The tourist holiday

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:16
ThreadID: 31884 Views:2041 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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For years we had zoomed up and down the east coast, rarely stopping to draw breath until we had arrived at our destination. This time it was going to be different, we had designated it a "tourist holiday."

We had a lot of fun, stopping at the Gold Coast tourist parks etc with the kids. I was towing a box trailer full of camping gear and two spare jerry cans of diesel. Finally we pulled into a caravan park in Cairns and settled down for a few days.

Now Jan should have known better, but she expressed a desire to see Cooktown. For years I had wondered what all the fuss was about building the road through the rainforest, and looked forward to seeing what the protesters had been on about. I neglected to tell Jan that there was another way to Cooktown.

I also neglected to check and see how much rain they'd had on the track. "I'll just go and take a peek and if it looks hairy I'll turn around" I thought. I didn't realize that with the trailer, once you were on it you were committed. Just after Daintree we were flagged down by a Nissan with 4 guys in it who advised us to turn back. "Our inclinometer went off the dial" advised one of them. I smiled on the inside. "Tourists" I said to myself and carried on. Yes there was a bit of water around but so what ? The HJ60 could handle it.

Until I stopped on the first hill with a view and slowly started to slide. Nowhere to turn around, we were committed.
Apart from traction problems in a creek which I solved with some boulders under the wheels, we were doing well. Splashing, bashing and crashing through mud holes were continued until we reached the Daintree River. The tide was on the rise but we could see vehicles on the other side so it must be Ok right ? Wrong ! Into the river, 2nd high in 4wd. About half way across the engine stalled.

Now you never ever restart a diesel engine in a water crossing, chances are you'll destroy it. Especially without a snorkel. But I looked at the rising tide, the sign next to me that said saltwater crocodiles, and turned the key. I think that the moment the engine fired I knew just how lucky we were.

With water streaming out of the crevices of the vehicle, we carefully stopped on dry land. To stop my knees knocking I walked across to the guys with a camera on a tripod and asked them what they were doing.

"Oh, we're filming idiots like you" said the bloke with a grin.

My knees were still knocking when we reached Cooktown , only to find that our track had been closed to traffic for several days ! I've always wondered why that sign was on the wrong end of that track.

To make matters worse, the Jerries had leaked diesel all over everything in the trailer. And just to reinforce how silly I'd been, on the inland road out of Cooktown the trailer spare wheel came unstuck and rolled past me into the bush. Do you think I could find it ?

For all I know it's still there somewhere.

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Reply By: BLUEBAG53 - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:38

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:38
Thanks for the laugh! or should I say ROTFFLMFGO!
AnswerID: 161415

Follow Up By: Footloose - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:44

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:44
Thanks. I really posted it to show where experience comes from...unfortunately it's all true :((
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FollowupID: 416159

Follow Up By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 04:15

Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 04:15
I feel for you mate; days like that where common sense seems to elude you and you end up with your heart in your mouth....But you will laugh about it eventually.
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FollowupID: 416182

Reply By: Bros 1 - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:50

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 22:50
Footloose,
Bloke, i have come back that way a few times and the last one was with the C/T and the handbrake. (She did not realise the seriousness of the situation).
Coming down some of those hills with the Tojo in H4 2nd and bum off the seat on the brakes was a wee bit scary, especially when you keep on going with no noticeable drop off in speed. Well worth the drive though.
Cheers,
Bros.
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

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AnswerID: 161420

Reply By: Member-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 00:03

Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 00:03
G'day footloose , so this could've been you , glad it wasn't ,,
Neil .!MPG:26!

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AnswerID: 161431

Reply By: roofscooter2 - Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 06:33

Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 06:33
That trip sounded like it would have been priceless,My kind of adventure excillerating (spell check) i am jealous, Bob.
AnswerID: 161448

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