JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Camping at Cooktown Crossing

No, Cooktown Crossing is not at Cooktown (as I thought for a long time!).  It is a causeway crossing on the Mitchell River and it used to be the old road that took you to Cooktown.  It is a lovely camping spot. 
We decided to go camping for a couple of reasons even though we had so much else on our plate.  Number one reason was to make sure that the wiring of the camper to our new vehicle  was working properly and number two reason was to try out our kayaking skills on still water.  
Cooktown Crossing is only about an hour north west of us.  You head towards Cooktown and once you are past Mt Carbine you look for the sign on the left that says Karma Waters/Konaparinga.  From here it is only a short distance to the crossing.  We didn't get away until after lunch on Wednesday and made it there in plenty of time to set up camp and assemble the inflatable kayak.
There are a number of lovely camping spots along the river and being mid-week we thought we would have the place to ourselves and have the pick of the camps but it wasn't to be.  There were two other camps already set up when we arrived.  However we were happy with our camp that had easy access to the waters edge for our kayak.

Our form of camping is humorously known as "glamping" , and it really is an easy way to camp.  Our slide-on has all the basics that you would find in any home.  Toilet, Shower, Sink, Fridge, Stove and Queen size bed!  The awning on the side gives us a comfortable area to set up our table, chairs and the little Weber Q.
The first night we rustled up a meal of steak and fried onions on toasted bread.  It wasn't the fanciest meal I have ever eaten but gosh it was delicious! An early night for us as we wanted to get up early and put the kayak to the test.
The kayak was our Christmas present to each other.  We had talked about it for such a long time but having room for it was always the problem.  Now we don't have that problem with all the additional storage that we had built into the new vehicle.  We always knew we had to have an inflatable and also knew that we would have to spend the dollars to get a good quality kayak.  After all we didn't want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a deflated kayak due to poor quality material!
We were very happy with the one we purchased.  It is very stable in the water with the addition of a good quality floor.  It took us a little while to get used to using the paddles. I have never kayaked and Philip has limited experience so there were a few terse words when we kept going in the wrong direction.  We are still not great at moving in a straight line but by the end of the first day we had certainly improved.  We paddled as far as we could but the very low water level kept us within a few kilometres of our campsite.

The serenity that I felt as we paddled slowly and quietly along the river is hard to describe.  All my senses - sight, sound, smell seemed to be in over-drive.  It was just so beautiful and my heart is already beating harder just thinking of the next time that we will be kayaking. We are very lucky that we live in an area where we have have many watercourses just screaming to be kayaked on!  The thing however that we have to be aware of is the ever present danger of crocodiles (salt and fresh) that live in these waters.  The saltwater crocodile is being spotted in places that you would never expect them to be.  I was talking to a friend recently who has lived in this area all his life and he said that as a kid growing up it was just a fact that crocodiles north of the Daintree River were left alone but anything that moved to the south of the Daintree was removed.  Now we have saltwater crocodiles spotted as far south as Rockhampton!  
Our camping ended all to soon....just two nights, but we will return again in the new year.  We thought we might try Karma Waters that is a camping area on the same watercourse, but it is paid camping.  Everyone we talk to says is it is worth it. 

Philip and I load books onto our iPhones before we go camping.  

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