Uptown to Cooktown - better known as Closedtown

Trip Start Jun 11, 2008
Trip End May 14, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Saturday, November 22, 2008

Got up early this morning for a swim in the pool. It was nice and refreshing but don't worry, I don't intend to make early morning swims a habit!!

We set off at 9.30am today for Cooktown. We are expecting a four hour journey out in the wilderness on our own. We took the Great Inland Road to get there. In four hours I think we saw a maximum of 30 other vehicles - amazing.

Our whole journey was a mass of barren and open landscape. This is exactly why we are doing this part of the trip. This is where we get to see the real Australia and not just the coastal route. When we arrived at Bob's Lookout it gave fantastic views over the whole area, with nothing but land & bush in sight. No towns, houses, roads, vehicles - as Tiffany would say "I think we're alone now".
Along the roadside from Bob's to Palmer River we did get the opportunity to see loads of cattle just wandering aimlessly. Yes, even in the road. I just kept leaning out the window and asking them to Mooo-ve!
We also saw loads of kangaroo's - they were just lying there in the road - pretty dead though. Everytime we saw one I just stuck my head out the window shouting Roooooo-neeeey! Lorna tutted everytime, but I just couldn't help myself. Maybe I was being Rooo-de. Sorry, there just no Roooo-m for these sad jokes. I wonder if a kangaroo would call it's kid Rupert? Wayne & Colleen should call their kid Kanga!
Moving on. So the only thing to see on the roads in the outback is death - nice. We even saw dead cattle that had basically dried out, leaving a dried up sack of skin & skeleton (I had to take a photo).

The first place we drove through was Mount Carbine - we pulled in at a roadside café and then paused. Staring at us from a bench in front of the café was the hillbilliest, inbredist, six-toed, bacca chewing Cleatus that we have ever seen. As he spat his mouthful of brown saliva on the floor you just felt the next thing to appear would be his shotgun and his manifest of missing backpackers!! We didn't wait to find out - we just employed the Toyota wheelspin and shot right out of there!!

We then passed Palmer River Roadhouse before reaching Black Mountain. This is exactly as it says - a black mountain. It's made up of loads of smooth black rocks that just don't look like they belong there. It's a bit weird but pretty cool to look at.
We then moved on to James Earl Lookout for some more great views over the outback.
We finally arrived in Cooktown for a late lunch at our site for the night - Orchid Travellers Park. This place was run by some dodgy looking geezers as well, but it seemed safe & clean enough.

After lunch we took a walk into town and it was then that we renamed it Closedtown. Even at 2.30pm on a Saturday afternoon, only one place was open - the pub! I mean, that's pretty cool in most towns, but it meant we couldn't go to the shop, get petrol or by any lace embroidery (last bits a joke by the way - I know we are staying at 'camp' sites but I haven't swung that way.....yet!).
There are loads of statues and memorabilia around town for Captain Cook. This was where he came on 17th June 1770 and crashed his ship - dumbass! I bet he blamed the missus!

There are some nice old buildings around, like the old bank, post office and the pub. It's very much like a US frontierland with it's wide streets and old cowboy buildings. In the pub itself the music does stop and the only sound is the clang of saliva hitting spittoon. It's your typical inbred 'pick-ya-sister' type place - we fitted in perfectly!

We then had a stroll down to the crocodile infested bay area for a while. There was a capsized boat near the shore that Lorna swears she had nothing to do with. It was probably a relation of Captain Cook's missus!

We did need some cash and amazingly found an ATM that worked! We thought it strange that a place like this would have an ATM - that was until we looked a little closer and realised that here they enter shapes & colours instead of a PIN number! Ours translated to 'Red Square' - 'Yellow Rectangle' - 'Blue Diamond' - 'Green Circle'!
Oh no, I've just given our security code away - inbred alert!

We then headed back to the campsite pool and spent a couple of hours in there until it was dark - let's just say shrivelled raisin!!
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