This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

1998 Travels August 23

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SUNDAY 23 AUGUST   HANN RIVER R/H TO COOKTOWN   232kms

We continued south, crossing the Hann and Kennedy Rivers, upstream from where we knew them in Lakefield.

Laura is a small settlement, but being a Sunday there was no point in lingering here. I’d thought to try to get some information on the Quinkan rock art sites to the south, and pay the fee to see same, but of course the Ranger was not open.

We came to the turnoff to the carpark for the rock art sites, and thought we’d try to see something of them. Left Truck in the car park and walked up to the Split Rock Gallery site.

08-23-1998 01 Micky Climbing.jpg

The walking got a bit steep in parts!

There are many sites through this area of rocky country, but only a couple are accessible. There were lots of different painted figures and shapes, under rock overhangs. Quinkans were spirit figures and this style of art is named for these, but I don’t think there were any of them in what we saw. There was one figure that was probably a flying fox, but looked like a creature from space. There is a better and bigger gallery of paintings a bit further away from the Split Rock ones, but we did not go on to those.

08-23-1998 03 Quinkan art man and beast.jpg

Layers of paintings

08-23-1998 04 quinkan art laura.jpg

Flying fox?

08-23-1998 06 Quinkan art a white man maybe.jpg

Is the figure on the right a white man?

We did climb up to Turtle Rock and looked at the really extensive views over the surrounding rather rugged and dramatic country. It was a strenuous little walk in the heat.

08-23-1998-07-view-sth-from-laura-escarpment

View south from Turtle Rock – rugged country and a sealed road again!

08-23-1998-08-vista-from-quinkan-escarpment

The rough stone country that contains the Quinkan art sites

Continued on to Lakeland and decided to treat ourselves to a counter lunch at the Hotel – hamburgers and a beer, which cost us $18. It was very pleasant, sitting outside on a shady veranda, eating a meal someone else had cooked. We are adapting back to civilization quickly!

Drove on to Cooktown. We prefer to go back to Wonga via the Bloomfield Track, rather than the drier and dustier inland route – had enough of that sort of country now. I want to take enough time in Cooktown to get all my Cape photos developed and printed by the excellent man there.

Went to the Tropical Orchid Caravan Park, this time. This is not as windy as where we were before, and is a very nice park. Powered site cost $15 a night. The owners come from the Beaconsfield/Cockatoo area, and know our area.

We put up the big tent – John has had enough of the small one and having to crawl around.

There seems to be more tourists here than before. Maybe we have just become unused to lots of people? Chatted with two men in a campervan next to us; one is an English visitor, a wine judge and expert on same. And here we are, enjoying cask special!

There are lots of curlews around. Some are hanging about close to our tent, which is rather lovely. They aren’t exactly timid, either.

Tea was macaroni cheese.

08-23-1998-hann-r-to-cooktown

Hann River Roadhouse to Cooktown – we have come full circle.

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