Well so much has happened since the last blog its hard to remember but ill see how i go. Before leaving Nan and Pop at Cooktown, Pop and i had 1 last fish off the jetty, we didnt want to buy bait and were using what we already had so it was plastic lures. After a while of not catching anything, a young Aboriginal boy wandered up with his fishing gear and asked how we were going. We told him no good and he asked what bait we were using, he said our plastics were no good and threw us half a bag of prawns, sure enough we caught about 7 or 8 brim and gave them all to the boy.
After cooktown we started our Cape york adventure. We caught up with some other Pajero club members on the way down from the cape, they gave us some info on where to stay and about some of the river crossings inc some advice they did not to do nolans brook as its too deep.Once we were on the rd we crossed a creek just above a little waterfall and stopped to take a pic and i stubbed my big toe leaving a nice big gash and skin hanging off, Fiona thought the same as I "I hope that doesnt get infected!". Our next camp was Kalpower Crossing in Lakefield Nat Park. It was on a river and the kids and i went for a look at the river and pretty well decided their can't be any crocs here; there are too many rocks. A short walk upstream and we came across a sign that had recently been put there by parks saying there has been a recent sighting of a croc in the area, so much for my bush skills :-D. On the road the next day we stopped at 2 places called the White Lily Lagoon and the Red Lily Lagoon, I think it may have been a little out of season for the flowers as there wasn't as many as we hoped but still very pretty.
We camped at Merluna Station that night and as soon as we were set up we headed straight for their pool (it's now up in the low-mid 30s each day and night only cools down to 15ish). The next day we did a day trip to Weipa - a mining town. It was a nice enough town although there wasnt much to see of the mine. We later found out it has a population on 3500 and 900 of those are under 14, most of the residents of the town are young families working at the mine.
We headed for Chili Beach next as we had heard mixed reports about the place so we wern't sure what it would be like. We found ourselves a spot right next to the beach behind a couple of bushes as Chili has a reputation for being windy. Well Chilli lived up to its reputation nicely and it blew all night. we had planned on staying at Kalpower and Chili 2 night each but only stayed the 1 so we had a couple of days up our sleeve so we decided we would base camp and do the tele track without the camper. We setup camp at Bramwell Station, a fantastic spot with a bar within staggering distance and they had some cows penned up so the girls made friends with one of them calling him buddy and feeding him whatever they could find.
I didnt sleep that well thinking about the next day and the reputation of the old tele track. The first crossing is concidered the 2nd hardest. We headed off into the unknown. I filled up at Bramwell Junction which is right next to the start of the track and saw a tour 4wd with a tandem trailer head up there. I assumed he would be showing his guests the crossing and coming back but the guy at the servo assured me he would drive it. We caught up with him at the first crossing and was pretty impressed that he drove it with ease. I drove it no problems - it has a steep entry and exit with very little water in the bottom, I could imagine it would be a touch harder with more water. We did all the crossing with ease and then came to Gunshot which has a reputation as being the hardest crossing. Gunshot has 3 tracks into it; a chicken track, a steepish track and a vertical wall???? not being stupid enough to try and drive down a vertical wall, we took the steepish track and again drove it with ease. we heard a story of someone trying the wall and just buried his bullbar and winch in the mud and had to wait for someone else to recover him. We then headed to Fruitbat falls for a refreshing dip and took the bypass road back to camp for a few victory coldies. Still talking to camper people were still saying Nolans Brook was swallowing cars.
The next day we headed up the bypass road to Eliott and Twin Falls for our next base camp to do the northern section of the track. After setting up we headed straight for a swim, what a change being able to swim without worrying about crocs. The car had developed a rattle over the last few days and it was time to have a look. I thought I knew where it was coming from so started pulling things apart to check bolts, the rattle wasn't what I thought it was but while looking I noticed 1 of our fan blades missing (there was an unmarked crossing that was a little deeper than expected) so I removed the fan and cut off the opposite blade to keep it balanced. I eventually traced the rattle to a loose bolt on the wishbone - all fixed.
The next day we set off to achieve what we set out to do on this trip and finish the old telegraph track Cape york. The northern section was a lot more challenging than the southern. The plan was to get to Nolan's (the very last creek crossing on the track) and have a look, we expected to have to turn around and go back to the bypass track. As we approached each crossing we both commented on how much harder it was looking if we had to drive back. We eventually got to the swamp crossing where the Pajero club tried to drown a few cars (2 got stuck and ended up with 6inchs of water inside while they were recovered) and drove this with relative ease. The next crossing was Nolan's and I had spent the whole moring hoping to see another car not wanting to do it by myself but we hadnt see anyone at all. When we got there we did the customary walk the crossing first and it was up over my waist. I had decide long ago I wasn't going to be beaten and set about unwinding the winch, setting up the tree trunk protector and winch extension strap all the time listening for another car. I started taping up door gaps and i heard a car coming, a quick hello and found out this guy had every intension of driving it as well but he had a camper on. Off I went and I floated and bounced our way across with relative ease and no water inside. I parked up ready to help him if needed and ended up snatching him out. Having achieved what we set out to do is a nice feeling and we headed back down the bypass road for a victory swim at the falls again.
With a night up our sleeve we headed for Vrylia Point to camp on the beach. We had another log bridge to cross and since I was a bit cocky after the day before I didnt pay much attention to a hole on the other side and ended up stuck. A quick snatch from a bloke who had already stopped and we were on our way again. We had a campsite in the dunes right on the beach and had a pleasant night watching the sunset followed by bush showering out in the open as we were pretty well alone (I'd packed the camera away and was too slow while Fiona was showering lol). The next day we headed back out and put a little more thought into crossing the bog hole and headed for the Jardine river ferry. Upon arrival at the ferry the car smelt like diff oil and I could see it dripping out the bottom of the car, after a few choice swear words I removed the bash plates and discovered it was coming out of the breather on the front diff. I decided we could at least drive on and I'd check it out further when I got there - it seems fine now.
Now we are camped up here at Loyalty Beach and will be diving to get our photo at the top today.