We took the turn off at Lakeland and headed towards Laura and again were somewhat impressed with the quality of the road. We were also impressed with the way our trusty Toyota 3.0 litre Turbo Diesel equipped Landcruiser Prado was coping with pulling along our tonne and a half of tandem jet ski trailer, easily sitting on the speed limit for the most part and only loosing about 10 Klm’s an hour up the longest of hills, that is provided you were paying attention and set yourself up for them, if you catch my drift.
We reached Laura and pulled over at the roadside café on the way into town to say hello to a couple of friends who just happened to be there, what are the chances of that? It does seem to be the way though as we were later to discover, meeting and re-meeting the same people as we travelled. We headed on after a brief chat and finally reached the first bit of red dirt the cape is renowned for. Apart from the initial thump when we left the bitumen, the gravel highway, as it’s more akin to at the right time of year was very smooth and made for easy going. We were very concerned about vibration on the trailer and lowered the tyre pressures down from the recommended 65psi to a more forgiving 30psi. The Prado’s tyres went down to 35psi, not a lot but given the condition of the road it was more than enough.
After an event free couple of hours we arrived at Musgrave Roadhouse at about 4:30pm and went into the café and booked a campsite at ten bucks a head. We headed around to the paddock around the back that doubles as the campsite and set up a basic camp for the night. Musgrave Roadhouse also offers some limited accommodation by way of rooms and units, you can check pricing on their website here.
We had intended to have one of the simple but delicious Happy Camper Gourmet meals for dinner but when we discovered our gas stove refused to light when the 4kg bottle got below one third full, later diagnosed as dust getting into the fitting on top of the gas bottle and when we connected the gas line to the cooker it partially blocked the jets, all sorted now though and so is a more robust dust cover.
We ended up opting for a meal at the licensed café at the roadhouse. The meals were nice and as yet we weren’t seeing the horrendous pricing that people were claiming we would see when we got up this way, thirty bucks for a rump steak with chips and salad is pretty normal when you live in Sydney! You can get a ten-dollar burger if you’re watching the sheckles, which we were but hey, you only live once. After our meal and couple of drinks to wash the dust down, we called it as night as we wanted to get away early the next day for our run north.
Fuel is available at Musgrave and at the time of our travels it was a $1.55 per litre for diesel. My advice would be to fill up here as it jumped up to $2.10 per litre at Bramwell Roadhouse. We probably would have made it to Seisia on what we had but didn’t want to chance it and ended up paying the higher price at Bramwell just to give us a safety margin, lesson learnt.
To be continued…