Over the next few days, we hung out at Punsand Bay and ventured out now and then for drives and various supplies. We did the well known ‘5 beaches loop’ – although we counted 6 actual beaches. 4WD tracks weaved around headlands and bush and each time came out onto a new beach with it’s own characteristics. As these beaches are on the eastern side of the Cape, the strong north west trade winds hammer the coastline and bring in an enormous amount of ocean litter from all over the world. Among the items we saw in a small area was a large container of japanese cooking oil, kids toys, old bottles of alcohol, assorted containers, shoes and an incredible amount of assorted thongs. If you need some, you can find a matching pair here. We found 30 or so in a 10 metre stretch and made our own thong map of Australia. There was a surprising amount of Japanese items which apparently came from the Japanese Tsunami.
The Punsand to The Tip 4WD track (also known as ‘The Shortcut’) was a nice 30 minute or so run that we did about 5 times. It has a mix of everything including sandy sections, river crossings, rock crawling and other fun stuff. Another section that Mark and Rita stumbled upon was the track to the Mouth of Laradeenya – a remote bay on the western coast. Like a lot of areas up in the Cape, every few minutes displayed a complete vegetation (and scenery) change as the track went through 8 water crossings and followed a croc infested river.
Hanging around Punsand bay, we had a go at fishing one night but no bites at all. We tried a bit of everything but nothing… Hopes are still up for later on. One morning Kerstin took Kat for a walk on the beach and someone had caught small a shark which Kat patted and asked where it’s mum and dad was. Another night, Mark and I made a late night feast of san choi bow and spilt plenty of peanuts and other shrapnel all over the ground while we were eating. A little later that night while sitting up, Mark had a visitor at the camp site. A large, ‘beady eyed’ rodent of some sort – as yet unidentified, started feeding around the camp site. Before he knew it, the rodent was at his feet greedily munching away on peanuts. He had the torch shining directly into it’s eyes but no movements. It wasn’t until he whacked the side of the tent that it was startled and ran away. Some other campers suspected it could have been a bush rat. They grow them large up in the Cape and this one was the size of a small dog.
Game 3 of the State of Origin came along and we booked a table at Punsand Bay so we could have dinner and watch the game on the big screen (well a plasma tv of sorts at least). Unfortunately the volume didn’t work, but after some yelling and calling out from the crowd, the lack of volume was overlooked. We figured we were as deep into Queensland territory as you could ever possibly be, but there was still some NSW support from the crowd. Of course the Blues lost again, but we had a good feed and drank plenty of booze and had some laughs with some people we met along the way.
Once or twice we went back to Bamaga and Seisia to get supplies and what not. We made a stop at the famous Croc Tent for the obligatory Cape stickers and other memorabilia. One afternoon we went down to the Seisia Jetty and had another go of fishing but nothing. A few people said that there were lots of Trevally caught in the past few nights but there were no bites this time… The curse continued! While we were chatting to some people around the Jetty, one couple spoke of the local croc, a 5 metre alpha male who often followed boats and frequented back and forth between the coast and a small island opposite.