Where Rainforest meets Reef

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Endeaver Falls campsite

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Sunday, September 5, 2010

We got up fairly early for a change and loaded Col's 4x4 with all the camping gear, fridges (yes fridges) mattresses etc. That are all absolutely definitely needed for an Aussie style camping trip. At about 9am we set off and headed North up to Port Douglas where we stopped for a wander around, a gourmet pie (yippee) and a walk on the beach. We ventured through acres upon acres of sugar cane that was being harvested straight into train carriages and transported straight to the sugar refining factory. Throughout the whole of our trip we had never seen railways or any other form of transportation of this important crop going straight to being a finished product. The narrow gauge railways would have been of upmost interest to those old school guys from the northwest of England. We then drove up the Captain Cook Highway following the coast and the two stretches of the coast road that morning were simply stunning. The road was awesome with almost empty beaches, the sea to the horizon and the twists and turns of one of the great coastal drives. We then crossed a vehicular ferry over the river and were deep in the Daintree Rainforest (another of the oldest patches of rainforest in the world). At Cape Tribulation we got to wander across the beach at the exact spot where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. It is a fantastic place and some Aborigine men were fishing but perhaps not surprisingly they had caught nothing but "a bloody old woman had caught a few" well that’s pheromones for you. And perhaps that is why a woman still holds the British Salmon record back in the old UK.

Being promised a four wheel drive camping trip by Col and Sonja we soon found out why it’s called a 4WD camping trip. There were creek crossings that were beyond belief and Col expertly managed us across avoiding all boulders with the water washing over our wheels. In a brand new car we felt a bit guilty but as Col says this is why you buy a car like this. We did extreme uphill and downhill sections where at times you felt you were only being held by your seatbelt. Whilst being surrounded by such stunning countryside and rainforest it was a heavenly drive. Col said on his first night “I’ll show you the best of Aus and make you want to live here...” to have this on your doorstep sure is a persuading factor.

Cape Tribulation was great but we soon reached the black mountains and the change of scenery was a real contrast from the rainforest. We were for the first time in the real Aussie outback. At one point we stopped at a pub called 'The Lions Den’ which was a real Aussie gaff. All the men had beards which seemed to reach down beyond their nips and there was graffiti all over the walls, caps, and other articles of clothing (Erica edit: you forget the human blonde curly ponytail that was hung from the ceiling – obviously a drunken night). We had already started looking for Mick Dundee when a guy shouted “why are you punching the ball you f***ing idiot then every other bearded man in the pub starting laughing and howling what the f***ing hell are you watching.... It was Aussie rules by the way, this must be RL turf, a proper mans sport.

After the rest of drive we arrived at the campsite Col and Sonia had suggested, at $12 a night it was a bit above our budget but it was great and as we had enjoyed such a great drive we couldn’t complain. We erected our tent (not quite ours but Sonia and Cols spare one) and spent maybe 30 minutes helping Sonya and Col erect possibly the most complex tent man has ever invented. Anyway we then started to erect our first ever ’tarp’. Well what a contraption in next to no time we had a water proof and draining area where we could eat and drink.... why don’t we have tarps in the UK with all our rain when they have them in the Sunshine state of Australia?

We ate and drank while Sonia did her introducing to the neighbours (everybody needs good neighbours) bit and we were soon barbequing our steaks and cooking our pasta in another couples caravan called Graham and Nelly. We were soon well in tune with what originally we thought were nudists! They turned out to be one of the nicest old Aussie couples you could ever hope to meet, (although he sounded very much like the Aussie cricket commentator who’s name escapes me now). Interestingly they were consultants in the Agriculture business who seemed to be able to work from a distance whilst travelling not only around Australia but also around the world. Well if you can’t beat them join them (but in an unpaid role).

We soon hit the sack and were knackered although we woke realising Sonja had planted half the evening leftovers around our tent to make sure we had visitors in the night (Erica edit: slight over exaggeration Andrew it was a banana)!!!!
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mum and dad on

takes us back to our trip from Port Douglas to Cape tribulation. Fantastic

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