Is there a writer in u? Or are you in a mood to read some short interesting stories? Here's the Story Section for all tastes.

I was doing my regular, but often horrendous 5000km trip, back to north Queensland from WA in January after 6 months of prospecting. My father was out from England and wanted to do the trek across Australia with me (I did warn him and try to make him change his mind!).

We crossed the centre on the long, hot, deserted desert tracks and took in the usual sites of Ayers Rock and the Olgas in the usual 48'C at that time of year (my father vehemently refusing to get out of the airconditioned vehicle to climb the rock! :o) ) Then as we entered Queensland with the start of the wet season, we battled the often flooded roads with the frequently bogged vehicle! This was all a bit of an adventure for my father but just the annual torture trip for me! (He wasn't doing any of the dirty work of course!)

Just to top off the trip I suggested we do a detour to Karumba which is a bit of a tourist spot for fishing etc on the Gulf. The only problem was there had just been a cyclone through that area and the flat lands were flooded for miles around as we drove along the raised causeway to the coast. The open flooded areas were swarming with wetland birdlife and it was just like Kakadu. We set up the tents in the local caravan park (we seemed to have it all to ourselves!) and headed for the beach for a spot of fishing. ‘Ahhh’ - I thought, this is the life, out of the hot, sweltering, lonely outback at last, time to relax, enjoy life for a change!

There we were, casting out our lines enjoying a sea breeze and watching the boats. We had only been there for half an hour and the sun was setting serenely over the ocean, it was like paradise! Then the breeze suddenly dropped! I didn't know what it was at first – but as the sun set a strange eerie change seemed to come over the place. There was a growing humming noise........

The biggest, blackest, meanest cloud of mosquitoes I have ever seen (and believe me I have been through some jungles!) descended on us and they were the size of hornets and ferocious. Within seconds they were upon us. We both ran for our tents chased by the black, hungry mass and quickly zipped ourselves in leaving the poor dog outside. They were so bad neither of us dared to go out to the toilet or to take a shower - we were imprisoned in our tents all night. We had no supper either as we daren't leave the tents for any reason, so that is some indication of the seriousness of the situation.

These mosquitoes were so vicious they were squeezing through the fly net and attacking us all night. We got no sleep. All you could hear was a constant swatting from inside both tents as neither of us spoke – well - maybe an occasional calling out from me to my father to ask him if he was still alive! It was sooo hot and humid in those tents that night it was like a sauna, sheer hell! We just sweated and suffered in silence, as there was no escape. The insides of the tents soon became covered in blood from all the squashed bodies. Poor old Harley (the dog) was moaning and pleading with me outside the tent so I unzipped a couple of inches to look at him. When I saw his nose was a mass of biting mossies I had to let him in as I had visions of him being sucked dry by the morning! Having a large panting dog inside my small tent only added to the sauna effect!

The next morning we all dragged ourselves out of the tents feeling like death. Then I made an instant decision, there was a flurry of activity as, unlike my normal slow methodical loading up, I threw everything into the back of the vehicle in a frenzy, including my father and dog! My father commented he couldn't believe the speed at which I had loaded and accelerated out of that place – and I didn’t look back!

I drove and drove without stopping till I was sure I was clear of the coast and the flooded Gulf. As I was so tired and hungry and totally incapable of driving all the way to the Atherton tablelands in one go I decided we should stop at my favourite campsite by the side of the Einasleigh River and get a good nights sleep. It had slipped my mind (fatigue does that to you!) that I usually only stopped there in July on the way to WA!

What happened there that night is truly unforgettable. But that is another story! :) :D :)