Christmas in the Tropical Jungle

Saturday, December 24, 1988
Mcleod River Crossing, Queensland, Australia
After a night in this new camp (Mcleod River Crossing), we got up at 0600h to a breakfast of lentils. I was cooking most of the meals as would prove the case in expeditions I go on. We set off at 0850h with Nicki, Sandy and Rosemary leading the way looking for feature 821. Forgot to set the altimeter in camp. It was hot but breezier as we ascended. Undergrowth was knee-high and at times scratching us.

At 1130h we reached a ridge/saddle between 2 high points to overlook Mt . Carbine township. Planned route of descent, and took over as nav lead, descending gradualy with the contour and down a ridge. Then Alex took over and his option was straight down a gully, full of loose rocks and sand. Rosemary slipped over a rock and twisted her ankel. I had maintained last person position - as I like to do on all hikes if not leading . It was time for lunch. Continuing, we cleared the gully and then became easy walking and then a trail. Hot but felt strong and good rhythm.
1515 arrived Mt. Carbine. John Winter had given us $20 so we loaded on junk food and watched some cricket.
1730h All teams had descended to base camp. There was Christmas celebrations that evening and we exchange stories. Dinner of mixed veg and egg infiltrated with camp pie which no one ate much of save Sandy and myself (the two least fussy eaters). We also made some banana cake damper with custard (the body longs for carbohydrates in the bush).

Dec 25
Planned food for future phases, collected and packed. Wrote letters (there was some kind of postal service both out and in), ate, read, slept at creek. Copied route plan and read about creatures in the study.
The pig had been roasting on the spit the whole day and still was not cooked by dinner time, so they had to hack it up and fry it over a steel plate. Went with roasted veg. Good set up but why couldn't we have more of this considering our resources (including Army logistics support). Dry day. Just relaxing with reading and sleeping.
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