Friday, 1 August 2014

Drysdale Station and a birthday party for the Boet Man.

Feeling a little fragile after fixing the camper trailer at Russ Creek, we headed further West on the Gibb River Road to the Mitchell Plateau, via the Kalumbaru Road, one notorious for deep corrrugations, a place where "trailers come to die" according to one lady we spoke to who'd just done it. After the first leg from the GRR up to Drysdale Station, I could see why. The corrugations were deep enough to lose the kids in, or the plastic cover of the outside light on the camper... Sigh, fortunately I suppose, it was the latter. Luckily our duct tape is clear, making a temporary if not very pretty substitute.

Caesar on his 2nd birthday, covered in dirt, just the way we like him.

Heading off for a swim.
We'd pulled into Drysdale Station and rattled into the shop for some much needed provisions.  We'd been on the GRR for over a week and were out of milk (fresh and UHT) and bread. We weren't at panic stations yet in regards to fresh fruit and vegies, but I wouldn't have said no had they had a few fresh things about. Which they certainly didn't,  and in the end I was just happy to get a few litres of UHT milk and frozen multigrain bread at an outrageous price. For some reason I thought there would be places to stock up on the GRR, but no, there's not.

There is a place to get a massive burger though,  right at Drysdale Station where for $18 you can blob out on greasy goodness to your heart's content, which we did. We then set up next to the Dove's at the Miner's Pool, Drysdale 's campground next to a creek with a great swimming hole. The toilets weren't the best drop toilets I've ever been to, but they were an improvement on the one at Ellenbrae Station, thanking the Lord for small mercies.
The swimming hole at Miner's Pool.

After a quick set up, we all went down for a lovely swim, before I came back early and got the party of the year ready for Caesar's birthday. I'd bought a chocolate cake packet mix and cooked it up earlier in the Weber, made honey on bread, had cheese, party poppers and wrapped up his few presents in newspaper... Describing it, our little celebration sounds quite dire, but with the Doves provided as guests,  the kids high on sugar and streamers, it really was the loveliest afternoon.
Yay for trucks!

Party food.

We made a fire and had braai broodjies (jaffles), the kids slowly came down off their overstimulated highs and we toasted to life being good.

The cake. Sorry Caesar, we'll be back to Women's Weekly Birthday Cakes next year!

Striking out the next morning for another 100kms+ of bumpy roads before we reached the Mitchell Plateau, we were in high spirits, putting our mechanical debacles of the last few days behind us. Until we got 20kms up the road and that suspicious noise became un-ignorable. Getting out we found the front passenger wheelarch trim had shaken loose and was rubbing on the tyre, the bolts keeping it in position going the way of the light cover. Luckily we had those unbelievably versatile gadgets everyone should have, in a number of sizes,  and immediately applied them to put our car back together. Oh wonderful cable ties, what did we ever do without you?

The Ideas Man.
Cable ties holding the car together.

Onward we rattled, through creeks and cattle stations, believing once we turned off this damned Kalumbaru Road it would be infinitely better, having heard from people who'd driven the Mitchell Plateau Road only days prior,  that it "was a dream". I'd hate to be involved in one of their nightmares! As soon as we turned off at the 100km mark, with only 9 kms to go to get to the campground, the road became considerably worse. The corrugations were still there, now with the addition of rock, washouts and rocky creek crossings, and since we'd had it in our minds that this would be smooth, it was 10 times worse.

Crossing the King Edward River.

Luckily the campgrounds at  King Edward River are wonderful, because we needed the space to iron out our rattled bones and brains before we attempted the next leg down to Mitchell Falls itself, another 90kms away.

The following photos are of Caesar opening his presents, small trucks and diggers (machinery is his 'thing' at the moment), and the excitement of it all. Have a look at Fiela's face too...

Our gorgeous, funny, fearless little boy.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday little Caesar. Here's to hoping the next year brings you even more excitment and adventure (if that is even possible).
    An amazing cake and little party Mrs Uys. Made with love!