Bathurst Bay-Still no reply!
After another 8 hours driving and being scrutinized by many a bull (like lurking traffic inspectors), we finally pulled up over a ridge of sand dunes to Bathurst Bay. This truly is an incredibly exciting location. The view of the Bay was absolutely breathtaking and will be entrenched in our psyches for years to come.
Perfect tropical climate, a beautiful beach backed up by enormous mountains of black rock, the Flinders Islands a short distance from shore, fish jumping up out of the water and saying hello, and only two other campsites to be seen. After a month on the road, this was, without doubt, the closest to the utopian place that we had been searching for. The remote wilderness of parts of Cape York Peninsula is all empowering. Their isolation from the rest of civilisation and pristine condition remind you of the fact that we have damaged so much of the world. The little true wilderness remaining needs to be fiercely protected from development.
Our first day saw us out on the boat eager to explore the tropical waters, determined to be self-sufficient and catch a fish for dinner. We spotted some nearby islands and made a beeline for the deep water between them. On the way, we saw at least 8 turtles. The tropical waters around the Cape are just so alive it is frightening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Eric)Everything moves. Everything except the spritely School Mackerel we hooked up just near the outcrop above…a difficult catch because we really had nothing to land it with…I ended up rather gruesomely having to hit it over the head with a bottle that just happened to be in the anchor bag. It was a reminder of how removed you from the act of killing to survive when all you do is go down to the local supermarket to buy your fresh meat…
Eric and I found a spot to cool off after our catch of the day. Impatient as I am, I dove in for a quick dip. Only seconds later two bream came flying around the corner of a large rock at 100 miles an hour. Eric who by now was about to dive into the water, cautiously took a step back….(Eric) I knew that they wouldn’t by choice swim straight towards me unless something that wanted to eat them was forcing them to do it. All of a sudden a 2-metre shark came around the edge of the rock pictured below and forced it’s body up over the sandy shallow side trying to get at the Bream (or perhaps my toes…I guess to a shark they may look a little tasty!). Needless to say, my desire to go for a swim was somewhat abated by this stage…but I still managed a quick dip…very quick!
Lesson One: IF YOU MUST SWIM… DO IT QUICKLY!
For us, seeing and existing as part of the raw energy of nature has to be one of the most significant delights of being out in the bush and on the water.
After three days of exploring the Bathurst Bay area, fishing along the beach, and relaxing and enjoying this rugged area we realised it was beyond the realm of the possibility that the satellite repairmen were on an extended coffee break. Our phone fault lay elsewhere and we needed to fix it right away to maintain contact with yourselves. We had to get to a public telephone to call Optus, so we decided to head to the nearest town, Laura only 230km away. The drive back from Bathurst Bay through Lakefield National Park was a highway compared to the drive in from Cooktown. We arrived at Laura late in the afternoon.