Day 377 | Starcke River bushcamp: now this is getting plenty wild

43 km | zzOz total: km

The day started with the hilariously dangerous exercise of getting the third 4WD started, a Suzuki ute with a broken/ missing fuel pump and a flat battery.

Jimmy perched the 20 litre petrol can on the roll bar above the driver while Joey siphoned the fuel down straight into the bowels of the engine, the little kid, who didn’t speak and I never worked out his name, poured a capful of petrol directly into the top of the carby as Desi gunned the engine, waiting for the engine to kick in, fuel spraying everywhere.

They were off to round up a wild bull they’d seen last night, I’m not sure if Jimmy was going to stand there balancing the can while they bashed their way cross-country through the roof high speargrass.

Louie, are you going to be up there on the back getting ready to tackle the (horned) bull? I ask.

No, she is, Jimmy says, pointing at his girlfriend who looks less than amused.

Desi had described a great campsite at the river 20 km up the road, nice water, a little shed, good to put a tent up.

As it turned out it was more than twice that, guess there’s not much call to look at speedos out here. The first 35 km of the track was really good but with the odd washout that took some negotiation on the bike, a gale force wind assisting my progress.

What is apparent is how the vegetation changes with each soil type: the rich, red soil has the wet, tropical rainforest jungle; moving now more into a tan clay that has more of a savannah style landscape, ie, trees with grass between; and then occasionally, a sandy soil where the tree height comes down and the grass thins out.

After that 35 km the track turns into the Cape Melville National Park and is no longer maintained, a proper hard driving 4WD track due to washouts, etc, some sand on the track but mostly rideable, I’m suddenly thinking I’m almost competitive with the speed a 4WD can accomplish but then no vehicles are around to test that hypothesis.

That Road Closed sign I went around yesterday might be part of the reason for their absence. Desi said not to worry about it.

I haven’t had so much fun since cranking through the Gregory National Park in the NT.