Since last night, I've been sorting out lots of photos that hadn't seen the light of day... so I'll see if I can whack them in right here and keep the whole shebang in order from here on in.
So, a couple of weeks on the Cape and 3000 km. Where did we stop each day?
Day 1, the Monday, was a relatively short leg. We started about 100km south of Cairns and while Peter headed in to Cairns to get tyres, Brett had to have his XT’s sidestand welded up. I ended up back at the same welder after we got back from the Cape, because the ProMoto Billet sidestand I’d fitted to the Katoom shit itself early on Day 2…. Which eventually meant me doing most of the 6,500 km I did in Australia without a sidestand. Oops – I digress.
We left Cairns after midday, fuelled up at Mossman and headed out to Daintree village. Some local lads on chook chasers pointed us to the start of the CREB Track. Our first de-watering of a bike took a fair while – tank off, air filter out, that sort of thing and we ended up doing a couple of km in the dark and camped literally on the track. Bern cheered everyone up with her “this is Taipan country”… one of Oz’s deadliest snakes.
Day 2 was even shorter distance wise. These shots give a bit of a flavour as to why. That red clay is like riding on grease when its wet. This is Brett on the 20 year old ex Army Yammie
A bit of a re-group after our first sliding session that morning. Note the sidestand on the KTM. Packing that on the back of the bike wore a bit thin and I eventually just leant the bike on whatever was around.
I seem to recall having an "off" somewhere like this. A 950se can be a bit of a pig if it hasn't got some momentum in places like this.
I should mention at this stage, that I'd been wearing the Matrix knee braces that Adventuremoto sells. They saved my left knee somewhere around there. I went over backwards with an almighty thump and thought I'd busted my shin bone. It was the knee brace digging in. I ended up with a bruise bigger than the palm of my hand where the force was transferred to the shin... but it saved my knee.
We eventually made it off the CREB and stayed in cabins at The Lions Den.
Day 3 was brekkie in Cooktown, then Battlecamp Road and through Lakefield National Park to Musgrave Roadhouse, where we camped – but ate in the roadhouse.
Just one of many gentle reminders
Day 4 took us through Coen, Archer River, Lockhart River and out to Chilli Beach… where we camped. The only exotica in the food department was chomping into a stale old coconut off the beach.
Some folks couldn't keep their front wheel under control.
Day 5 was back through Lockhart River, then off onto Frenchmans Track and up to Bramwell Station… a few km out from Bramwell Junction. Despite the guys preferring the beer to getting wood, it was appreciated when we ended up sitting around the campfire (after getting a bellyful of beer and beef).
Plenty of creeks and the odd river that day
No point looking at it... get into it.
Plenty of pleasant spots to pull up for a while
and while some folks were getting plenty of practice at drying out their bike...
... others looked like they needed a rest
... damn that sidestand
... more Frenchman's. Note the marble-like bauxite.
Yep... you can't beat a decent fire
This is an old dugout canoe at Bramwell Station. Some drongo had cut the arse off it years back, but its good to see they've got it up off the ground
Farewelling Bramwell. There's a bit of a game they play there that if Peter wanders by, might be worth asking him about. Something to do with a horseshoe on a string... and a nail on a post. Brett and I got it on our second go, with Gordo a bit behind. Peter might like to tell us how many hundreds of goes he had.
Day 6 saw us doing the southern section of the Old Telegraph Track and just sneaking in to the northern section to go to Fruit Bat Falls for a swim. This would be a drowned Tenere by the look of it.
I'm sure the sheen in the water is a naturally occuring substance. Couldn't have been us... because no mechanic with us would treat his tools like this...
Oh, hang on
My injury had slowed us down, so we barrelled up the Development Road to make sure we got to the Jardine River Ferry before it closed. Peter checking the distance
My brand new Garmin Montana had shit itself on the corrugations on Day 2, so I'm glad someone knew where we were going. The scenery along the way was nice too
This is the damn innocuous looking spot where I ripped my groin muscle. Not enough momentum, a hidden hole full of dust... sat there and spun, then just dropped and twisted.
I wasn't a happy chappy.
Here's Peter, being his normal useful self... showing Brett the way through one of the creeks. We were really, really disappointed when those lovely Swiss ladies who were watching us there never caught up with us.
Another view of Fruitbat Falls
Almost an anti-climax, riding across the Jardine like this
We ended up getting to the Loyalty Beach camp grounds…. Although I forked out the extra and had one of the donga cabins at $105 a night for 3 nights. The other lads camped, but ate dinners at the restaurant with me.