29/06/2015 We spent another nine days at Gregory River after returning to it from Adels Grove. It was a terrific camp site, with a clear fast running stream, cloudless skies for solar, generator use if needed, lots of wood available just out of town for the camp fire, a historic pub just a short walk away, fuel at the pub, and clean toilets and showers across from the pub. Easy to see why people stay on for a while there.
Things were starting to get a bit desperate for us in terms of life’s necessities, though. Di was down to her last bottle of Sav Blanc, and I was looking at my last bottle of Coopers Pale Ale, my Shiraz having already run dry. Secondary to this, the drinking and general water tanks were getting very low as well. We hadn’t intended staying on that long, but departure was delayed because I’d pulled a muscle in my lower back and needed a few days for it to settle down before being able to drive comfortably.
We could have taken on treated water up at the pub, but it would’ve been a hassle to move the van just for that and we may have lost our camp site to someone else in the process. So I broke out the draw hose I’d made last year before starting our travels, and set up the van to draw the beautiful clear water from the Gregory River into our drinking and general tanks. And it worked quite well. When the tanks were full, I left the intake hose in the river to give us long hot showers using river water drawn direct to the shower rather than from our tanks. This will be a good set up in our travels as we won’t necessarily be limited to our on-board water supplies and, if need be, can make use of any good creek water we come across.
The generator that we’d been carrying for twelve months got put to use for the first time. At Adels Grove, the van had been parked up in full shade and by the time we got back to the Gregory the batteries were pretty low. It didn’t take the genie long, though, to get the lithiums back up to full capacity. Ours is a big heavy Yamaha 2.4KVA generator, and may well have contributed to my back problems as it had to be lifted out of the storage pod. But aside from its weight, it was reasonably quiet and did a good job…and it’s big enough to power the aircon if necessary. Woohoo! (Yet to do that…)
During our layover at the Gregory, we had a rethink about our forward itinerary. Instead of heading into the Northern Territory to the north via the Savannah Way, we will instead go south to Camooweal and then wheel north at the Barkly Homestead Roadhouse to Cape Crawford and Borroloola. From there, we’ll access Lorella Springs and the Southern Lost City, and Limmen National Park. And should hopefully be able to dip a toe in the waters of the Gulf somewhere around there. The Gulf coastline is proving elusive.
“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” ― Anita Desai