Today we made it to the Northern most point of Mainland Australia. Hoorah!!!!! Even though I’ve made the pilgrimage to the top twice before, I was still excited about doing it this time with my many offspring.
Memory is such a fickle thing. The last two times I made the voyage I remember a short, easy walk over a few rocks. No biggie. This time I did it it felt like a treacherous trek up a steep Rocky Mountain in 200km strong winds. Maybe it’s because I’m older….. or maybe it’s because having 4 children in tow makes any task seem a lot more arduous.
For example, Isabelle had conveniently forgotten to put shoes on or bring a hat. So she was trekking to the tip with no hat & no shoes. I know, I know. I should have made sure she had them. But I was flat out trying to organise myself, lunch & everyone else.
Midway through the hike Isabelle announced that she needed to do a wee. “Tough”, I told her. “You’ll have to hold it.” About 2 minutes later Isabelle started doing what we call her “wee wee” walk. A wee wee walk is the type of walk you do when bladder/pelvic muscles are not sufficient to stop you peeing and you have to engage thigh muscles as well. This walk usually ends in disaster as in order to get your pants down to wee, you have to disengage the thigh muscles & as a result, everything immediately starts flowing.
I pulled Isabelle to the side of the track & tried to help her get her pants down. In the process her pants & my hands became soaked in pee & I made the discovery that not only had she forgotten her hat & shoes, she had also forgotten underwear. As she was in the process of ever-so-elegantly doing her business, a tour group of elderly people came marching past.
I felt like mother of the year as the disapproving looks were shot our way. Isabelle had flea bitten legs, wild unkempt hair (from the wind – I had braided it but she took it out so it could blow in the wind), no undies & no shoes. She flatly refused to put her shorts back on because they were wet with wee and she happily skipped on ahead of me, much to the horror of Rohan.
I did eventually convince her to put her shorts back on. Just in the nick of time too because Rohan looked like he was about to burst a vein in his neck from the stress of naked Isabelle ruining every aspect of his holiday.
After returning to the car park I plonked myself down on the beach with my book & declined to participate in Ben’s expedition of Sommerset beach. The kids tried to politely decline as well but unfortunately for them, Ben deemed it a compulsory activity.
To me beaches are nice. But a beach is a beach no matter where you are. It was a very beautiful beach, and I did snap a few selfies with it in the background, but it’s still just a beach. A beach where you not only have to worry about sharks, blue bottles & sand in your pants… but crocodiles as well.
My idea of a good day out is to get to the destination, take a couple of pics (to add to your blog) then return back to camp to relax. Ben’s idea of a good day is to meander to a destination checking every single side track to “see where it goes”, spend ages memorising the sight of said destination, then explore every single thing in a 1km vicinity of your destination on foot.
Our way home was broken up by Ben driving up random treks here & there to discover rubbish tip after rubbish tip. Luckily I didn’t have to complain about it as the kids did all the complaining for me.
We stopped off on the way home at the Croc Tent so the kids could finally spend their souvenir money. We were in there for EVER. It took every ounce of persuasiveness I had to convince the younger kids to buy shirts instead of fluffy toys. I didn’t want to say “No toys!!!”, as I revel in being the fun parent, but I didn’t want them to buy toys either. The Croc Tent is good, but as is typical up here, horrendously overpriced. To Ben’s credit he did not flinch a muscle when our total was rang up (I’m pretty sure his left eye was twitching though).
Back at camp Ben & I with the kids watched the sunset over the water, a joy that is not enjoyed by East Coast dwellers very often. Ben talked about all the exploring that was going to happen tomorrow while I was off visiting Horn Island, and I feigned disappointment at missing out while inwardly crying “Hoorah!!! Hoorah!! Hoorah!!” I swear in a past life Ben was one of those famous Aussie Explorers we are forced to learn about in primary school then promptly forget.
At the moment I am on the boat heading to Thursday Island and I am tickled with excitement!! Not even Rohan breaking down with grief at our imminent separation as we said our goodbyes on the wharf could marr my delight. He clung to the railing on the wharf refusing to leave me. Ben had to pry him off & carry him away. Poor little fella. But yay me!!!! 😃😃😃
I’m sure I’ll have lots to write about tomorrow after my 24 blissful hours spent back on Horn Island catching up with friends.
Thanks for reading!!! We are having a brilliant time!! (Especially me today!!!!!)
A few pics of my traumatic departure this morning.