in the Daintree
At Cape Tribulation.
In the rainforest.
Watch out for the cassowaries.
December 9, 2006
This morning it was time to say good-bye to Ari. I was heading off on my 2-day trip to Cape Tribulation in the Daintree
Rainforest; she was going to be boarding a flight to go back to Sydney before heading home tomorrow. I have to admit that we
had a pretty lame ‘good-bye’ moment as it was 7:00am and we were both feeling the effects of drinking too much wine last
night. In any case, I can’t believe that her time here is over. I really can’t. It seemed like she was here one day and gone the
next. There were many times today I thought ‘I wonder what Ari is doing right now.’ I miss her.
Our drive to Cape Tribulation first took us to a wildlife sanctuary. We got to see cassowaries (similar to an emu or ostrich but
far more colorful), crocodiles (not my favorites) and a baby kangaroo. The baby kangaroo would have made a stellar new pet:
he was so soft and cuddly. He kissed and slobbered on my hand. Who knew slobber could be so endearing? I also read that
there were dingoes at this sanctuary. I asked about them. Turns out we were on the cheapskate tour and our discounted
admission didn’t allow us to see the dingoes. I was just aching to go up to one and say ‘You ate my baby!’ (I guess a person
would only understand this if they watched the Seinfeld where Elaine exclaims “The dingo ate my baby”.). Sadly, I would not be
given this opportunity.
We took a car ferry across the Daintree River and the plant life was totally different from what we had just seen on the other
side. Now it felt like we were in the rainforest. We took a walk where we saw strangler trees, mangrove trees and fan palm
trees. These trees were all so unique and I was impressed by them. This is a pretty bold statement as trees normally don’t do
much for me. I guess I'm just a sucker for branches that curl over other branches. Another great sighting was a butterfly the
size of a bird.
We got dropped off at our different hostels. I was staying at the Cape Tribulation Beach House – a very pleasant place right
next to the beach. Of course I am in a ‘dorm’ room and it feels much more like summer camp than a hotel. But that’s okay. That
is going to be my life in this expensive country called Australia.
There were many different activities offered (of course at somewhat hefty prices) but the ones that were of interest to me
weren’t offered this weekend (namely the jungle surfing through the canopy). This left open time for me (in addition to leaving
more money in my bank account). Lucy (an English girl I had met on my bus ride out here) and I ended up taking a walk
through more of the rainforest and then along the beach. It really is a beautiful area out here. Nothing that is necessarily
‘breathtaking’ but just a lovely area to relax.
We actually started our walk off with another girl Ingrid (a Swedish girl who was half-Filipino who had an American accent from
being schooled their when she was a child). She befriended me and Lucy and suggested we all go on a walk together. The first
lesson in befriending others should be to ask a few questions and sit back and listen. But nobody gave Ingrid lessons in
'befriending' as neither Lucy nor I could get a word in. Even when we were saying things to one another she would continue to
talk right over. It was driving me insane. This was not how I wanted to spend my day o' relaxation out here. God had proved
that he was listening to my internal prayers because two guys appeared who she started chatting up. About fifteen minutes
later, Lucy and I ventured off on our own.
Tonight I was reminded that I’m not too sure that I am meant for the rainforest lifestyle. This first happened when I saw a
bright green shiny beetle on my pants while I was eating my tuna fish sandwich (just to further drive home the point that I am
living a summer camp kind of life tonight). I flicked the little guy off of me (this showed off his shiny copper-colored belly). The
next thing happened when I went to run my hand down my ponytail. A big clump in my ponytail prevented me from doing this.
I did not even want to know what was in my hair. I had the girl next to me remove whatever it was. I knew she wouldn’t have a
problem detaching the thing from my ponytail as she has been living the rainforest life for the past week. The ‘thing’ was a very
large black beetle that was flicked onto the ground. Ewww. Props to me for being so calm about the situation. Big bugs kept
whizzing by us. A toad came up to us. Other bugs were landing in our food. There is no being ‘girly’ when it comes to being in
the rainforest. I don’t even flinch at large buzzing bugs anymore. Well, unless they come so close that I can feel their wings
against me. It was when Lucy (who was sitting right next to me) had that type of encounter that it seemed like a good time for
me to call it a night…
December 10, 2006
We get picked up in an hour to do the latter part of our tour through the rainforest. This morning I laid low and just took a walk
out to the Look-out Point. It was a nice view with an even better breeze. The weather is beautiful today so the color of the
water was a beautiful blue.
The second part of our tour was very enjoyable. This might have been partly due to our first stop: The Daintree Ice Cream
Factory. They had only one thing on the menu – the sampler. This gave me an opportunity to taste ice cream in the flavors of
soursop, mamey sapote, black sapote and wattleseed. With the exception of ‘soursop’, all of these were new terms to me. I have
to say that my favorite was the black sapote which tasted like an exotic chocolate.
Our next stop was taking a river boat ride in the attempts to see some crocs. We came up unsuccessful though we did see a
python in a tree and tons of fruit bats. The highlight was having a cute frog jump into our boat. He was a rubbery-feeling little
guy but very adorable, nonetheless. I also found out the name of the shiny green beetle that landed on me last night. It is called
a ‘Christmas Beetle’! How fitting since I am going to be in this country for Christmas.
Our last stop was the Mossman Gorge. Several of us opted not to swim (as I didn’t want to sit on a bus while I was wet) so we
walked around the rainforest. The main highlight was the suspension bridge.
I am now in Port Douglas – a wonderful, upscale beach town (though the beach isn’t necessarily the best to lay out on). I am
only here until tomorrow evening when I go back to Cairns. I am going to take advantage of the shops and beautiful scenery. I
am already looking forward to tomorrow…
December 11, 2006
I left Port Douglas yesterday after a very relaxing day cruising into different shops and boutiques. I also strolled along ‘Four
Mile Beach’. Because of the cloud cover, there was more a feeling of ‘eeriness’ versus ‘beauty’…but that was okay with me.
There is going to be a lot more coastline for me to see in the future.
The bus driver made quite a tour guide. The commentary even included pointing out one of four cyclone-proof KFC chicken-
bucket signs in the world (now I can feel like my trip has been worthwhile). I would also find out on this bus ride that what I
have been calling a ‘public infinity pool’ in Cairns is actually known as ‘the lagoon’. Personally, I think my name for it has a
better ring to it.