Still going north
19 June 2012
Another brilliant day. This morning we woke at Cockatoo Creek where we spent last night. It really is a great spot and not just because it was heaps better than spending the night bogged in mud! We had a few hairy moments early on, the first within a few metres of camp! There was a deep hole on one side and landy was leaning way to far over for comfort so Olly had me get out and keep and eye on the tyres to guide us back out for a different approach. We then had to cross Cockatoo Creek, which has a very deep drop to get down into the creek. Some one had put some rocks down to fill in a big hole and Olly asked me to get out and make sure he was staying lined up with them or it would have been a steep slippery drop down, as it was Olly stayed on them anyway and we crossed with no dramas.
We enjoyed the drive for a few hours, it’s a beautiful small track, winding through the bush. I have decided I love driving on the small roads and tracks because you go slowly and get to see so much. I love how few people there are and the out of the way places they take you but I am not a real 4×4 enthusiast at heart, I suppose that comes as not surprise to anyone who knows me! The checking out hard bits and standing around talking about it and analysing it and winching out, it’s not my thing. At Palm Creek, the hard river we crossed yesterday, there were a few people there (who were camping in the area) not even crossing just watching and helping people get out who were stuck- for fun! After the digging out of yesterday I didn’t get the ‘fun’ part of that! I do enjoy the bumping and creaking along and beautiful remote places these small roads take us and love stopping at the creeks to walk through with Olly to see how we will go and to cool down by getting wet. Olly loves it though. I can see the wheels turning in his mind as to how we will go, which area, where the tyres will be and the massive smile after negotiating a challenging part. It is fun crossing the creeks!
Mid morning we arrived at Fruit Bat Falls, we had read you could swim there so we walked down to a picture perfect waterfall and swim hole. We both jumped straight in and loved playing around in the water and getting a massage from the falls pounding on your back! It was also good to have a little ‘bath’ after our bush showers of the last week. It is a stunning place and my top place to stop on the way back down.
We stopped at a few more falls and had one more swim and a walk around the top of one. The water is fast flowing but shallow enough that you can easily walk around on the top of the waterfall and peer right down in to where the water is cascading down.
We spent the rest of the afternoon driving the track. It just keeps winding and twisting its way through the bush. Sometimes its red, sometimes its white, the bush changes from thick to more sparse and from scrub and trees to palms, it really is beautiful.
At one of the creek crossings I was guiding Olly across a tricky bit (as well as taking some photos) and heard a noise behind me and sort of sensed something as I turned to see a snake right at my feet, I leaped back into the water and screamed- he seemed to hesitate for a moment and then slithered off. It really made me jump and got my adrenalin pumping, that’s the second snake in the water in two days, that one too close for comfort.
We only saw one vehicle from mid morning and that was another landy who had turned around further up saying one of the notoriously deep crossing was too deep and he did not want to risk it. We kept going as we were enjoying the track and of course wanted to see for ourselves. We crossed several more creeks- of course each one is different and often then ones that look easy turn out to be tricky. We arrived at Nolan Creek and we got out to have a look. Olly walked it and the water was up to his belly button and had a very sandy soft bottom. I went back to landy and Olly walked it a few more times had a look to see if there was another way around- I just left him to it. After much time and several times wading through he decided we would turn around and not cross. The deepness of the water and more so the soft bottom were the main factors, combined with being on our own and not having seen anyone (apart from the one guy who was on the way out as we went in) for hours. Besides we have a long way to go in landy so if we got bogged in water that deep it would not be good! Olly was pretty disappointed but said he is happy with what he decided.
We did not want to drive too long this arvo and as we had to back track we ended up finding another great spot next to a creek this time on a road that is not even on the map. Olly got the fire going straight away for the potatoes and we threw some garlic in as well (we still have heaps of garlic from the farm- we put it in everything!) Dinner is almost ready.
The one thing I have not enjoyed today (besides the snake at my feet) is the flies, by the time sun set tonight we were both going a bit batty- up the nose is the worst, especially when they go up just as you breath in then you snuffle, snort and splutter them out. They have gone now though, until morning. 🙂