Last nights cartons must have quietened down the locals overnight as there was no sign of any when we left Borroloola this morning.
Today’s journey is on the Carpentaria Highway through to the north-south Stuart Highway. It consisted mainly of single lane road for most of it with some normal two lane road on the crests and where the road has been replaced after being washed away.
Not far from Borroloola is the Caranbirini Conservation Reserve, which we were told by the caravan park is a must stop for with a permanent waterhole and sandstone pillars. So I guess we had better stop.
We are glad that we did stop. There are a couple of different loop walks and we took the 2 kilometre walk around and through the centre. From the outside, it looked like any other sandstone outcrop seen in the Territory but once you got into the centre area, wow.
The pillars and sandstone features were spectacular and well worth the stop and the walk.
There were a constant stream of 4 trailer road trains coming our way once we were back on the road and given it was single lane road, they were welcome to it and I pulled off as each of them passed. Soon we found out where they were coming from, the McArthur River Mine. I believe it is a bauxite mine and they ship out of Bing Bong, not far north of Borroloola.
We stopped at an oasis called Cape Crawford for lunch which had a nice spot with shade and green grass. Jenny had a craving for hot chips and luckily they cooked them here. There was a variety of bird life here and Jenny made the mistake of tossing the Apostlebirds a couple of chips, they are now her friends for life.
It was just now time to sit back for another 270 kilometres on the single lane road, getting off for the occasional road train.
Pulling in Daly Waters, it was like Rundle Street with cars, caravans, motorbikes and trucks. By the looks of things, it looked like the caravan park was full and it was only 330pm in the afternoon.
A quick abandonment of the van in the street and I joined the queue of hopeful travellers. The powered sites had all gone but the overflow unpowered site was filling fast. We were lucky enough to get one of the last sites. It wasn’t long after we parked up that the chains went up on the main park and the overflow, with all others being moved on.
Last time I was through, the Daly Waters Pub was up for sale and finally the pub and caravan park has sold to a bloke from Coober Pedy who has a number of businesses around Australia. He takes over in October.
Meals are a little different at this pub due to the large number of people needing feeding. They do a “Beef and Barra” meal with $32 a head. There is then a number of different meal times starting at 630pm then each half hour after that. Ours was down for 730pm. In the meantime, it was drinking and music time while we waited in the beer garden. Tom Maxwell was a country singer that wasn’t too bad and he was followed by a rock and roll guy that was pretty average.
I estimate that there would have been close to 200 meals served tonight and this happens every night. There would be some pubs back in Adelaide that would kill for those sort of meal numbers. Oh and the “Beef and Barra” was good too.
Back to the van for some reading before hitting the hay. Tomorrow is an easy drive with 168 kilometres to Mataranka but we will need to get on the road early to beat the grey nomads to the powered sites.