After a night celebrating Nicole’s arrival in Australia and our last night with our jersey friend Emily, this morning was a mad rush. We overslept, hadn’t packed our small bags for our tour and needed to check out. We were meant to be being picked up at 7.25 and we were very proud of ourselves that we were only five minutes late! We sat at the front of our hostel waiting for the bus and when it didn’t arrive for fifteen minutes, Juliet went to call the company. Unfortunately the bus had come and gone and we’d missed it (so typical) but luckily, it was coming back to get us, so all was not lost!
After a scenic drive along the coast up to the Cape Tribulation rainforest and a short coffee and toilet break, we arrived at our first stop: a crocodile boat tour. We all boarded the boat and set off down the most highly populated (by crocodiles) river in Cape Trib. Within five minutes we had seen our first crocodile, a huge, light grey female, lazing on the banks. Soon after that we saw another two and even a baby! Crocodiles really aren’t that exciting as they literally just lie there looking like logs, I actually didn’t even see any of them move. However I’m glad I’ve seen one in it’s natural habitat in the rainforest, even if it wasn’t lashing out, hunting for food. Our next stop after that was a board walk through the mangroves and some amazing species of plants. We learnt how the aboriginals used the different plants to help them in life, as obviously they didn’t have shops, doctors or electronics. We learnt about the long leaves of a tree which have tiny little spikes on them, and the aboriginals tied them round their heads if they had headaches and the needles worked like acupuncture. There was also a wide leaved tree which is very sensitive to change in the air when a storm is coming. This is because the cyclones in Australia would literally destroy it’s wide leaves so when the plant senses a storm, it rolls all of it’s wide leaves up and bunches them together – so amazing! Obviously this meant that the aboriginals could tell when a storm was approaching, simply by looking at the plant. We also saw medical sap, house making branches and many other natural things which are a part of the every day life of an aboriginal.
When we arrived at the hostel around lunchtime I was so exhausted and actually felt quite ill so I literally slept all afternoon. The hostel is in the middle of no where and as it was raining there wasn’t much for the others to do. I had a lovely snooze though!
After lots of games of cards and chit chat, dinner time finally came around and we set off to find our restaurant. We’d heard about one called Whet that does good food and so we set off in the dark and the rain down the rainforest road to try and find it. It did feel a bit like a horror movie walking down the road with no one around, no lights, no people, no nothing but about ten minutes later we saw the restaurant. Unfortunately, after our serious bravery trying to get to the restaurant, we discovered it was fully booked (how, I have no idea as there’s literally no one in the jungle…) and so we had to take the walk back to our hostel. We’d built up a good appetite and so just ate there.
It’s 8.30pm and we are all in bed! It’s the earliest night I’ve had since travelling but living by the natural jungle light makes it feel a lot later than it is, and despite the fact that I slept all afternoon, we were all struggling to stay awake at dinner. Jungle life is exhausting and the prospect of a 12 hour sleep ahead is a very very exciting.