Monday, July 7, 2014

Cape York 2014 - Old Telegraph Track South

We were up before sunrise once again. Had a quick Brekky (no bacon) and packed up to get to the Bramwell Junction to start the Telegraph Track. We dropped our tyre pressures to 30psi to take the edge off the corrugations.

We pulled up at Bramwell Junction and hopefully an Iced Coffee. We got Diesel ok ($2.20/litre) but the only beverages available were Coke and XXXX. We did manage to pick up a sausage roll for the driver :)
We then hit the Telegraph Track. An iconic track, sure, but mostly narrow tracks with some wash outs, some nice creek crossings ..... so far.
The first creek crossing, Palm Creek, was busy to the left main crossing. We took the right hand track which had a slippery exit but nothing serious. We pulled out a Cruiser behind us. To his credit he was pulling a trailer.

A few creek crossings and healthy corrugations further North and we arrived at Gunshot creek. We thought we were back in a Logan 4x4 park with all the yelling and yeeehaaaas coming out of the creek bed and someone yelling instructions over a megaphone. THE Gunshot wasn't being tackled and looked untouched. We weren't there to be heros so we looked at what the rest were doing. There was a chicken track to the left but all the fun was being had to the right. At the bottom of a small drop was a mud hole which dropped down into the creek bed. We decided we'd give it a try. It looked harmless enough.
Muddy Gun shot - Bogan Method- grab 6 mates loaded with XXXX and have them stand in the Creek to cheer you on. Slide your stock 'toya fitted with your mates muddies and a 6 foot Roo Systems light bar down the drop. Half way down the wall hit the loud pedal and bash and bounce, wheels in the air, through the mud as hard as you can until you land in the creek. Plough through the creek to wash off the mud and wet your mates. From there it's a tight right and climb up the muddy semi technical exit and receive a roaring cheer from the onlookers.
Muddy Gun shot - how we did it. Position wife in creek alongside remaining 'lads' armed with cameras, standing in thigh deep water. Husband drives carefully down wall, gets to mud, reaches for Diff lock switch (should have thought of that sooner) and completes a perfect Patrol stall in the mud hole. Before too many notice the Patrol fires back to life, reverses back a little then simply pushes forward through the slop. The creek bed is firm and it's an easy drive out. With the front diff locked it was an easy climb up the muddy exit. No cheers for this drive, just a comment from the creek bed "ahh, the Patrols do it too easy". Christian followed in much the same way but without the engine stall.
On the other side it was hectic. Cars parked everywhere. A Hilux owner stood up, to watch us pass, with a tail shaft in his hands - he'd obviously been having too much encouragement from XXXX yielding mates. We left Gunshot expecting more but looking forward to relaxing at camp. Eliot Falls camp - only 40km away.

We pulled into Eliot Falls camp feeling exhausted. With only around 100k to go to the top we were still happy to be stopping for 2 nights to chill.
Eliot Falls campground had toilets and water taps near various camp sites which were very handy for washing up.

Eliot Falls Camping

 After setup we walked down to the Saucepan which we heard was a quiet swimming area. The rumours were correct. The water was crystal clear, flowing and warm. No need for a shower today :)
That night we noticed that if you looked around on the ground wearing a head torch you could see many single tiny reflections of light. They were spiders eyes. They were everywhere much to the horror of Hannah.

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