Rainforest and Gorge Delights
28th June 2012
Suddenly, I shot out of the bed and banged my head on the bed above waking up a snarling Smera asking why am I awake at stupid o clock in the morning. That’s a question I wanted to ask myself…and where am I? After a week of constant moving around, I could be forgiven to wonder my whereabouts. Wait, who’s that next to my bed as I felt movement. Oh, it’s Elsie the Norwegian. She bellowed out a good morning to me therefore causing a gnashing of teeth from the dark roof. Clambering it, I stretched and was greeted with a pretty sight of the sun rising over Port Douglas, where we travelled to yesterday from Cairns. Treating myself to a cup of tea amidst clanging of pots and pans, we cooked ourselves a neat brekkie and got onto the road to Mossman Gorge from Port Douglas.
Everyone who had been travelling before has always told us to go to Mossman Gorge and we were very surprised to find an organised place and visitors centre when we were expecting a dirt track and a little car park. Paying, a bit resentfully, the entrance fee, we climbed aboard on the shuttle bus, me in my swimwear, and listened to a roving commentary about local aboriginal legends. Beware of the bad man, a voice shrieked. Elsie narrowed her eyes at me and I mouthed a ‘what?’
Arriving at the Gorge, we took a walk along the boardwalk and I found a creek named after me! Sadly, it was under restoration so I couldn’t quite visit it. Next time, I promised myself.
Finding the gorge, I jumped in. It was absolutely freezing but the more I stayed in, the warmer it got and many Australians commented I must be crazy in this cold weather. But they seemed to understand when I said I’m from the UK. What? I don’t go jumping in waterfalls in Britain all the time do I?
It was time to pose!
After a delicious hour of splashing around, we headed back to the centre to get rid of the sand on us using their showers. Later, jumping back in the van, we headed on up north for a further hour to visit the Daintree Village that rested sleepily along the crocodile infested Daintree River. Crocodiles you say? I ain’t gonna miss an opportunity to get up close. So from there, I booked a crocodile river tour on my lonesome while Elsie and Smera chilled in the village.
As we set off the bank, the guide told us to keep a watch out for a big crocodile. He also warned us that we wouldn’t see many crocodiles today as something has spooked them as their alpha male crocodile, who is already massive was heavily injured by a much bigger crocodile, which no one has seen yet… And we were to help the guide look for it. Gulp.
We did see a baby croc, a male croc and a female croc. Male crocs have bigger skulls so this rises to the belief that males are cleverer than females…score. Not only did we see just crocs but plenty of water birds especially a kingfisher, a water dragon, and tree snakes. See the black thing on the branch?
The hour on the Daintree River was over and I walked back to the others pleased with my spotting abilities. Now I just need to work out how to spot a tin of baked beans in my food cupboard when it’s right there in front of me…
Elsie discovered a gem of a place when she went exploring the village. There’s a quaint art gallery showcasing gnomes and wooden animals that I urge you to check out. The owner embellished us with stories of local croc injuries and snakes slithering into people’s homes. I don’t think she was impressed when I asked if the injured people said anything to make the crocs ‘snappy‘…
Best to get out of the village before I’m chased by pitchforks and flaming torched, we headed over the Daintree River using a pulley rope ferry transporting vehicles across that would take 5 mins each way. And then we went into the unknown…I say this because promptly my mobile phone lost all signal.
But that’s was to blow out of my head when we reached after steep climbs to the Waluwurrigga Alexandra Range Lookout Point and my goodness we could see far down the southern coast.
Now it was getting onto late afternoon. We decided to have a meander on the Jindalba Boardwalk and get truly connected to the oldest rainforest in the world…the Daintree Rainforest. There’s plenty of plants and trees here that are the prototypes of modern plants of today. Sadly, they are dying out one by one. Hopefully, recent efforts to conserve them will bear fruit. It’s really good to connect to nature and you are constantly thinking of your place in the Earth’s history. Great opportunities for pics.
As the sun set, we found a neat little campsite just off the main road leading to Cape Tribulation. It’s called Rainforest Village. The woman who runs it is an absolute flirt…even worse than me! She kept heavily hinting that maybe I should stay a little while longer…gulp. However, I managed to flirt my way into getting all of us a much cheaper price that originally stated.
Pulling up, we became aware of camping in the rainforest. Sitting around at night in our fold out chairs, we listened to the creepy and startling sounds. I suddenly jumped up and shouted out ‘Dingo!’ as I saw a white thing go running through the trees…oh…my mistake…it’s just the headlights of a car peeking through! Smera and Elsie thought it was so funny and challenged my wildlife spotting skills. Dammit!
Soon, I began to get a little fed up of my sandals, it had been sticking to my foot underneath most of e day so I bent down to have a look and to my horror, it was all covered in red blood! Searching where I must have cut myself, I couldn’t find anything…I decided that a poor creature must have got in the way between my foot and the sandal and splosh! It exploded!
Going to the shower to clean it off, my wildlife spotting skills were back into play when I spotted a toad hovering outside!