Thursday, 22 December 2011

Cooktown: apparently it's always this empty

The Mulligan Highway goes past the black opal mines and 3 black mountains to Cooktown; the end of the line these days for non-4WD vehicles
The first person we met In Cooktown was an old british man (from Newton Abbot originally)  who had claimed to heal many cancer sufferers using sellenium (farmer’s drench for animal pests) and black salve. He said that the Australian Gov had taken apricot kernel off the health food shop shelves to support the pharmetceutical companies and talked about the hospitals as being “killing fields”. He specially mentioned a visitor with throat cancer who he met while feeling low after chemo and he advised the sellenium treatment. The man came back after 6 weeks, after coughing up a big black pellet, and amazed his doctor by getting the all clear.
Cooktown Museum: shutting up for the afternoon. We were the only visitors that afternoon and had the Endeavour's anchor, log book and tree stump it was lashed to, to ourselves.

Rush hour in Cooktown.

Waiting for the giant Grouper to be reeled in.

Cooktown jetty.

We bushed camped again, 10km down a red dirt track, at Archer Point; a kind of croc heaven with mangroves, just south of Cooktown. After we parked up next to a small sandy cove, we cooked some lamb with heaps of rosemary. I bagged up the rubbish, including a wine bottle and stashed it under the van. Later, when I went out to do my teeth, I noticed that the bag had gone. There was quite a sea breeze which might have blown it away, then I remembered the wine bottle, so I got the filling station flashlight out to see it I could spot it. The bag was lying about 30m away on a grassy mound and a pair of large bright eyes lurked next to it. The creature backed off with the light. It turned out to be an oportunist dingo who clearly had a penchant for Italian style bbqed meat.

We left Cooktown, taking the Mulligan and then Kennedy Highway back to Cairns. We stopped for lunch at a roadhouse in Mount Molloy where, luckily for us, the menu and the prices were 20 years out of date. Steak pie, chips and gravy was still $5.50! As we walked in, Magi said “is this a gay bar? When we had sat down I asked her where she got that from. She said Paul; as in the alien comedy. Good to know that Pegg and Frost are educating our kids whilst on the road.

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