Cape York - 2006

Day 23 - Elim Beach - Lions Den Hotel


Ivan and Lea (Seisia):

Sunday today so no car repair action.

Been fishing again - the kids have the art of jigging down, pulling up 20 bait fish in as many minutes - much to the chagrin of a few old timers who had been there for an hour and got nothing..

Had an interesting time with the Troopy - we had decided to go for a drive to Ussher Point, as one of the locals had told us that there is a nice camp site there (must have been a different spot than where Ian and Helen ended up).

In hindsight, we shouldn't have done this, as we had none of the recovery gear, compressor, guage, and even worse, were travelling alone.

Anyway, hit the sand, and best put it in 4wd High.. - light came on the dash.

We got about four k down the road and went through some sand which had water in the wheel tracks - it looked like a dead simple bit of track, but the back of the Troopy just dropped into it up to the diff.   I got out and removed some sand from around the wheels (no shovel!), and let some air out of the tyres - a bit hard to tell how much without a guage so I felt the sidewalls (under a couple of inches of water so hard to tell) - a couple of rounds of this, and putting sticks and brush under the wheels, and it still wasn't moving - I hadn't let too much air out - those sidewalls were hardly bagging at all..   Car still not moving....  Feeling very naked without the company of other vehicles which I *always* have - except for today..

Until.... looking at letting some more air out of the front, I saw this little dial in the middle of the hub - DOH!!! - it had been years since I'd had to lock hubs in on a 4wd, and when the light had come on the dash, I'd just assumed we were all good (like the constant 4wd that we all seem to be in at the moment)..   Lock the hubs in and we were straight out of the sand and onto hard surface again..

I got out to check the tyres, and by golly! - they must have been about 4psi - the rims were off the dirt, but only just! - we crawled back to the Development Road, put the bonnet up, and a couple of Patrols stopped within 10 minutes.   I was feeling like a right fool, and more proof that at 43, you are never too old to learn a lesson!! 

A couple of compressors made short work of the Troopy's tyres and we were on the road again.

Wandered up to Punsand Bay for a couple of drinks, and so the kids could have a swim. 

Back home for the last of Adam's Queenfish which he is eating heartily.

Steve and Rene:

Left Elim Beach for the Lions Den Hotel as planned.

Steve and Sandy, Craig and Jo:

The next day Eddie took us on a drive over to the old Mission, established in 1886. Nothing much left now but an interesting drive - Eddie spent 18 months here when a child (he is now 80). The beach was full of flotsam with several nice shells, fishing floats and even a stubbie holder complete with stubbie were found. We returned via two crystal clear lakes, one with crocs, the other without. 

After the drive the Rutter's left for the Lion's Den Hotel with the Everett's and Gunderson's deciding to stay at Elim for another relaxing day.

Notes from Sandy's Diary:

•    We went for a drive with Eddie the multi coloured sand dunes from white through oranges to reds, at times the track just seemed to disappear in front of you. We came through to the beach past a beautiful lagoon full of lilies and then drove along the beach to a mount on the headland where there are two white crosses where the missionaries set up camp, hard to believe there were ever any buildings here once. We seemed to be making our own tracks at times and then came to a dead stop and got out and walked to a rock sort of shaped like Australia.  Eddie pointed to where there is some rock art but there’s no way I’d have made it there.

•    We went back to the beach and there were a few different fruits that Eddie showed us, one we tasted (papaya sp?), and it was pretty gross. The other a sort of melon grown on the ground Eddie said you can eat it but he doesn’t we just decided that meant it was probably pretty foul.

•    The kids did some beachcombing here and I think they could have spent a day there, Craig managed to find a stubby cooler complete with can (empty) made up for the one he lost earlier in the trip.  Eddie then took us back to a different lagoon that didn’t look anywhere near as inviting and started to tell us about the mountain in the distance.  We then drove back to the first lagoon to take photos of the lagoon. On the way back we stopped and Eddie picked what were like pea pods opened them up and we ate the peas inside which were quite nice.

•    That afternoon, Eddie bought down two thesis done by a student which had lots of info about the Elim Beach area and set of photos, there was a photo that had a photo of Eddie as a baby and his mum holding him.

•    Steve and Rene packed up and headed for Lions Den and we settled in for an afternoon relaxing and watching the kids on the beach.  Eddie’s brother bought a spear down for Tim, and was very definite about who it was for, and then said he would bring another one down for Jordan in the morning.

•    We had dinner and then Jo make some pudding we bought the custard and shared dessert, had a fairly late night trying to pack as much as possible for the morning. 

Jordan getting set for another fire

Some of the sights from Eddie's tour of Elim follow:

Australia Rock

A bit more like it from this angle

A starfish on the beach

Crabs on the attack!!

Eddie showing us around

Melon - even Eddie doesn't like it - I guess if you were Really struggling...

Jo making pancakes - an eager Matt looking on!