Saturday, 3 May 2014

Free camping at Leichardt Falls

Having sat around for 10 days and not putting the camper trailer up or down once in that time, our pack up on leaving Karumba was laboured to say the least- giving birth to Caesar was easier than this. (Ha! As if! Another funny for all those who chose the 'no drug' option in their birth plan... What were we thinking?) Anyway, I digress.

We headed out to Normanton, a fairly innocuous drive save for a moment when Fiela completely lost his shit over a few things and threw the phone charger for the car out the window. Anyhoo, we made it to the big smoke,  more $100 note haemorrhaging, then grabbed some burgers from the unfortunately named 'Gobble and Go' takeaway. Oh my, a tip for anyone heading this way- this place rocks! Yet again an example of people doing fantastic fresh food (and cheaply I might add; clearly they do their groceries somewhere I don't in Normanton) really really well. Apart from the bread, they make everything themselves including beautiful corned beef  sandwiches, savoury pies and not a wilted lettuce leaf in sight on our fresh burgers. Yummo!

The road away from the coast...

Luckily we did fortify ourselves as the road to our next stop of Leichardt Falls was fairly harrowing. Once we passed the Burke and Wills monument (ill prepared and ill fated explorers of the 1800s) the road turned to corrugated dirt and great clouds of bulldust billowed up behind us. After 100kms of fairly bumpy driving, we came across a 'Road Closed. Fine 200 Penalty Points'. Shit. Faced with turning back to Normanton (no thanks), we consulted the people at Inverleigh Station, which luckily was in sight of the sign. They reckoned it should be fine, with maybe just 20cm of water over the road. When Fiela mentioned the big fine and whether we'd be turned back around, the guy quite eloquently said "It's just the council doing some roadworks. Tell 'em to get fucked!" Rightio then.

A swim at Leichardt Falls.
My loves...

Off we drove, thinking up explanations for cranky council workers who never materialised. We did come across one pretty awesome sight - the end result of what looked like a large muster, complete with a billy boiling over a fire, hardened stockmen and horses, a small muster helicopter and large mob of cattle. It was pretty cool.

The first of the Leichardt Falls.

Anyway, the roadworks were passed without incident and we finally made it to our free camp of Leichardt Falls, a beautiful spot with lots of rocks and water. After setting up by the creek, we went for a little swim underneath the falls. Yes, this is crocodile country, but the guys next door were doing it, so it's fine. Right? Hmmm, sort of. We did all get wet underneath the falls, and it was refreshing after a hard day's travel. But I got a chill of a different sort when the same guys told us they had shot two bull sharks in the pool five metres from where we had just cooled off last year. The sharks had become caught in the pool in the last big wet... Yikes! No more swimming.

Bullsharks to the right apparently.
Our camp overlooking the creek.
Marguerite then treated all the other  campers around the Falls to her special brand of crying/screaming/ yelling after being sent to bed at 6pm with no dinner after an afternoon of spectacularly poor behaviour and attitude a Year 9 student would be proud of. These were the death throes of her own little Karumba hangover; as you can imagine her behaviour was remarkably improved the next day. Whether this was due to the realisation that what the United States of Mum and Dad says goes, or whether she'd simply screamed all her own frustrations out is unclear; at least our Googie Egg was back in her four year old form (please say a prayer for Fiela and I for 10 years time). So with the kids settled in bed, we hung by the fire and listened to the bogans next door let off fireworks until 10pm, then listened to more bogans noisily set up camp at 12am, then listened to the dune buggys a few camps over roar into life at 5am. So peaceful.

Idyllic end to the day. At least with photos you can't hear the Miss M and Bogan ABC soundtrack...

We left, all feeling a little tired and ready for what had been promised as an oasis of the Outback: Adel's Grove and Lawn Hill (Boodjamulla) National Park.

Brolgas were everywhere.

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