Dusty Road - John Lee Hooker

After a quick morning visit from the Rangers who were out checking camping permits, we left Orange Plain and drove onto Lakefield Ranger Station. Here we added another night to our trip out to Cape Melville. We figured if it was nice then staying another night would be the reward for the long drive. If it wasn't then forfeiting the camp payment wasn't a big deal.
We topped up water supplies at Kalpower Crossing, crossed the river and drove north. The road was in much better condition than we expected. We had been told it would take between 5 and 6 hours to get out to the beach. The first two legs were done in just over an hour. This is where the the condition of the track got worse. Turning left at the Cape Melville-Cooktown intersection the track immediately became narrower. The overall condition was not as bad as we thought it would be however. While slow going, the track was easy to follow and there were no big hazards to overcome. A creek that was marked as a bit tricky came and went without us even noticing it so I guess it was quite dry!
The remaining 42 km did take us a bit over 3 hours. We stopped for a quick lunch and then spent a few minutes dragging ED out of a swamp after they took a wrong turn.
As we hit the beach we knew the drive was worth it. Beautiful views across to Flinders Island and Bathurst Head greeted us. After a quick spin up the beach to our camp at Oystercatcher we set up the tent and Jaks and Dave got stuck into the fishing.
Beef again for dinner tonight then.
As the afternoon wore on the wind came up and a few drops of rain fell.
We retreated to our tents around 8 o'clock and listened to the wind grow.