We've given up our jobs, we've sold our unit ...
Now we're ready to live life - a caravan, a car, just the two of us . . . the possibilities are endless.

Come join us on our adventures ...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Round 2...

This is the second attempt, hopefully this one will work better than the last one.

We're sitting just outside of Longreach at a free camp area, there are sooo many caravans. Everyone walks around saying hi, while checking out their set ups. As you can imagine, Az is chatting to whoever will listen about their set ups and asking questions and telling them about ours. It's interesting trying to visualise how big ours is compared to what we're looking at.... I tell you, whatever size it is, it's going to feel palatial! Then again, anything that I can actually stand up in, or even sit up in, is going to feel like a mansion!!

I drove for the first time today - thought aaron might appreciate a break after the mammoth effort from yesterday. He was agitated and bored within 3km. I try to keep talking to him when he's driving to alleviate the boredom (as much as I'm sure he'd prefer I just shut up), so kind of expected him to do the same...nope, straight into his book... Not a peep for 200'.!!

We went to the QANTAS museum today and did a tour of the 707 and 747...the guide could have seriously talked under water, although I think the concrete would have tried to run away! We needed panadol by the end of it - information overload..but was great to learn about.

Yesterday we did THE most boring drive EVVVEER!! We did about 600kms on the most boring road - there was nothing to see at all. We drove from Undara Lava Tubes to Hughendon, which we basically drove straight through because everything closed at 11am..being a Saturday - everytime we went to walk into a shop, they shut the doors on us. So we left Hughendon and drove straight through to Winton. We were a bit skeptical if anything would be open, but managed to get to the info centre...I had forgotten how much entry to places is! Holy sheet!! We drove around town and stopped at Aldo's (??) Wall - the guy that had put a concrete fence around his yard and basically shoved whatever bits and pieces he could find in there..lots of antiques and stuff. Aaron and I were wanting to rip some of the stuff out of the wall - soOo many amazing antiques. There was a bus full of oldies and you could hear them saying how it was an eyesore and should be pulled down. Really, some people will complain about anything!

We stopped in at one pub, thinking we'd have a drink with the locals...walked in and straight back out. Then went over the road and had a drink at another pub - bit dodgy. So were about to head to our free camp when I saw an ad for the "best pub in town", how could we go passed it??? So what started with one beer, ended in lots of drinks, dinner and accommodation. We worked out we'd been in the car for 4 weeks and decided to treat ourselves. Such a small world - we sat down at the bar and amongst all the usual stickers was a "save kirra" sticker...we asked the owner, Paul Nielsen, who gave him that...he turns around and said he put it there..and then continued on to tell us that Dick Van Stralen shaped all his boards and show us where to surf around australia...he bought us a few rounds and we chatted til they closed up (10pm...way past our bedtime). An old opal miner tried to pick me up at the bar, oh what an experience! The accommodation was traditional pub style...definitely catering more for the male.

Tomorrow we head to the Stockman's Hall of Fame and we thought we'd mosy onaround town. I've got to get a hat and long sleeved shirt for my fossicking in a few days time!! I'm going looking for ruby and sapphire. The old mate that was playing footsies with me at the Winton pub had found $60,000 worth of opal in one season...all illegally he was quite proud to tell us. He showed me a photo of his rig (mind's out of the gutter people!) And here I was thinking he'd have a little digger....he had a huge excavator and a 10 tonne truck!!! I was blown away.

Thanks to all who have been reading and commenting - have been loving hearing that you've been enjoying the blog...even if it's a bit long. So much to tell you guys (will be glad to get back on a computer though, the blackberry will need to retire soon!).

Stay tuned xxx

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

and we're back in service again :)

Loyalty Beach and the top end turned out to have a bit more to do than we realised and rather than the 2 nights we intended staying, we ended up staying 4!

State of origin was a blast (although I was in bed after about half an hour), I couldn't believe how many people were there! The khaki boys (one of the car groups that we met on the track) were there in black tie and boardies, while the rest of the caravan park and locals sat divided under their team's flag. There was a little local boy getting right into it, think he was doing most of the yelling! They had a $2 sausage sizzle bunnings style (although I did turn around at one stage and see flames as high as the cook's head...luckily I had had my fill by then). None of us had eaten sausages since we left so we devoured them, I ate 2, Az ate 4, skye ate 3 (I think) and swifty had 5...still a very cheap dinner.

In the middle of the night, after the celebrations had abated, we heard horses...how random we thought and looked outside. There were a heard of brumbies running between all the camps. That totally explains all the manure I had seen on the ground - I had thought they were just fertilizing the grass!! Hehe. When we finally woke up there was a nice fresh pile next to swifty's car. Apparently they come through once a month or so.

We decided to head to the Tip...we stopped in at The Croc Tent, which is literally a tent on the side of the road, selling souvenirs and giving out information. We got our directions and continued on to the Tip carpark. It's about a 15 minute walk from the carpark, over rocks and bush. The sign that you see is positioned right at the end of the rock island..so you clamber down the rocks to get the obligatory photo. Ian, one of the WA boys, told swifty to take his fishing rod, so after the photos and after we'd seen a charter boat haul in a huge mackeral in front of us, he cast aa few lures. We were all so anxious for him to catch something - would be a great story! Alas, while he had a few fish swimming aaround, he didn't hook anything. We headed back to the cars along the 'low road', which was through mangroves..I was on definite croc watch then!!
Az and I decided to head back to town and swifty and skye continued on to The Beach Loop, which took them around 5 beaches. Az had heard from a local that the jetty was good around 2.30-3.00, so he fished and I had a snooze in the car - I was a bit grumpy, no food, water or food and in the sun..not a good combination for a happy camper..hehe. When I woke up, I took the truck for a spin...my first drive. Am happy to say she's still in one piece :)
I went and got a BBQ chicken, they have BBQ chooks up here!! The first ones we've really seen since leaving the big smoke. Took it back to share with az, he was famished too. He didn't catch any fish..other than a bit of bait.

I drove back to camp and took some photos of the sunset over the ocean, such a treat.

The next day the boys decided to take the tinny out into the big ocean, about 6km to the first island..were out there until about midday - they came back to tell us that their fish had been stolen by a 3m shark coming up to the back of the boat...they were both so sunburnt, they were,kt able to do much for the rest of the day. Although we all went down to try and get the tinny up to camp. We didn't have a trailer and the sand was like mud, so the wheels we had to walk the dinghy up the beach were getting bogged...so we decided (naturally) to hook it up to the 4wd and tow it...swifty had hooked the boat anchor into the tow bar (I can see you all flinching now) and az and I were pushing the boat from behind. It was like slow motion, the car drove forward, the rope tightened, then the anchor released and came flying back right at me....I was glued to the ground, I could see what was happening and knew it wasn't going to end pretty..but still couldn't move. Luckily, it landed just in front of me. There was an old guy on the beach, stubby in hand, just shaking his head and walking away. We ended up getting it back to camp with no injuries.

We were talking to our next door neighbours and the oldies about where they were headed next. Everyone was talking about Vrilya Point..lots of Cherabin (bush prawn/yabby things) and good fishing. A day after everyone had left we thought we'd give this Vrilya Point a go. Az and I left town first, as skye and swifty were waiting for the bottlo to open, so we thought we'd mosy on down and check it out. Took about 2.5 hours from where we were staying.

The track into the beach was insanely corregated! I mean so bad the whole dash of the car was rattling by itself. And oh so noisy! Felt like it went forever (24km)!! We had to cross another log bridge, which was a bit sketchy, if we put the tyre in the wrong spot we could have got stuck, as there was a gap just about the size of our tyres. This is where we saw the oldies cars but no oldies - think they were doing the old telegraph track again. While we waited for S+S to arrive, we drove down to the north side of Vrilya and checked it out...very pretty! Total beach front, with crystal clear aqua water..stunning. Looks like there were some people there who had been camping there for a very long time!
We headed back to the freshwater crossing where we'd meet S+S, and had a bit of a dip.

Once they arrived we drove down the south end of the beach (all 15km of it!) On the beach, which was pretty fun. The sand was so soft! Saw heaps of campers dotted all the way along, so we went right to the end, which was just near the river mouth. Great spot!! We ended up spending 3 nights here. Best sunsets yet..seriously stunning!! We were set up on a spot just above high tide line, complete with it's own rope swing. There was a slight wind blowing, which actually got a bit fresh in the evenings. Az was keen to get the boat in the water, so next morning they got it in the water. The first night the boys went to investigate the river mouth, and decided to put some crab pots in, and after dinner went up to check the pots..bingo!! So as an after dinner treat, we had crab! Yummmmm!! Each couple took turns with the tinny and Az and I went all up and around the river, searching for crocs (I was right in the middle of the boat, all limbs firmly inside the boat!) But we didn't see any! Az did find some good spots for the crab pots though, so went back later to position them in the new spots...we didn't end up getting anymore crabs that we kept, they were all too small. I even caught one on the beach when I was doing the dishes!! Az loved taking the tinny up the creek at night looking for crocs, given half the chance I reckon he'd have probably wrestled one if he could! They finally spotted one at night, not very big though. One day he spotted one sunbaking in the spot that Skye had been fishing earlier that day!! There was a couple a few sites up that were there for 10 weeks!! This place is super secluded, no running water, no amenities at all. They had a big fishing boat there too. Az took the couple next to us up the creek at night as they hadn't seen any crocs and were keen to see some. The wife was apparently packing it, and her husband was playing on it, slapping the side of the boat etc. Poor love!

After 3 days of looking at ocean we can't swim in and that have no waves, az and I decided it was time to move on and start towards a surfing beach...via the inland. So we left S+S and headed back. We got back to Coen on our first day, which was filled with snake sightings (yuck!!), a car accident, cows leisurely crossing the road and Aaron's highlight of the trip, meetin Roothey from 4WD Action. We pulled up for some fuel at Archer River Roadhouse and when I got back from the bathroom and paying, here he was having a good ol' yarn with him. They were going to Chilli Beach the next day (which is where we had wanted to go originally but decided to go towards surf instead). As we were driving off, Aaron says excitedly, I should of got a photo with Milo!! Who is apparently Roothey's car..he was like a star struck kid!! Was great to see him so excited!

Yesterday we did a bit of touristy stuff and stopped in at Laura's Culture Centre and read about the area. Then we drove to Split Rock which had all the aboriginal rock art. Was great to see! We continued on to a lookout called Earl James Lookout - on top of a hill...super windy!! We even got our jumpers out and went to bed as soon as we had dinner!!

Today we're heading to some hot springs, can't wait!! From here we're heading towards Longreach and then back to the Coast to 1770...then on our way back to the GC. Az is on thinking overload, he's got plans for the caravan and all sorts of stuff!!

Thanks so much to everyone who's reading the blog, it's been great hearing from you and loving the comments. Xxx

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Old Telegraph Track Pt II

So after Gunshot, we moved on and did a few more crossings...not too many dramas but still some hairy moments. One of the highlights of the track are the waterfalls, and not just for their beauty. We got to swim in them!!! Oh, you can't begin to understand my excitement about this. I've been away from water (that you can swim in) for WAY too long. We stopped at Fruitbat Falls first and we swam, oh it was divine!!!! None off us wanted to get out, there was waterfalls! Natural spa like areas, crystal clear water and sandy bottom. We felt revitalised and energy was renewed. I felt like my old self for a moment :)
From here we headed to Elliott and Twin falls, both really nice, but we didn't swim in these ones. Now completely revitalised we headed toward the end of the track...well that's what we thought anyway. The trailer brakes went - something got jammed in the brakes and they were super hot (or something like that)...so had to pull off the road and take the tyre off and fix it bush mechanics style.

Our last water crossing was the one we'd heard about...the one that had taken the lives if 12 cars. Needless to say we were a little nervous. Along the road after the falls we had run into an older couple who's friend had been stuck in Nolan's Brook for too long and had cooked the electrics in their new Prado!!!! So they were heading back to the other sude of the crossing to help them. He was a maniac and the wife was ... Ummmm...how can I put this nicely...the wife from hell..or mentally deranged. We're all coming up with some pretty wild descriptions. She was ordering him around like a child. It was giving us some entertainment though, as terrible as it sounds. So when we arrived at the crossing there was a car being winched out...swifty went first and powered through, he went the 'hard way'...easy. We decided to go the other way that had a bit of a twist and corner and then through the water to the other side. We got through the bend and half way across the water and lost traction...water started pouring in the car. Az was making sure I wasn't panicking but I thought it was quite amusing to feel things start floating up my leg the longer we were in there. Swifty snatched us out and as you can imagine, when doors were opened, a flood of water came out! Skye captured it all on video and I got it from the inside! While we were on the south side (before the crossing) we were speaking to some guys from WA. They were coming from the other way and reckoned they were seeing what we did to determine how they went across. We all ended up staying there for 2 nights!!! Swifty's clutch seized so the WA boys, Ian and Max, helped us out with that. Then helped with our radiator - we had done a swap with Ian for some Knead it - he used our car bra for the water crossing. We ended up calling the place the Bermuda Triangle cause so many things went wrong.

We had a huge night the first night...with Skye and I as entertainment - after nearly 1.5 bottles of vodka, anyone becomes entertaining. She decided to light my hair on fire with a lighter..I was the last to realise..hehe. The she fell if her chair and was rating the decline as she had with the hills we'd been climbing. She reckoned she was at Stage 3...we had a great night!! Needless to say the next day was spent half in bed, half in the creek bathing and the bits in between eating and fixing stuff.
It was disappointing to see so much rubbish left by other people. We decided to burn some of it to get rid of some of it...in hindsight probably should have looked in the bags...the bang that an old aerosol can gave off made most of us jump onto our chairs!!

I think we were all a bit sad to leave the bous and the bermuda, great times! It was funny though, the boys left and we went to leave and the trailer's wheel nuts had come loose, so we spent another hour there before heading off the track.

We crossed the Jardine Ferry, diesel there was $2.20/litre! And the ferry was $88 return for a car. The roads on the other side were crazy...si bad compared to what we've been driving on. We all said we're glad we hadn't been driving on that sort of road all this time..especially when swifty realised one of his trailer wheels were about to fall off! Another road-side bush mechanics stop.

We arrived at Loyalty Beach Caravan park yesterday..great spot! We met up with another car group and they are here too, and the origin is on tonight...needless to say, the night is going to be big. Tomorrow, we're heading to the tip, photo opportunity! Who knows we may even stay here another night...

Stay tuned xxx

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Old Telegraph Track

On the ferry back from Thursday Island now, so thought I'd take the opportunity to fill you in on our last few days.

Thursday island was really good by the way. We did a bus tour, which was interesting to hear what happened with the war etc. I nearly convinced Az (or Ferris as he was called today..he wanted a different name for a day) to buy me some pearls..but couldn't find anything that we liked..bugger.

But back to the Track..we had driven from Moreton Telegraph Station to the petrol station (the name has totally escaped me at the moment), where diesel was about $2/litre...the guy filling our car up was telling us that 12 cars had been claimed in one of the creek crossings this season already...I'm pretty sure we were only a few weeks into the season! If that wasn't enough to make you start re-thinking your decision to go along the track, you went to pay and found tables with photos on them..sure there was some nice falls and scenic ones, but there were also ones of cars upside down or on their sides...Skye was nervous, asking Swifty if he was sure he was prepared to wreck his car. I was pretty excited, probably because I had no real concept of what we were getting ourselves into!!! There was a group of 13 (I think) cars, a crew called the miser club. They had to get a car and the fuel to get up to the cape for under $3000. Understandably they were well and truly prepared to trash their vehicles. They were all getting their snatch straps and car bras ready, we did the same.

So it was time to start... About 2kms in we came to our first water crossing. We were being cautious and walked it. Easy! We were thinking we've got this nailed...until the next one, Palm Creek. Holy sheet!!!!!! As we got there we saw a Hilux going down..and went so close to tipping over that the contents of the back of the ute started falling out..and he's only gone about 1m into the track!! Needless to say we were all looking at each other, eyes bulging, wondering what we were getting ourselves into. Swifty went first and absolutely nailed it! Az was next - I had opted to take video of the cars going down, across and up. After talking to the boys we decided it was more nerve racking for me, outside the car, than it was for them....and boy was my heart in my mouth!!! Az got stuck on the way up, as it was so boggy and had to winch himself out. It was a huge relief to have the first big one over and safely out.

The next few crossings and bit of road was fine - some beautiful scenery and the roads were in relatively good condition. There were definitely some interesting moments though and with Az still getting used to the feel of the car and working out how far he could push it. We had tagged on to a group of oldies - great crew!!! And I'm so glad we did. We were driving through a track that had a big step up from one side to the other. Az was on the high side and I was down in the rained out rut. It got steeper and steeper...until Az felt the bum of the car slide and I found myself about 10cm from the ground. He'd put the car on it's side, rested against the bank. I had to lean all the way over his side to stop from falling out my window. All the boys got on the side leaning against the bank and pushed it up while Az slowly drove on..then they moved to the driver side to give extra weight to get him out of the rut!! I had to stand on my door and climb up the seats to get out. I so wish I could show you photos!! Thank goodness for the convoy we were in, seriously great bunch of people.

We finally came to the infamous gunshot creek. Most of the photos we had seen on the tables of overturned cars were taken here...yep, as you can imagine the heart started beating pretty fast.
In the end it was pretty straight forward..Swifty got the trailer stuck, only cause the turn to get around into the creek was so tight. We watched the oldies come through and we decided to set up camp here...partly cause the Cowboys (we nicknamed the big group of cars due to some loud members), so we could see them go through...we knew they'd take on some of the harder declines. The next morning as we were getting ready to pack up, we heard some cars. We dropped everything and ran down the track to find them all arriving. Great entertainment!! A few of them gave the harder ones a go and some got through...if it wasn't so early I reckon the bous would have cracked a coldie and sat and watched. We decided we didn't want to get stuck behind them, so did a super fast pack up and got going...

What a week!!

Since our last post we have been on adventure overload! We got the trailer fixed by the wonderful mechanic, Lance. I was a little doubtful of Lance, after trying to speak to him in the pub the night before...I thought he thought I was speaking another language, as he just stared right through me when I asked him if he could help us with the trailer. Turns out he's always like that.

How's the alcohol roster that's in place at a lot of towns up here. The local indiginous folk are only allowed to buy a certain amount of alcohol on certain days, to limit their intake of alcohol and so they still have grocery money. The theft rate in coen is nearly zero. Once someone stole $2 off the bar, and they were banned for a month...needless to say no-one's stolen since. The pub is the hub of the town. In some parts of the state you can't actually buy wine until after 6pm. We were lucky here and were able to..the crew are loving the cask wine. Az is turning into a wino he reckons.

We left Coen and stopped at Moreton Telegraph Station to do a bit of fishing and ended up staying the night...really well maintained property and John and Di are really nice. I went down with the crew to go fishing, in the role of photographer of course.. Until I took a nice little slide down the bank..and had to go back to clean my camera. It was pretty creepy around the swampy area. I went back, had a shower and started dinner. Skye and I had been absolutely hammered by sandflies and mosquitos and looked like we had chicken pox on our legs...and they were seriously itchy!!!! As we were getting ready for bed Az found a tiny green tree frog in our bed..we had parked under a mango tree for the night. Yyou can imagine my '4urprise' when I was reaching for my glasses and put my hand on a bigger one!!! And then again when I was folding the doona up and found another one. The dance this time was quite funny! You can only imagine my reaction when I found another one in the saucepan when I went to wash it. As you can imagine I'm a little over insects and animals..hehe. I went to the shower blocks the same time as Az to brush my teeth. He calls me into the shower, and what do you know, another tree frog...this was the monster of all tree frogs. He was huge!!! Bigger than my hand I reckon. I have no idea how Az had a shower with him!

We headed for the Old Telegraph Track...and I'll leave it there for the moment. We're headed to thursday island today, so need to get ready.. Stay tuned. Xx

Thursday, June 9, 2011

lost anf found

So I found a post I'd saved from a while back and while it's not in order, thought you'd still like to read it..

And I forgot to tell you about our bush mechanics 101 episodes!! On the way out of cape flattery, swifty's trailer springs decided to go separate ways so he got stuck going up this big, soft sand hill..which we had only just got up, with a lot of coaxing and reassurance to the old girl. We got the hi-lift jack out and lifted the trailer so swifty could get under and bash around. We gave it a go up and the hill and got up..yippee. So we were on our way out and were crossing the last water crossing, when we were stopped by a fallen tree across the road! Az got the chainsaw out and got us through in no time..which was great timing as there were a heap of motorbike riders coming through. I though az was going to jump on the back of one and go with them, he was that jealous!!

We spent the night at Hann River Roadhouse, which was a pretty basic, but pleasant stop. The roads are absolutely amazing...so far. We had prepared ourselves for some terrible roads, but we've been sitting on 100km/hr for most of it!! We left hann river and came across Musgrave roadhouse, which was so much better!! If we had only known how good the roads were we could have stopped there. The toilet seats were even cool - those sea creature embedded clear plastic seats..pretty fancy! The burgers were delicious too! And john, the owner, is hilarious!

Az wanted to check out port stewart, as we'd heard there were phenominal catches of barra, the roads in were great too so didn't take too long. When we got there the camping was pretty dismal but the spot looked guaranteed to give us our first croc sighting...but we weren't there long as swifty had to do a little shifting of weight from the trailer and didn't want to stay there. So we headed on to coen. We met some country boys who gave us a hand putting the tinny on the roof so stayed at their pub to repay the favour..great camp spot though and only $5 a person!! Before we could get to coen we had to perform bush mechanics 102, swifty had been admiring the scenery a bit too closely and had taken a short cut across the water crossing which was pretty soft and sandy. We snatch strapped him out, bending our tow bar in the process (oops), was pretty impressive though. Got it on video ..yay for technology!

Not sure where we're headed today...will keep you posted xx

Day 4.. I think

We spent the night in Cairns with my old friend Jes and her husband Garrett – was so good to catch up and like real old friends, it felt like I’d only seen her yesterday.  Everyone had a good sleep and were loving the shower in the morning .. think we were all trying to make it last as long as possible, cause we don’t know how often we’ll get to have a real shower.  The boys went ‘shopping’ in the morning for man tools and were gone for sooo long… after saying we’ll be back in about an hour.  They traveled all over town looking for their man tools, only to find most of the shops they needed on the way out of Cairns.. which was only a few blocks away from where we were staying!!

After days of getting up at 5am and hopping straight in the car and driving for millions of hours, it was such a strange (yet oddly satisfying) sensation to have a leisurely breakfast and sit around and relax before we left.  When the boys finally got back, we packed up the last bits and pieces and headed out of town.. about 10kms, until we got to a grocery store.  We had decided to do a last shop to stock up on the bits and pieces that we hadn’t bought up from the GC.  As you can imagine, the boys were worried about weight and the distribution of weight.. and Skye and I were only concerned with the amount of chocolate and food we were able to take.  Needless to say the boys kept us in line (although we were like little kids, sneaking stuff into the trolley when they weren’t looking) with stern looks and shakes of the head…and grunts of ‘where’s that going to go??’.  A few dollars (slight under exaggeration)  later we were in the carpark doing a major repack to fit in the food that we’d just bought.  Funnily enough though, after the moans and groans of too much food and weight, the boys stopped into the bottlo and bought as much alcohol that they thought would fit in the ‘spaces’.  The boys were quite excited to find that they could buy XXXX cans in a carton – 24 rather than 30 pack.. and they were packed especially for the Cape trip (in their opinion).. all tightly wrapped in plastic with no movement.. therefore no chance of rubbing and bursting.

While we were re-packing, we were approached by ‘old mate’, who had seen our ‘rigs’ and asked how far up we were headed.  To which I proudly responded, ‘All the way mate’.  A solid half an hour later, we had poured over the Cape map and he’d given us some great tips of where to go, where not to go, and how expensive beer is on the way - $90 a carton!!!  The good news was though, that the diesel isn’t too much more than what we’ve been paying.. which is great news for the budget..it means more food!!  Hehe.  While we were chatting, Swifty and Skye were taking up the whole carpark (ok, so slight exaggeration.. hehe) and had their whole truck contents strewn around their car. 

By the time we’d shopped, filled up, looked for a place to fill up the gas bottle (which was closed), it was about 1.30pm!  Usually we’d be on the second leg of a day trip .. but we were only just heading out.  Our goal for the day was Cape Tribulation – about a 2 hour(ish) drive.. very leisurely!  It was so strange to all of us who had been in the cars for hours on end each day. 

The 2way radios are soo good!  Such a great way to communicate and pass the time.  We started car trivia – CafĂ© 75 (as Skye & Swifty’s car is known) are in the lead so far.  The sugar cane all along Nth QLD have these really pretty flowers – which is the sugar cane going to seed…  We were trying to work out what they were (we came up with a few suggestions, like that it was a different sort of cane sugar – with Aaron piping in with.. maybe it’s caster sugar.. Dad joke!), and then someone came over the radio to inform us that they flower each year before they harvest… 

Once we came over the ferry, we looked for a spot to camp and ended up at Cape Tribulation Camping Grounds.. we are about 100m from the beach.  So after we set up, we headed down to the beach.. on low tide.  Very nice!  Even after a great spiel from the staff on what was where, where there were crocs and what walks to do etc.. we had no idea when we got down to the beach .. we were just enjoying the serenity.  We walked up to the point.. and the boys trekked a little further to see what was around the corner… while I stayed back a little working out which tree I’d climb up if I were to encounter a croc..  there were only little trees around and I was hoping that crocs had absolutely no ability to get any height..  As I typ this I do recall photos of them jumping out of the water to great heights to eat chickens on a stick.. Surely that’s only in the water.. right????

I was quite excited, because this is the first real opportunity I have had to take lots of photos.. so went a little crazy (I know!  So unlike me!!)  Swifty found a coconut on the beach, so took it back to camp and cracked it open..  I had never tasted fresh coconut before.. nice!  We cooked dinner (yakisoba.. yummo) and sat around the table chatting and drinking.  Feels like a real holiday now J

Swifty told us about a tradition they have when they go away – at the end of the day, everyone announces the highlight of their day.. so we decided to add in the last few days too…

DAY 3 Highlights       
Swifty – Arriving in Cairns… and the trucks & trains while sleeping (hearing them from 5km away!!))
Skye – Morning shower at Townsville & the afternoon girl time with Jes and Kesti
Kesti – catching up with Jes

DAY 4 Highlights       
Swifty – The reverberation of the 400 cubic inch V8 diesel exhaust rebounding off the cliff face 1m away from the car.  Arrrr (*says in manly voice*)
Skye – Setting foot onto the beach of Cape Trib – the realization of actually being carefree (and no phone service)           
Kesti – The feeling that we were actually started on our journey
Aaron – speechless

So all in all, a great day!  We’re staying here two nights, cause we’re going to do a few bits and pieces tomorrow.. icecream, coffee, tea.. walks and swims in freshwater swimming holes.. bring it on!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

cape flattery

It's been adventure, adventure!! I've got so many drafts on my computer to update everyone..will have to do that later when it's fixed. We spent 2 nights at cape tribulation camping ground - was so good!! The boys caught a few fish out on the reef, decided to put crab pots out in the river that's known to have a 2, 2.5 and. 3.5m croc in it!!! After dinner we all went down (with minimal lights), I was absolutely shitting my panties! The boys had seen a croc when they were putting it out earlier. I don't think I've ever been so scared. When we got down, was too far in and the boys were,kt risking it..thank god! Checked it the next day and something had cleaned it out clean..but no crabs

Next day went for a drive, tried some local ice cream...yummy! Did a bit of a drive around..really pretty!!

Next day went on to archer point...we're talking dig your own toilet type camping..hhhm. It was super secluded, and exposed to the elements. Boys took the tinnie out, came back soaking wet..and no fish. Aaron's smile was worth it though..grin ear to ear. Spent 2 nights here and this is where we did some major 4wding!! Heart in mouth on number of ocassions! Az did so well.

We left kinda late-ish from here to head to cape flattery...took us over 6 hours to get there ...we did get lost for 2 hours (!!!!) Though. All part of the adventure isn't it. The track in was so overgrown we thought it couldn't possibly be the track.. Turns out that it was the right one...bugger. Took us over an hour to get into the beach and then another hour to get to the camp site..crazy! We arruved at about 8pm, pitch black and so so sooooo scary!! We set up just off the beach..we had no idea if crocs were around or dingoes..we'd seen some huge paw prints. The next day we awoke to a really pretty spot. Another dig your own toilet spot..am definitely ready for some civilisation..and a flushing toilet! We left today and stopped at isabella falls for a shower - you've no idea how good we all felt!! Now we're at laura and heading north.... Take care..having a. Ball!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

computer doesn't like 4wd

You're not going to believe this...we had the computer in it's little hidey hole, and went for our first 4wd drive at archer point...heart in mouth stuff..and got to the top, finally got internet connection and the computer died!!! Sooooo disappointed. Doesn't look like she's going to be fixed until we get home. Will post updated from my phone whenever possible. It was great hearing that everyone was into the blog though!!! Having a great time. Just leaving cooktown now to head to flattery point...everyone's saying the roads have just been graded and they're the best they've been for years, so we've picked the right time :) az's caught a fish on his first trip out on the dinghy..he was pretty stoked. I'm just chillin, taking in the scenery and taking photos whenever I can. Hope everyone is well xxx

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Made it to Cairns

Well we've made it to Cairns.. only to find ourselves in the mechanic..  having to get bits and pieces done that we'd thought had been done in the mechanics back home, but obviously not.  As you can imagine Az is pacing and feeling quite useless.

Yesterday we had a HUGE day!  We drove from Rockhampton to Townsville .. we saw trees, trees and more trees..nothing very exciting to report at all.  There were some road signs that really mirrored our thoughts...

I had an audiobook that I had downloaded months ago, so we decided to put it on to distract us from the boring drive.  We listened to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - while it was hard to follow, we really got into it and as soon as we got back into the car, we were both saying to each other, "book?"... "yep".  So the book actually took us the whole way to Townsville...  and we both agreed we'll have to get another book.. which we did last night - we are now listening to 'Beastly'... which is quite different to what I was anticipating.. good though.

Last night we stayed in a carpark in Townsville.. I didn't get too much sleep - I'm such a goody-two shoes! I was worried we were going to get in trouble with the Police or someone was going to come and rock our car or harm us in some way (I know I know!!  I'm a scardy cat girlie girl!).  We paid to have a shower at a caravan park over the road.. boy did that feel good!  Although, if I were to criticise I would say they were a little cheap on the hot water..  After Az's big drive, he was starting to fade big time, so we went out for dinner - $10 rump steak.. yeah baby.  After my discovery of the midnight pee problem, I then started thinking about the 'after steak' consequences.. so we stayed around 'town' for a while.. hehe.  Problem sorted.

We're starting to get the 'packing for sleep' routine down pat and were in bed within 10 minutes.  When we both woke up with sore backs, we realised we had forgotten to put the plugs back in the bed to keep the air in.. a minor hiccup in our set up the night before.  We were wide awake at 4.30am so decided to get up and get going - and we'd have brekkie in the next town.  We went past Ingham (didn't look too exciting and we were both still feeling ok) and ended up in Cardwell, where the diesel was cheap and the town looked quite nice.

We pulled up on the beachfront and were amazed at the damage that was still around from the cyclones. I guess once it's out of the news, it's not something you regularly think about and push to the back of your mind.  While a lot of the buildings were still missing roofs and walls, you can see the shear amount of work that has gone into getting the town back up and running again.  Looking out over the water, we could see Hinchinbrook Island - such a nice way to spend breakfast time.  The water did look inviting and it was probably the first time we've both seen water in a few weeks (we've both been so busy getting everything ready for this trip, it wasn't even on our minds) - but knowing that there could be mean things in the water, we kept our distance.

Back in the car, the audiobook went straight back on, and we chugged our way to Cairns... only to wind up at the mechanic.

A side thought...  over the last few days traveling on the roads, I've come to the realisation that our Truckies can be really quite polite - and it makes me giggle everytime.  We're cruising at about 90km/hr, so Aaron's letting the trucks pass him - using his right indicator to signal no traffic coming..  once the trucks pass, they indicate right, then left and then right again - apparently the universal truckie 'thank you'..  I have resisted the urge to jump on the 2way and abuse those who aren't kind enough to give us the indicator thank you.

So back at the mechanic.. turns out that the GC mechanic may have given us a bum steer.  Some of the things that we thought had been done (and paid for) hasn't actually been done.. which is very lucky we've found that now.. cause it would have caused some major headaches if we'd found out in another day or so.  We're staying at my old friend's place tonight, so looking forward to catching up.. when we get out of the Industrial area that is.

After $500 we left the mechanic - transfer case rear seal, axle seals, spring bushes... found an amazing mechanic - Ben Kragt Automotive 4WD Specialists (07-4035-4464) - Craig looked after us and had it back to us in a few hours!!  Not bad for a random mechanic that we found ... guess these things happen for a reason.   As we were paying, we caught up with Skye & Swifty - perfect timing :)  Then headed to Jes' place and started dinner.. yummo!  We were going to do a bit of grocery shopping, but decided we'd rather stay in and catch up and then grocery shop later...  much better idea!!

Looking forward to starting the big adventure tomorrow - the maps are out and the planning has started!