We're Never Coming Back

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Day 156 - Cape Tribulation

australia Can someone help me out here please. I think I seem to be missing something. What is the deal with Cape Tribulation?

Right, its beautiful. Yeah, its got a couple of nice beaches. And there's some class A rainforests here. BUT, that stuff is all along the coast around there. Was there something AMAZING I was supposed to see, and didn't? or what?

So anyway, after leaving Cairns, we hopped in the Deluxe Samantha and headed towards Cape Tribulation. The 90-minute drive takes in about 8 different beaches, 4 or which we stopped at. Its pretty hard to tell the difference between them, but their all DESERTED, they all stretch for miles, and they all have 'marine stinger' warnigns on them. Granted, they're not in season for another 3 or 4 weeks, but they scared the hell out of me enough to only venture in the water up to my ankles.


3 beaches later, we stopped at the town of Daintree to grab something to eat. Its weird. Its proper american here - the villages are like scenes from Deliverance. So after grabbing a sandwich, we jumped back in and carried on driving.

The landscape is pretty basic - undramatic coastal mountains - maybe comparable to a watered down dorset coastling - all covered in amazing rainforest. stretching for miles. Right up to the cloud level. Its lush and green - banana plants litter the side-roads, the massive ferns drip condensation and palm trees shade the roadside from the powerful factor 30+ sun.

After a quick river crossing by ferry and another 2 beaches in the Daintree National Park (striking fear in Sam's heart because its renowned for its dinner-plate sized Huntsman spiders) we make it to the town of Cape Tribulation, where we check into a cute hostal designed like a holiday camp. We go for a quick walk again - more beaches, more rainforest - before settling down to some 3-minute pasta and a beer with anthony before bed.

In the morning, we decided that Cape Trib, whilst being quite pretty, actually seemed to be nothing more than the most northern place on the east coast that one can drive before needing a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to continue - and without said 4wd vehicle, we turned around and headed back towards Port Douglas. Before going, we stopped in on a fruit bat that lives across the road from the hostal (cute) and went for another rainforest walk. This one - despite looking exactly like the other 3 we had done - was special. Check out these photos - it was proper rainforest. I loved it.

I had my chance behind the wheel of the Deluxe Samantha today, so man-handled her back down the coast, stopping at Mosman Gorge. Promised a beautiful natural river valley carved out of the surrounding rock. And it was shockingly impressive. The freezing, clear water streaming past smoothed granite boulders, crashing down small rapids and all being drenched in the sunlight of australia's warmest climate. We got our swimmers on, anthony ran in while I took about 20 minutes to get my bottom half wet, and we swam and played and laid on rocks for a good hour. Its perfect. My favourite swimming river ever.

And after ANOTHER rainforest walk (equally impressive as the last one - except with bigger trees the width and height of church spires), we took the van down to Port Douglas - juming off point for the Great Barrier Reef.

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