Monday, March 25, 2013

From Daintree to Cairns

Daintree Crocodylus

March 23rd
The rain is heavy but intermittent as we leave Yungabura. No chance to go to the bat hospital in Atherton as it is open for visitors only between May and November. We are truly heading for the wet tropics.

Bill says look at all those strange rocks. They are not rocks, they are termite mounds. Hard to get a picture when you are driving in heavy rain.

 Reminds us of a Hotel in Atherton.

 Later we hear about a crazy bird that nests in the top of termite mounds. The male dive bombs the top of the mound to break through the cement-like outer covering. Sometimes breaking his neck in the process. He digs out a nest that comes complete with food. After the birds are done nesting the termites seal up their home.

We stop for lunch at Wonga Beach. Not very inviting. The rain has temporarily slacked off. William poses me by the sign that warns of the crocodile. I think it dragged off the last picnicer and left his chair toppled over.

You take a small ferry over toward Cape Tribulation.

 Captain Cook damaged the Endeavor here and had to limp to the area subsequently named Cooktown to repair the ship.

It is raining so much at Cape Tribulation, I break out the Skagway rain poncho.

The rain continues to be heavy. I should have water shoes, so I get a pair of thongs. Horrible toe pain.

Our cabin is in the rain forest. 
The forest from our porch

William got a large cabin so we have a double bed with netting and a bathroom.
Barry has his own bunk.

 No food allowed in the tent cabins because a tiny marsupial mouse-like creature will get in and chew up everything. So all food goes in the communal kitchen.

I was awakened in the night by horrid screeching. Rain forest creatures are very noisy in the night. I was told it might have been bush turkeys. I have never heard one utter a peep during the day, but apparently they go wild at night.
We took this picture of a bush turkey weeks ago

 Also we hear the mewing and cat-like howling of the cat bird and the screeching of the orange-footed scrub fowl. The incessant drumming of the rain on the canvas roof is the only thing that quiets the night bird noise.

March 24th

After self catering our own breakfast in the communal kitchen, we head off to the Rainforest Discovery Center. This is a huge network of aerial and ground level boardwalks for exploring the rainforest. Between the audio and written guides and displays, we get a lot of information. Although the morning starts off dry we experience a huge cloudburst and hole up in a covered shelter. I like to look for the tiny things. But everything seems to be hiding after the rain. Maybe we will come back tomorrow.
cute tiny brown walking stick

Stay away from the green ants.  They bite and spray acid.

This golden ant with golden fur on it, is trying to run away

nice green praying mantis

given enough time they would take over

William studies the book waiting for the rain to slack off


more rain

the red is new growth

This bug got a bit wet

William takes a walk on the Cow Bay beach.

Sunday night is BBQ night. Guests and neighbors come hungry for a big feed.

March 25th

Barry has survived the rain, but he is ready to go.

 We head to the Rainforest Discovery Center. This time we go down then up and I catch some things I had missed before. While William goes up to the tower one more time, I watch some interesting movies on climate change.

We are heading to Cairns and watching the gas gauge. We make a nickel if we return the car dead empty, so we are trying hard. William has calculated how much gas is left after it shows empty. But he is driving slow for him.
We lunch at Ellis Beach. Pretty but windy.

No picnic  table, so we improvise.

We have booked a last snorkeling trip for early in the morning. The hotel will give us a ride to the dock. We walk the boardwalk and check out our meeting place for early in the morning. I think it feels like Savannah here.

Amazing how this fence has been eaten up.

A filtered salt water pool to keep the citizens out of the dangerous water.

I have Australian bugs for dinner. Sort of like a small lobster with a flat head. William says what the Aussies call bugs are slipper lobsters.

Time to pack up for our trip to the reef early in the morning.

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