|Chinese cooking ovens|
|Camp on Gregory beach|
|The Comet mill|
We were up early the next morning and after breakfast were back over to the site of the old Chinese village. Numerous earthen platforms of hut sites were identified and many artifacts were found including several items related to the opium habit which was what we had come to find. At the far end of the habitation area, we found a small creek which contained some fine examples of the stone pitching that the Chinese miners were famous for. I dug out a load of dirt from below some large rocks along this creek but not a single colour of gold was found in the pan when I washed it back at the camp. The efficiency of those Chinese miners of old is very impressive. After morning tea, we broke camp and drove over to the tourist road about the old under-ground mines and mill sites. I was quite impressed with the work of the members of the old Palmer River Historic Preservation Society in this area, especially at the Comet Mill where the old boiler and engine had been re-housed in a replica building. This was just an example of what that Society could have accomplished if they had been able to continue with their efforts. We visited several other old mine sites along this road before heading off to the North Palmer River to seek out another well known Chinese mining site.
|What we were seeking|
With midday coming on, we drove back to the Palmer Crossing and had lunch before beginning the long journey back out to the Cooktown road and then homewards. The trip had been somewhat of a success as we had found three different kinds of opium tins at the sites we had explored. I was quite impressed with the condition of the road which was so good one could almost drive a conventional motor vehicle in with a little care on the creek crossings. And as the recent cyclone had dump some good rain over the district, all the creeks had water flowing in them and the country was beautifully green and freash. As we drove out, we found ourselves already planning for our next visit to the River of Gold. What a wonderful trip it had been.
|Main street of Maytown in the old days The street today|