Cape Tribulation aka staying in the Rainforest, 13th - 15th September
You Tarzan, me Jai :)
We left Cairns on Monday morning and decided to head further north for a couple of days past a town called Port Douglas, deep into the rainforest to a place called Cape Tribulation. On the journey up we had to cross the Daintree River where we went on a short boat cruise to go Crocodile spotting. Wow - you certainly wouldn't get that whilst travelling from Dover to Calais! We saw more Crocs here in the 30 mins we were on the river than when we went out in the Everglades.
We then continued further north and got dropped off at our accommodation in the middle of the Rainforest. It is so remote that there is no phone signal up here, no internet, no water mains - rain water is collected in water towers or pumped from the rivers, and electricity is by generator. You are completely cut off from the outside world. I thought I'd find it really un-nerving, but it just feels like it's the way it's meant to be. :)
Our accommodation was in a wooden hut in the Rainforest for a couple of nights (but thank god the one luxury they thought to add was Air Con) - it takes some getting used to, but it is so peaceful. Everything sounds so natural.At dusk (and probably dawn but I'm never up that early) the birds start singing, and that song then gets taken over by the bats. During the day you can hear the breeze gently blowing through the trees, the birds tweeting and other noises that I can't even begin to explain.
Cape Tribulation is the only place in the World where 2 World heritage sites meet each other. There is the Daintree Rainforest which covers a large majority of Northern Queensland and it finishes at the water's edge, which then leads straight out onto the Great Barrier Reef.
The first day we were here we went for a walk along the beach and it suddenly started raining so we ran into the rainforest and thankfully it was right next to a boardwalk route. This was through the Dubuji forest which in local Aboriginal means 'place of spirits'. Oh great, if there is one thing I don't want to come across whilst in a remote rainforest, with no phone signal - it's a blimin haunted jungle! Oh and did I mention that Australia is home to 8 out of the top 10 most deadliest snakes. Yuck.
In the 1980's they sent a group of scientist up to this Rainforest who found hundreds of species of wildlife and plant life that they thought were extinct, and some of it they thought had been extinct since the Triassic era! They believe that because the Rainforest is so dense and has lots of valley's that when the last ice-age wiped everything out a lot of the life here survived as the cold couldn't spread that far. And when you're walking around in here you really wouldn't be too surprised if you actually saw a dinosaur. Everything looks like its from a different time. They even have trees here that flower and fruit from the trunk - which is how all trees use to flower until they evolved to grow from the branches.
Anyway, I have digressed. The next day we walked along the Myall beach, then through the rainforest, along the whole of Cape Tribulation's beach and up to the vista point on Cape Tribulation. This place is so remote that we didn't pass anymore than 30 people the whole time we were up here, and we were out for hours.
Another thing that surprises me and this is more whilst I'm writing this than at the time, is that after 4.5 months of living and travelling together Selena & I still haven't run out of things to talk about. Probably to do with the fact that we are both chatterboxes, but impressive nether-the-less. Whilst walking along the beach Selena asked what I'd do if a Crocodile came out of the rainforest or the Sea and we spent 20 minutes conjuring up plans on how to ward off a Croc attack, what we'd hit it with, and how we'd tie it's mouth together with my bag - well we could hardly outrun it, and I think we are more than qualified considering we've both watched Croc Dundee. :)
One of the things we didn't do whilst we were up here that I was pretty gutted about was swim in the sea. However, it's currently crocodile breeding season and they often swim close to the shore whilst swimming from one river to another. Then there were also the baby sharks mooching around (Tiger sharks to be precise - the number 2 most deadly) and tis also the season for large stingers. I did love the signs warning you not to go anywhere near the waters edge, and also saying the only way to treat being stung by a stinger was with liberal amounts of vinegar (which were dotted around the place) and with a defibrillator! WTF!
I'm actually writing this on our last morning in Cape Tribulation. We've managed to find a wooden table and bench in the shade, that we're also sharing with a wide variety of ants, all of whom I'm leaving alone unless they try and climb onto my laptop or me! So far this morning, along with disgusting ants we've seen a spider called a huntsman that is bigger that my hand spread out (the big ones are fine, it's the little ones you need to worry about), dozens of the most beautiful butterflies I've ever seen, fusia dragonflies playing by the stream at the back of the kitchen, geckos, a dingo (like a wild dog - you're gonna wanna stay away from them), parrots and cockatoos, fruit bats and a load of other animals I've never seen or heard of. This is one of the most surreal places I've ever been and the melody that all these animals sing together only going to be a small part that I'm going to miss about this place, but I'm so grateful that I've had the opportunity to actually stay in a Rainforest. :)
We're now heading back down to Cairns for another couple of nights, before heading off down the rest of the East Coast.