FnQ (Far north Queensland)
Trip Start Oct 11, 2011
130Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
What I did
I am going to transform back in to the life of making money, not spending it, a regular group of friends, not new strangers every week, hobbies, not adventures, my own house, not just my car. And I am looking forward to all of this. I will miss my days as a backpacker for sure, and hopefully I will get to do it again someday.
I will continue to travel, I know that. There is still a lot I want to see here in Australia. Traveling around has also opened my eyes to all of the opportunities and beautiful countries the world has to offer
But as for this last week... I have been filling my days tromping through the rainforest, and working on my sea legs. Last Thursday I took a day trip to Cape Tribulation! I jumped on a tour bus, made some new friends, and saw the world. Or at least part of it.
I learned a lot on the trip...not only does Australia have the deadliest spiders, snakes, crocs, and sharks, but they have the deadliest bird too! No wonder they sent all of the convicts here back in the day. If they could survive, then maybe the land was worth keeping.
But back to the Cassowaries though, the most dangerous bird. They grow to be the third tallest bird (still taller than humans). And they can jump pretty high, or so I am told. They are part ninja. They have three toes and one of them is as sharp as a knife. If it is having a bad day and feels like being a ninja, it will jump and slash you with its big toe leaving cuts all over your body
There was a very informative sign on the trip that told me what to do when confronted by a cassowary. I believe it said something like this:
#1 do not run (I have heard that since I was two, but come on, who really can resist running)
#2 retreat (duhh, its the deadliest bird in the world. I am not going to stick around and make friends)
#3 place a solid object in between you and the bird such as a tree (right, because I usually keep one of those in my pocket at all times). If that doesn’t work place an item such as your clothing in front of you and continue to back away. (So basically if you see a Cassowary, get naked and hopefully some other perv will stop and then get attacked because he is not paying attention to the bird that is about to turn ninja and start stabbing people. Then break rule #1. Now I know.
I was lucky enough to see a papa Cassowary and some of his children crossing the road on the trip. Luckily I was in a big group and didn’t have to worry about getting naked. The girl in front did, and I turned and ran. Just kidding we were on the bus.
If I hadn’t gone on this tour, I still, to this day, would not know what a Cassowary was or how endangered it was. It is on the highest level of endangered animals chart and is becoming near extinct
I also saw some crocs on the trip. Fricken’ awesome. We took a hour long boat cruise up the river to see my first, second, third, fourth, and so on crocs. The boat was long with bench seats, a flat bottom and steers from the back. It was pretty wide, and very slow. Open on the sides with a canopy on top. Very easy access for a crocodile if he wanted lunch. I don’t think we would have stood a chance. But at least my odds were ok, like I said I was in a big group.
The owner of the boat took us up the river and talked all about the special kind of trees that are on the river. He also went on about some of the birds, but all I was interested in was the crocs. He pulled in close to a muddy bank and we played who can spot the croc first, I lost. The first one was just a little guy. About a year old and maybe a couple of feet long. Not scary, and a good way to start.
The next one was much bigger/older. He was easy to spot, and he was also laying on a muddy bank. Again we got in nice and close. Made me a little nervous, but I trusted the guide. He goes up and down the river stopping in to see the crocs many times a day. He must know what he is doing since he is still alive.
That croc turned out to be boring so we went down this narrow channel to see a croc named Izzy, because she has a beautiful smile
When we spotted her she was laying there with her mouth wide open. We could see all 20 billion of her dangerously sharp teeth. We startled her though so she closed her mouth, or wiped the smile off her face and moved up the bank a little bit. We got to see most of her little baby crocodiles laying in the mud with her and the odd one year old croc still hanging around her. The guide said it was rare that he was there, but she didn’t seem to mind for some reason.
Then we motored on out of the channel after getting within a couple of meters of her and her family. Using the branches of the trees to help turn us around and maneuver on out.
Next it was off to see Scar Face
Again we got super close to this guy. Every time I took a picture we would get closer so I would take another. It was crazy. They are wild animals, and very big and powerful. And yes I was kidding Tyler, when I told you they were tame and common house pets. There is no way I would let one of these things run around my house.
The guide told us about a man that made a boat train (see pic below) going up and down the river for tours. His five year old son was eaten one day by a croc. It was said that he went down to the river to get the dog and the croc ate the kid instead of the dog. The guy then gave up his business. Parked the train and left the area. That would be tough, but just goes to show that crocs are dangerous and scary.
As for the rest of the day trip, I just shared travel stories with other backpackers, went on some hikes, and saw some more great views. There were a couple of rivers and suspension bridges we explored and photographed. Just another relaxing day with deadly animals in a beautiful country with new friends.
Back at the hostel it was Jelly wrestling night! Thats right I was staying in the party hostel. I just missed the wet t-shirt contest (dang it), but down in the bar that night that was the entertainment. This hostel was set up pretty well. It was more like a hotel. Downstairs there was reception and a backpacker travel agency to book all of your trips. They also had one of the best backpacker bars in town. There was a free meal every night and some kind of entertainment to draw people in. Upstairs you had a public kitchen on every floor, a living room and a computer area, then all of the rooms. One of the best beds I have found in a hostel, but it was a party hostel so sleeping was kind of impossible.
The first night I stayed there, two of the guys in my room decided that everyone should want to party with them. They spent an hour trying to convince all of the girls to go out with them. None of us did. They left around 12:30 and the rest of us went to bed. They came back completely wasted around 4:30 am and tried yet again to rally the troops. No such luck again so they left. Then at 6:30 they came home to go to bed, but they made sure to wake us all up again.
The next night I went out though. A group of us went down to the bar for a few beers. That was Jelly wrestling night. Grand prize was $100 and if you went completely topless you got an extra $50. I guess some girls were already drunk enough to do it, some of them even decided to do it in a skirt. It was amazing how packed the bar got once wrestling started. After that we had a few more beers and I passed out in my bed. For some reason the boys were quiet that night so I actually got some rest.
Then I moved hostels and went out to the reef. The new hostel kinda sucks, but there is a free movie every night and they let me leave my car here while I am living on the reef, so it works out.
Next adventure, scuba certification and diving on the reef!