July 17, 2012…Fruit Bat Falls

I was buggered!!  We slowly dragging our weary bodies out of our tent.  Exhausted, we watched water boil, eagerly waiting for a cuppa to get us going!  Eating a brekky of leftover dry biscuits, cheese and grapes, I wondered what todays road would bring.  The day felt warm and sticky, luckily we were able to ice up our camelbacks before leaving the station… sipping on cold water for an hour or so before it melts is a real luxury.  The corrugations on todays stretch were sandy, deep and very challenging.  At times the front end would grab a patch of loose stuff, swoop back and forth and cause you to grip on for dear life.  My hands became numb from the tightness of my grip, eyes watery with dust and blurred from the vibrations.  Oh yeah…love this!

Kev rides ahead and radios me when a vehicle is approaching.  I follow about half a kilometer back , this allows the dust to settle so I can see my path.  Trying to keep as far left as possible you do venture to the right to avoid rocks, dust holes, deep sand, dead boars, dead cows, dead kangaroos and whatever else you may want to avoid.  Having the radio communications is such a blessing especially with the many hazards we were continually facing.  The scenery changed once again.  No longer were we traveling through a spindly dry eucalyptus wooded landscape, it was now lush, tropical and viney.  The black boys were all sprouting new fluorescent green fronds and it felt as if the forest had been revived! 

We arrived at Fruit Bat Falls around 11am and took the red, sandy, one lane track to the water falls.  The road was very heavily rutted, and deep red sand was piled on each side.  Kev and I were moving very slowly, almost skating the bikes along the top of the track when all off of a sudden Kev was down, his bike and body thrown across my path. I braked, swerved, but it was too late.  I was down and I managed to run over Kev's leg in the process.  We were both shaken, a little shocked, but amazingly calm.  The 4WD's behind us helped us pick both of the bikes up.  We brushed ourselves off hopped back on the bikes and continued on to the falls.  Fruit Bat Falls was simply beautiful.  We stripped off our riding gear, climbed down to the clear water pools and slid in.  Kev kept laughing at me as I could not manage to get my face clean.  The red road dust had cemented its self to my sunscreen…Kev said that I looked like a crazed raccoon…Hmmm a good look?  We massaged our backs, neck and shoulders under the weight of the waterfalls…just what we needed.  We swam in the cool waters for about an hour before deciding to head on.

Another ferry crossing at the Jardine River, not far to go, now.  At the crossing post we were handed a flyer on a magical camping spot called Alau Beach.  Absolute beachfront camping overlooking the Torres Strait and it's beautiful islands.  Located 40 k's from "The Tip", $10 per person per night.  Sounded perfect, so that's where we decided to head.  We actually scored a beachfront site!  The Saltys won't come up into the camp site, but we should not swim in the water, we were told.  We set up camp, showered and scrubbed our red dirt bodies, then made our way onto the beach to watch the sun set over the turquoise waters of the Torres Strait!  I can't believe that we have made it this far…we are only an hour from "The Tip"!  Dinner was freeze dried Chicken Marsala, that actually turned out like a soupy indian concoction.  Surprisingly it actually tasted OK!

Fruit Bat Falls.