|20TH July, 2013.
Happy Birthday to my little brother Ron. One month to go.
We are off to the markets this morning. We were warned not to expect too much and there wasn’t. LOL
Some nice fresh fruit and vegies. I bought a pumpkin which looked like a gourd but the colour of a Jap pumpkin, some limes and some avocado.
There were the usual second hand stalls and food stalls, mostly Asian food and some gem and jewellery stalls as well.
After our sojourn at the markets we went back to the van and I got myself a pretty hefty blister on my finger from cutting up and peeling the pumpkin and now it is all in the pot for some pumpkin soup. Hope it tastes alright.
We went back into town and met Greg and Caz at the RSL for lunch. Lamb’s fry and bacon for Greg and me, Carolyn had fish and chips and Rob had chicken Parmy. We all enjoyed our lunch and there was certainly more than enough.
After lunch it was up to the top of Grassy Hill.
This is where the lighthouse is situated, although not operational now it was a major contributor to the safety of the boats coming into the harbour through all the reefs.
It was low tide and all the sand bars were clearly visible. Makes you wonder how Captain Cook navigated into the harbour after he had struck one of the outlying reefs.
The views were 360 degrees and gave you a good perspective of the size of Cooktown and the marshlands and mangroves.
Back down to the harbour front and along to the point where we watched a trawler coming back in, they only deal with fresh crayfish and they say that it is only an hour from when they land the catch on the wharf before it is in the plane and off down south.
There were people fishing from the wharf but nobody seemed to be catching anything much.
23rd July, 2013.
Into town this morning to get fuel. Of course we went via the wharf….LOL….
The Coral Princess was tied up and waiting for the passengers to come aboard for the return trip to Cairns. It would be a lovely cruise to do, I think it’s about 4 days turnaround, snorkelling, scuba diving and shore excursions and glass bottom boat for viewing the reef. Have to win the Lotto first.
The car is all fuelled up and so are we so it’s off to Black Mountain.
About 20ks out of Cooktown we saw our first back packer on a pushbike. They can have that on their own, too much like hard work for my liking.
Black Mountain is located 25km south of Cooktown and is on the northern end of the Trevethan Mountain Range. It is the traditional country of the Kuku Bididji and Kuku Nyungkul clans who know the area as Kalkajaka meaning place of spear and is also the source of many dreaming stories.
There are also “unfounded” stories of people, horses and whole mobs of cattle disappearing into the rocks never to be seen again.
Black Mountain contains formidable granite boulders, some the size of houses and stacked precariously on top of each other, almost defying gravity.
The area is home to the Black Mountain gecko and boulder frog also the giant amethystine pythons inhabit the area and are quite capable of devouring a decent sized rock wallaby and can grow to more than five metres in length.
The only greenery on the mountain is fig trees which can survive in rock crevases and send down roots deep into the mountain to find water.
We carried on out to Helenvale and the Lion’s Den Hotel. The Lions Den Hotel was built in 1875 on the banks of the Little Annan River, surrounded by 100 year old mango trees and tropical landscapes. It is a landmark hotel made of timber and iron, famous for its quirky decorations and walls adorned with visitor’s signatures.
We were having a walk around the grounds and came across a large goanna, it had beautiful markings and for something that appeared to lumber along it was surprisingly swift.
After a seafood basket for lunch we headed back towards Cooktown and turned off to go and have a look at Quarantine Bay.
Quarantine Bay is located 8 km by road from Cooktown and 4 km off the Cooktown Road. It is a 1 km long, north-east facing beach, lying in lee of the densely vegetated 100 m high Monkhouse Point, which protrudes 1 km seaward from the southern end of the beach. The beach is surrounded with steep, tropical slopes. A road crosses a saddle toward the southern end, giving good access to the beach and a few beach houses that back the central and northern section of the beach. There are no facilities except for some toilets at the bay.
The beach is backed by dense vegetation. It has a steep high tide at the beach and contains a mixture of sand and gravel, while at low tide a low gradient bar grades into wide tidal shoals toward the southern half. Polished granite boulders dot the beach, while the granite rocks of the headlands fringe each end.
They say you can swim there but not for this little black duck thanks very much. There is the usual crocodiles inhabit this area sign on the approach to the beach and that’s enough for me not to venture into the water.
The sign on the approach to the bay says no trailers or caravans past a certain point, however, we have taken our van up and down much steeper roads than this, the problem being that once you got down to the bottom there is nowhere to turn around.