Thursday 15th May
Weipa has some peculiarities not seen down south.
On Monday we couldn’t work out why the supermarket was so crowded. It was because the supply boat had just docked bringing in fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Newsagent sells the usual magazines and lotto tickets however you can also purchase guns, hunting bows and your fishing gear there. A “proper” shop.
A lot of the utes have cages on the back for transporting pig dogs.
Mike and Jenny are towing a camper trailer whilst Steffan and Sue left their caravan at Mt Carbine and are tenting it. It was only about 80 kilometres to the river. Just north of Weipa you cross the Mission River. This is about half a kilometre wide and the bridge is single lane. With headlights on you peer across the bridge to ensure that no vehicles is on the bridge, first on has right of way. The bridge is so long that it is only just possible to see the other end clearly. The first 50 kilometres was on good dirt road, the next 25 was on a very corruga ted track with a few wash aways. It took us about an hour to do this 25 kilometres. We then turned north onto a very narrow and sandy track, after about 3 kilometres the camper trailer got bogged and I was finding the going difficult. We decided to head back, no easy task when you have to turn both a camper and a caravan on a very narrow track with deep sand and tea tree scrub on both sides, still we made it. Back on the good dirt road again we decided to head for Stones Crossing a camp on the Wenlock River. We didn’t get there either. It is burning off season here and the track was cut by a burn so it was back to Weipa.
Arrived in Weipa about 1700 very tired, filthy from the black sand and covered in sand fly bites. Checked into the park again and had a long hot shower. We all decided to head to Mapoon the next day.
Wednesday we set off for Cullen Point about 90 kilometres north of Weipa. Called into Mapoon an indigenous settlement to get permits to camp at Cullen Point which is about 10 kilometres north of Mapoon. Cullen Point is on the southern seaward side of Port Musgrave into which the mighty Wenlock River flows. There is no “port” actually in Port Musgrave, it is a port in name only but it is a huge body of water which makes Sydney Harbour look like a puddle.
The camp here is pretty good, there are toilets and cold showers and shady trees. There is even a long length of steel pipe to enable you to knock coconuts out of the tree. Best of all there is hardly anyone here!
The police came around just after we made camp and proceeded to get their troupie well and truly bogged in the soft sand. They had no recovery gear and little idea of how to recover vehicles. It took us about an hour to extricate them. This morning a couple of fishermen bogged their troupie and boat trailer. Once again no idea how to handle soft sand. We got them out by using their own winch that they didn’t know how to use. Bloody hopeless!
Have been doing some fishing here. Vicki caught a Sooty Grunter and a Black Tipped Reef Shark, both fairly small but she was broken off three times by something very large.
It rained last night and today it is windy with winds expected to increase over the next couple of days. Not ideal fishing conditions but the wind does provide better sleeping conditions. There wasn’t much wind last evening and we all got attached by mossies and sand flies, especially around the ankles so we all had ugg boots on. I know, probably a bit silly in 30 degrees but it does protect the ankles from bites.