Monday, August 20, 2012

Undara to Cumberland Historic Site (25 km west of Georgetown) Via Kalkani Crater in the Undara Volcano NP

Met up with Matchless Claude and wee rode out to the Kalkani Crater together and did the walk. Short climb to the top with circumnavigation of the crater rim. Most excellent. On the way back down we pass a guided tour coming up. The guide asks if we saw anything of interest. I mention a tree in full blossom full of bees. The guide responds with 'Did you eat any?' We say no why? “They're hallucinogenic – will cause you to have weird visions!” responds the guide. Claude & I look at each other. Mmmm? Not worth the climb back up we both respond. The tour party laugh and we go our separate ways. Claude is heading in the same direction as me – at least for the next 60km or so. We head down the highway towards Mt Surprise to re-fuel.

I find M & U parked under a shade tree in Mt Surprise. Perfect timing.
We review the plans for the day and agree to press on beyond Georgetown to a camp site 25 km further west. Travelling west in the afternoon is stressful with the sun directly in your eyes. The road in places is single lane bitumen, with the protocol being that approaching vehicles pull over to the side with one set of wheels remaining on the bitumen. Being on bikes we cannot pull over to the gravel shoulder so we stay as far left as practicable and hope the approaching vehicles do the right thing. We (so far) have managed to avoid any close encounters on these single lane sections with road-trains.

Lovely spot to camp. An old gold mining centre (Cumberland), with an old dam creating a billabong refuge for birds and wildlife. Nothing remains of the settlement except the chimney stack from the smelter and the dam turned billabong. It's still relatively early so we are able to pick out a good site. No facilities so we are bush camping.

The local landowner turns up to drop of some salt lick for his cattle. Chats for a while and shows us some bush tucker growing next to our camp site. Small fruit that taste like cooked apple.

Tomorrow we will press on towards Normanton.

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