Julie and I were supposed to be hiking the 5,000km Continental Divide Trail in the US in 2020, but COVID-19 derailed that plan. Instead, we will have an adventure in Australia, circumnavigating the country on our bikes, a distance of about 16,500km taking approximately five and a half months. We will use minor roads where possible and occasionally catch ferries across rivers and inlets to avoid busier inland routes. We will camp some of the time and stay in motels, hotels, etc, at others. There will be stretches of up to five days with no accommodation or resupply available, so we will need to be self-sufficient.

Day 027

Day:  027

Date: Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Start:  Port Douglas

Finish:  Cape Tribulation

Daily Kilometres:  84 (Click for Julie's Strava and photos)

Total Kilometres:  2945

Weather:  Warm and mostly sunny

Accommodation:  Tent

Nutrition:

  Breakfast:  Savoury rolls

  Lunch:  Pasties

  Dinner:  Chicken & sweetcorn soup, instant noodles, bread roll & peanut butter

Aches:  Nothing significant

Highlight:  The Daintree National Park, a world heritage-listed site, is a very special place.  Dense dark rainforest-cloaked mountains meet the Great Barrier Reef (also world heritage-listed) at coconut palm-fringed sandy beaches.  It was a beautiful ride through the forest (apart from the hills) and visiting some of the beaches and lookouts.

Lowlight:  None really

Pictures: Click here

Map and Position: Click here for Google Map

Journal:

We left Port Douglas at 6:45am and rode for an hour through mostly cane fields to Mossman, where we shopped for food for the next 24-36 hours, knowing that we couldn't be sure of what stores and food would be available in the remote Daintree region where we would be spending the next two nights.  While there, we also bought some rolls for breakfast which we ate in a town park.  

We knew we didn't have a lot of kilometres to ride to Cape Tribulation, our destination for the day, but we also knew there were a couple of big climbs, which once again, Julie was eagerly anticipating.  Because of a lack of time pressure, we rode shorter legs for the day, taking a break at Wonga Beach and also having a rest while we waited for the Daintree River ferry in the late morning.

Not far into the darkly beautiful rainforest on the northern side of the river, we began the difficult climb up to the Mount Alexandra Lookout on the narrow winding road.  It was granny gear most of the way, plus a few short stops on flatter sections to regain our breath, but we made it to the top, impressing some of the tourists also enjoying the spectacular view south over the Daintree estuary.  Needless to say, the descent was a lot quicker, though I made an unscheduled stop after a branch fell from a tree without warning just in front of me and a piece flew up taking a small chunk out of my left shin.  Just a little blood.

From the bottom of the hill we rode through green rainforest tunnels, crossing crystal clear creeks and ever watchful for the famed but rare cassowary.  No sightings.  It was notable that many of the accommodations and other commercial tourist spots that we passed along the way were closed, apparently due to the pandemic business slump, which was kind of eerie in peak season, as it is now.  We stopped for lunch at the Daintree Rainforest roadhouse where we got the last two pasties (no pies) for lunch and ate at an outside table.  We also bought four litres of Coke to see us through the day ahead!

The last hour involved more beautiful rainforest, a visit to the lovely Thornton Beach, and a tough climb over the Noah Range, before we reached the campground at Cape Tribulation, just behind the palm-fringed beach, where we had booked a site for two nights.  After pitching our tent, showering, and putting a load of laundry into the campground washing machine, we went for a stroll along the tropical beach, and then had a lazy evening anticipating a relaxing day off tomorrow in paradise.

Apart from the two main climbs (and you have to pay a price to reach some of these exotic places), we had a great day.

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