On Monday we arrived in Bamaga, the closest 'town' to the Tip. We'd come via the Jardine Ferry road which was very rough n corrugated. Was great to get a few supplies from a 'supermarket'. Didn't need much as I had supplied up well in Cairns. We checked out the 2 camping grounds, Seisia n Loyalty Beach. They were both west facing & on the Coast. Seisia looked a bit cramped so we decided on Loyalty n we've just loved it!! We have had the most amazing view from our campsite with 180 deg ocean views, we loved it so much we booked in for 4 nights n then added an extra night. What a wonderful week we've had here! On Tuesday we set out for the Cape York Tip or Pajinka as the locals call it. We went the 'shortcut' ( the road less travelled) that Bill had worked out, it had its challenges but once again the guys did extra well with their 4WDriving. We got to the Cape Carpark then walked up over the rocks n the Headland to The Tip. It was a beaut day but very windy, apparently this is how it mostly is with the prevailing Sth easterly at this time of year. It felt quite surreal really after all our efforts n planning to get here 4 quite some time but especially over the previous 3 weeks of travelling North. (It was with sadness that Julia n Vince weren't here as well to share this day but hopefully their Cape York travels aren't too far distant....) On the eastern side of the Cape, the ocean was rough n wild whereas on the western side it was a beautiful protected bay called Punsand. We could have stayed at a camping ground there but after checking it out we were pleased with the choice we had made of Loyalty Beach. Anne n Bill continued their adventure by heading further down the east coast from there to Somerset n the 5 beaches(this area was settled in the 1800's with a view of it developing into a major seaport. But due to a limited harbour n other challenging circumstances never reached this prediction) When we got back we celebrated our achievements by going for a nice dinner at the Restaurant here at Loyalty. A couple of drinks n some lovely seafood was a fitting end to this great day!
On Wednesday we set off to 'discover' the 3 plane wrecks from WW2 that r located out near the Bamaga airport. Was interesting to see them n quite sad to think back to those who lost their lives so close to safety, there were a few remnants of the kitty hawk, but lots of the wreckage of the DC3 n Beaufort bomber. There were also thousands of 44 gallon drums rusted n discarded in the bush near to the wrecks. Ch n I then headed back to Loyalty for a cruisy couple of hrs after calling by RACQ & picking up a small metal plate we needed to have made up to replace a small one on the camper that had rattled loose with all the corrugation. Anne n Bill kept going from there out to Mutee Hd n Inginoo. When they got back to Camp the guys replaced the metal plate. It's now actually stronger than it was originally. In the late afternoon Anne n I did a big walk back to Seisia jetty along the beach while Ch n Bill went fishing off the Jetty.
On Thursday we were up n organised n down to Seisa jetty early to catch the Ferry across to Thursday Is or TI as it is called by the locals. We were picked up by Dirk, a local guide n the 4 of us had a personal tour with him. We'd heard about Dirk from a lovely young couple we camped beside all week at Loyalty, they were very easy company.
Dirk gave us a good tour around the points of most interest around the central town part of TI, the Harbour, the Fort n even took us to a crayfish processing plant where we bought 4 tails for our dinner that evening back at camp. It was also interesting to hear some of Dirk's family story. After our tour we checked out the Cultural Centre which had a wonderful display of traditional masks n historical cultural information as well as displays of modern pieces of art n craft. Lunch at the Pub overlooking the harbour was a nice way to fill in time before going for a wander on foot until we headed back to the ferry at 2.30. The ride over in the morning was just lovely, like a millpond really n the many shades of blue were awesome! But our afternoon ride back even though much more choppy was a great experience as the 4 of us got to travel up on the Captain's deck n chat to him n some of the other crew about TI n the other islands and about living up here in general as well as what training it took to become a Captain. The Captain was ONLY 22 which was amazing! What an interesting trip, we even got to sit in his Chair! Luckily the ferry journey was pretty well programmed so we couldn't do any damage! For dinner we had our delicious Crayfish tails cooked up in garlic, shallots n a little chili n cream with fresh beans. We couldn't believe how meaty the tails were n how delicious our dinner was, a tough life! Yesterday was a wonderful n unique day esp 4 Ch n Bill as they had a wonderful fishing charter experience with Tim Freebody. Because of the wind Tim took them to the western side of the Cape into Jacky Jacky estuary. They had a successful day with Bill catching his 1st wild barramundi as well as them catching an assortment of other fish like red n black dot cod, queen fish,finger mark & trevally to name some. They were lucky as they had gotten onto this charter trip through a couple of fellows, Peter n John, who we've run into regularly on our travels North. Peter had booked the trip weeks ago n because Ch n Bill linked up they were all able to share their charter costs. Anne n I had a lovely camp day doing a few 'jobs' as well as reading & relaxing. I also did a good beach walk which was a nice chill out. After this exciting adventure life got even better 4 Ch n Bill as we had arranged a heli flight over the Cape (that had been postponed from Thursday afternoon due to the wind). So at 5.30 after our fresh fish cleaned, filleted n was safely on ice over the beer we took off 4 our spectacular half hour helicopter flight along the coastline to Pajinka (the Tip). Words cannot describe just how memorable this was in the late afternoon n into sunset! Hopefully the photos will do some justice to this experience!☀️ Our pilot, Daryl was competent as well as being an interesting man to chat with. This experience was particularly interesting esp given that there were just the 5 of us in the chopper n that it had no side doors!! I must admit I was sticking pretty close to Anne in the backseat as I was on the right hand side! The colours of the water n bush as well as our sightings of croc's, sharks, stingrays, horses n other wildlife enhanced the flight! What a day n we capped it off with fresh barramundi n salad 4 dinner. What a week we've had! One we'll remember well into our futures....our week was enhanced by sharing our camping area with Amie n Darren, the young couple from Victoria who r doing a 6 month trip around Australia. They were delightful, Amie is Kate's age n Darren is a bit younger. So sadly we have said goodbye to Cape York n Amie n Darren this morning. Our adventure continues as we now head to Weipa for the next 4 nights ready for the next chapter of our trip!