Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 19th 2017

Today has been interesting as we have travelled ‘The Great Savannah Way’ which is the closest road to the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The coastline is quite difficult to reach as Famous explorers ‘Burke and Wills’ found out. Mangroves grow in a wide band around the coast sheltering sand flies, mosquitoes, crocodiles and other evil creatures that would harm you if you step into the water. The water is so very aqua blue and inviting but it is not for us.
The road has been very rough and very dusty in some parts while other sections have been sealed with bitumen. There seemed to be a lot more vehicles today as well. Driving is quite a challenge dodging potholes, bull dust baths and corrugations. Apart from these comments we have enjoyed the scenery which has taken us through  the Calvert Hills which were very attractive with a new range of trees.
We have seen termites nests on many occasions before today but as we progressed they seemed to become bigger and much closer together. Silver Box trees are still with us as well as some coolabahs, the tall Darwin Woolly Butts, Grevilleas, one type with  bright orange flowers and a smaller bush with cream blooms. The dust settles on nearby bushes and actually spoils their brilliance but at last I found a clear pink Star Bush..there were many of these. We have seen waterlilies in several waterholes. Also a wonderful Jabiru wading in a road side water hole.
Star bush
I was not looking forward to visiting the settlement called Hell’s Gate as last time we called there it was dirty and inhabited by very unsavoury people who were fighting and using nasty language...pension day I think. What a surprise to day to find green lawns, freshly painted buildings and a neat camp ground. I was able to log onto Roaming WiFi for a small price and so my blog has been updated today. Tonight we are well away from Internet connection as we camp on a rise near the Mc Graggan Creek.
West of Hell’s Gate we came upon a lone cyclist..a young, tall and very thin French chap peddling his bike across the top of Australia…what a way to see our great country.
We came by an unexpected Copper mine where there was a notice advising people not to use the water. The creek was polluted with white and green crusts of copper waste.

We crossed the Calvert River through flowing water and rocks..only to find our first sign warning of crocodiles…we will be very aware!! There was a very attractive Oasis on the west side of the Calvert with a spring bubbling water down to the river..
Crossing the Calvert River

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