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Published: July 25th 2019
We thought that we had hit the jackpot at Miner’s Pool but bugger me if Honeymoon Bay is not one of the best camp spots I have ever seen! We are currently parked up around 30 metres from the high tide line enjoying the morning breeze after arriving yesterday after another early start to beat the travelling hoards.
The drive up was quite nice with a lot of different country between the hills - a bit similar to the Simpson Desert between the dunes in that each time you go over a rise you do not know what you’ll see in terms of terrain and plant life. Nothing major to report from the 200km trek into Kalumburu except that my trailer light plug bracket has broken. Nothing that a cable tie and gaff tape won’t fix until I replace it at Broome.
Kalumburu is a dry community that was once a mission, with permits required to travel around and through the lands. We picked the permits up at the mission store that was extremely well stocked with all types of stuff. The storekeeper let us know that there is some trouble happening at the moment with the non-police government
staff having been evacuated (mainly Health workers). She didn’t go into much detail but let us know that if we keep our heads down we will be fine. No problem.
There are no free camps around this town so we chose Honeymoon Bay as the spot for us. It turned out to be a great choice as our campsite is both on the beach and relatively private (no-one else within 200m). It was bloody hot when we arrived around lunchtime so setting up camp was slow. Eventually we got sorted and headed straight across the way to the beach as thew tide was going out and we were able to fish off the newly exposed rocks. A little bit of action there but nothing exciting. We were warned to look out for saltwater crocs but there had not been any sightings in quite a while so we stay wary.
With the tide starting to turn we took a short drive around to another bay and fished off the rocks and a little beach there. Initially we had some good strikes and I managed to get a Flathead onto the beach before he jumped his hook, wiggled back to
the waterline and swam away. All this way for a Flathead that defeats me! Not to be outdone, Nathan got onto a rather large Trevally (we think) from the beach. It took him around ten minutes to get him into shore only to lose him as we (well, I) went to grab the leader to pull him the last metre onto the sand. Poor Nath was a bit disappointed but it was a great effort for a pretty damn big fish.
Needless to say we will pursuing that fish again this morning.
At this point I am catching up a few days down the track. We went to the Pago Mission ruins (Pago was the local mission until it was moved to Kalumburu) for a look and managed to find the most remote Telstra public phone I have ever seen! It was along side the mission lands and was a free satellite phone for any call within Australia. We tried Aunty Kathleen but her phone rang out :-( The ruins are now pretty light on for actual buildings but a lady we spoke to in the town gave me a mud map to identify the various highlights. She
was a local artist and cook, showing us some of her work and telling us stories about the Pago/Kalumburu missions.
On our last day at Honeymoon Bay we went back through town, grabbed some last minute fresh fruit and veg, and recovered the side steps of mine that had fallen off due to (I expect) the corrugations. Not happy. A weak alloy bracket (six of them) that all snapped in approximately the same place.
While we were in town we were all (mostly) approached by local people trying to sell art. Not a terrible way to make a living but when everyone in town seems to be doing it, it doesn’t really work. Drying out the community was no doubt a good thing but there also need to be some sort of valid and sustainable means of making a living and having so many people trying to sell the same sort of thing just doesn’t work. I caught up with an old station owner a few days later who said that there could be cattle successfully grown up there and that it had been suggested and started in the past but was not run very well so it
failed. An interesting problem…
Not much else to say about the trip back South except to say there was a truck driver that had broken down in the middle of a floodway (a brake booster pipe that ends up locking all of the brakes). He had three trailers on and was most apologetic, which was weird. He said he had nearly finished sorting it out so we pushed through the bush and back toward Miner’s Pool.
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