Friday, October 3, 2008

The Cape York wilderness

We left the Northern Peninula Area a little lighter than when we arrived, leaving a lot of our gear (hidden) on the island and other gear in Seisia ready for our return in a couple of weeks. Our trip back down through the Cape York wilderness and along the old telegrath track took a few days. On the first night we camped at Eliot and Twin Falls and enjoyed the beautiful, clear spring fed water. After weeks taking salt water showers, the fresh water of the falls felt like paradise!

The next night we pulled up in Lakefield National Park, and camped by a billabong. No shortage of excitement here! Wild pigs in our camp, agile wallabies in and around us, dozens of fresh water crocodiles in the billabong and we discovered a new technique in catching barramundi - by tickling them! The night was filled with wild sounds of the bush - barking owls, barramundi 'boofing', scrub fowls, crocodiles, wallabies hopping through camp, small mammals scurrying and wild pigs! The morning was spent driving through the breathtaking landscape of Lakefield, with it's wetlands and billabongs, termite mound studded plains and array of bird life. We were excited to see birds such as brolgas, jabirus, radjah shellducks, jacanas, magpie geese and Australian bustards.

The next day we explored the Laura area and were mesmorized by the Quinkan Aboriginal rock art sites. The Quinkans contain some of the largest collections of rock art in the world. They represent ancestral spirits who lived in the cracks and crevices of the rocks - some were good and protected them, others were bad and crept around at night. It is an eery feeling walking into the area and knowing that 40,000 years before there were Aboriginals at this site painting their stories in the caves and on rock overhangs.

The landscape changed as we entered the Daintree rainforest and drove the rough, steep and rugged Bloomfield Track from Cooktown. The freshness and coolness of the rainforest was soothing after weeks of hot weather on Crab.

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