Monday, 4 August 2008

Cape York Peninsula - Days 12 to 15

Day 12: 2nd night on North side of Jardine River.  Didn't want to leave.  Spent hot day under shade of tarp and fly-proof (flies were worst yet) gazebo.  Occasional fishing.  No luck.

Day 13: Drove South on Bamaga Road to Vrilya Point.  Had been recommended by "ambos" from Airlie Beach; supposedly good for mudcrab catching and oyster harvesting.  Met Victorians (Shepparton) Chris and Wendy and asked for advice; organised impromptu nightime mudcrab and fishing trip along beach.  Said crab and fishing trip successful: x2 mudcrab; x5 mullet; x2 banjo sharks; x1 bronze tip shark.  Very kindly Chris and Wendy gave us x2 mudcrabs for supper.  Boiled them in seawater in camp oven over fire for 15 mins; delicious.  Most enjoyable time and a solid memory of a fun night (although nervous of salty crocs as well!)


Day 14: Chris and Wendy departed and very kindly gave us x2 large mullets already gutted and cleaned; to say thanks for our assistance the night before (mostly nervous as we were fishing in the shallows in the dark, in croc territory).  Mullet bbq'd in fire, very nice, similar to swordfish or tuna steak.  Met Paul and Emily in the afternoon and decided to travel separately from now on as agenda's have changed.  Savage sandflies bit our legs and arms, plus many persistent bush flies, most annoying for such a top spot.  Sandfly bites remain for weeks and turn into welts, so I have nicely scarred/welted feet and legs now!

Day 15: Departed Vrilya Point after very enjoyable and relaxing 2 nights, didn't want to leave.  Lasting memory will be Chris and Wendy; fish and mudcrabs; the rocks at night; the wind whispering around the headland and our campspot 5 metres from the high tide mark.  Drove to Archer River Roadhouse (350 kms on dirt road - not an easy drive, very corrugated in places and lots of dips/unexpected sandy patches, aka bulldust, etc.) via Captain Billy's Landing.  Interesting place where Aboriginal guide led explorers in 1880 into an ambush.  Explorers escaped but only just after spears pierced through their tents.  Rocks there date back almost 300 million years; pre-dinosaur.  Bleak, windy, godforsaken place. 


Drive to Archer River witnessed many small bush fires by side of road.  This area South of the Jardine River appears more prone to bush fires.  Bought some beer (ran dry two nights ago and not easy or cheap to replenish supplies).  On our way out of the Cape brings back many good memories of people, experiences and the country itself.  Tomorrow onto Laura and then bear West/South West towards Normanton via the Savannah Way across Gulf (of Carpentaria) Country.

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