Peter Michael Armstrong

Sadly for our family, my brother Peter passed on 7 April 2017.

Some Peter Pan quotes seem quite apt –

Think of all the joy you’ll find when you leave the world behind and bid your cares goodbye.

Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away .. And going away means forgetting

To die will be an awfully big adventure!


Pete 002

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Jess at the top of Australia

Jess arrived to the top of Australia.  After her amazing visit on Thursday Island, she arrived in Bamaga via helicopter.  We managed a trip to the tip to watch yet another beautiful sunset.  It was wonderful to see her here.


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Trip to the top of Cape York

Ray has a day off and we are off for a drive to the top of Australia.  Greg and Pat accompany us.  What a great day … lunch at Punsand Bay.  Sandy asked if they had coffee machine and they did, so she was happy.  Five minutes later she is informed coffee machine is not working.  Two men are repairing machine and Sandy is saved … a cuppacino for the drive.

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Arriving to Seisia

Next stop Jardine River.  I buy a one way ticket for the ferry and am quizzed as to why.  We are on the ferry, blink and we are across.   We are nearly to Bamaga, and happy because the last stretch of dirt is good dirt and then …. Yay …bitumen.

First community we come to is Injinoo.  We are here.  There are horses everywhere as we continue past the next community.  Sandy is looking around at the horses and the houses, and suddenly bursts into laughter … There’s a horse in the kitchen of a house.

We are nearly at Bamaga, and there is a detour to Seisia and see that the bridge is being worked on.  I am keen to have a look at our new accommodation, which I only have directions for.  And directions I am not very good at following.  We are turning left and going up the street that turns into dirt, and a goats track up a hill, we turn left before the goats track along another dirt track, and then see the back of the house and wander around more dirt roads to find the front the house. 

We are here … Sandy is rolling around in hysterical laughter when she sees it.  It has two clothes lines, one laying on the ground and another upright in the front yard, and it is landscaped with sensitive weed and other companion weeds, so tall they could be hedged.  There are horse tracks and horse manure through the weeds which make a path to the steps. 

I am happy there is a nice big verandah attached to a small demountable dwelling, which shall be known from now on, as the shoebox.

I am not sure how we got here, we drive around and around to finally find the main road, and back to the detour to Seisia.

We have arrived.  Sandy has more laughter when she sees our lounge room, chairs around a shed, and the room we have for her, with shade cloth walls.

We go next door to see Greg and Pat.  Greg has offered Sandy a room with real walls to sleep in and so she likes that option better. 

I finally get to see Ray, he has been working 24 days straight and it is a busy time for him, but there is a space for Sandy to go on the Thursday Island trip the next day.  I am wrapped for her. 

I stay behind to go and introduce myself to my new job and meet the people I will be working with.  I also get the keys to the shoebox, which I can now go into and have a look, but I really have seen it all through a grubby windows.  I am informed that the place is scheduled to be cleaned and the yard is scheduled to be done and the furniture is in Stores.  However because things are scheduled doesn’t mean they happen at the scheduled time.  Let’s see what happens next week.


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Fruitbat Falls

Fruit Bat Falls … we go for a look.  What a welcome sight after all the dirt and dust, and we are here on a postcard perfect day.  They look amazing.  We are alone here as another couple leave, and manage to take our photos without the hordes of tourists photo-bombing.  We are in the water, it is beautiful and clear, as the hordes of tourists start coming down the path, clicking their cameras, and we realise we are now photo bombing their shots.

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Trip to the tip – Cairns to Bamaga

And we’re off … heading to Bamaga.  Ray is in Seisia driving boats and Sandy is joining me for the road trip up the Cape.  I have a job to go to and accommodation in Bamaga.

When I pick up Sandy, Mark notices that I one of my tyres is quite flat … mmm .. we haven’t even left Sandys street.  We do the air thing and check all the tyres and … then we are off to Mareeba for the night.

Next morning, the air has successfully stayed in all of the tyres … we go via a coffee van for real coffee for the coffee snob of a sister, and then we are off … are we there yet?

Versatile sister then puts on DJ hat and we pump out the tunes and head to Archer River Roadhouse for our first night.  It’s a pretty cruisy drive and its good dirt.  The Rav is cruising along well and stereo is great.

We have good intel from traveller that the bitumen past Archer River is great, so I am excited that we will have a smooth start, and because I am awake early thinking mmm bitumen, let’s get going early before light.  The good intel traveller didn’t mention the 5 kms of crappy corrugated dirt before the nice bitumen, and I also didn’t realise that the trucks get going at 5 am.  So we are in the dark on the bumps, truck in front, truck behind, and drive the 5 km dirt in a dust bowl with limited visibility.

Light is finally breaking just as the random selection of tunes breaks out with “Morning has broken”.  We sing along in our best Cat Stevens voices.

We are starting to rate the dirt from good dirt to crappy dirt, and both break out in the melodious aaaarrrhhhh tones which vibrate on the corrugations.

It’s great to see the graders keeping the road good and we trying to work out which path to take in amongst the graders and rollers and rilled piles of dirt.  The oncoming grader is making our path smaller and smaller.

We stop at Bramwell Roadhouse to fuel up at $2.05 cents a litre and for Sandy to have a bad coffee, and continue on our way …

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To the top of Australia


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