The flashlight has caught the shower of sand thrown by the green turtle as she digs a nest for her eggs.
I’d been inspired by \Northern Safari\ – the famous outback film featuring a conventional 1948 vintage motor vehicle making an incredible journey through Australia at a time when roads were rougher.
Here we were heading to Cooktown to show the locals shark movies, when we took a detour north through \Lakefield National Park\ then just kept going. The road was shocking and got worse.
Bulldust was incredible in one area. My little companion started to panic at this point, but soon settled down and did some filming for me.
The \Archer River\ provided white river gravel to camp on (provided there wasn’t a flash flood). This is the turning around point for many city 4×4 travellers. But not for us.
It was the look on the faces of people in 4×4 vehicles heading home, their look of shock in seeing **\a Falcon\** in these sandy tough conditions that kept inspiring us to continue.
I recorded key moments, the hard parts, with a 16mm movie camera. At night we probably camped far too close to rivers where a crocodile hazard was sure to exist. Even our quick dips to wash ourselves was, in hindsight, a bit too risky these days.
Crossing the Wenlock River (above) took a certain degree of skill. I waterproofed the electrical system beforehand. A bit rough but it worked.
The \Land Rover\ behind me conked out but then restarted. His mates yelled to the driver “Why don’t ya get a Falcon, Joe”?
We crossed another couple of creeks then quit at the \Alice River\ after getting up a tricky, steep and slippery bump on the other side.
To go further would have probably meant abandoning the vehicle, which was still quite new when we attemped all this.
Coming back was far easier.
Put the auto transmission in 2nd and the foot almost flat to the floor.
\Dukes of Hazard\ style sliding through the sand at times. To stop anywhere on the soft sand was to get bogged – then a wait for a tow.
As for my film taken? Well, another guy made a travel documentary using the word \’escape’\ which put me off completing this film – for the time being anyway.
Soft corals under breaking waves (left) and a hardy version or coral survives in shallow water.