So we drove the 400ks to Townsville and we're pretty tired by the time we got there so we checked into a campsite and chilled out for the evening. Next morning we discovered we had nothing to eat except pasta or soup for breakfast so we decided to go straight for the shops - doing a what i call a little detour on the way - ed calls it getting lost! Either way we saw most of townsville before we found a supermarket! We stocked up on grub then made our way to the hill that looks out over the otherwise completely flat townsville. We had our first hot cross buns of the year (yummy) then went for a wonder around the various lookout points. Ed managed to end the gentle strolls with two blood blisters on the end of his toes! when ed goes for a walk he points his camara one way, his head in another and both his feet go in opposite directions too! So i wasn't surprised at the result of dragging his feet whilst wearing flip flops but he looked quite offended by the whole thing! The lookouts themselves were lovely and we found numerous big ugly bugs which ed found more interesting! We had a look around the town but being Easter Saturday not alot was open - we did find a newsagent selling papers telling us not to go in the sea because two crocodiles and two box jelly fish stings were reported yesterday! It was just as well really coz that was where we were headed next! So we just sat on the edge of the beach and contemplated how lucky we were to have spotted the head line when it was just as likely that i would have been yelling to ed that i had a deadly jelly fish wrapped around my legs and was in spasms of agony while he happily froliked in the waves, and deep below him the supersized jaws of a salt water crocodile came looming up under him and taken a hefty bite out of his legs! (and as you and i both know that wouldn't have left much ed!)
We let Townsville after lunch and drove to Ingham. We got there as it got dark so we thought we'd stay stop there and explor in the morning. Being the ever money concious poeple we are we thought we'd get an unpowered site coz it was $5 less! We switched our lights on and within 10 minutes had a flickering glow that wasn't going to see us through preparing dinner let alone the night! The landlord of the park said we looked trust worthy so he'd put us on a powered site and told us not to plug in - we plugged in of course! Ed ran over to the office and left a note on the door ( well we were brought up proper you know!) but within 5 minutes nothing had changed! Ed discovered that the battery fuse had blown so set about taking apart the van trying to find spare fuses, he didn't find any but also couldn't decide where all the screws went back! He ran back over to take the note back ( well i'm not spending $5 on powering a microwave we didn't need!) and we were forched to sleep by 9!
Next morning we drove round the village and found some huge suger cane on a no through road so we stopped to admire it - a woman drove past us then reversed and told us we could get through that road, it was a bit wiggly at the end but it was fine, and on she drove. We took her advice and headed up the road only to see her and her husband in the middle of the road jumping around waving at us! Ed thought they were mad and tried to avoid hittng them but i rightly assessed that they wanted to tell us something! The woman said " oh you can get through but i had to stop you coz i8 forgot to say DON"T STOP AT THE CREEK what ever you do THERES A CROCODILE! While she was telling us that her husband was leaning through the window grabbing Ed's necklace saying how lovely it was! We tried to decide what we'd fair better with and opted for the croc! We didn't see him though- even though we did stop!
We then drove to Wallaman falls ( at 1000ft the tallest waterfall in Australia) the road got pretty rough up near the top of the mountain and ed had to really concentrate not to ground us out on any potholes and as we came around a corner he saw a guy out of his car and a massive hole but failed to see the huge Cassowary that he ran off the road! ( a cassowary is a bird the size of a emu, it has a killer claw, was around 50million years ago and now there are only 1200 left in the wild! nearly 1999!) we carried on to the falls which were beautiful and took the 2k hike down to the bottom. It was pretty hard going and about half way they tell you to beware of the death tree! Half way?! I would have rather known before i started thankyou very much! the fact i'm typing this means we survived but it makes for a very hard walk when you're trying to avoid killer snakes, killer spiders and killer trees! After our much harder than expected walk we drove to Mission beach. The whole of our time in Australia we had seen gorgeous pictures of how mission beach is like paradise - of course being the tropics its also prone to rain! We did have a walk on the beach but it was windy and wet! We then drove into town to give our parents a call to wish them Happy Easter - one of the last things mum said to me was "be careful in Bali won't you dear!" she didn't happen to warn me about the very close future . . . .Whilst ed was on the phone to his mum, i was sat in the van playing a game on the mobile ( i know!) when the door of the van was opened! i slammed it shut and looked up to see a big hairy muscley drunk geezer, the first thing he said to me was " you've got two choices - either you drive me home now or i take you van!" I didn't know what to do! Poor Vinnie was at risk ( the van!) I kept him talking best i could while beeping the horn at ed who eventually came over and drove off! It was horrible though coz i couldn't lock the van, i couldn't get out and i was worried he'd cotton on to the fact he was stood next to the main door! Any way we managed to get away safely and to calm me down we got a 5 litre box of wine!
Next morning we had a drive around mission beach but being a place where you go to just relax on the beach there wasn't much esle to do and it was drizzling anyway! We did manage to find a walk which took you through creeks and swamps as you followed the coast around to a beach. We were constantly warned about crocodiles living in this area so we were really hoping to see one, Ed put his trainers on for this walk as he felt he'd have a better chance of running away quicker than me if we did encounter a hungry croc! (Isn't that heroic!! ) alas we didn't see any so he didn't get to try the theroy! We did see a female cassowary in the bushes so now we've seen 2 out of 1200 - i'm feeling pretty chuffed with that! We left mission beach and drove to Atherton - on the way out we saw one of the top ten deadliest snakes in the road - it was the yellow bellied black, he was massive, but i think he was more "in the road" than he wanted to be as he was as one with the road! He obviously doesn't have a venom powerful enough to kill cars! On our way to Atherton we took a tourist drive that lead us in circles! We cottoned on pretty quick though . . . ! It was a drive around Misty mountains and through rain forest. it was beautiful despite the odd heavy shower but when we started to recongnise parts of the rain forest was looking familiar we knew something was up and decided to exit that bemuda triangle as soon as possible!
Next morning we went chasing waterfalls - we still haven't learnt our lesson and ended up taking 2hours to drive 28k's!! The roads were not the best and that is an understatement! We were about an hour in when Ed asked me where the hell i'd taken him this time, so i flicked through our mountain of brochures and proudly announced it was only 28ks and we must nearly be there, We'd gone 13 by that point! As we slide up every muddy hill Ed gave me that look of "see what you've done now woman!" Of course we got out safely and saw some beautiful waterfalls on the way! We also saw a Curtain Fig tree- its a strangler fig that grows up another tree and then sends down hundreds of roots until it kills the other tree, which then rots away leaving the fig standing alone with an empty column where the tree once was. We then made our way up to Mossman where we stayed the night - there was nothing there of interest but we were on our way to the Cape Tribulation.
Wednesday morning we drove up to Daintree and caught the ferry across the river and drove the windy road up to the cape through more jungle and rainforests - it is so beautful and every forest is so different, even as you walk through you can see the changes as different plants flurish in different places. We did stop at a place where there was a board walk through the tree tops but it was $25 dollars! $25 , i ask you?!! Well we weren't prepared to pay that - we wouldn't even pay $5 for power let alone $25 for a walk in the woods! We drove on right up to the Cape and went for a free walk on the beach and then to the the point where it looks out where Captain cook ran "The Endevor" into the barrier reef - again! We made our way back toward the ferry and stopped for lunch and a walk around a mangrove forest. We drove back down towards Cairns and stopped in a campsite where Matt and Brian were staying. We all went out that night for some drinks and ended up in a bar where they were doing Cyote Ugly ( thats where the girls wear next to nothing and dance on the bar!) I wasn't interested and neither were Matt and Brian, i'm sure Ed would have been if he hadn't drunk so much that all he wanted to do was gaze in my eyes and tell me " I don'd neeeed tso look at then, itsh youuu i luve!!" It would have been sweet if i'd thought he'd do the same sober! We had a good night though and got a taxi back to the campsite at which point the evening became a little difficult! I was the most sober and was trying to keep Brian quiet as we walked through the tents- ed and matt had wondered off, i found matt at his van so left brian there then found ed had made friends with a swiss bloke and was trying to talk german to him! I eventually got Ed inside but he said he was too dizzy to go to bed so he was just going to sit outside. i woke up an hour later and he wasn't there so i got the tourch and spent the next 1/2hr searching for him! Needless to say next morning he was not at his best!
We had to take the van back (thursday) so i packed everything up while ed nursed a hangover. We went into town for some breakfast then took our Vinnie back. We are now wheeless wanderers! It was really weird to just leave our home behind! We walked back through town then checked into our Hostel for the next three days before taking a much needed nap! The weather is really humid and it keeps chucking it down but i guess thats the tropics for you!
Today we're gonna start the Australia wind down and get our bali heads on for when we fly out on Sunday. Theres not alot to do in Cains, its very pretty and has a lovely feel to it but its basically a gateway to the reef so we're just gonna take it easy for the next couple of days - we've got a pool just outside our room at the hostel so i expect we'll lounge there between showers!
I'd now like to take this oppertunity to thank you all for spending what must have seemed like a life time reading this last blog entry - i've just realised its rather long!!
Take care for now and we'll catch up from Bali!! HA HA HA!