Driving out to Cape Tribulation, our weather is now beginning to change. Where we have had a few small rain showers this trip, it’s been mostly dry with temperatures that were suited to our trip. No really high temperatures or humidity which I was grateful for. This day is really overcast and we are dodging the rain and our walk on the beach was a bit of a disappointment in as much that we didn’t see the beautiful colours of the sky, sea and beach with the rainforest behind us. There were not many shells on the beach but I did find one, nothing like my Nautilus shell from Chilli Beach though.
After another great day we arrive at our accommodation for the last night on this trip. It’s beginning to sink in that this adventure is coming to an end and nobody is happy about that. Well Darryl and Laurence might be a little bit!
We are staying at the Ferntree Rainforest Lodge and it’s really beautiful. Individual two story lodges with a king bed en-suite downstairs and two single beds upstairs looking out into the treetops. Our dinner that night was a short drive away at the restaurant called “Whet” A very appropriate name I thought, especially as the rain had gotten heavier and more continuous. It is the rainforest after all.
We had bought a map of Cape York at the start of this trip and Darryl had promised to fill in all the places we had been. He did this at the restaurant and recapped where our journey had taken us. Later, it’s back to our homes in the rainforest where we are lulled to sleep with the constant sounds of the rain and branches rustling against the roof. Katrina, one of our single travellers chose to sleep upstairs among the trees for her night in the rainforest.
The next morning, our last day, we get a leisurely start with breakfast at the lodge before heading out through the rainforest. Our first stop was a boardwalk through the rainforest. As the rain had not let up we were all given umbrellas so we could still do the walk. I thought the rain just added to the experience, giving us a little sample of the wet season. Then, only a little bit wet, we head towards the Daintree river, stopping on the way at the Floravilla Ice cream shop. This place is run by a lovely lady called Molly and she makes all her own ice creams in the theme of the rainforest and exotic fruits. Next stop, the Daintree river and we board the Solar Whisper for a crocodile tour. Again, we didn’t see too many crocs but they are out there. Remember, Don’t go near the water!
Our lunch and final meal was at the Daintree Teahouse run by two guys who love their tropical fruits. While we feasted on a delicious lunch, we were told about all the fruits on our plates, what their origin is and that they were all now grown locally. I had Kangaroo and Chris had the chicken with mango. We shared so we could taste both dishes and it was hard to choose between them for my favourite.
Before leaving the restaurant we say our goodbyes to Laurence, Charles, Federica, Denise, Katrina, Kath and Jan in the white truck as we are now heading back to Cairns and all our different drop off points. We’ve all swapped phone numbers and emails and hopefully we’ll keep in touch.
As we drive down the beautiful coast road back to Cairns we are still missing the sunshine and blue skies that makes everything look magical but we can’t do anything about the weather and it hasn’t distracted from what has been a fantastic trip.
We were the first to be dropped off and our car was there ready for us on the forecourt of Betta Car parking so it’s a swift farewell to our fellow passengers and a big hug and thank you to Darryl.
Was the trip what we expected? It was so much more. What we thought would be the highlight of the trip, with our photo at the tip was only a small part of the adventure. There were so many highlights. We have loved every minute of it and have so many happy memories and photos to treasure.
Was it value for money? We thought so with all cost included, fuel, (we traveled 2500+kms) accommodation, all meals, ferries and boat crossings, entry fees, sunset and croc cruises. The stories and history of the places we visited.
Was Darryl the best tour guide? We’d have to say yes. Exceptional was a word that came to mind when I think how he really tried to make it a great trip for us all. We had no accidents or damage to our vehicles and no one got eaten by crocs. It’s all good until it’s not. And don’t forget, “ Don’t go near the water”
Now we’re back in Cairns, catching up with washing etc. and missing having our days and meals organised for us. Oh well, all good things must come to an end. Thanks Darryl and Laurence, you’re legends!