. During the evenings we bonded with our tutors and professors at the beach, where we gathered wood and palm frans and had nightly bonfires. For the 9 days we were there, we were very isolated, and became an even closer group of friends. Other highlights of the trip were a day of scuba diving on the outer GBR with a few friends, and a trip to the Low Isles with the class - The low Isles is a group of 2 small islands where the first research of a reef began in 1928. Another highlight was the Melbourne Cup, a very hyped horse race, and as someone put it "Australia's Superbowl" (let's just say I'm glad we have the superbowl..) We watched the race in the very posh Port Douglas, and then did a little boutique shopping and ended with a little swim in the enclosed, netted water. The water was at least 85, but you could only swim inside a netted area because the lethal Box Jellyfish are rampant this time of year. In short, the Daintree was quite an experience, and a good example of why you should not let 50 college kids take over a hotel - debauchery level: High.
On the last leg of the drive north to our final destination, the Daintree, we stopped in Mossman where we went to the Aboriginal Dreamtime Center, where we took a walk around the tribe's land, and then up to Mossman Gorge where we swam in the river and cooled off from the muggy day. That evening we pulled up to the "Daintree Palms Resort" just south of the Daintree River. It was a little inn, and we completely filled it. Although the 'resort' only has 200-300 guests a year, they handled us with ease. We entertained ourselves in the pool, on the beach, and at the bar. During the day we studied the mangroves along the Daintree River from river boats that took us up and down a large section of the river. For 3 days we split into smaller groups to work on our group projects - my group studied mud crabs, and attempted to determine which mangrove leaf they liked the most. It was definitely quite an experience to get down and dirty in the muddy mangroves, and I escaped with a few minor scratches, muddy clothes, and probably almost 1000 sand fly bites (one of the more painful experiences)