Wednesday May 18
Today Ian and I were picked up at 7:15am by Jungle Tours. We took a bus up the coast along the Captain Hook Highway to Port Douglas. Our driver, Steve, stopped a few times on the way for some scenic views.
(The following beach is where the movie, Fools Gold was shot!)
Our first stop was The Wildlife Habitat – home to animals such as the endangered Cassowary (only about 1000 left in Oz), crocodiles, koalas, and of course, wallabies and kangaroos!
Our next stop was the Daintree River Cruise, where we took a small boat out into the river in the hunt to shoot crocodiles (by shoot I mean shoot pictures), birds, and other wildlife as we cruised through the mangroves.
When I was about three years old, my parents took me to Disney Land. Although I have absolutely no memory of the vacation, my Dad took a numerous amount of family videos while we were there. While on the boat in the river on the look out for crocodiles and surrounded by jungle, my memory shot back to the footage my Dad took while riding one of those fake “jungle rides” in Disney Land (where you take a “boat” along a “jungle” and spot the “crocodiles” that come out of the river snapping and such). It was exactly like that ride – except real life! Our guide turned off the motor on the boat and we just sat there in silence, listening to natures lullabies. I closed my eyes and listened to the wind and the birds and the water. It sounded like a track playing at yoga studio or a massage parlor – except, yet again, it was real life!
After a picnic lunch, we took a cable ferry and crossed the river to Daintree National Park, where we walked through the jungle (Daintree Cape Tribulation World Heritage Rainforest of Australia) and then stay over night at PK’s Jungle Village (www.pksjunglevillage.com.au), in the heart of Cape Tribulation. The jungle was so untouched – it was nice to witness something so real, so living. Our guide informed us that this rainforest was actually more ancient and unharmed (by humans) than the Amazon Rainforest.
After getting dropped of at the backpackers hostel, I decided to head down to the beach (minutes away from the hostel) and go for a run. It was cloudy and the sky would drizzle rain on and off, so I couldn’t exactly lay out on the beach and work on my tan today. I stretched along the boardwalk in the jungle leading towards the beach. Once I got there, its beauty and abandon struck me. There was about 5 people including myself on the beach, all who were walking in the distance on either side. I started running, loving the crashing waves and the shifting dark sky. I stopped in the middle of my run and walked towards the water. With Mumford and Sons blasting in my ears, I looked out at the ocean and the mountains and reached my hands up. My body was pumping with adrenaline and I let the wind refresh me. The feeling I was experiencing is so indescribable… everything was so beautiful. A feeling of “existing” came over me… like “hey, I’m alive… I’m living, and it’s wild.” I couldn’t stop grinning. Another stop and think moment rushed through me. I was so ecstatic, so alive.
I walked over to some rocks by the water that held tons of little seashells. I crunched over and watched as the tiny shells would slightly move. The still rock was full of life, and I just sat there peeking at whatever living thing was in the shells. I spotted a few small fish in the puddles, and the tiniest crab crawling around – so camouflage and inexistent to any walker bys.
I got back to my room just in time for yet another short downpour of rain (I was lucky during my run because the dark clouds were slowly blowing away from the beach). After eating a tasty Greek salad for dinner at the hostels restaurant and chatting it up with fellow backpackers, I took a long, hot shower, wrote this blog, and curled up into bed.