MONDAY 17 JULY JACKS WATERHOLE TO DRYSDALE RIVER STATION 188kms
We were up at 6.30am, and away at 9. That included a stop at the store to buy a tea-towel, a Tshirt for John and one for K for Xmas – because it has a big barra on the front.
It took John longer than usual to pack the Truck because he had to work out how to position the big water container so we could fill it at the Durack River crossing, upstream from here. We wanted to fill it where the water had the best chance of being unpolluted at all.
After Jacks Waterhole, the GRR was corrugated, with bulldust patches, for a way. then we got onto grey slaty material and that was much better going. That proved to be a pattern – the red soil road sections were cut up, the grey harder ones better.
These days, with its rapid growth as a tourist route, there is constant work (in the Dry) to improve the road and keep it in reasonable condition – or try to!
We could see that it has changed since ’93 – it was easier travelling now.
We could also see that some of the places one could bush camp back then, are now prohibited for camping – according to our booklet information. It also seemed, from what we saw, that plenty of campers ignore such prohibitions.
There were several water crossings, none higher than about half way up the wheels.
We stopped at the Durack River and filled the water container. This was obviously a place where people camped.
We stopped at Russ Creek for morning tea. In ’93 we had an overnight camp here. The creek is much higher than it was then, and the area where we camped is obviously very frequently used, now – and not left very clean!
About 110kms west of Jacks Waterhole, we turned north onto the Kalumburu road.
Just a short way north of the corner, was the ford of the Gibb River. This was obviously another popular camp area.
This road was much rougher, with long sections of corrugations and bulldust. It was rather reminiscent of the Cape York road.
We reached Drysdale River Station at lunchtime.
The brakes were grating with mud/water/dust as we arrived!
We refuelled – $1.30cpl. Paid $16 to camp the night there.
John would have preferred to go on and camp at Miners Pool, just a little further, on the Drysdale River, but I remembered that it had not impressed us all that much, last time we came this way. Of course, with more water around now, it might have been nicer. It would have cost us $8 to bush camp there, whereas here we had tapped water, showers, toilet.
There was a big workshop at Drysdale River, doing a steady trade in vehicle repairs, including on an OKA with clutch problems. The workshop kept going until well into the evening.
We were on our own in the camp area – a fairly ordinary but grassed area – until about 4pm, and then lots of campers rolled in, so it became quite crowded.
We only put up the dome tent – quick and easy for one night.
From the phone box at the shop complex, phoned K and left message where we are.
Tea was cold corned beef, potato, salad.
It had been another hot day, but cooled enough after sunset for us to need long trousers and windcheater to sit outside.
The moon was full again. We missed the night time curlew calls we’d had at Jacks.