Plans? Well of course we didn’t stick to it!

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In our last post we said we were going to truck on down to Daintree and see what work was about. I think it was a ‘plan’ or something.

Well…plans change of course.
Friday 19(?) March 2011
We packed up and said goodbye to Steve, our fellow transient at the Mareeba rest stop, & headed into town to top up with diesel & to put some Lucas Oil Conditioner in Jimmy.
Jimmy was smoking pretty bad, but after adding the Lucas & topping up the oil he got better…after about 5km.
We drove out of Mareeba & headed North to Mt Molloy & the Mossman/Daintree turn-off.

Just North of Mt Molloy, and just before the Mossman turn-off is a large 48 hour Rest stop. It’s next to creek in amongst the rainforest & is quite pretty. The toilet block also has showers, so Tina & I took the opportunity to freshen up a little…well a lot actually. Our personal hygiene had been bucket baths for a week while we were at the rest stop, so the showers were so good, even if they were cold.

While Tina was showering, a bloke pulled in for a quick stop and a short break. We got to talking as he offered me his newspaper that he’d finished with. Turns out he is a councillor up at Hopevale, Graham Bowen. Yes, cousin of Marty Bowen the footballer. I asked him about work prospects up his way & he suggested that there might be work at Lakeland on one of the Banana farms up there.
Now, back in ’82 when I last was around that area, there was cattle & Peanuts and not much else. Nowadays there is a massive banana plantation that employs upward of a hundred people. Graham also suggested there might be work at Laura as well. It’s about 60km Nth West of Lakeland.
So we made an executive decision & decided to head to Lakeland. We reasoned that if we went to Daintree & couldn’t get any work, we’d be stranded. Plus, heading to Daintree meant we’d have had to backtrack to get to Cooktown anyway, seeing as the Bloomfield crossing was washed away at the top end of the track.

We figured we had enough diesel to get us there & it was in the same direction as Cooktown, our eventual stopping point.
We got up past the Palmer River, about 28km South of Lakeland & found a cool lookout with toilets. In 1982 the highway to Cooktown was best described as a goat track. Nowadays it is a sealed road that is better than many in the state.
We stopped there for the night as it was nice & cool and very quiet.
Next morning I woke just before dawn. To put it mildly, it was bloody glorious.

We headed off after brekky & pulled into the Lakeland Roadhouse about 20 minutes later.
We were informed that the Laura road was closed due to the wet season, & that the farm might not be the best place to work for various reasons. So we threw $10 of the last of our funds into diesel for Jimmy ($1.67 a litre) and headed for our final destination.
Just up the road we picked up a couple of hitch-hikers, Steve & Dragon. They work at the Lakeland motel & were heading to the Top Pub at ‘Cookie’ for a pool comp. We piled them into the back seat and headed off.

We made it to Cooktown before lunch & dropped the boys off. Dragon suggested a few places to hunt for work on the way.
We headed down to the wharf…to be continued…

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1 Comment

  1. twistyman said,

    March 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Stay safe wanderers..


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