Vrilya Point a long way off the beaten track, abt 30k of very beat up track with a beautiful beach at the end of it, found spot for us , another group with 4 bigger boats set up a short distance away, and were off to a flying start in their boats but went far out to the reef, came back with nothing, we went out closer to shore, tide was going out, everything set for tomorrow, good night with a fire,Geoff and I take the boat out mid morning, using our 100lbs line and lures , catching or snatching on something , conclude the lures are diving too deep and trebles are catching on the sandy bottom, move further out and hook a 3 spot Trevally, curiously lethargic, fair old size, to me, we were thinking it's the hook snagging the bottom again, then it started to move rod bent in two, we dragged it into the boat and headed for shore, stoked up the fire, gutted and cooked on the spot, one side was more than enough for the three of us, tasted good and froze the rest for bait, went out again in the afternoon trolling up and down the shoreline…nothing, saw a young dolphin swimming not far off and headed for him, hoping he was chasing fish … no luck.. changed from lures to live bait.. no luck.. spotted a turtle and some flying fish, but not a thing near us, on way back Geoff caught 3 small Remora, chucked them back , we have plenty of bait. Went swiming , after which Geoff had deafness in his ear.
That evening the most beautiful clouded sunset, started off quite pale then got redder and redder, could not stop taking pictures, amazing. The 4 boat guys hven't had much success either, so we decide to move on.. back over the rutted track and wooden log bridge, I'm nervous but Alf and Geoff take it in their stride onto the main highway, pop into local surgery, doc gives Geoff some drops f or his ear, now heading for Bramley and the old Moreton Telegraph station, then Archer River Roadhouse and Coen.
Have been trying call Barbara since Cairns and Cape York , but unable get thru, we thought we were using the wrong dial code, anyway it worked at Coen….it's the same code we had been trying all along, I guess it's the signal strength that is too low, it was a terrible line, but got thru. We have noticed that the connections initially can show full strength, but soon as you try connect the signal strength fades to a minimum
We are now heading toward Karumba Point, another known fishing spot, but already hearing stories that the fishing ain't good, we are on a mission to catch crabs and Barramundi, so head south toward Musgrave and turn west at Artemis Station onto the Dunbar track, the road is good but the dust is like talcum powder it's everywhere, they call it Bull Dust, its abt 150k and a river crossing at the Mitchell River, we reckon to camp at Mitchell River for the night, (said to be another good Barra spot).
Dunbar station used to be the largest in Oz, they seem very organized, fencing in good order gates and cattle grids and have some hands patrolling their property. Apparently they use three helicopters to round up their cattle, plus a dozen or so hands to muster the cattle
Traffic is heavy and the dust is terrible , Geoff and I are redheads, it's in your eyes ears and throat, it's coming up through the floor of the Landy, we don't hve the aircon working yet so the windows need to be open, there is so much coming up thru the floor, we need the windows open just to see out, Road Trains with 4/6 trailers are roaring past and the dust hangs in the air after they've past, you have to keep off the road or be mowed down. There is a lot of mustering of cattle around at the moment, hence the number of trains about. this area is cattle country, very flat plain lands, there's a large number of hawks, eagles and kites circling above the roads, the roads are good but dust is a real problem, we make it to the Mitchell River crossing, abt half a klm wide, an easy crossing as there is a hard rubberized causeway laid across the riverbed. Geoff's ears better, the drops hve worked.
There is a guy already set up camp on the other side, with a view to fish, but there are crocs abt, he has seen them laying up on the bank opposite and also laying on the causeway, not so keen to fish all of a sudden. The guys called "moose" and he is the consummate traveler, he was having pork chops, apple sauce and roast potatoes and couple of veg, tmrrw's breakfast ..bacon eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms , he's having second thoughts of staying, anyway spent an entertaining evening with him, he'd been everywhere and done everything from truck driving in USA and Oz to shooting rabbits and roos for a living, his hobby was fishing, next morning we are off to Dunbar and Maggieville then Karumba, the last bit is tarmac road, first we have seen for quite a while, but first its dustville all over again. The hairy bit is that the roads undulate with floodways, often a deep drop, which is single lane , the main part is grade dirt road abt a car and a half wide, if we see a roadtrain coming we pull over and slow right down to let him go, which is fine but if he were to catch you in a floodway, there is no where to go and he cudn't possibly stop, you'd be mush, we are very careful.
Make it to Karumba, nice place on the coast, supposed to be a really good place to fish and the sunsets are fantastic comparable with those in Mexico, the tide was out and the sky overcast, no sunset, but the fish supper was very good. What to do next… tmrrws decision.
Foll morning, tides wrong, local advice is fishing no good, move on..so off to Normanton and onto Burketown, hoping for better luck there…roads a lot less dusty, haven't gone far when come across major accident , last two trailers of a 6 trailer road train have overturned, they were, I think of bauxite ore, (very light dusty stuff) and the dust was still settling, we got passed heading West, it's still cattle country and very flat plain land, we have to cross several rivers Flinders and Leichthardt R. just drive
across the riverbed, it's only bottom of door level, they'd make good camping spots if we ever come this way again…People are surprised we traveling this route and sleeping in swags, they have pop up trailer/caravans or caravans with the full gear, like a fold out stainless steel kitchen, we have seen a few of the converted full size coaches with a trailer and car on the back around. No good fishing, crabbing and fish very lean , move onto Borroloola, on the McArthur River
Bit Dusty but not a bad road, we make good time, en route pass through a very recent bush fire, having to drive through the smoke, everything smells of ashes, set up camp, and clean up, lots to sort out, washing etc, the dust is still everywhere.
We can go up to Bing Bong on the coast and do some river fishing in the McArthur River delta system or press onto Darwin, Everything is dusty and dirty,Alf's had a puncture, which we fixed in no time, but is now a tyre down we need refresh ourselves so heading straight onto Darwin.