|Cooktown - Tinaroo Lake (324km)
The fierce winds continued during the night but thankfully no gum tree branches fell on us as a result. We are lucky not to be scuba diving as the sea looked ferocious when we went to the wharf this morning.
This morning's museum, sited in the Old Bank building, was largely a chronological pictorial history with narratives from the Aboriginal period to modern times. Whereas the James Cook Museum concentrated the very early days of Cooktown, this museum had mostly sketches or photo's of the various periods placed around the teller area, strong room and managers office of the bank. It seemed to be run by some very intense volunteers who kept sneaking up on us when we least expected it and making us jump. We were rather pleased when other people came in to the museum.
The exhibits were really quite intriguing especially an 1877 report of the teachers at the local school written by the District Inspector of Schools. Of the Head Teacher it says, '...he has the bad habit that some teachers indulge in, of striking children on the head and his want of discretion and his carelessness seem to be always bringing him to trouble. I am not now referring to his greater fault of drunkenness, which, I understand, he is really trying to overcome."
After the museum we drove south of Cooktown which will now be our direction of travel until we reach Sydney. The journey was along the same route we took yesterday. However, today we stopped at a small gorge, Black Mountain which is a series of small hills made of large black granite boulders (260 million years ago, the granite was exposed as softer soil was washed away, weathering and chemical decomposition loosed the granite and the corners of the larger rectangular blocks were progressively rounded to form boulders), a lookout, some towns and had a crop duster fly across our path.
The lovely lady at Atherton Information Centre told us about her son and daughter-in-law who had just motorcycled from London, through Russia to Hong Kong and about a lovely lake area 20km from Atherton called Lake Tinaroo where we could camp. So we did.