Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cape York - Tuesday 23/8/11

Greeted the world about 7am this morning, can only have coffee this morning because we've run out of milk & bread, so breakfast when we arrive in Cooktown.  Packed up, took the photo's of the truck outside the Lions Den Hotel, then headed north to Cooktown @ 8.45am. 
If we can pass by the Lions Den on the way home, we will so we can stay another night, it's a great spot.
A little bit of dirt road this morning, but mostly bitumen.  We found out last night talking to some fellows camped beside us, that the graders haven't been over the cape roads, so they are going to be very rough & corrugated.  Met some other campers last night travelling to the Cape as well (2 cars with camper trailers), they were saying they are learning very quickly about how they need to pack everything in the campers so it doesn't get broken when travelling on Qld's dirt roads.  They are from Victoria and drive the high country regularly, but apparently our Queensland dirt roads/tracks are alot more challanging.
Boris has been travelling really well, when he gets wrestless we know it's time to stop and give him a little walk around.

Arrived in Cooktown about 9.30ish, drove through town to have alook around and check out which Caravan parks allow dogs (because I couldn't remember).  The C/Park we stayed at last time is now a Big 4 and doesn't allow dogs, so found another one in town (Cooktown Orchid Travellers Park) who allows dogs, so have booked in there.  Need to do some washing & dog needs a bath, so it's necessary thing to stay here, otherwise we would have stayed out of town at Archers Point, which is a free campsot and apparently really nice.  The wind is still blowing here, it must be about 30-35knots with gusts of 40knots, unbelieveable.  Waiting for the camper & truck to fly off together!
Took Craig & Boris for a walk through town after the domestic duties were done, a local fellow said as we passed by him "You should give that staffy to me", then continued with "Ah no, he's a male, my one will kill 'im".  We looked at each other and walked away quickly.
Have some peace & quiet now, Craig & the dog are having a lunchtime nap, so I can catchup finally on the blog entries since we have internet coverage again.
Just bought some nice prawns for afternoon tea from a mobile seafood guy, who drove through the caravan park.  Yum!
I think we have decided to head toward Elim Beach just north of Cooktown tomorrow, it's supposed to be a beautiful spot to camp (you stay at Eddies Camp), but need to ring Eddie and check if dogs are allowed.  Wherever we head to tomorrow, probably won't get internet coverage for a bit until we get to Weipa hopefully. 

Cape York - Monday 22/8/11

Got up late this morning 7.30am - coffee with bacon & eggs for breakfast.  Boris made some new friends at Rifle Creek, but doesn't realise his own strength - went charging off to say hello to another dog and broke the rope he was tied up with.  I'd swear if Boris wasn't along for the ride, we; the inside of the camper & our bed would be alot cleaner!  I think Boris needs a bath....  If he wasn't with us though, we'd miss him.
After all the rough dirt roads we travelled on, Craig decided it was time to start doing his morning car maintenance, then we packed up and were on the road toward Mossman by 9am.
Travelled through the Daintree and across the Daintree River on the barge, then of course we missed the turnoff to Cape Tribulation.  Drove on into the Daintree Village to pickup some mouthwash to help  rid me of my absus.  Stopped at the little park there and filled up the water tank with the sweet Daintree water and Craig noticed our back tyres had lost a little bit of air, so pumped them up while we were there.
10.51am on our way back to the Cape Trib turnoff and we didn't miss it this time.  It's a pretty drive through Cape Trib, just not our cup of tea to stay there. Through Cape Trib and we hit the Bloomfield Track, we don't remember it being this rough the last time we travelled on it, mind you it was 7 years ago....  A bit challenging in places, extremely steep ascents & decents over the Donavan Range & Cowie Range, but the boy was happy with the drive today - much more interesting then driving on the black top.
Crossed the Bloomfield River, it's such a beautiful river, turned right after some discussion (no signs) toward the Lions Den Hotel.  A few creek crossing today along the way and all were very pretty.
Arrived at the Lions Den Hotel about 2pm and we plan to camp here tonight (it's got grass!).  Firstly a cold drink at the bar and a wonder around inside to look at all the paraphernalia they have hanging from the ceiling and on the walls.  We left one of Craig's business cards on the wall last time we called in, but couldn't find it, haha.  Booked our campsite (no power), they have toilets, showers, dogs allowed, campfires in specific spots, meals served at the pub.  it's a great spot.

Found a nice spot down beside the Mungumby Creek to camp for the night, setup, made lunch - but during the process of getting stuff out of the fridge a gust of wind blew up and the fridge door smacked closed on my head - again ouch!!!  Had lunch and chatted to some other campers.  Craig has taken Boris for a walk down to the creek, maybe he'll toss Boris in the creek, he's getting very dirty.

It is blowing a gail here at the Lions Den Hotel, it's surprising, but it has been windy all day.  It's nice to stop early, time to relax, have a chat, get dinner ready without Craig "helping".  Only did 197Klms today.
We were a bit concerned today, the further north we came the sky became overcast, even now there are some menacing looking clouds & considering we didn't bring any awnings with us, we don't really want any rain!
Had some creatures hopping around camp last night - rabbits or some sort of tree kangaroo we think.

Cape York - Sunday 21/8/11

Arose about 6.45am again, coffee & cereal this morning was the call.  When we emerged this morning from the camper, there was a thick cover of mist which was really eerie.  It eventually lifted about 7.30am.  Packed up, used the facilities and continued north toward Mareeba, one of the fellows last night recommended stopping overnight at Archer Creek just south of Ravenshoe, but we'll see how Craig's feeling as we want to get a bit further north then that.
Heading north west on the Gregory Development Road, stopped at Greenvale for comfort stop & smoko, then continued onto The Lynd Junction to turn right on the Kennedy Development Road to head north.  Saw quite a few wedgetail eagles again today, but my enthusiasim for taking photo's today had disappeared due to, I thought, my wisdom tooth deciding to push through and aspro wasn't helping.  Craig eventually ignored my "no, I'm okay keep driving" and stopped to dig out something a little more effective from the first aid kit.

We drove on towards Ravenshoe and came across a very impressive wind farm, so stopped a the viewing area for a look. 

Continued on through the tablelands, which were very green and picturesque.  Passed through Mareeba and onto another free campsite for the night called Rifle Creek.  Arrived about 3.30pm, looked quite reasonable/respectable with toilets, cold showers, campfires & dogs allowed.  We covered 553Klms today.

 I didn't do my homework very well apparently for the Mareeba region, because Craig spotted a signs for Mt Uncle Brewery and the Aviation & War Museum, which all drew a little squeal of excitment from him.  Said to me "you didn't tell me about this stuff to see here", answer:  "I didn't know".  Said to him, well we can go stay in that little caravan park we just passed and go see these things tomorrow morning if you'd like - Answer "Nope, it's okay, I understand" and kept driving!  Mouth full of pain and a sookie man child, not a good mix....
So, Craig and Boris went off for a walk down to Rifle Creek and have a look around.
Update on the wisdom tooth thing, became apparent late this afternoon it was an absus that formed around that tooth this morning, how do I know - it just burst,  yukky.  We'll see what happens with it.
Change of plan for dinner tonight as a local farmer just came into the campgound with his fresh fruit & veges for sale.  So, bought a few things and we'll have something with the fresh stuff tonight instead now.
One note re: Rifle Creek, for a free campground they had the best facilities - clean, smelled nice, really looked after.  The people who keep them so clean & tidy for just a gold coin donation from campers, should give themselves a big pat on the back.

Cape York - Saturday 20/8/11

Up about 6.45am this morning, coffee on the go so we can do a bigger days driving and get a bit further north.  Camper packed up, quick stop at facilities and on the road by 8am.
Heading north toward Sarina along the "boring as bat sh*t" part of the Bruce Highway, so we turned off at Sarina heading toward Moranbah, then did a right hand turn toward Nebo, then north onto the Suttors Development Road, west onto Bowen Development Road, then turn right onto Gregory Development Road toward Charters Towers (most of these Development Roads were dirt).

We've travelled on some very interesting "roads" today, but driving these roads for Craig was far more exciting then driving on the black top, downside scenery not very exciting.  However we did see quite alot of dead animals on the side of the side, but saw some live wildlife also (emu, storks - the feathered ones, a heap of wedgetail eagles and no they didn't sit still for me to take a photo) and plenty of cows.
Stopped in at Charters Towers to restock my wine (have to take boxed wine, no bottles allowed says the boy), and Craig spotted a 700ml bottle of Bundy Rum for $30, had to buy that and then it was all worthwhile stopping.
Arrived at our overnight campsite at Fletcher Creek about 3.45pm, we covered about 625klms today.  Fletcher Creek is another free campsite on the banks of the creek.  It has showers, toilets, campfires, BBQ's & dogs allowed.  We were slightly surprised at the number of campers there, estimation about 100 spread across the area on both sides of the creek.  Still enough space for us to find a spot on our own.

We were invited by some fellow campers (caravaners really), to come over for afternoon drinks in the shelter.  Had a great chat with them all and one of the fellows gave us some firewood, so we could have a campfire tonight.  Very nice of him to do that I thought.
The camper tried to injure me tonight when a little sneaky gust of wind came through and lifted the awning over the fridge, which we were sitting in the shade under and the poles came crashing down on top of my head - ouch!!!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Cape York - Friday 19/8/11

Up about 7am this morning after a late night.  Just had coffee this morning, forgot about breakfast with all the activity going on at Donnys.
Craig changed over the roof rack that carries our 2nd spare this morning - slight modification to it, by adding a rubber mount under the tyre to allow movement between the cab and tray headboard where the tyre sits.
Filled up with 120Lt of rainwater from Donny's tank, then it was off for a Fish n Chips lunch on Cooee Beach near Yeppoon, before heading north (1.30pm) to Carmila Beach for our next overnight stop.
A bit south of St Lawrence we were called up on the UHF radio by a truckie travelling south, asking if we could stop and check on a campervan he saw on the side of highway southbound.  The truckies words were something like " they were all standing around looking at the jack, it looked like they were trying to figure out how to change a flat tyre".  So we did the right thing, pulled over and asked if they needed assistance, but they said they were fine, so we continued on our way north.
Stopped for fuel & comfort stop at Kalarka (it's in the middle of nowhere basically).  Diesel not too bad @ 143.9c/lt.

Arrived at Carmilla Beach (free camp area) around 4.30pm, found a space (it's very popular) and setup.  Apparently the camp area goes on for a further kilometer or so from where we are camped.  it has toilets, campfires, dogs allowed & it's overlooking the beach.  Worth another stopover here we think.
Having a few nibbles while the sun sets & I write our trip journal & update the blog.  Craig's taken Boris for a walk on the beach - now he's covered in sand!!!!
Again, picutres will be uploaded later, wireless internet thingy not coping with uploading photo's again.

Cape York - Thursday 18/8/11

Up at 6.30am this morning after a marvellous nights sleep, mostly because Boris was ready for hismorning walk.  Coffee with bacon & egg rolls for breakfast, then a nice shower & packup. 

Craig put the "1300STORKLANDER" sticker on the back door of the camper (as a joke for Darren the owner of Travelander) who we are meeting at Musgrave Station.

Stopped at the Monduran Dam office to say goodbye to Rob & Kel, but we'll be back in a few weeks on our way home to stay for a few nights, because Rob wants to take Craig out fishing for Barra on the dam.
9.45am we're on the road to Craig's brothers property near Yeppoon for an overnight stop & catchup.
A little wedgetail eagle flew off in front of the car as we came up on it's road kill and yes the camera was safely in it's bag behind my seat!
Grabbed lunch on the way thru Rocky and a new drill, batteries & charger (because Craig needed a Nicad battery for the drill that can charge in the 12volt charger we have in the car).

Arrived at Donny & Frances's property about 2pm, setup the camper & showed it off to Donny as you do. Sitting down having a cold drink with Donny and having a catchup right now. Also got to meet Frances's brother, who was staying there as well.

Now the cows have moved from the paddock the boys are off to cut down a dead tree (safety first when using a chainsaw, no alcohol was consumed prior to this operation and safety pluggers were worn).

A lovely BBQ dinner thanks to Donny for being the chef.  Thanks to Donny & Frances for their hospitality and it was great having a chance to catchup again. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cape York 2011 - Wednesday 17/8/11

FINALLY!!!!  We've left Yay.
10.50am Finally packed and ready to go.  Now to call in & see Craig's oldies to say goodbye and we're out of here.
11.25am  We're travelling north !!!  First stop overnight will be Monduran Dam just north of Gin Gin and a chance to catch up with Craig's old mate Rob Howell.  Rob & his wife Kelly run the Monduran Dam Holiday Park.  Terrific place to stay for a night or a week.  You can catch Barramundi in the dam if they're biting or just relax around the lovely campgrounds. Rob & Kel are lovely hosts, go see them! 
Quick comfort stop & lunch to go at the Matilda Curra (my good friend Bree will remember this place from our road trip last year to Rosslyn Bay).
We've decided one day when we pass through Apple Tree Creek that we are going to stop at "Sticky Beaks" for pizza, because it looks like a great little place to get a great pizza in bizzare place on the highway.
Our friend Simo called to say he was heading to Double Bay 9miles north of Airlie Beach (he owns a 50ft motor cruiser) to anchor for a few days.  We will be joining Simo on his floating gin palace (nickname for boat) on our way back down the coast for a few days cruising around the Whitsundays!  Ahhh  what a life.....
Arrived at Monduran Dam at 3.30pm , signed in and chose our campsite (the same one we had last year when we stopped in).  Left a message at the office for Rob that we were here.  Rob popped in not long after we had opened the camper up and of course Craig handed him a beer after hand shakes and cuddles were exchanged.  The boys have just gone off with the dogs (Boris our 14mth Staffy and Bazza, Rob's 3yo staffy), to look at his piece of land just back down the road a bit.
All up can't complain, we've left home heading north on our way to Cape York again!!  Photo's to come, internet to slow to load them tonight.  Photo's on now.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Hello Everyone!

We decided to create this blog primarily for our family & friends to share in our camping & 4wd trips, so that we didn't have to send separate emails, make multiple DVD's or bore people with playing DVD's we make of our trips when they come visit us.  The other reason is because when we are planning a big trip, we go online and research other poeples similar trips, to read trip logs and look at photos.  We figured that maybe other like minded poeple might get something from our blog too.  We are not techno savy, so our blog is still a work in progress :)  We will include info on our 4wds & touring setup, bigger trip destination done so far, short camping/4wd holdiays, maybe some menu info for those interested, tips we have picked up over the years and any other info we can share.  We hope whoever reads our blog enjoys the information, trip journals & photos.  We hope to see you on the tracks or joining us in one of our adventures.  Thank you.