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HEATHLAND RANGER STATION ROAD-BACK TO MUSGRAVE

April 3, 2014

Back to continue our trip down the Cape.

This was where we spent our next night where there was not a lot of shelter from the wind & very dry.

This memorial was placed here by my second cousin Eileen Nixon who had the lease on Shellburn Station which was situated east & north of here.

After happy hour, dinner then a game of cards we had a good nights sleep then headed south towards Bramwell Junction.

These are such fine grass trees recovering after a fire. (2009 photo)

Bottom photos from 2012. Love the sun shining through the fronds.
The road continued to be in good condition with not a lot of traffic as we were after the school holidays so many families had already left the Cape.

Had a stop at Bramwell for a cuppa then back on the road as we had booked in to the Rainforest Campground #774 camps 7 on the way Chilli Beach, Lockhart and Portland roads.
This was a very slow road with many gullies which, at times, was not possible to gauge how good the crossings would be.Bruce reckons he did 680 gear changes. LOL
The first crossing was the Wenlock RV.

Beautiful crystal clear water, rather inviting for a dip but needed to get to our camp site.

There was some very low cloud over the Iron range NP so we had our fingers crossed that there would be no showers. There were many of these beautiful flowers but so not have a clue as to what they are.

Obviously there had been some showers but the road now was good with typical rain forest country- so green. As we still had time before setting up for the night we decided to go into Portland Roads & Chilli Beach to have a look then into Lockhard to-morrow.

We had tried to book a site here for a couple of nights but, when online , there were no sites available but when we got there there was only 1 other vehicle in there. We probably could have set up there but when the ranger came he would have told us to go to where we were booked! He would not have worried about us staying there but a different ranger might not have had the same view.
As is Chilli beachs reputation, it was extremely windy. The rubbish that in on the beach, washed up out of the ocean, was endless. Heather wandered around trying to find a bottle with a message but no luck. About a week after we were there a volunteer group spent days cleaning up the mess.

Next was a quick look at Portland Roads.

Portland Roads is a small settlement on the East Coast of Cape York. surrounded by Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park. It has had a varied and colourful history.
The Out of the Blue Cafe specialises in seafood banquets and superb home-made cheesecake.
Ok, now back to set up for the night.

When we got into the Rainforest Campsite #777, there was another couple in there. There are only 3 sites in here as not a very large area, and, unlike other camp areas there were no bollards with numbering for the individual sites. We knew that we had # 1 & 2. This couple did not know what site there were supposed to be on so had the chosen the largest, and left the small site vacant. No logically # 1 & 2 would have been on the larger of the 2 sites but they had no intention of moving for us to get our 2 vehicles & tents. Not wanting to cause trouble for this “older” couple we managed to squeeze on the small site which was also closer to the creek! Maybe crocs!

Bruce getting some clean water while Keith stood watch.

We had our usual happy hour, dinner the a game of cards. Mind you, we also hade about 10 mossie coils burning as well as citronella candles.

Bruce making the cuppa while Heather gets the cards ready. There were lots of funny noises and it was really very dark- no moon at all.
I do not think anyone had a lot of sleep that night. Getting up during the night to walk out to the porta potti meant not falling over tree roots etc. There had obviously been campers there who did not bother with a porta potti- grubs as far as we are concerned!

Back to work the next morning as we had only 1 night here. Getting very quick with this packing up each morning as well as knowing in which order to do the work.
Now, about 120ks to get back out to the “highway”.

I did not take any photos in at Lockhart as it was all too awful looking at the conditions in there. There was also a sign stating not to take photos ( we were to find out in 2013 on GCR that that applied there as well).

Driving through the Iron Range NP was very beautiful, as are most rain forests. The water is always crystal clear with stony bottoms.

After a few stops we were back to the road to turn left.

These are both at the Archer Rv Road house.Once again we used the facilities here for showers etc- so good to get under strong hot water & have a good shower, hair wash etc.

Coen was our next stop for a couple of nights & this was not too far to go. This time we set up beside the Coen Rv #774.

As soon as we arrived there & had set up I got into the washing, as did Heather after erecting clothes lines etc. There was a drop/windy/pit loo here which did not have the nicest aroma but we found that a spray with Nilodor before entering lasted enough for while sitting!

The first morning there a beautiful mist was over the clear, freezing cold river.

A local policeman pulled up asking if we had seen some quad bikes & we asked him if we could swim in the river. Of course he said, the crocs had a good feed last week so we should be OK! Funny man.
Anyway Heather & I braved the really cold water ( there were no crocs here) .

These couple of days here were really relaxing before heading down to Musgrave then east into the Lakefield & Kalpower NP down to Cooktown.

About 3 ks down to Coen where we topped up with fuel then down to Musgrave. Just before Musgrave, on corner, we came across a vehicle which had rolled.

Heather’s photo as we are in front. They waved that they were all OK so we did not stop.

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