After the Googs trip down south I replaced the fuel filter/lift pump, changed the engine oil and filters, replaced the air filter and gave the old girl a grease then checked the wheel bearing for water contamination and she was ready to go again.
I made up a stand for the BBQ plate and refuelled, The trip from Wanaaring to home had been at 110 Kmh for about half the distance and 100 Kmh for the other half so I was happy to see she was getting 16 L/100 Km again after nearly 20 for similar speeds with the clogged filter assembly.
I headed down past Urbenville to make camp at Taloom Falls.
Late in the afternoon I was lucky enough to see a Platypus in the distance below the falls in the low light of dusk and grabbed a couple of pics that I hoped would turn out.
Gathering some firewood I tried out the stand/BBQ plate combo and it worked a treat with my steak.
I kept warm around my campfire even though the temp had dropped to 6 degrees but the comfort of my swag beckoned so I spent the evening reading in the canopy.
Shouldn’t have had so many coffees !! when I woke at 4:30 AM for a pee it was down to 0.1 C, no doubt it got colder pre dawn but it had warmed to 2.8 C by the time I exited the swag at 8:30 … can’t wait for the cold front that’s supposed to arrive on Wednesday !!!
Took the canoe for a paddle but only got about a K and a half before I turned round, I was surprised the waterhole was still going but will save the exploring for another day.
On the way back I saw some bubbles and stopped paddling, whatever it was ducked below the water so I waited with camera in hand but something surfaced beside me not a metre away and before I could move the camera the Platypus dived again … spewing !!
I did spot a water dragon on a log further down so the paddle was not entirely wasted.
I packed my gear and left the falls about 13:30 and turned off towards Paddy’s Flat, the road has been completely graded and gravel laid down so it was a smooth trip past the Tank Traps and on to Tabulam for an Iced Coffee.
I headed down to Alice on the Clarence River and found my favourite spot empty so I set about cleaning up the rubbish and made myself at home.
The Stand and BBQ plate were brought out for a steak before the main fire was started and I relaxed until I spotted a light flashing … I traced it to a string of lights on the far shore … it was down to 10.8 degrees but curiosity got the better of me so I stripped off and crossed the river finding it was a solar powered string of party lights obviously left behind by the previous campers as I found more of the same in the fire ring when I cleaned up.
I dried off and stoked up the fire to get warm again before hitting the swag.
I awoke at 7:30 with the sun already up but the temp at 4.5 degrees and relit the fire to make a fresh batch of coffee then set about making a path to and digging out a water point.
I spent a few more hours cleaning up the campsite and getting rid of about half a trailers worth of stones and a couple of wheelbarrows worth of ash which I got a garbage bag full of glass and metal out of.
I must note that this fire spot was not here at Easter time but looked fairly new so school hols must have had a big crew here.
The weather was looking pretty good but felt a bit ominous so I towed in a big log and collected some smaller sticks before I drove the ute down to the bridge then walked back to camp and paddled the canoe down through the rapids.
When I returned with the canoe it still felt like rain coming so I packed everything away before lighting a small fire for my BBQ plate … as soon as I put the plate on the rain came from nowhere which was followed by some 8 to 10 mm hail even though the temp was still above 20.
At least the plate sheltered the fire so in half an hour the rain and hail had gone and I cooked my dinner.
Just before dark some big black clouds rolled in with lightning and thunder so I packed everything and retired to the shelter of the Canopy as the thunderstorm pelted down.
Temp still about 18 at 6 PM
The skies dawned cloudy with light continuous rain falling all morning, by then I was sick of being cooped up in my canopy so I hit the road for home hearing of worse conditions headed that way so it was probably a good decision to get out while I could, at least the campsite will get a good wash and settle the digging out I had done.