|Jardine River North (Again)
|June 28 - 30 2019
|not often do we return to a place we've previously visited.
Its a little difficult within Cape York as the Peninsula Development Road forms a single north south backbone with roads off to east and west.
The Jardine River provides a handy source of fresh water for long overdue domestic chores. Washing, showers, fill the tanks.
The camp is only a few km from the river ferry, which is the only way by road into the tip.
|The river is another 75mm lower, though our pooh stick had
been kicked over.
At the downstream end of the sandbank was a moderately fresh track of a medium sized crocodile. Dragged its tail through the water, disturbing the sand, then crawled across the sandbank. A bit indistinct after that, it didn't seem to have climbed the river bank, it probably swam off downstream.
Even if crocs have a reverse this one only went one way.
Maybe when we get home we can dine out on exaggerated stories of camping next to crocodile infested water.
|We are 5km along a dirt track, about 300m from the end.
This gentleman, and his friend, parked in front of us to rewind their winch ropes. The dulcid tones of throbbing diesel engines and whining winches pervaded their surroundings.
We knew from assistance provided to the Park Ranger a couple of weeks ago that the track ends in a bog. The old wheel ruts hadn't been erased by the wheels of time and may have provided a not so subtle clue. There are also more subtle clues.
|The obvious inevitable result of driving past the end of
the track seemed to escape our hero who must have decided the track was too
short and his task in life was to extend it. While he was successful in
extending it by at least 10m his endeavours came to a sticky end in the
gooey clay as all momentum was inevitability lost. An earthly version of the
"infinite inevitability drive" - with apologies to Douglas Adams "infinite
The futile determination required to keep the wheels spinning ineffectively, digging deeper, while forward motion has well and truly ceased due to axle guards and other parts under the vehicle no longer sliding on the clay like skis, must remain a source of incomprehensible mystery and wonder to us lesser mortals. It will remain a little difficult for us to understand the precise purpose as there's a tree a couple of meters directly in front of where the vehicle came to rest. Our irreverent malevolence extends to wondering what would have happened if vehicle met tree.
Although there were 4 vehicles in the party he was alone in his, with no-one to try and impress. Perhaps he felt encased in some sort of protective invincibility bubble that hasn't yet been invented. Or maybe missing a gene. What are we missing? - the motive escapes us. At least with climbing mountains there's always "because its there". Whereas "I got bogged because I can" seems to have a certain twisted macho illogic. Falling off a mountain is typically considered an undesirable and potentially unhealthy failure. Even chickens know crossing the road is about getting to the other side.
But really, what else can we say ...... if it looks like a bog ...... etc.
|Despite the entertainment being free of charge and
unconditional we are at serious risk of passing judgement on both the
individual and his behaviour, pondering the future of the human race, and
being more than a smidgeon hopeful we have observed the behaviour of an
unrepresentative statistical aberration.
We wonder if the positive encouragement of being recovered will create more opportunities for our invincible hero to ignore the blatantly obvious. Until something more inevitable occurs.
Once our peace was restored with their departure we returned to the challenge of bird watching when the birds are both few and shy. Though perhaps we are simple wannabe observers of behaviour. We gave our hero a very definite 0 out of 10 in all categories.
This is one of a pair of peaceful doves that we almost pictured flirting on the sand by the riverside. Reminiscent of the bronzewings display at Peter and Margaret's in Adelaide.
|Another day. Its overcast, drizzling spasmodically with a
Last time here I caught a glimpse of a kingfisher. This time a pair of forest kingfishers visited us. Or at least decided there was food nearby.
According to the bird book, which is always correct, this is the female.
|And this is the male.
The blues on their crown are slightly different, the female has a little bit of greeny blue at the very top, though not as pale as the lighter part of wings, and the white collar is all around the male's neck.
They entertained us for quite a while as they picked up grubs from the ground.
They seemed to favour landing on a different tree or branch after each foray rather than returning to the same place.
They are also very similar to mangrove kingfishers. The distinction seems mostly to be habitat with slight differences in colours. We are beside a freshwater river with open forest beyond the banks.
The good news is that either a little rain, an exaggerated report of the toughest 4wd track on the Cape taken back to the safety of a caravan park, or pure chance, have left us undisturbed today.
|After the day of squally showers another domestic day.
|We try to make sense of the sounds we've heard in the
Some are similar to the sounds we heard at Laradinya Creek. Perhaps frogs.
A different croaking turned out to be a large fallen tree, resting in the water, bobbing up and down with the wind.
It occurred to me that despite all the trees and branches in forests we rarely see branches touching, or rubbing against each other.
The lillies on the far side of the river are a better indication than my pooh stick of how far the river has fallen.
During the day we occasionally hear the squawking and musical conversation of palm cockatoos. But, alas, we fail to see them again.
|To exit our camp (on the 1st July) we take the by-pass
track west towards the ferry. About 14km of reasonably easy track.
The junction with the main road, about 1km short of the ferry, explains why we missed it the first time we camped, and why the park website directs us to it from the north.
We are not the first to find our way here, which makes crossing the deep washout and climbing up to the road relatively easy, and doubt we will be the last.
|The ferry starts at 08:00. At 08:10 it was waiting for us as we approached. Drive straight on and cross the river. We stopped briefly on the south side to make use of the (slow) mobile phone connection for internet.
|Captain Billy Landing
|July 1 2019