... starring the frenchman's crew...
23.09.2011 - 30.09.2011
Its not everyday that one single road, or in this case 'track' commands a whole episode, but this one sure does - partly because of the challenge and accomplishment, partly the remoteness, partly the surrounding beauty... definately the friendships carved along the way. Friendships made not just in a passing wave, but those made when everyone at some point neeeds to trust and depend on someone else... whether for a a push or a winch, a few eggs, a bottle of water, a reassuring word ('sure it's doable... mate'), some diesel power plant know-how or simply sharing that muddied, water over the bonnet low range, near bogged escape from some croc-infested river crossing, experience that you know will stay stuck in the mind for years to come...
If you have ever wanted to do the Cape York / Telegraph Track experience... stop thinking about it and just get yourself up here for a few weeks - no regrets.
Getting up to it was half the fun via the east coast route through Lakefield National Park taking in Cape Flattery, Bathurst Head, Kalpowar along slow rough track. The winch came out on a few occasions to get over some dunes where the soft sand got the better of us.
Getting into Cape Flattery
Running Creek Beach
... while we were having a long overdue verbal slug-fest over something irrelevant... a troupe of three oversized 4x4's pulled up next to us in what had been a nice quiet remote campsite on beautiful Chilli Beach. Within minutes, kids were running rampant, music was pumping out of a subwoofer outsized only by the tyres stolen from some monster truck circus.. S**t!! was my first reaction, just what I need to add to the aggrivation of an illogical, stubborn woman. Figuring I have to do something, I opted to run... down the beach I went at what is a blistering pace for my lazy legs for as long as I could begging those endomorphines to turn up and work their magic - no prozac for 500kms!
Well, in short we are now relaxing at Loyalty Beach at The Tip, eleven or so days later, still with the same bunch of wonderful people - still enjoying Mick's sub-woofer (wish he had a bigger amp though..), the nightly entertainment provided by Martin and Barbara, the crazy Germans who turned up to have a crack at everthing Cape York could throw at them in true backpacker style driving a Jeep Cherokee older than them with the only bit of outback travel equipment being a guitar and a weird sounding flute that needs to be heard to be appreciated. Sadly, the Telegraph did have the last laugh for one Land Cruiser after getting a little too intimate with an unamed river - now standing proudly in the local Bamaga grave yard - Owner 'it's doable' Dale staring out over the ocean towards Thursday Island wondering if his next Land Cruiser would really need the ferry to get over there, while his ever tolerant wife, Kerry eyes him sternly... 'don't you even think about it...!'
Martin and Belinda... bazaar, I know. Who would have thought another couple bearing those infamous names would enter our lives... This is beginning to sound like a TV sitcom... 'these are our friends M&B and these are other friends M&B and these are our other friends M&B...' We really need to widen out. A carbon copy of our 'other friends' M&B... while Belinda makes all the noise, Martin watches on head swaying from side to side... until the sun sets and beers emerge... and Martin comes to life...!
The group, now grown to sixteen plus Boris (woof), with Craig and Melissa having joined us on the only bridge on the track - having been married only two weeks ago and still on honeymoon. We try to ignore the shinannigans of the night in the blue Hilux and rather marvel at Toyota suspension systems...
While bouncing along the trail Ang somehow found a stable enough hand and mind to write some peotry - it tells it all..
The road was tough, and ruggered and hard
Glad we took it now, before it gets tarred
We came to a crossing, "Pascoe" was his name
No one dared to put, the team to shame
The Nissans just cruised, to the top they went
The 100 series as usual, was good money spent
The Kimberly coughed once, but cruised like a dream
And the jeep we proved girls, drive better it seems
Then came Bramwell, the pit stop we had
We asked for water, they thought we were mad
We filled up with fuel, and paid the high price
To find better camping, cause they weren't so nice
We hit the telegraph track, with gung hoe Mick
he was out there to prove, and try every trick
Palm crossings a whow, what are we to do
The chicken track Rod said, it's easy for two
We watched in awe, Dales cunning decent
Bang boom the noise rang, it sounded bent
Martin the gentleman, eased in with grace
Which made it look easy, he had set the pace
There was no chicken track, ,or so we found out
We were all there for the Germans, to give them a shout
We all cleared through, no damage was done
Until the next crossing, when the winch was unspun
We retired for the day, as the kids were enough
Good Tucker was cooked, and we were all stuffed
Good music and singing, now that was a treat
Then sound to sleep, as we were all beat.
The telegraph track was an interesting place
Winding roads, and not much space
Bump after bump we went up and down
It felt like we were on, a merry go round
Water was out, there was a worried smile
We will drive and see, no drinks for awhile
An oasis appeared before our eyes
We were dirty and grubby that no lies
We showered and shaved and all washed our hair
Dirty feet, dirty hands we could no longer bare
Fresh spas were welcomed and we all filled our tanks
We ate our lunch as we sat on the banks
A mud pit to launch Dales Nissan to the sky
Stop! Kerry said or home we will fly
I give it a go, Mick said with with a nod
Up and down he went till he got bogged
On your tummy! was a shout, from Acasia in the crowd
It rang in my ears, it rang out loud
A mud fight ensued with Kerry Mick and I
As Dale grabbed Kerry and threw mud up high
Then came gunshot, the creek to be beat
'If I fuck it up' Dale said, I will take the heat
So down he went as the Nissan screamed with delight
It was amazing to see it was a wonderful sight
We settled down with tales from our wonderful day
we talked and talked till there was nothing to say
What had been done was an amazing treat
The telegraph track was just about beat.
More photos on facebook