This trip was planned a couple of years ago and then put on ice for some reason. In the original we would have stayed with the gulf all the way to Borroloola which would have taken us through some entirely new country and through Hell’s Gate which sounds exciting. However the wet overstayed its welcome this year and our bus would probably not have coped with the roads. We turned left at Burketown and headed to the Gregory River.
The Gregory River free camp is in a beautiful setting but a victim of its own success, very crowded. We’ve passed this way several times before on our way to Lawn Hill National Park. The river is lined with pandanus and far enough inland to be safe for a dip. The banks are quite birdy.
A couple of innocent pleasures are watching the launching of boats and parking of caravans. No boats on the Gregory, too shallow but there were caravans and not a lot of space. It’s often the case that Mum jumps out and waves her arms about, yelling instruction while Dad drives dutifully backwards and forwards. It’s a process that possibly leads to more divorces than does infidelity. There is a bridge at Gregory River beyond which there is no camping. Mum was determined to get as close to it as she could. “Back, back, a bit further …” as the wheels on the left reached the top of a shingle bank. Then the van slid sideways until it hit the bridge pier. It drew quite an audience, advice flowed freely. Eventually the van was retrieved. The damage was surprisingly light.