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Long-Distance Walks with Mark Moxon

Hinchinbrook Island: Preamble

Sunken Reef Bay
Sunken Reef Bay

Quite why I got drunk on the Tuesday night, I don't know; the excuse was something about it being my last night in Cairns, and the next thing you know... but whatever the justification, Wednesday morning was a struggle, boarding the 8.45am coach while still quite drunk. I slowly surfaced throughout the day, but there was one good thing: I was out of Cairns, camping again, and looking forward to some good walking.

1 A handy hint, picked up in Shark Bay, that's worth repeating. Take 70 per cent baby oil and 30 per cent Dettol, mix, and smear on your body for the ultimate insect repellent. The sandflies stick to the baby oil and die, and the mozzies simply hate the smell of disinfectant. It worked a treat for me on Hinchinbrook – it beats paying a fortune for normal sprays, and it works better, too.

2 Just to point out how leaky my A$30 tent is, consider this. Dew, which is sometimes quite heavy in the tropics in winter, started to drip through the lining onto my head one morning. I thought it must have been raining, but no: my tent can't even handle dew, for goodness sake. It looks like I'll be saving the 2.5kg it takes up when I head off to Asia, and I probably won't shed a tear, even if I discover the perfect free campsite in some beautiful National Park in Indonesia and don't have a tent. Still, for A$30 it was a wonderful investment to enable me to walk the Thorsborne and, later, Fraser Island, so no harm done.