This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2000 Travels July 19

WEDNESDAY 19 JULY     THEDA STATION

Woke to another hot day.

There was some burn off haze not far away. The area around the camp spot has been recently burned, so we have no worries about a fire near us.

We heard a vehicle which sounded like it was coming near us, but it faded. We think the main road might be not too far from here, across the river, so it was probably a truck.

John walked down to nearby rapids and later we both went exploring down that way – it was really pretty. The reflections in the water, in the morning light, are wonderful.

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Rapids at Turtle Pool, on the Morgan River

We saw a little, pale brown coloured, freshie croc in the pool, over the other side from us, just floating on the water surface, looking for all the world like a dried pandanus leaf. Sighted him a couple of times, just hanging about there.

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Freshie croc playing at being a floating pandanus leaf, over by the far bank

There were some cattle around, but they stayed away from the immediate camp area.

John investigated under Truck again, and removed the remainder of the broken part, altogether. He thinks it will be alright to go on without it.

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That part is no good any more!

I made bread, from a packet mix, forming four rolls and cooking them in the camp oven. The tops got a bit dark but otherwise they turned out well, and will be lunch for two days.

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Well done bread rolls!

John went off up the access track, on foot, hunting firewood, and discovered why some of the local timber is called ironwood! Hard to cut into and hard to get axe out of! And heavy.

07-19-2000 03 its ironwood

Axe stuck in ironwood

He then tried some fishing and caught a black bream.

After lunch, we went for a walk back up the track we’d driven in on, looking at birds. There were lots of them. The bee eaters put on a great show by camp, as does a kingfisher. On the way back from our walk, we startled a large dark coloured snake – we actually startled each other! It disappeared very quickly into a crack in the ground. It looked like a taipan – and that hiding in ground cracks is taipan behaviour. That rather spoiled the enthusiasm for walking!

We lazed about camp during the hottest part of the afternoon.

07-19-2000 01 camp at turtle pool theda

Our camp at Turtle Pool

John had his bream for tea, with potato and some bits of vegies. I had potato and vegies.

At dusk we heard the vehicle noise again – going the other way.

John phoned his sister on the radio. He then went fishing for a while.

I sat by the campfire, in the moonlight. It became quite cold.

Tonight’s sleep was rather disturbed by the noises of cattle nearby and croc growls from the river.


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2000 Travels July 18

TUESDAY 18 JULY   DRYSDALE RIVER STATION TO THEDA STATION   160kms

It was another hot day.

We were up at 6.30 again, and away two hours later, after topping up our water containers.

We drove into Miners Pool to have a look – 3.5kms from the main road. It was a much bigger camp area than I remembered, strung alongside the waterhole, and with pit toilets. It would have been a fairly pleasant place to stay, after all.

The Kalumburu road was still closed to vehicles over 7 tonnes, beyond Drysdale River HS, and was listed as 4WD only. It is usually later to open than the main Gibb River Road, and also later to be graded.

We encountered several muddy sections of road. After going through one of these, there was much grinding from under Truck. We stopped, looked, drove it back and forth a few times. John decided the noise was coming from the left rear wheel. He jacked Truck up and took off the wheel. The shaped metal plate that protects the brake was buckled and rubbing on the wheel. The bolt area was still attached, so part of it had just torn off! John took it off to stop it rubbing any more and ensured what was left was clear of the wheel.  He buckled a bit of the Truck frame using the jack – did not have it in at the right angle.

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Having some difficulties – checking out the noise from the wheel (and losing shorts!)

We passed the turn off to the Mitchell Plateau and continued on to Theda Station, through some Livistona palm stands. Mostly we passed through typical Kimberley savanna scrub and woodlands.

The road was great in sections, corrugated and dusty in others. It was not fast driving. There was very little traffic.

We reached Theda at lunchtime. There were two other travellers’ vehicles there, having tyres repaired.

The Theda person said we could bush camp at their Turtle Pool site, for $14 a night, but it was only available for four nights. Their other dispersed camp sites were not available as the tracks were still too cut up. The tracks to Worriga Gorge and King Edward Falls, that we’d read about and thought of driving, were still inaccessible – but we could do their Bradshaw art tour for $55 each! Hmmm – we would need to think about that.

He also said that a large freshie croc lived in Turtle Pool!

I bought magnets and postcards.

We drove out to Turtle Pool, about 7kms away, crossing the Morgan River, which was shallow at the ford and not very wide. The track was rather basic.

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Morgan River,  taken as we forded it

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The track to Turtle Pool

We set up the big tent, in a shaded part of a clearing, not far from the river, then had lunch.

John had a sleep for a while, then he fished. Caught a couple of little somethings – bait?

I went for a walk, exploring along the river for a little distance. Turtle Pool was a lovely, long, wide stretch of the Morgan River – it was a serene spot.

Tea was the last of the corned beef, potato, some salad.

It cooled down really quickly once the sun set. We discovered that there were mozzies here!

John took the lamp and went off to fish, which left me with nothing to do except sit and stare into the darkness! Even with light, I have found the evenings a bit boring – miss having books to read.

Eventually the moon rose.

John returned with no fish. We turned in. There were lots of night noises – splashes from the pool, night insects – but we slept well.

07-18-2000 to theda