July 14, 2012…Hann River

We woke up to rain, and, we had no choice but to pack up everything wet.  Our socks that we had hung in the tree are wetter, Kev even had a huge Huntsman spider on his…must of liked the smell…ha ha ha.  Our riding gear that is shoved up against the tent under the rain flap is grubby and moist, and my knee is giving me a bit of strife this morning.  We decided to stop for brekky in Cooktown, and not mess with our own preps at camp.  Cooktown is a lovely old town still sporting its colonial charm!  It is pretty amazing to imagine that in 1770 Captain Cook took a chance and sailed the Endeavour into this area for repairs.

Onward we go, we have another day to conquer…and Cooktown has inspired me!

I don't know…all I can say is Friken Hill…that is about as lady like as I can put it!  The corrugated red dirt roads are absolutely brutal.  Time moves so slow…you think that you have traveled 100 kms, but it has only been 20 kms.  Everything is vibrating, shaking, rattling on you, and your bike.  Your vision even becomes blurry at times.  The dust manages to make its way into every crack, under your visor and into your eyes.  There is one sign that I hated seeing, "Beware of Dust Pits"  I hated that sign…although I am glad that there was warnings.  Dust Pits are large holes in the corrugations that have very, very fine deep sand and dust in them, and, boy you know it when you hit it.  The front tire will wash out, your bike will fish tail and you just have to hold on, pour on the gas and then breath a sigh of relief on the other side.  Very, very challenging, nail biting…if you could peel my hands off the bars, that is.  It was a long, tough day!  To top it off some 4WD's do not cut you any slack.  They will pass you at high speeds throwing, rocks, sand and dust up onto you and your vision is blinded for the next 30 seconds.  You have no choice but to completely slow down, hoping not to hit a dust pit, kangaroo, or god forbid, a road train that may be ahead of you in that dusty cloud.  Really a quite hellish day!…Welcome to Australia, Kev!! Yes we did encounter more water crossings today, one that went right over my windscreen as I rode through which was exciting, but, thankfully none as challenging as yesterday…the dirt challenges today were more than enough!

We pulled into a Roadhouse at Hann River, filled up and decided to get a camp site for the night.  We were totally knackered!  But you know, a beautiful thing happened.  An emu leisurely strolled up to the bikes to take a look, as if to tell us that "you've made it another day, it's all good".  I couldn't believe it…Yes now it is all good!  The sun was starting to set as we pitched the tent…it had been a long, challenging, physical and emotional day.  Kev started up the stove and I cooked some pasta, added a can of chicken and some pesto to it and that was dinner.  We sat around the campfire, even though it was a warm night and visited with a german fellow that had pulled in.  He is traveling on a dirt bike on his way back from the tip.  He was originally traveling in a group of 3, but lost one guy in a river crossing, (well not him the bike) and the other just gave up, so here he was doing it solo!  We had a great night listening to his stories, and, what he encountered on his way to the tip.  It gave us confidence that maybe we could make it.  Really, it is funny how things work out.  We had actually missed a turn off earlier in the day and instead of camping in the Lakefield National Park we were camping at a road house just off this horrid road.  If we hadn't have missed the turn we would not have met the german guy, or have be greeted by the emu!  Life has a plan.

Greeted by Mr. Emu!

Drying socks!

Kevin at the Hann River Roadhouse fuel pumps.