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 028

Day:  028

Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Start:  Cape Tribulation

Finish:  Cape Tribulation

Daily Kilometres:  0 (Click to see Julie's Strava for our walk and photos)

Total Kilometres:  2945

Weather:  Mild to warm and sunny all day

Accommodation:  Tent

Nutrition:

  Breakfast:  Roll & peanut butter

  Lunch:  Pies

  Dinner:  Pea & ham soup, canned Irish stew

Aches:  Nothing significant

Highlight:  As we were following the Dubuji boardwalk through pristine rainforest around noon, we rounded a corner to find two girls sitting quietly on the boardwalk.  At first we thought they were just having a quiet moment of contemplation, but then realised that they were watching a large brilliantly-coloured cassowary a metre or two away that also seemed to be having a quiet moment of contemplation.  A few metres away was another, making its way very slowly through the forest towards us.  The birds did not seem at bothered by our presence, nor did they seem aggressive (cassowaries have a reputation for aggression and can severely maim with their powerful legs and talons).  The girls moved on quietly, and we had some special time with these magnificent and quite rare birds letting us take as many photos as we wanted.

Lowlight:  Not really a lowlight, but while we were eating dinner in the airy camp kitchen last night, a car pulled up in the site next to our tent and a guy got out of the passenger seat and unloaded some camping gear next to our tent, saying goodbye to the female driver who then left.  A bit strange we thought.  Stranger still was that rather than set his tent up in the designated numbered site, he pitched his tent right next to ours.  Later, he came over to the kitchen, and while he ate a can of tuna emptied on to a slice of bread, explained that he had been given a lift to the campground by one of their employees after catching a bus to Mossman and was planning to stay for a few weeks.  It all looked a bit odd (I think he has an English accent …. which might explain it).  Today he has been walking around the campsite and beach wearing a black sock (with no shoe) on one foot, and nothing on the other.

Pictures: Click here

Map and Position: Click here for Google Map

Journal:

We both tossed and turned a bit last night, as was to be expected for our first night of the trip camping and sleeping on our thin air mattresses, but we did OK and woke in time to walk the short distance through to the beach to watch the sun rise over the Coral Sea as a freighter slowly plied its way north.  Beautiful.

After a leisurely breakfast in the camp kitchen (it is a very well-maintained campground with excellent facilities), we set off at 9am to walk along Myall beach a couple of kilometres north to Cape Tribulation on a simply superb morning.  Nearing the Cape, we followed a path that wound through the rainforest and along the north side of the Cape to a lookout with a spectacular view north along Cape Tribulation beach where we just sat and enjoyed the view for some time.

From there we walked down to the beach and then to its northern end and back.  Golden sand bordered by dark green rainforest, towering mountains behind and a gentle surf breaking from the sea.  It was a special place and there was a sense, shared with the few other tourists there, of awe and privilege.

We then walked along the road back to the hamlet of Cape Tribulation, where we bought some supplies from the sparse pickings in the souvenir shop/grocery as well as a couple of pies for an early lunch which we ate in a lovely nearby picnic ground.  After eating, we walked the two kilometre Dujubi rainforest boardwalk which was a special experience, showcasing giant ferns, strangler figs, staghorns and all manner of exotic vegetation, before surprising us with a couple of cassowaries (see above).

We returned to the campground along the beach, by which time it was early afternoon.  With nothing else on the schedule, we took a groundsheet and our air mattresses to the southern end of the almost deserted Myall beach and spent a few hours sunbaking on the sand in the lea of a giant spreading mangrove tree adorned by scores of staghorn ferns.  It was magic, just lying on the beach in perfect conditions with a light breeze, the sound of lapping waves, and looking up through the leafy branches to a cloudless blue sky (zoom in on the last beach photo to see Julie sunbaking next to the tree).

Later we returned to the camp kitchen for some more lazing around, before showering, having an dinner, and retiring early in anticipation of a challenging day's riding tomorrow.

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