Ahhh freedom, wide open spaces, long roads and new views.
You could say it has been a while between drinks, between times drinking in the landscape in a new place. Actually any place except the Cairns area itself. I must confess I have missed this, a lot.
This was a bit of a spontaneous one. We woke up Sat morning and both agreed we needed to go somewhere or do something. Mr Sparky then suggested maybe camping so lets pack the stuff just in case.
Good thing we did. We stopped off at the markets in Mareeba, which I had found out were on, and then off to a grocery shop for something to eat on the trip. After a trip back out to the car to check what actually was in our camping box, because I had no idea, we figured we would survive on our basket full.
Mr Sparky had suggested Tyrconnell, which we had visited before, and I suggested Chillagoe which I had never visited. He must have liked the idea of that as that is where we headed.
Anyone who has been exploring up here before would know how different the landscape is between Cairns and Mareeba, polar opposites really. Well as we headed further inland the drier it got. Wet season has been a fizzer all round up here.
We spotted a sign for a historical marker near a river and decided a 'U' turn was needed to check it out. It was for the Kennedy Expedition. Edmund Kennedy and a party of men and horses drove 100 sheep leaving Cardwell for Cape York. Kennedy was fatally speared a bit before the cape but his Aboriginal companion finished the journey.
This spot on Emu Creek was one of the Kennedy party's camps, camp number 33 if I can read my roman numerals.
There were wheel tracks down to the river bed so we checked it out. Well Mr Sparky dove down and left me to make my own way down as my sign reading was taking too long and he wanted to look around. There were still the remnants of the previous road and creek crossing beside the newer bridge.
We wandered around. There is something a bit fascinating about creek and river beds, especially in country like this where for a short time the water is high (often making it higher than any bridge they build) but for the rest of the year twisted, gnarled trees spot the sandy landscape.
There was a bit of water in the creek and it was slowly flowing still.
The water looked pretty clean and clear too, Mr Sparky thought it worked well for his coffee.
I could have wandered and explored for ages except for the burning midday sun and the fact that Mr Sparky was whistling (hint, hint, time to come back).
While I'd been taking photos of rocks, interesting bits of wood and a butterfly Mr Sparky had been getting his inner 'bush chef' on. Lunch was ready and it smelt so good.
Another short wander, some washing up and a wee walk then it was time to get back on the road.
We found dirt road so my poor bull catcher got to get dust back in its veins.
Mr Sparky wanted to check out the Sandy Tate, a pretty popular place to camp with people he knows. It had a lack of water and was very dry around it. He couldn't believe how little was in the river at this time of year.
Back to the Wheelbarrow Way and onwards we went.
We passed marble graveyards a plenty where marble that hadn't made the grade had been left. Also outcrops of rocks, glaringly obvious, poked out of the landscape.
The next stop after passing through a couple of dot on the map towns, even one with cattle on the railway station and outside the pub, was Chillagoe.
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