Nice early start to get on the road and head further north towards the turn off to the renowned Mitchell Falls. Renowned because it is 76km each way of rough corrugated and rocky unmaintained track that routinely breaks vehicles. Today we drove about 7km along this road, far enough to say that I’ve been on the track to Mitchell Falls, short enough to come away unscathed. The Falls themselves have dried up, so really not a lot of point to travel all that way without seeing water cascading over.
I got to drive the truck all day today, giving Matthew a rest. We left the trailer at Drysdale station down the road and yes there was a difference to the performance of the vehicle. The trailer really holds things back and makes the corrugations feel worse with a third axle banging over them.
Today we travelled to the most northern point I have been in WA. Our latitude is well above Wyndham and Kununnurra.
We had morning tea at Munura on the King Edward River and found the first lot of very old rock art. What’s amazing, apart from the rock art and it’s age is that it is all easily accessible with few fences and signs. We stood in the same spot the artists have done some thousand years ago.
After a 400m circuit walk we returned to the day use area to have lunch, assisted by a friendly Butcher Bird. Of course he was friendly, we fed him all sorts of birdie treats! We’re all getting used to swimming in the rivers, slippery sides, a bit of slime, ants, loose sticks and all. But once in the nice cool water, it is really pleasant and an important way to cool down. The bus AC runs at about 27°C but once outside the bus it is certainly around 38°C, if not more, so keeping cool on walking tours is really important.
After lunch we drove to another rock art site and I heard a new rattle. A quick check revealed a nylon bush on the shock absorber had somehow worked it’s way over the nut that should have a large washer to keep in place. There was no washer… Some suitable replacements were found in Matthews tool kit and I did the rapair whilst the group was away checking the other rock art. Fortunately I had a nice shady tree and was still coolish from the swim in the King Edward River. Fixing a small thing like this is easy, and what I enjoy.
Drive back was difficult with many shadows across the road. Passengers complained that I went over one bump, which I did, and Matthew may have been launched from the back seat seat. It’s a bit embarrassing the launch the tour leader out of his seat, but I didn’t see the rocks in the shadows.
On return to Drysdale Stattion we went to the station bar and ordered a Drysdale burger at $25. Pretty pricey, but it was a good feed. Especially when followed with home made sticky date pudding and ice cream! Ymm.