17 June: Up into the north Queensland tablelands

Author: Mr A

Location: From the Daintree to Mount Carbine, on the Atherton Tablelands

Saturday: We packed up camp and pottered down the road towards the Daintree ferry, travelling pretty gingerly, as there are a heap of blinds bends. A motor home that was charging round one of them, clearly piloted by a psychic driver who could see round corners, clipped our wing mirror. Luckily there was barely a scratch on it, it does reinforce for me though my motto of “drive assuming Harry Nutter is coming round the next blind corner”.

Our route today was taking us back through Mossman and hoorah the Saturday market was on. A quick power shop for fruit and veggies scored us some great finds. For instance the locally gown tropical fruit called a soursop, a new one on us but apparently similar to custard apples. Then we found a stall run by a goat farmer, selling all sorts of meats – we sampled and brought some salami – well our friends are setting up a goat farm for bloodstock down in NSW so we need to support the industry!We finished up with a whole range of other fresh locally grown fruit and veg, so with our fridge crammed to capacity, we then turned off the coast road we had followed for so long and headed inland, up onto the north end of the Atherton Tablelands. We watched the scenery change dramatically as we climbed up the range, the Cruiser doing its usual impeccable job of dragging the 3 tons of loaded up Zone up the steep climb. Our destination was a place called Bustard Downs, a working cattle farm with some camp spots we would stay the night on. As we drove down onto the property we were immediately struck by the amount of birds around.When we met the owner she said around 150 different types have been logged by local birders, so we set off to explore. Even the cattle were beautiful!

Tassie was very happy to be surrounded by such a grand space as well.Only one other caravan was there on the whole of the property, well until 6.30 pm when it was pitch black, and we are in full dinner prep mode for a nasi goreng feast, with me wearing a clear plastic glove on one hand as I was cutting up the turmeric (it stains your skin yellow)..and there was knock on the door. I opened to find a lady at the door, another van had pulled up right next to us. They had been delayed on the road after hitting a kangaroo and she was asking me where the camp office was.

It was only afterwards I said to Catherine ‘I wonder what she thought when I answered the door wearing a yellow stained transparent glove and my fluffy dressing gown?’…

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