I'm sorry these photos hardly do justice to the magnificence of the Cape York coastline. The best way to truly feel the magic of this place is to go there!
We set up camp at Traditional Owner Eddie Deemal's camp for one week. Eddie's camp is remote and therefore blissfully quiet. There were never more than four camp sites occupied at a time while we were there. To camp here a permit is required for details go here.
The days were hot, so we were thankful for the cold showers available because the crocodiles meant no swimming in the beautiful sea.
There is no hot running water at Eddie's camp, cold water is pumped up through some 97 underground springs where the water is filtered by the sand. A natural wonder!
The fish were plentiful. And when out in the boat catching the fish, the sandflies were plentiful too. After one fishing trip up the mangroves River returned with at least 100 bites on his bare calves and shins. Lesson learned: long sleeves and pants are a must as well as a good repellent.
For those who have never encountered a sandfly, the itch from the bite is intense and relentless. Sandflies are not like mosquitos in that you don't see them as they are so small and the itch lasts for days. Multiply that by 100 and you have a recipe for madness!
The night that River's itching was insufferable I put him under a cold shower and knew that taking his mind away from itch was just as important as relieving the itch with the cooling water. So, I told him to sing. His song choice was from Oliver, a movie we picked up in an op shop for $2 that he had watched over and over on long drives in the back of the car. Soon he was singing and soothed by the cool water and the Itch Eze cream I had picked up in Cooktown. tip: the remedy that really settled the bites down was to heat a pot with a few litres of water in it and add two capfuls of dettol and one capful of tea tree oil and soak the affected area.
Uncle Dave, our friend from Byron Bay, flew up to join us at Eddie's camp which was a treat for all of us to enjoy this place together and to introduce Dave to our friends in Hope Vale.
Fresh fish was our staple over the week, while for Dave who eats a vegetarian diet I made sure the salads we ate had some protein punch in them in the form of nuts, seeds and haloumi. We also enjoyed dahl and a roasted vegetable pasta by the campfire.
I'd love to hear some of your travel tales. Are you on the road? Or dreaming of hitting the road? Tell us in the comments.
Sweet potato and Haloumi Salad
1 medium size sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 1/2cm slices
200g haloumi, sliced and fried til golden, cut into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons of tamari pepitas and sunflower seeds
mixed lettuce leaves
1 lebanese cucumber roughly chopped
1 tomato sliced and then each slice cut into quarters
Roast or pan fry sweet potato until cooked, allow to cool.
Place all ingredients in a salad bowl, drizzle macadamia oil over the salad and splash on apple cider vinegar then toss salad and serve.
(To make tamari pepitas and sunflower seeds, dry roast seeds in a fry pan and at the end splash some tamari over and cook for a minute longer).