Raid Day 23, Sunday 20th September

Raid Day 23, Sunday 20th September

Up at sunrise again to another fine clear day and after the usual routine of breakfast and packing the car we were ready to leave about 8AM.
This road got steadily rougher, and where the trucks had been bogged in the last rains, large bulldust holes appeared, some were up to half a metre deep and up to 100 metres long, the bulldust covered everything with a 10 mm layer of dust as fine as talc.
About 9AM Rolf and Jan caught us, they had stayed in Camooweal that night, and gave news of the French team who were going direct to Townsville to have some time on the coast before flying home, I was sorry to see them go without saying goodbye but I got a nice letter from Christian and Claudine.
We drove on along this road until about 10 AM when we reached the Riversleigh turn-off, this is a short cut to Lawn Hill, if the river fords are passable, a chap in a Landcruiser had said it was OK so we decided to take the Riversleigh road. As we drove along this good dirt road Rolf said the country looked very like the Flinders Ranges in South Australia with low rounded hills and small patches of trees, I agreed with him.
After passing the Riversleigh homestead, we soon came to the gate into Lawn Hill National Park, from this gate onward the road deteriorated rapidly, in the last 40 km into Lawn Hill, Jost suffered 2 flat tyres.
There is no fuel at Lawn Hill, but a store at Adels Grove, some 10 km before had fuel, hand pumped from 200 litre drums, at 90 cents per litre, we took 15 litres here and got some supplies from the store, then headed off to make camp at Lawn Hill. Arriving there about 1.PM, we checked in at the Rangers station and were given a camp site, after setting up camp and having a lunch of sandwiches, we set off to explore the Gorge.
The Lawn Hill Gorge has a large pond about 1 1/2 km long and 100 metres wide joined to two other pools which were a bit smaller by rapids and small waterfalls, the water was clear and quite cold, there were lots of lilies in the water and the banks were covered with grass and large trees, a truly beautiful place.
Canoes were for hire, but they were all gone when we got there, so about an hours walk was all that was needed to see the place on foot. As we were some distance from the coast there were no crocodiles here, so swimming was OK anywhere, the most popular place however was at one end of the main pool under the waterfall.
Here most of the Raiders washed off the dust from the previous days trip from Borroloola via Escott and told us of the journey, the road was worse than expected, there were lots of flat tyres and some suspension damage, it appears we made the right choice, as some people had taken 18 hours to do the 500 km to Escott, only to turn around and drive to Lawn Hill the next morning.
After a dinner of jaffles we talked to the other Raiders about our adventures and went to bed about 10 PM.

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