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Nice or Necessity…maybe Nicessity?

Having returned from our Cape York trip Thorsten and I are now contemplating whether such a journey is an absolute must or just nice to have done.

My last thoughts while camping on Loyalty Beach were cut short because the laptop ran out of battery. On our way back the battery recharged but I had no internet reception and so my best intentions of blogging had to be postponed.

Back in Cairns I’ve got endless access to both, internet and power. I realise that in my last entry I was torn between the beauty of Cape York and the fact that it was fairly crowded and left me wanting for a little bit more access to the place’s history. The best thing I can do is tell you about the things I loved:

  • I absolutely loved our visit of Thursday Island. Our one day trip gave us a taste of Torres Straight Island culture. More time and a trip to neighbouring Horn Island would have been even better.
  • I loved our Four Wheel Drive trip around Somerset Homestead. The glimpses of this historical site captivated my imagination and Thorsten thoroughly enjoyed driving on the beach. (I did like that part too while day dreaming about 19th century explorers).
  • Cape York has achieved something magically: my perspective of Cairns has changed completely. On our first visit here I vividly remembered Sydney, the rush of the big city, its huge harbour and the never-ending possibilities for dining and shopping. Cairns felt like a sleepy little town without trains or trams and a city centre that could be circled on foot within 20 minutes. The last weeks on Cape York have changed all this. We got our first taste of the outback where we needed to study maps to find a supermarket and calculate our fuel consumption versus the distance to the next petrol station, that was very exciting. Coming back to Cairns this place feels incredibly busy. The supermarkets, shopping centres and quantity of restaurants now seem excessively huge, funny isn’t it?
  • I loved to listen to others experiences of their trip. Most travellers that go up the Cape take the adventurous Old Telegraph Track, which is a simple straight line on the map that gives no indication of how treacherous it can be. The most difficult part, the Gunshot Creek river crossing, puts an end to the journey of those with too much enthusiasm and too little experience. Some of the people we spoke to told us of their leaking fuel tanks, broken headlights and other parts of their vehicle that didn’t quite make it through some of the “easy” river crossings. On Seisia wharf we saw another traveller’s car that was loaded on a pallet to go back to Cairns via ship. The vehicle had rolled into one of the rivers and was completely trashed. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy other people’s misfortune.  I mentioned previously we took the Development Road that bypasses all major dangers and I still got my taste of adventure. Some of the stories confirmed that we weren’t up for the Telegraph Track.

Now that I’m recapping the things I thoroughly enjoyed  I can only recall the things that we missed out on like the Elliott Falls and Fruit Bat Falls. Another traveller told us that others have seen giant dinosaur foot prints near Chillie Beach.

Where does this leave me now, was visiting Cape York just nice or a necessity? One thing that so far has rung true for me is “you only regret things in life that you didn’t do rather than those that you did”. I hope those that rolled their car into the river would agree (I heard they didn’t suffer any injury, which is good).


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