Crossing The River

Harold came and said the river was down and I could cross and he would drive my van for me and Rob would come in the ute to bring him back. It sounded great so off I went, leaving my mixed herbal garden behind in my rush. When we got to the river, it was still flowing fast and there was no bridge in sight. I thought I heard Harold say there was too much water for me to cross, then the Ute was in the water and Harold was driving over the rushing river. I started taking photos of the ute ahead of us.

Slowly and carefully, Harold drove my Toyota Campervan over the river. I was so pleased to see the bank on the other side. Then he drove up and stopped and checked that the engine and the brakes were still working fine before returning to Laura in the Ute.

I was so relieved. I slowly drove onto Fairview thrilled that I had actually crossed the river. I hated being stranded at Laura for so long. The dogs really loved being in the car.

Flooded Laura River

I kept calling Laura to find if the river was down and was told it had gone down and was going up again and that I had to be here to catch it when it went down, so I drove back to Laura on the 11th January . The river was still high with no-one able to cross. Cars were banked on the other side waiting. Finally on the 14th I was told the river was falling. It was now 1.2 metres over the bridge

As the river was dropping cars were lining up to wait for when they were able to cross the river. It was far too high for my Toyota HiAce. I had to wait until the bridge was visible and the water almost flat. This would be about midnight, so I was told to pack the van and be ready to cross first thing in the morning.

Flooded Laura River

The Rain was continuous, so I decided to return to Fairview where I could stay safe until it was time to work again. I got as far as Laura and could not get over the river. Staff from Fairview had already spent 2 days here waiting for the river to subside. The water was 4.8 Metres over the bridge. Nobody could drive over this.

I stayed at The Laura Motel for 3 nights, and still the river was flooded and there was no sign of it subsiding. I decided to attempt the drive to Cairns to fill in time instead of waiting here, so off to Cairns I went.

Storms and Wet Weather Cooktown

The sun was shining and the world was bright, but I remembered yesterday when around 4pm, the sky went dark and the rain just poured down. I walked across the road in the rain to get dinner. A passing car drove through a puddle at the side of the road, and I was drenched. I still went across the road to find the Kiosk completely blown to bits with rain and all was safely locked and closed. I walked back in the rain as I was already soaking wet and would have had no dinner except for a friendly couple in the next room who let me go down with them in their car to the Bowling Club.

Remembering how quickly the weather changed yesterday, I noticed the sky darkening, and the water all brown and the light startling, and I quickly captured the changing scene. I finished my dinner, took photos, asked for a plastic bag for the camera and started to walk across the road back to Seaview, and down came the rain. I was drenched again….in warm heavy bucketfuls of rain all the way back to the top.

Seaview at Cooktown

After 4 more nights camped at Cooktown Caravan Park, which was absolutely beautiful, I couldn’t handle the van in rain anymore. Because it was hot and muggy, I ran a fan all night, and between sweating in a closed up van with the canopy down, I started coughing badly and getting chills and headaches. I decided Seaview Motel was what I needed. The Motel was booked out to my dismay….but seeing my distress, they upgraded me at the basic price and I stayed here for 4 nights. It still poured and poured with heavy rain every night but safely undercover, the rain was only background but here I have soft towels, a TV and a very comfortable bed with awesome views over the water. The perfect place where I can relax completely. The Seaview has a long history of providing quality accommodation in Cooktown and is the only hotel right on the waterfront ensuring every room has a spectacular view.

Across the road from The Seaview is the Cooks Landing Kiosk, adjacent to the Boat ramp and next to the Laundry. Here I had all my meals. I told the Chef there that this was the first time I had found someone who could cook better than me and I have been well looked after especially as now I am also suffering from Heatstroke and am not very well at all. I am having 2 good meals a day and drinking lots of water, and in air conditioned accommodation, so am now feeling better, ready soon to return to Laura.

This morning it was sunny and I walked up to the esplanade and back. It is a very beautiful morning. I had breakfast and returned to my room, and lo and behold, the heavens opened and down came the rain. It is really the wet season here.

Lions Den Rossville Queensland

I went to Lions Den for petrol and then decided to stay overnight here. Unpowered sites are $15, Powered $40 and cabins $120. I drove to the back where the camping area was and it was just beautiful. Tall shady trees and green grassy areas. The river was along the bottom, and you could swim in crocodile free waters. It seemed idyllic. A path up the side led to clean toilets and showers and also washing machines. I walked back and happily found a spot beneath some trees because rain was expected.

I took the one music book from the van and went inside where I bought a drink and tried to play the piano that was completely out of tune. Eventually I gave up, discovered the kitchen was open and bought some chips with gravy. Basic plain so went back to the camping area and explored there until the rain came. Huge bucket fulls of rain poured down and I lowered the canopy and sat there all crowded in and damp. Morning saw me packed up and moving to Cooktown after power.

Christmas 2022 at Archer Point

When Cam realised I was going to be alone with no Christmas, he decided to share it with me, so He brought fresh prawns, his friend Bill and 3 dogs. He also brought me a refill Gas cylinder and we cooked the prawns in my wok with oil from Goat cheese. The prawns were delicious. We had sausages cooked by Bill, dried tomatoes and fresh bread and butter. It was a real treat with fresh coconut to drink and eat. The dogs also enjoyed the lunch.

Archer Point Queensland

Fifteen kms down from Cooktown is the Archer Point turnoff, then straight ahead on a gravel road for another 37 kms and you are at Archer Point. Here there is a free camping site and this is where I set up my van in a sheltered corner. Opposite was the beach and ahead was the Archer Point Lighthouse. It was a very beautiful place to camp at. except this time of the year, it is hot and humid and also wet.

Archer Point was a military lookout Point during the war, and it was the military that created the road to the point. The lighthouse is active and all night flashed its light about 9 kms every direction and lighting up my van down below. This is all aboriginal land and a National Reserve.

Seaview Motel Cooktown

I booked into the Seaview Motel… $125 a night… the room faced the water, in fact all the rooms have water views. The room was very comfortable… air conditioning, fan, microwave, electric jug, toiletries and the softest most luxurious towels ever.

The parklands and water is right opposite…and also the seafood Kiosk where I had a delicious coral trout dinner with Guava juice watched by one sea gull

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