Free camp for work!
Trip Start Jun 02, 2012
40Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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Well dear readers, if you thought we had been gone for so
long we had fallen off the face of the earth, well we nearly did!!!
If you remember, we stayed a couple of times at a free camp site at Mt.
Molloy. Well, there was a notice board there, and I saw an advert
offering free camping at Port Douglas in exchange for a couple of hours
work. So I took the number and the day before we were due to leave Lake
Placid I gave it a call
explained she just wanted some gardening done on her property where we could
camp, and it was only 10 mins from Port Douglas. So as the weather is
still so nice up here and 4 Mile Beach was calling, we decided to give it a go.
We set off from lake Placid on Thursday morning, stopping on the way for a walk
and coffee on the beautiful Ellis Beach.
Rhonda's directions weren't the best, but we eventually found her property, in
a beautiful location down several minor roads in the middle of the rainforest.
But when we arrived, we were amazed to discover that she hadn't lived in the
property (she has a large pole house on a few acres) for the last six years,
and the once beautiful gardens are now very overgrown
There were already 2 other couples there on the property (Josie & Barry
from Victoria and Heather and Ted from Tassie), so Rhonda had allocated us a
spot more around the back that was accessible from a side track up a hill of
stones that the council had recently laid over a new storm drain pipe..
So I put the car into 4WD and commenced to pull the van up the stony hill, not
realizing that I cut the corner too tight with the van and managed to roll its
wheels on one side off the track and into the storm water gully!!
Upon getting out of the car, I found to my dismay, that the back of the van
(the spare wheel) was resting on the track and there was a large boulder
pressing into my rear water tank (which thankfully hadn't burst)
One of the other campers (Barry) came down, and luckily at that minute a couple
of guys were passing by and they stopped to lend a hand. We were able to
jack up the side of the van that was in the ditch, and get some planks of wood
under the wheels, and also remove the large boulder from under my now re-formed
water tank. Then with the help of the 3 guys pushing and the car in low
range 4WD, we were able to pull the van out and up the slope.
However, the fun wasn't over yet, as it took a lot of reversing to get it into
the level space that was originally a large shade cloth area for plants.
But we did it, and spent the rest of the day setting up the van
even though the tank is, as I said - "reformed" it all still seems to
be working OK and there is no other apparent damage. The fun will be
getting out of there!!! But I have been building up the bank with rocks,
stones and soil over the past few days to make the access swing wider.
That night we spent with Rhonda and the 2 other couples around a huge camp
fire, talking and drinking until 12:30am!! We also put jacket spuds in the fire
which were yummy, and the days drams seemed less significant!!!
The next couple of days, we worked in the mornings, clearing lots of wood and
weeds, and then spent the afternoons on 4 Mile Beach, and the evenings around
the camp fire, as there is no TV reception available up here (is the Olympics
However, yesterday, Sunday, we decided to take a day off, and went into Port
Douglas for the huge Sunday Market, and then had a lovely lunch (Barramundi
& chips) on the deck of the Combined Clubs watching the boats go by with a
couple of ales
still so fantastic.
Today, we again spent the morning working, and now we are sitting beside a
lovely creek, just down the road from Rhonda’s for the afternoon. We have decided to
move on tomorrow (as we will have been here 5 nights by then) and we have
booked 1 night into a caravan park at Fishery Falls, which is south of
Cairns. Will be sorry to leave Port Douglas as weather is perfect, but still
so much to see, so will have to start heading back south. As long as we
can get off tomorrow, or we will end up like the other caravan in the photo!!!