I Did Coen and Met Charlie

Enough of the maudlin stuff. If I let it consume me, I can’t function. Like today at the Doctors. He told me to stop for another couple of months (I kinda had a little breakdown in his office).
So, rather than sink into a hole, let me tell you about Coen.
Coen is situated in Cape York, nearly half way to ‘The Tip’. It’s 385km from Cooktown, or about 400 from home. On the way to Coen you will come across iconic landmarks such as Split Rock, with 10000 year old Aboriginal art (Quinkan Country), the Hann River Roadhouse with their pet emu, and Musgrave, which is also the old Telegraph Station.
I’ll give you a bit of a driving guide.
Lakeland Downs, or just ‘Lakeland’ is the T-junction to the tip or Cooktown. You can still go ‘North’ from Cooktown, via the ‘Battle Camp’ road out Hopevale way, meeting the Peninsula Developmental Road at Laura. Cooktown to Laura via Battle Camp  is about 140km. Lakeland to Cooktown and back, then up to Laura is 230km, but the majority is bitumen or good formed road (dirt). Lakeland to Laura is only about 60km, and passes Split Rock, a must see example of some of the oldest (10 thousand years) Rock art in Australia. Another 15km and you head through Laura. Then the serious dirt begins. A deep Red Orange ochre coloured dust. For the next 250 kilometres, the Red dust persists. Everything on the edge of the road is Red ochre. Shrubs, guide posts, and anything within 3 metres of the verge. At Hann River, I was having a smoke, when a ‘vehicle” drove past into the machinery shed next door to the roadhouse. I say vehicle in the loosest sense. It looked like it was once (recently) a new small 4×4. However, thing car had been rolled  at some. I mean rolled. The body and roof were sqeezed into a pyramid shape. There were no windowa. No doors. No rear hatch. But the paintwork betrayed it was less than twelve months old. And it ran perfectly. I missed the photo opportunity of the month.


Hann River Roadhouse, Cape York
A hundred kays past Hann is Musgrave Roadhouse, the old telegraph station. Keep heading up the red road and you get to Coen


Charlie you ask? I’ll leave Charlie for another day. He deserves his own post.


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