In the early morning we could not tell if the ferry got fixed. It was too late in the night for Fiona to call, the owner of the Pink Flamingo, the charming place we stayed in Port Douglas but she guaranteed that it will be running in the morning. This is the only way to connect the upper part of the coast to the towns down south and a lot of people depend on this ferry. On the past day crocodile tour the guide made an entire case for not building a bridge that may bring factories and development destroying the rain forest in the process, “and it if gets destroyed, is no reason for you to be here”
And the predictions about the ferry went true so we zipped in no time over the river and started to drive in a tunnel of vegetation sometimes completely obliterating the sky. We stopped on the way at majestic beaches with the rain forest coming all the way to their virgin sand, with large palm trees leaning tempting to offer a touch of shade, with gulfs that were curving in front of us for more than a mile that held in them a crystal clean green water. And it was no soul in place and so we just found out that the beaches cannot be used because the crocodiles are of salt water type, the same we saw yesterday, and no matter that they prefer the river that has a lower salinity, they swim from one river to the other through the ocean and is advisable not to be in their way. More than that we were told that we better stay at least 10 feet from the ocean to make sure that a jumpy croc would not try a quick one on us.
But if somehow you escape the crocs, in the summer month the jelly fish are the ones that may send you to the pool. Each jelly fish station has a bottle of vinegar that may alleviate the stings but if you got touched by their tentacles you still have to pack and go to a hospital. So not too much fun in the water here on the Queensland coast.
So we settled for some hikes into the rain forest and drove all the the way to Cape Tribulation where the resort’s huts where in the midst of the jungle and long monitor lizards were racing on the boardwalks. However we were wandering what the people who decided to stay there do if they cannot come close to the ocean.
But we just found out that close by is a spectacular walk named Dubuji, a meandering boardwalk through various types of vegetation, all luxuriant, with large leaves covering our heads and mangroves large as a huge tree. It was a different forest than the one in Mossman Gorge and way more interesting.
The sun’s light was filtered through the canopy giving special colors to the water at the base of the mangrove. The vines were climbing on the trees with extended roots to increase their stability. Beside Dubuji Walk there was also another walk through a mangrove forest that we skipped. We had to make it to Cairns to board a plane and we were concerned about the ferry’s possible delays. Besides from Cape Trib the drive to Cairns takes about 3 hours.
So the only stop on the way back was at Daintree Ice Cream, an institution in the forest that I think that is visited by everybody who comes this way. They serve a pre-packed 4 scoop ice cream from four exotic fruits they grow on their property but they accept only cash. It was the first time in 10 days when we used cash in Australia.