Saturday, February 14, 2009

North from Cairns

After Cairns I headed up through Mossman, with a quick trip to Mossman gorge, then up through the Daintree to Cape Tribulation.

This natural beauty of this area is a bit ridiculous, really. The creeks are just perfect. The water is clear as glass, with a clean granite gravel substratum; birds-nest ferns, mosses and palms line the banks.

Similarly the beaches are spectacular. At the high-water mark a diverse range of interesting seeds, pods and bits of driftwood are deposited and I spent quite some time just poking through the strange assortment.

I went on a few little board-walks through the mangroves and there were some strange things there. Mangroves with buttress roots. Mangroves with huge, cannonball-like seed pods. Others with boat-shaped, keeled pods. Mangrove roots that emerge from the mud, do a U-turn then plunge back into the muck. And if one stops and watches, the huge number of crabs silently passing detritus from claw to mouth becomes apparent.

After staying the night at Cape Tribulation, I continued up the Bloomfield track to Cooktown. This road, 4WD only, has several creek crossings as well as a crossing of the Bloomfield river which should only be attempted at low tide when there's not much water flowing. It was an interesting drive and I was lucky that the road was open and the conditions good - the deepest creek crossing would have been about 60 cm; much more than that and I'd be getting pretty nervous.

At the end of the day I pulled into the Home Rule Rainforest Lodge to camp, a nice place on the edge of Cedar Bay National Park.

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