Monday, August 25, 2014


TRIP 14 July 2014


A house keeping day today.  I was kept busy as I washed the sheets, the clothes and cleaned the Oka.  Flora and I also went to Bamaga and New Mapoon.  We went to the Arts and Crafts place three times but each time it was still closed.  They had told us that if we came back back at 1:00pm and if it was still closed they would open it up.  We came back at the designated time but still no luck in getting in. 

In the afternoon I relaxed and tried to catch up with my blog.  Min whittled away, Flora sewed, Žydre took photos and caught up with things whilst Bob sunbaked on the beach.

Tonight is our last sunset here so we all went down to the beach before dinner.  There were a few rain drops late afternoon and then as we watched a slide show of Žydres photos.


13 July 2014


It was an early start this morning as I wanted to watch the super moon set over the sea.  So I joined Flora on the beach and we both watched the full moon start to set over the horizon.  What a fizzer – too many clouds and it disappeared very quickly as the sun rose over the trees.  It was interesting watching a sunrise and moon set simultaneously.

We came across a dead taupe coloured snake as we walked to the beach.

After everyone was up  we set out to explore the area around the top end.  We drove back along the road to Pajinka and turned off to Somerset ruins.  Our first stop was Sunset Beacb.  It was a beautiful camping spot that we had not known about.  Just across the water was Albany Island.  Mangroves were growing at both ends of the beach.  There was a small cemetery just off the beach.  

We then continued on to Somerset Ruins but there was a car bogged down on the sandy track.  There were the remains of a shack and a memorial stone to one of the Somerset’s plus a cross that was unmarked just before the sandy track.  

As the track was very soft sand Min decided to turn back as Bob was hesitant on driving on sand.  We would also have had to drop our tyres to continue.  So we drove back and took the alternative route to Chandagoo Point.  The vegetation was very scrub looking.   We were surprised at the amount of rubbish left behind by others.  You could see the effects of the harsh climate here.  The seas were choppy.  We were looking out at the Coral Sea.  Mangroves lined the sea edge below the clifts.  We could sea a lovely stretch of sand with something lining the edges.  The trees were not numerous but very wind swept.  We had lunch here then walked down the track to the beach to investigate what we could see.  

There was rubbish on top of rubbish as far as the eye could see.  It had all been brought in by the sea but it was all rubbish left behind somewhere else by humans.

We then drove to Muddy Bay through very jungly vegetation.   We couldn’t get to the sea as the mangroves were between the sea and us.  Two aboriginal fathers and sons arrived to hunt for sting ray whilst we were there.  They had not brought any spears so cut a branch and fashioned it into a spear and set out towards the mangroves.  They told us as the tide was coming in the sting rays will be coming into the mangroves and easy to find.  We asked whether they were concerned about the crocodiles in the mangroves.  They told us they were not worried about them.

On both the way out and back in we saw a wallaby and its joey jump across the road.  We also finally stopped at the ruins of the Jardine Homestead at the intersection near the croc tent.

As usual we all went down for the sunset but it was a bit of fizzer tonight.


12 July 2014


It was a day to enjoy being where we are.  In the morning some wild
 horses visited the campsite and helped themselves to the rubbish bags campers had put in the bins. 

Flora and I drove to Bamaga to the bakery but it was closed.  We then tried to find the Arts and Crafts Centre but it was closed as well.  We did find an interesting store in New Mapoon though.  We then came back and relaxed with the others.  

Bob had managed to get a painted crab from a local fisherman so there was a delicacy to be had for afternoon tea.

We lit a fire tonight even though it is hot as we wanted some camp baked potatoes with our piece of rump.  We had gotten it from the local butcher and it was meat from local Brahman cattle.  It did have a different taste.  So Min looked after the fire whist we all went to watch the sunset.  When we came back Min had dinner ready.  What a treat.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


TRIP to11 July 2014


It was an early start to the day as we had to be on the old wharf by 8:15am today for our trip with Cape York Adventures to Ngrupai or better known as Horn Island and Waidene - Thursday Island.  As there were 23 of us doing the trip they split us into two groups.  We were in the small group of 7 on a small boat whilst the others were all on the bigger boat.

What strikes one whilst making the crossing is that there are just so many islands here.  Between New Guinea and Queensland, Australia – within 200km range there are 157 islands of which 18 are inhabited. 

We made our way past several islands including Prince of Wales and Possession Island named by Captain Cook.  As we were travelling along Horn Island we saw a crocodile in front of the mangroves.

Horn Island has a very interesting museum.  We took our time learning about the forgotten Australians who had defended our country against the Japanese during WW2 from here. 

It is not far from here to Thursday Island.  It is a small island – only 1 square km in size with 3,600 inhabitants.  It was a very clean and tidy place.    It felt like a tropical island.

We visited the cultural centre that had been built by a chinese man.  It has a great display of artifacts from the region.   We then went to the Torres Strait Island pub or the Top of Australia pub for a delicious lunch of fish and chips.  

From here Frank our taxi driver took us around the island.  He was not only entertaining but very knowledgable and passionate about his home land. 

We went to the lookout and fort.  It is hard to believe but the fort was built to defend Australia from any possible invasion by the Russians in the late 1800s. It was an interesting fortification with three canons.  Only one canon had ever been fired and that was when a vessel had failed to identify itself.  After the canon shot it identified itself as a friendly vessel.

We then went to the local cemetery.  There were many Japanese buried here who died as a result of suffering from the bends as pearl divers.  

We then had some free time and went back to the cultural centre to take in more of the exhibition.  Along the way we came across a very interesting sign.

The ride back on the boat was horrendous.  We had sea-ruugations instead of corrugations.  It was roughish and it was bump , bump, bump over the waves. 

We had enjoyed our day out.