A Weekend of Revisiting Revisited – 2 Posts in One Day!





Yep, two posts in ONE day. Kind of a different thing for us.

So, we left our rainforest paradise to look for my old campsite on Mt Amos Road. But first, I want Tina to write some ascii about  *HER* impressions of that special place. A little secret though. On Saturday night, Tina suggested we go into Auravale in the morning. The real reason we didn’t go in wasn’t because the creek was up. I said to Tina that when we cross the creek and drive up to the property, we are only 4 hours walk from Cedar Bay. She agreed we should wait until we are really ready to go bush. Sooo close…

*SNARF! Tina takes over the blog*

Where do I start…? Let me just say this first.

This whole trip has unfolded in a really amazing way. First, there was a distinct lack of work on the way up to Cooktown. It forced us to push on until we got here. Then, we seemed to meet the right people at the right times, giving us ideas on where to go, work oportunities, etc. The land became more and more familiar-feeling as we drove north, and felt more welcoming. Even the weather feels lovely… yes, even the rain feels wonderful to me.

We saw a croc in the waves on our very first day here. We’ve seen wallabies hopping across the main road in town. A brush turkey chick chose to shelter out of the rain in our car with us for the night. The birds at the wharf recognise us. A pair of sunbirds have taken a liking to us, visiting us a number of times. I found a beautiful and perfect shell just lying on the beach. We’ve picked up a load of little rocks and a couple of nice pieces of driftwood. Today we found a dead nudibranch floating at the water’s edge. We’re noticing all the little things again.

And the people that we’ve met since we’ve been here have been amazingly friendly and helpful.

Dragon and Steve we met even before we got to town. They were hitching from Lakeland and piled into the back seat with the dogs. Dragon’s a spin (he’s a chef, Vic) and didn’t shut up the whole time. They were coming up for the pool comp at ‘The Top Pub’. We ran into him again on Saturday. ‘I know those two ugly mugs’ he yells out. Couldn’t help recognising that voice… didn’t need to see the dreadlocked head. ‘Knew I’d see youse two again,’ he said.

Dan was living in his car when we drove into town with no gas in our cooker and no $$ in our pockets. He gave us a gas cylinder and we had hot food and coffee for the rest of the week. We’ve seen him around town since. He’s managed to rent a flat now and we’ve promised to visit him soon… just as soon as we can stop marveling at everything.

Judy and Willie from Guurrbi tours are both amazing people too. Willy offered to help us fix our lights on the night that he was helping to host a flood relief fund raiser. We politely declined his generous offer though… couldn’t let him get his good shirt dirty. And Judy gave my name to Scott when he mentioned that he was looking for an arty type to paint his crocodile. Not only that, but the woman can talk. I’m looking forward to coffee with her when they get back from their business trip.

Scott, Ady and Uncle Roy own/run the Cooktown Motel (or Pam’s Place as the locals still call it). The three of them have helped to restore my faith in humanity. I took an instant liking to Scott the day I met him. Those of you who know me well know just how rare a thing that is. He’s already given us much… including friendship, free use of the washing machine, showers, kitchen etc (should we need it) and even gave us a brand new dog bed for Jack. Scott is big (he called me a short-ass the other day) and bright and has a heart of gold. He makes me feel comfortable. If he wasn’t older than me, I’d adopt him.
Ady is Scott’s partner and is quite different. He’s quiet, loves music, photography and (godhelpim) apple technology. Despite his obvious iFault, he’s very cool and has the cutest smile. I promised not to stir him until he cries.
And Uncle Roy is unique. He’s recently found true love but she lives in Brazil. They’re going to meet up again in New Zealand later this year. I have promised to teach him how to use email before he goes. He reckons he’s too old, but I told him you’re never too old to learn new things… just like you’re never too old to fall in love. He smiles like a teenager when you say that.
And this next bit might freak out a few of those who know me well… I found myself singing out loud whilst scrubbing walls! It’s enough to make me think that something’s seriously wrong with me. 😉 I do feel that we’ll be dropping in for the good company often. I could probably even manage to make a few beds while we’re there. I do want to cook them a big feed soon… must be my mother instinct.

And then there’s Errol and Uncle, who stopped to yarn on our first day here. They told us about some good local spots to stop and took it upon themselves to teach us a few words. Theres a few Uncles, but we’re shitty at remembering names so we just call them Uncle, like everyone else. So if in future posts we refer to Uncle, it could be any of a dozen men. Our bad.

Similarly, there are a few Aunties and Tittas (Sisters). I wish my memory for names was better. Eddie and Titta came over to the car a few nights ago and introduced themselves. They gave us some more tips on camping spots and stuff.

Wooly is big and friendly and  always smiles. Occasionally he’ll be seen clutching a VB carton.

Lea and her Mum are both lovely women, both artists who are immensely proud of each other. I was overwhelmed by their friendliness.

Garry noticed us around town and stopped to ask us over for dinner. He made a beautiful curry and we had a lovely evening. He also made the generous offer of a room in his house. We politely declined again, explaining that we really do like living in our car. He mentioned that he’d like a few chooks as pets so I’m going to make it my business to find him some.

Raya said hello one day at Finch Bay and we ended up having a big chat. Turns out that she was in Cardwell during Yasi… scary shit! She also happens to be one of Scott’s friends. Small world… well, it IS in Cooktown.

But that kind of friendliness seems to come from most around here. There are so many others that I can’t list. It seems that the whole of Cooktown has opened their arms to us. This truly is a magical little town and I love it.

But having said that…

Two nights ago we slept in the rainforest, man! The REAL rainforest!! WOW!!

Before we got there, we stopped for a beer at The Lion’s Den (google it, I can’t figure out this link thing). It was a surreal feeling pulling into the car park. I’ve heard more about this one pub, and by so many different people than any other pub in the country. We had to stop.

It’s amazing! Just what I imagined. The walls, the drinking paraphenalia, the old stuff, the clothes, the animal skins, the party photos, the verandah, the m-f’n big trees, the locals, the atmosphere. It was something like walking into a dream.

And then we continued on towards the big green trees. Wow. Oh wow! Oh WOW! Ooh wooow… etc etc…
When we pulled into the driveway at Auravale, I think I’d run out of Wow’s. We drove in a couple of hundred metres and had to stop at the crossing. The water really was too high to cross. I wouldn’t have walked it, so we wouldn’t have driven across. I’m a bit disappointed but I’m also glad… as Brad said, it would have been hard to leave again had we crossed that creek.

We stopped and walked down to the creek. I can’t describe the beauty of the forest. Big trees, vines, ferns, rushing water, moss covered rocks, knarly tree roots, soft leaf litter EVERYWHERE.

The first thing I did was stand in the creek. The water was cold and refreshing. Then I spent about an hour looking at all the rocks in the road. I stared at trees for a bit, boiled the billy for a cuppa, checked out some more trees, made a pretty measly dinner and spent the rest of the evening watching the trees. It was pretty damn cool.

I’m glad we didn’t cross the creek yet. Brad’s right. I could feel the pull of the place. We both know that we’ll want to keep going. But, we want to be fully stocked and ready to go in for a couple of weeks, at the least. I’m pretty sure we’ll like it when we get there. And I’m sure it won’t be long before we head in again, for real. Of course, we’ll warn you when we’re about to head out of phone range. And we’ll update as soon as we can.

Well, I suppose I should give this bloody phone back to Brad. Take care all. Love you heaps, miss you more. Xxxxxxxx

‘You want this phone back Baby? I think I’ve had enough for one night. Baby?’
‘Damn! I haven’t been at this for that long that you’d fall asleep, have I?!

Yes… yes I have…’



  1. Nikki said,

    April 5, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Wow. Great update! Sometimes all the little things come together to let you know you’re in the right place and it certainly sounds like the universe is telling you that you’re on your way home!! Thanks so much for sharing this adventure with us! I’m so loving tagging along in this little virtual universe. Stay safe! Xox

    • Tina said,

      April 6, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Thamks for tagging along. You know that we’ll love to show you guys our little paradise home when we get there. We will have to teach Juniper how to climb mountains. She should just about be ready for that by now. 😉

      Drop us an email and let us know what’s happening and where you’re going, etc. If things are still up in the air, this IS a beautiful part of Aus. I even know of a couple of lovely little places that would make a great vegie restaurant…

      Take care now. Big sloppy kisses to all. Xxxx

  2. twistyman said,

    April 5, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Glad you’re having good time…

    • Tina said,

      April 6, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Great time, Bob. Wish you were here… :0(

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