Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest
From Port Douglas, we carried on north past more sugar cane fields and mountains to the Daintree River. We paid $10 and got in line behind the cars on the tiny cable-pulled ferry. The ride took no more than three minutes until we were deposited on the other side in the thick of the Daintree Rainforest. The jungle encroached along the road and created a tunnel of green fan palms and ferns overhead.
Although it wasn’t raining, everything had a slick damp layer of moisture. Even the air was thick with mist. We took the twisties slowly and enjoyed the lookout over the coast and the Daintree River. Each village we passed got smaller and smaller until we saw a sign announcing the last fuel stop on the road. Our destination, Cape Tribulation, consisted of a farm, two hostels, a general store, and a playground. The wilderness isolation was tangible.
The hostel seemed equally desolate as the town, so we struck out on our own to the Dujibu boardwalk through the jungle and mangroves. The rest of the afternoon we spent attempting to crack open a coconut I found on the beach using only motorcycle tools. The rain started to come down in buckets, forcing us inside without cell service or wifi. I could’ve hugged myself for remembering to pre-download Netflix movies to occupy us for the rest of the night.
Another day in Cape Trib – Mount Sorrow Hike
Without wifi or cell service, we had to rely on other people for information (a crazy idea, i know!). Instead of googling how to get to the Mount Sorrow Hike and how hard it was, we actually chatted with the receptionist at the hostel for details. She’s probably used to people feeling a bit lost without their connection and had all the answers we needed. I guess this is what the receptionist used to do before the internet took over!
The trail did not ease us gently into a steady climb, but instead forced us abruptly up an incline around 90 degrees. The path was narrow and crowded by jungle ferns and hanging vines. My snake senses were on high alert and I stomped firmly to deter any slithery creatures from crossing my path. Two and a half hours of climbing brought us to a small platform with a sliver of an ocean view. Luckily, thanks to our local intel, we knew to climb over the metal platform and carry on another hundred meters along a slim rocky path to the real view above the clouds. Lush rainforest spanned from left to right until the white sand beaches met the ocean water. I could see all the way down the coast, even to Port Douglas where we spent the night before!
We shared our summit perch with a 65 year old lady from Finland who entertained us with her stories of living in NYC during the 60’s as a hippy. Her light-hearted nature from her hippy days was still part of her character as she laughed and laughed while saying the word for somersault (copri-caka) over and over in a singsong voice. She was a hoot and I hope be climbing mountains and not care what anyone thinks when I’m her age.
The walk down was much easier, but after the five hour total trek, we were desperate to treat ourselves. Despite being limited by the options at the general store, we pigged out on frozen sausage rolls and a liter of ice cream and napped to the sound of rain pounding on the roof.