Thursday, 8 August 2013

Cape York Adventure Part 1: Hann River and Coen.

Our trip to the tip began as we watched a gorgeous sunrise out over James Earl lookout, just south of the Lakeland turn off.
Breakfast was had and we were ready for possibly our earliest start on the road so far! The skippys were out in force as the shadows cast from the early sun, luckily none decided to headbutt Rocky's bullbar.
At the Lakeland turn off we stumbled across a free washdown facility which also had public showers, with hot water, score!
Up the road heading towards the tip we went. The road begins quite comfortably, however once you pass the small town of Laura the corrugations come out to play, giving you a much rougher ride.
The weather is just amazing during the dry season once you leave civilisation on the way up, so much so we didn't get too far before deciding to camp at Hann River Roadhouse just so we could finally get some washing done and dried!

Hann River Roadhouse really was a top spot for our first night up the peninsula. The camp is very friendly with a resident emu, keeping an eye on everything, a few horses grazing and a peacock strutting his stuff.
Another great thing about far north QLD is the people are all amazing, everywhere you go staff are tops, guess it must be this perfect weather that does it!
Down besides the Roadhouse is the river of course, Jeni and I went for stroll. We ended up startling some big creature and heard a massive splash a bit further down the river, as we saw the shockwaves we figured it must have been a croc, although we couldn't find him.
Further down the dusty road by the river is some small rapids, quite pretty, but after hearing the chompy log further back we decided against taking a dip.
We also decided we'd have dinner in the back of the troopy this particular evening as to stop the emu from taking too strong an interest in our grub, instead, we had 3 kookaburras jumping around our chairs and on the door. I thought this was hilarious and amusing, however Jen was not amused at me sharing my dinner with them!
Hann River Roadhouse also has semi outdoor showers, which I absolutely love, especially in these warm climates. Something special about having a shower and staring up at a clear sky full of stars!

Next day we hit the road much later than the previous day. The entire trip we never really planned exactly where to go that day, other than head north and get to the top!
We made it to Coen and decided to pop in at the Exchange Hotel. Someone had gotten on the roof and placed an S in front of the E and conveniently enough, inside they sold merchandise labelled "The sExchange Hotel" gave me a giggle. Had a beer and practiced a little of my very rusty Mandarin with a couple of Taiwan girls working the bar.
Just outside Coen on the north side is a free camp by the river, we decided to crash here for the night. After getting settled we joined a big camp fire group and had a couple of tinnies.
The "Windyloo" at the free camp I'd have to say is the worst drop toilet I've encountered, but don't fret, for any major commitments the pub isn't too far a drive and it's only $5 per person to stay there.
If only every pub let you stay the night for only 5 bucks!

- Cameron

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