Prior to leaving Canberra, arrangements had been made that we would be joined by Chris’s former business colleague for the Cape York Peninsular trip. Richard and Chris had been discussing doing this trip for many years. Richard’s friend Geoff Also joined us as well, make our travelling party a foursome. With two vehicles, it gave us the added safety factor to tackle some of the more demanding 4WD tracks on the Cape.
Chris and Joanne downtime
After a prolonged journey travelling from Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Newcastle then all the way up the Australian East Coast it came time for us to stop in one spot and relax. It was about ten days before Richard and Geoff were due to meet us in Cooktown, so what better time to just chill out before our next big adventure up to Cape York.
While Cooktown is mainly remembered as the location where the Endeavour held up for repairs in 1770, the town has a remarkable history. There is an incredible aboriginal story to tell, we were fortunate and privileged to attend one of Willie Gordons, Guurrbi Tours. Willie is a fantastic guide, he told us some amazing stories, translated the meaning of rock art on his family land and his philosophy on life and the future of reconciliation in Australia. As I have in the past, worked with AIATIS and a number of Reconciliation Action Plan committees in Canberra and Sydney, it was refreshing to hear from Willie his ideas of where are, need to be. He was able to provide a clear and concise understanding and direction to many of my unanswered questions on Australia and reconciliation, thanks Willie.
Joanne and I also spent time between preparations for the Cape York trip, exploring Cooktown including Finch Bay, the Cook Museum, art galleries. I was lucky enough to go fishing up the Endeavour River, with new found friends a couple from Caloundra; Eddie & Irene and a part from catching some small fish I saw some impressive crocs.
Before the guys arrived for the tip expedition, we took the caravan up to Elim Beach for a few days relaxation and explored the colour sands and completed one of Chris’s bucket list projects to climb Cape Bedford.
Richard and Geoff
Richard departed Melbourne in his trusty Toyota Landcruiser on the 23 July 2017 for the long drive up, travelling inland via Bourke, NSW and arriving in Cairns a few days later to collect Geoff who had flown up from Melbourne. Richard and Geoff then drove through the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation onto the Bloomfield Track and spent their first night camping at the Lion Den Hotel just south of Cooktown.
Arriving in Cooktown the following morning, the Cape York Expedition team met for the first time outside the Cooktown Hardware, and to our surprise Richard had fitted a new snorkel to his Landcruiser specifically for the Cape trip – this was very good news! Our options for 4WD driving became so much better.