Having left the tip of Cape York a few days ahead of schedule we planned to travel the short distance to the Jardine River crossing campsite to spend a couple of nights. Stopping here would allow us to unhitch and visit Elliot and Twin falls.
Elliot and Twin falls are just off the northern section of the tele-track with no way to get in there with our van and we said it was a must visit given how amazing Fruit-Bat falls were.
We made a classic error this morning. Keen to get going we left the townships of Umagico without filling up on fuel, telling ourselves we’ll fill up at Jardine River. Only once we had crossed the river did we discover the fuel pumps were out of order. In researching our travels in Cape York we read ‘never drive past a chance to fuel up, you never know if your next planned stop will actually have fuel’! Doh!
Being it was such a short drive day we had time and little other options but to unhitch the van and for Ken to dash back to Bamaga a township at the tip to refuel before returning to us. At $130 a pop to cross the river we were grateful the guys running the ferry took pity and let us go back without extra charge.
The girls and I set up camp, did some school and just settled in till Ken returned. As soon as Ken got back and Lulu finished her sleep we jumped in the car to get Elliot falls. The local guys told us of a short cut which was great because we had wasted a bit chunk of the day chasing fuel.
Q: When is a short cut not a short cut? ……… Well, it may have been shorter in distance but with two not so easy river crossings and some hairy cut out sections of track it took us longer than if we’d taken the long route to the falls. It did however add to the drama and theatre of our day and overall adventure of Cape York. At the time I recall feeling a little miffed as we were already short on time but they were two (Canal creek and Sam Creek) of the more significant crossings we did and incredibly beautiful.
Finally we arrived at the falls and the sun was setting but actually it was a beautiful time to be there. Most people were leaving and we ended up with the falls all to ourselves. It was a lovely swim initially in clear what but after a while the pools turned milky.
At first I thought it was from us stirring up the sediment on the bottom but later we read as cars cross the river further up stream the sediment is carried down and it changes from clear to cloudy and back to clear again. Maxing out time there we returned to camp, driving home to the red and orange hues of the setting sun and finally the darkness of night.