much condensation under the awning roof overnight, and in the mornings, until the sun dried it off, it dripped onto everything below. That would normally include me, sitting outside with my morning coffee and juice!
It was another slow morning, as John slept in.
I went for a long walk around the streets of the village. It was hot, but the exercise was welcome. I noticed that the grid of streets all had “fish” names – Grunter, Groper, John Dory, Herring, Bream and the like. The village seemed to be a mix of holiday homes and permanently occupied ones – the latter probably in the minority.
After lunch we drove back through the intriguing sugar cane country to have another look around Dungeness and Lucinda. We spent a while at the Dungeness boat launch area, watching boats come and go.
At that time of the day most were coming in. It was interesting, watching the different types of boats – and especially the differing levels of competency of the drivers, at getting them back in! That was actually very entertaining, though I suspect some of the less competent mariners did not appreciate the audience.
Then back to camp, so John could head off in good time for his early evening bowls. He bought a Subway tea in Ingham, first. I had soup for tea, and some cheese and biccies.
I phoned Cardwell and booked into a caravan park there, for five nights, and also booked a boat trip to Hinchinbrook Island, for next Tuesday.
I had a very welcome email from friend M, who was over in the west again this year, with another set of travelling friends. She said they had reached Kalgoorlie ok, after bad weather and head winds across the Nullarbor. Tomorrow they were heading to Wiluna, and thence up the Canning Stock Route to Halls Creek. That was going to be an adventure, that would take them at least three weeks. We had, months ago, thought about joining that planned trip, but John was not keen. He didn’t trust the mechanical state of Truck, this year, to tackle the sand dunes and rough surfaces of the Canning. He also felt that demanding driving would be too hard on the problematic hips. It was a pity, but understandable. However, M’s email did make me wish that we were going, too!
John enjoyed the evening of bowls, and the people he met at the club. Very positive.
In the morning, John got involved in trying to use his Access program to make bowls records.
I wrote up the diary, read, sewed, walked around the caravan park – that did not take long. Disappointingly, from this park, the only walking options seem to involve walking around the streets of the settlement – and not on footpaths either, just on the road edge or on nature strips.
Had an early lunch and then set off for some serious tourist adventures – hopefully.
As we got to Halifax, John decided we must stop at a fishing tackle shop he saw, so he could have a browse in same. I waited in Truck. He came back with a prawn peeling device that looked like it might just work.
Just out of Halifax, saw a cane train pulling “different” carriages, like small vats, instead of the usual wire sided containers of cane. Realized they were carrying processed sugar from a mill to the bulk ship-loading facility at Lucinda. We could see raw sugar around the top opening on some of the vats, where it had spilt over in loading.
We got ahead of the train at one point, so I got the chance to get out of Truck to take some photos. The driver waved and hooted at me – I guess it was some variety in his slow, tootly journey.
It had already become evident to us, firstly, that there were heaps of cane railway crossings on these district roads, and secondly, that often these did not have a great line of sight. Cane trains travelled fairly slowly, but I wondered how many crossing collisions with cars there were, in an average cane season?
From Halifax, took the Lucinda road, and as we came into that village, turned left to go out to Dungeness to have a look. Here, on a tidal inlet connected to the Herbert River, there was a large resort-type development, a small number of houses, and a boat launch ramp.
The channel between Dungeness and Hinchinbrook Island was fairly narrow and the island loomed large across it.
With some cloud down over the mountainous top of Hinchinbrook Island, it looked brooding and mysterious.
Dungeness was an attractive spot – pity it had no caravan or camping facilities.
We walked around the boat ramp area and took photos and just generally admired the place.
Then drove the few kms back to Lucinda. The good-sized caravan park there looked totally full. Lots of boats there too, but the internal roads were a lot wider than at Taylors Beach, so it was not so much of an obstacle course. It was, clearly, also a winter destination for lots of “fishy” people. The blurb in my tourist brochure described it as an oceanfront caravan park, but this ignored the existence of a large park between it and the sea!
Any views of Hinchinbrook Island from Lucinda – which would have been spectacular – were obscured by the 5.6km long sugar loading conveyor pier and the associated train unloading and sugar storage facilities. It was all quite industrial.
There was no public access along the jetty structure that carried the sugar way out to where the ocean was deep enough for ships to dock. The structure was so long we couldn’t see its end.
There was a staircase and walkway across the sugar terminal installations, that gave foot access to a landing and fishing jetty beyond. It might have been the village’s main jetty before the sugar facility was built but there was no vehicle access to it now. We did the trek across to the jetty. There were great views from that, of the Island and the opening of the Hinchinbrook Channel.
The afternoon light on the water made it very photogenic.
There was also a walking path along the Lucinda foreshore, but we didn’t do that.
Had to drive back to Ingham. I needed to shop for some of the ingredients needed for the pineapple salad that John fancied for tea – chillies, cashews, fish sauce and coriander. He also bought a couple of casks of wine.
Decided to go for a walk at the Tyto Wetlands. It was almost 5pm by then, though, so too late to do the full circuit and dawdle to spot birds. We walked to the first viewing point, past some indigenous boys – about 10-12 years old – who were swimming in one of the ponds. They were also using stakes – that had been nearby young tree supports – to dig up mussels and try to “spear” some little wallabies grazing nearby. I could not imagine that the wetlands staff were happy about such activities, but maybe they could not do anything to prevent same.
John was not walking well. Maybe another day we would be able to do more, here.
Refuelled Truck and went back to camp.
It took me until almost 7pm to get the salads made for tea – pineapple and potato ones. Late meal for us. There was a definite smell of cooking fish around the caravan park!
After tea, John spent time on the computer, I read.