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Peter, Kerry and I met up with Jason, Amanda and their 2 children. Tagging along with others is a safe and sensible way to travel along the Old Telegraph Track (OTT). Our challenges began at Moreton Telegraph Station (26) after having a bite. The vehicles waded through many deep water courses and climbed some steep hills without missing a beat. Take a look at the blackboard noticeboard (pics 27 & 28). Communication at its outback best! Termite nests were the largest I have seen. The nests were of various sizes colours and shapes. This picture (pic 29) just shows you how tall they can get. This one is the tallest I have seen.
This is where The Old Telegraph Track (OTT) (pic 30) follows the original telegraph line through the Peninsula, and for much of the Cape’s history was the only available route to get anywhere in Cape York. Today the Old Telegraph Track is an icon with 4WD enthusiasts. The Telegraph Line (pic 31) operated between 1885 and 1962 and was once the only method of communication for those living on the Cape York Peninsula. It operated with just two wires sending Morse code via repeater stations and homesteads. The line was then upgraded to radio in World War 2 and was in operation until 1987. Communication is now by microwaves and the tower can be seen along the track. The OTT is one of two roads to the Tip and provides loads of excitement traversing creeks, rough roads and hill climbs iced with corrugations you would only read about. See various pics 32 to 36.
Fruit Bat Falls (pics 37, 38, 39), Eliot Falls/Twin Falls (pics 40 & 41), and The Saucepan provided a picturesque settings for a swim and photographs. Natural phenomenon’s in the middle of nowhere untouched by humans. The water was a perfect swimming temperature with pure white sand as its base. We camped up with a fire for a couple of days at Eliot Falls and enjoyed the rest and relaxation of being able to swim at the Falls to reduce the heat exhaustion. The guys jumped off The Saucepan (pics 42,43,44) which was a fair drop to reach the water with rocks barely spaced. No one was injured and everyone had fun. I definitely wasn’t game to take the plunge. I was happy being a bystander armed with a camera.
I have posted a few different photos of Peter and Kerry doing their thing on the Old Telegraph Track. Peter (pic 45) and Kerry (pic 46 & 47). The water in the creeks the was so crystal and inviting (pic 48).
We made it to the Jardine River Crossing where we paid the $88.00 return ferry fare. The crossing was only the width of its barge multiplied by 2. People have been known to drive through the river because they didn't want to pay the money but on this occasion we had heard the riverbed was sporting soft sand and we didn’t want to get towed out. The $88.00 fee also included free camping in some places. We ate lunch while we waited for the ferry workers to return from their one hour lunch break (pics 49 & 50).
Later on that afternoon we arrived Seisia jetty (pic 51) where with the local kids were jumping off the jetty into the water even though “Crocodile Caution” signs were everywhere. Maybe they know something we don’t. Someone had caught a shovel nose shark and the kids were throwing it off the jetty and jumping in to fetch it. The poor shark didn’t stand a chance. We set up camp at Loyalty Beach (52) just a couple of kilometers from the jetty (New Mapoon) and set up camp just in time to witness the sun setting (pic 53). Little did we know that we were camping on fire ants nests. Boy did they do some damage. Even though they are very small, they managed to eat holes in the floor of my tent. I was amazed at the damage the little blighters could do. Luckily I never got bitten by one of them. There’d be nothing left of me ha!!!
After a good nights sleep, our trek to the "tip" began. Standing at the very tip of the Australian Continent (pic 54) brought about a “Broome” moment. I felt like I have achieved something big that was on my bucket list. Tears welled as I sat there thinking “I have done it”. What a magic moment!!! I thought to myself "this bit I am standing on, is “on the map”" a bit like the Great Australian Bight. It was a very hot day and I felt every step I took but I wasn’t giving in. A Dugong, Sea turtle and Dolphin swam past to add to the unreal ambience. Lots of pictures were taken and Kerry threw in a line but didn’t catch anything.
We jumped in the cars and headed to Somerset via the beach track(pic 56) to pay our respects to the Jardine family memorial (pic 55). In 1863 the Jardine family drove 600 head of beef cattle overland and established 'Somerset', near the 'tip', as the area's first permanent settlement. The beach and water at Somerset was yet again a drop dead gorgeous sight. I just wish we would’ve been able to take a dip. We stopped for a picnic lunch and spoke to some other holiday makers who had just done a massive trek in the heat. I don't know how people could make themselves hotter when it's already hot.
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