The Tour Of Tribulation

Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
Trip End Jan 08, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'd booked a tour to Cape Tribulation, which meant a fairly early start in the morning. Well, actually we were only due to leave at 7:20am, but as far as my body clock was concerned that was 5:20. The guide for the day was an Aboriginal called George; my first indigenous guide. I was looking forward to this.

Unfortunately the tour wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. The tour tried to take in too many things in far too short a time. Therefore, most of the day was spent in a mini bus, rather than on the ground. The first stop was Mossman Gorge, which announced our arrival in the rain forest. It was kind of cool, but instead of guiding us around the area to tell us what we were looking at or pointing out things of interest, George sent us off into the wilderness on our own for half an hour, while he set up our morning tea. I didn’t really appreciate that.  One of the cool things there was that there was a swing bridge to cross a creek, which once I stepped on it, started bouncing around wildly – it was fun (at least for me, if not for everyone else).

After morning tea, it was back on the bus and a brief stop at Alexandra Point to check out the view from the mountain, from which we could see Port Douglas (the main tourist resort north of Cairns), but it wasn’t clear enough to see Cairns itself. Then it was on to the Daintree National Park – rain forest proper! This time George accompanied us on the walk through the park and he turned out to have a wealth of information, this was more like it! He spotted things we couldn’t see, and explained how the flora worked, the most interesting for me was seeing a vine strangle a tree! We even managed to see the remains of this attack. Cool!

This was followed by lunch at Cape Trib (*of course the name is shortened, what did you expect?*). Cape Tribulation is where Captain Cook hit a reef on the Endeavour. To be honest the beach there wasn’t great. Although the water was hot, there were signs everywhere warning of jellyfish, so the water was off limits, naturally. The beach is surrounded by green hills, but I’d seen better beaches on my travels.

Fortunately we were not there for too long (what can you do at a beach that has water you can’t swim in and doesn’t have a bar?), and we headed off to the next part of our trip. I’d missed this in the brochure, so I was expecting to return home, but, there was more, which is probably why it felt that we were doing too much. Next stop, the local ice cream factory, with ice cream made from local, yet exotic, fruits. I didn’t bother with it, but those that did have buy one declared that it was weird. When asked, "Weird how? Weird good or weird bad?" The answer came back, “I don’t know; just weird.”

Then we went on a 'croc hunt’. I wasn’t expecting this. We took a ferry down the river, looking for crocodiles, but in a river teeming with them (there are approximately 120 in the river) did we manage to see one? Of course not. All we saw was one tree snake, disappointing.

Then it was back to Cairns. In all the trip lasted about 12 hours, however, we were on the road for about 8 of those hours. Not good. Despite being the east coast being the main tourist attraction for tourists, I fear that the organisation of the tours, if this is anything to go by, does not have as much thought and care put into them as in the rest of Australia. When I compare this tour with those in other parts of Australia, I feel short changed. 
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kyzia on

I'm having a great time reading your reports - true fun entertainment which keeps my mind off the depressing election results and economic crisis here in Spain. Often, I burst out laughing, for example the black bird dive bomber in Cairns - and my uncontrollable giggling bring Francesc into the room to read the episode. A brilliant technique to get some colloquial, advanced reading from my husband!

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