After 3 very relaxing days at Weipa with Darcy Hallam, the captain of the pilot boat at Weipa we set off for for the Cape proper.
Thunderbirds are go.
Wednesday took us from Weipa , East to Batavia Downs turning left to travel North up the Developmental Road. About 240 k's from Weipa saw us rumbling into Bramwell Homestead, adjacent to Bramwell station - 300,000 acres with 1700 head of cattle - an early and welcome stop after 264,000 corrugations which, at any speed are uncomfortable at best.
I had the meatballs and Ian had the steak - both tasted the same.
The next morning saw us onto the Old Telegraph Track ( TOTT for us 4WD zealots ) - Palm Creek was strictly for people with not an ounce of fear in their veins as the photo wil attest:then had a look at Gunshot........ummm....... same deal - see photos.
Cockatoo Creek crossing saw both John and Ian clench their buttocks, Ian more so as John was at the wheel ( Mother of Pearl ! )....but with the help of some people who had just done the crossing and some sage advice from the ever calm Ian, Morrie did us both proud - bonnet height but no dramas.
The ensuing corrugations saw our average speed at walking pace, in fact we were overtaken by an octogenerian butterfly called Cyril.
Fruit Bat Falls - very pretty and then onto Eliot/Twin Fals where we set up camp for the night - dashboard clips have been shaken from their mountings but all is OK. Already very happy to be thinking about not having to tackle the return journey to Cairns by road .
John's pasta Mondiale ( pasta, two types of tuna and you know that sauce that tastes like glue ) sat on our tummies for 3 days - all better now though.
After 3 more tricky creeks crossings - well done Ian - we rattled into Seisia ( near Bamaga ) at 3.34pm on Friday arvo immediately starting to swap war stories about the track. My word some people's vehicles are clearly indestructible or perhaps some exaggeration may have crept in.
We awoke to the news on Saturday that a crocodile during the night hade munched a crab pot on the beach. Now this would not appear to be of the greatly startling variety of news except that our heads were less than 70 metres away safely (or were we?) tucked up in our trusty tent.
Then, at last, we headed for the "tip"(not rubbish, but the realiest northernmost part of mainland Oz) across another 40 ks of merciless corrugations. However, the reward was much much more than we could ever have expected....magic blue and green water, sandy beaches for miles, wonderful views and 3 motoX bikers hooning around on the beach. That last bit jarred somewhat! See photos.
Also checked out ruins of old WW2 bomber and plane debris and multiple fuel dumps outside Seisia.
Really pleased we were able to do 80% of TOTT with some reasonably challenging sections and crossings. Warning for novices: TOTT is well-named. It is OLD, it is a TRACK, but you can forget about the TELEGRAPH bit as that is almost non-existent. It is sometimes no wider than your truck and has been eroded/gouged out over the years.
Tomorrow we embark on a trip to Cairns, corrugation-free, on the good ship MV Trinity Bay. PTL and pass the wafers!