We finally make it to the top!

Trip Start Jul 29, 2009
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10
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Trip End Oct 29, 2009


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, August 21, 2009

We packed up and left Eliot and immediately crossed Canal Creek. It was an interesting crossing – not too difficult but tricky with the Ultimate because of a tight corner (a little bit of wheel scrape). There was some really good 4WDriving up the hill after the crossing too (lots of bumps and holes). We had a couple of losers behind us – one of the drivers didn't even get out to check the creek crossing! We let them overtake us before heading up the hill.

After Canal Creek were Sam and Mistake Creeks. Both of these were fairly straight-forward.

Next was Cannibal Creek which was quite steep on the way in and then a sharp turn in the creek itself. The Ultimate managed to push Matt down a little bit of the hill because it was sandy and slippy. This meant that the Ulty scraped his bottom on a drop-off (serves him right for getting impatient!).

Cypress Creek was next with its log bridge. The was a little disconcerting as it was just loose logs thrown over the gap and I assume that sometimes the logs fall in, and then someone just throws another one in its place. Matt led Laurie across, telling him exactly where to put his wheels, and then I got to do the same for Matty. It all went quite well so that was good!



The last crossing of the OTT was Nolan’s Brook. Unfortunately, we had just missed seeing the two cars before us go through (those losers from earlier). There were some people there watching and taking photos. From the look of the photos, the other two cars hit the water at about 30-40kph. The first car went through ok but just went in a bit of a hole. The second car went so fast that the water went up over the roof. He got bogged and started flooding and the first one has to snatch him out. We were really disappointed that we missed seeing them make fools of themselves. Matt and Laurie decided to put the water blinds on the car because they had been told that LOTS of cars had wrecked their radiators in this crossing recently (can’t remember the numbers but maybe 45 in a month). As it turned out, they probably didn’t really need them, but it was nice to get some use out of them!!
We headed out to the Bypass Rd from here because you can’t cross the Jardine River further up. We got the ferry across ($88 + $11 return) then drove down to the Jardine River crossing from the north to have a look. There wasn’t really much to see, but it certainly wasn’t like the other creek crossings we had been doing – it is wider than the Yarra River in the city, but not as deep.

We drove on to Bamaga, Seisia and Loyalty Beach to have a look at them. Also stopped off at the Croc Tent and bought a couple of t-shirts. We decided to stay at Punsand Bay because the other places looked too dusty. We had dinner at the restaurant/café they have there – fish, chips and salad for $25. It was really nice to sit around in a resort style place for a while.

The second day, we rang up about a tour to Thursday and Horn Islands. The lady wasn’t sure when they would be running one next but she said she would come by in the afternoon to have a talk to us about it.

We drove up to the tip in Adam’s car with Laurie driving on the way up and Matt driving on the way back. We took the scenic route which turned out to have lots of 4WDriving. We got to an open area and there weren’t any signs, so we weren’t sure if it was where we were supposed to park. We started walking down a path and it turned out to be the right way. There was a boardwalk but it was very run-down and not maintained at all. When we got to the end of the boardwalk, we found that we could have driven further if we had wanted. We had been told that there were two paths that you could take. We decided to go along the beach first, which kept us a bit cooler. We got to the tip and took the obligatory photos with the sign, then sat for a little while. It was extremely windy on the tip. We walked back via the ridge, which was also very windy.

The third day, Josie and I cleaned out the inside of the cars. We discovered that there was water in the back seat floor well and we’re not really sure how it got there. We spent a while planning the next part of our trip and how long it would take us to get back to Cairns.

It was quite strange to think it would take us 9-10 days to drive home. Sitting at Punsand, it was 3897km and 72 hours to get home (according to Tom Tom).

We had lunch at the restaurant/café where they have AWESOME chips. We sat there for quite a while after finishing, just enjoying the atmosphere. On returning to our site, we found out that we are IN for the tour tomorrow ($115 for ferry, $69 for Horn Island tour).

The fourth day we got up early this morning to catch the ferry to the islands. The ferry left at 7.30am and arrived at Thursday Island at 9am. We had just over two hours to spend on the island looking around. We went to the Cultural Centre first and had a look around. We also had some coffee and cake. We walked up and down the main street, but there wasn’t a whole lot to see. We had a look at some pearls but they are quite expensive.

We got back on the ferry and went to Horn Island. We got picked up by Vanessa in the bus and went to the "resort" and had lunch. It was buffet and lots of Asian food. We got to have a look around the museum until 1pm, then went on the bus again for the tour. We saw the airport and lots of WWII ruins. It was quite interesting to find out that there was quite a bit of action on Horn Island in WWII. Also saw the pandanus tree and the kapok tree.

We went back to the ferry and had to go back to Thursday Island for quarantine. Then we started heading back for Punsand Bay. We went via Possession Island to see the plaque about Captain Cook claiming Australia for England.




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