Touring Around a bit

Hey all
I had the chance to revisit a bit more of my old tramping/walkabout ground yesterday. I had to run a 22 seat Toyota Coaster bus down to Cape Tribulation via the ‘Bloomfield Track’. Once there, I was to swap over into a 9 seat Commuter & bring it back to Cooktown.
Now, back in 1984, after the protests failed & the road was dozed through, I vowed never to drive on it. I would walk it, but as my own personal, weird, damned hippy way, I wasn’t gunna drive it.
Well, now that I’ve broken my personal vow, I have to say that it is a pretty interesting drive.
I must relate a little anecdote. I had 7 passengers. The first was in Cookie. An older lady. Before I got to say good morning, she asked, “Can you tell me why I was told to be here by 06:45 because the bus departs at 7 am & it is now 07:20?”
I replied politely, “I have no idea ma’am. Perhaps there was a miscommunication between myself & the office.”
“I shall find out when I get home” she replied.
Anyway, we headed off to Ayton & Wujal Wujal to pick up the rest of my charges.
The road to Cape Tribulation has some *extremely steep climbs and descents*. For example, on the first ascent, I had to drop from third to second & then within 20 metres, a quick flick of the gear stick down & to the left to grab first before I lost momentum and gave everyone whiplash.
The change went smooth & we climbed the rest of the hill feeling like a space shuttle crew on launch. I guess the steepest sections are about 30 degrees? Thankfully the real steep sections are laid with currogated concrete to prevent drastic erosion & extremely dangerous conditions for the unwary.
One of the decents was so steep that I had my left foot bracing my body & while my right played with the brake. I had to stay in 3rd to balance between the foot brakes & the exhaust brake. But all went smooth as. I gently walked the bus over the creek crossings and cruised at about 50kmh on the straight & clear ridge sections.
We arrived at PK’s at Cape Trib safe & sound. The older lady said as she alighted from the bus, “Thank you very much for your experienced and skillful driving. I’ve had some shocking drivers before.”
So there ya go. I wonder what she’d of thought if she’d known it was the first time I’d driven between Wujal & Cape *before* we left? 🙂
I swapped over & had an empty minibus, so I could stop and check stuff out.
First up, I couldn’t go back to Cape Trib without taking a photo of the beach.

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This is looking North along the beach. Cape Tribulation itself is behind my left shoulder. Literally. You can’t see it. There are a plethora of ‘Cape’ pics around. But this one is a memory:
Thirty years ago this year, I was an 18 year old kid, wandering Far North Queensland, discovering me.
At the Northern end of this beach, almost where that saddle is, was a rough track that went up over the ridge & down, then continued along ridges and coastal flats & mountains, all the way to Wujal Wujal. The track was dozed back, if memory serves, in the late sixties or early seventies. By 1982 the track was no more than a walking track. In places it was almost completely overgrown.
The next few pics are of crossings & hills on the track & some nature
🙂

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7 Comments

  1. bob said,

    February 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    great pics…love that tree…

    should have introduced the old lady to toothy log.

    • Brad said,

      February 24, 2012 at 2:35 am

      Hehe. Yep. And the strangler fig. Mad hey!!

  2. February 23, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Thanks hippy great yarn and pics mate

    • Brad said,

      February 24, 2012 at 2:33 am

      Thanks Colin 😉

  3. GOF said,

    February 26, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Sometimes we need to revise how we think about ‘development’. Properly constructed ‘appropriate’ roads through the rainforest can in the long-term aid in preserving the natural environment. Closer to home I look at the Lake Eacham access roads and I think they are an effective balance between tourism and conservation.

    Great pictures……I really must make that journey myself soon….maybe next dry season….I’ve only been as far as Cape Trib from the south.

    • Brad said,

      February 26, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Definitely worth a slow drive. Stop & really see some of the country

    • Brad said,

      February 27, 2012 at 5:43 am

      Worth the trip GOF. It’s a nice drive.


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