We are up early and on the rd just before 8. Not long till we get to the dirt again, just outside of Laura, and the start of what is clearly going to be the worst corrugations I have ever being on, and going off what people have said I hope this is not going to be the case all the way to the tip.
Yep is not good, we are going fast then slow, then up the verge then down the middle, Yep it is very rough, the whole car is shaking and about 60kph give or take seems to be a good sped for us, it’s not long before we are behind another vehicle, a car and caravan. It appears that there is 3 of them together as I can hear them chatting on the uhf, so I butt in and tell them I am coming past. This all happens easy and soon enough we are out of their dust.
Further up the rd we come across a road train coming the other way who like to cut the corner, so some quick evasive action from me and we are passed safely. The dust these guys kick up, I just moved right off the rd and slowed right down when I saw them coming. You can’t see for a good 10/15sec after they go past sometimes.
Pulling into Musgrave roadhouse, we top up with fuel. While doing so the owner here tells me that we have done the worst bit and the road north is pretty good from here.
He asks us where we are heading and I tell him the river at coen for tonight. He said that the camp at the pub is better and that the “locals” will hassle you if you camp on the river.
Fuel payed for and it is 10am, so we decide to have some morning tea. I make some snacks and then discover our 1st casualty. 1 can of beer, holed!!! Bummer, beer all through the fridge. A quick clean out and we are off at 10:45.
The guy at the roadhouse is right, the road is better, still corrugated but better, nowhere near as bad as the first section this morning.
About 12 we get to coen. umm a bit earlier then I thought, what to do? Find a spot and camp? Or try to go a bit further?
A quick discussion and we decide that we will have lunch at the river and maybe we can push through to archer river roadhouse which going off our map is maybe 2 hrs away, depending on the road condition.
Off to the river and we find a spot and make lunch. Charlie has a swim, which he loves and Sophie is running around. The water here is great and would be a good spot to camp.
After lunch we get going, some of the towns have bitumen in them and at coen it goes for a far way out to the north. We make the most of the smooth bitumen and we pass the coen quarantine check point which is for southbound traffic only.
The road goes back to dirt after this, and has plenty of good sections, with a few bad sections.
We arrive at archer river roadhouse at about 2pm. I go inside to enquire about camping, fill in the book and pay our fees, am told that we are the first for today. Giving directions we are told to pick any spot on the left hand side of the rd. Heaps of space to pick from and nobody here we just plonk ourselves in a spot and set up camp.
Camp set up, we decide to walk down to the river and have a look. There is a bit of water flowing through, and we take advantage of it and go for a swim. About an hour spent down the river and we walk back to camp.
By this time there is a few people in here now. an older gentlemen travelling by himself with his dog, wander over for a chat with Lyndall and so the dogs can play, as in his and Sophie.
All the time more and more cars are coming in and by 5pm the place is packed.
Dinner for me tonight was the Famous “Archer Burger”
$13 for a massive beef burger with everything on it. Was pretty good, and the dogs shared it with me.
We sat around for a while tonight chatting with some other traveller, some heading north, others heading south. Was good to get some tips on road conditions etc.
Later on there was a bit of a curfuffle around another camp, turns out a small black snake is making its way through camp. Some people wanted to kill it, but I told them to leave it be and it will move on, which it did.
ARCHER RIVER ROADHOUSE