Monday, 16 July 2012

Townsville to the Daintree Rainforest

July 8 - Townsville
While we had breakfast I finished charging my computer since it didn't have enough time last night to fully charge. After, we wrote up our ad for the van since we hope to sell it in Cairns. We think if we post it a few days before we arrive we might have some hits. We also cleared most things out of the van and took some “staged” photos of the interior. We hit the road to continue to Townsville. Along the way there was a guy selling seafood so we bought some local blue salmon for dinner. Once in Townsville we again stopped into Hungry Jacks for wifi and got the van posted on Gum Tree. We headed into the CBD but had to take a bit of a roundabout route since there was a few road closures due to the races. Once downtown we tried to go to the info center but they were closed. We were pretty annoyed since it was only 2pm and it's supposed to be open till 5pm. We could see there was a big rock formation in the downtown area so we decided to check it out. We drove up to the top of Castle Hill. It was a very narrow and windy road and there were a lot of pedestrians on it. Beau felt bad that we didn't hike up but I was okay with it. Up at the top we went on two short walks and enjoyed the look outs. Or at least enjoyed as much as we could see, it was pretty overcast and grey. You could, however, see some the racing going on and there were quite a few people on the hill with binoculars. Once we had enough we headed down to find our caravan park. We also picked up some lemon and tinfoil so we could grill our fish up nicely. The fish turned out yummy for dinner and we had a veggy risotto (made from a box) with it. We watched some tv in the kitchen for a bit then I had a shower while Beau played guitar before bed.

July 9 – Driving
We had a slow morning with breakfast and coffee while watching the news. Beau had a shower and I set to work packing up the van. We back tracked a bit and checked out the price of fixing the window ourselves. It was about $35 for a fix kit so we thought we'd we find out how much it was at a shop. Back at Hungry Jacks again we looked up the price of fixing the windshield and from the website it looked like over $100. Obviously we're going to do it ourselves... once we get some sun! We started driving towards Cairns and made a pee break after a little bit. When we got going again the battery charge light was flickering on and off then stayed on. Beau was worried our alternator might be toast or else the battery might be shot. We kept driving until we hit a small town and pulled into a garage parking lot. We checked the voltage of the battery while the car was running and it read about 15V so obviously the alternator still works. We then turned off the van and were able to restart it with no troubles so we think it might be a loose connection. We kept driving through the rainy foggy day and then stopped for a late lunch. We made our tuna wraps then drove on to a rest stop just past Innisfail. We drove about 250km today, originally I had hoped we would go to Magnetic Island today but with the weather being the pits it wasn't worth it. At the rest stop we continued to try to trouble shoot the battery light. Both batteries were fully charged and we don't know where the wires go but we are next to positive it's just a loose connection. Maybe the light will turn off by magic... or removal.

July 10 – Cairns
It rained all night and into the morning. Beau heard that it had rained about 7 inches last night! THIS IS DRY SEASON! Since it was yucky we were pretty slow moving. We drove the 100km to Cairns. It was pretty warm out even though it was overcast and obviously quite humid. We stopped into Hungry Jacks for wifi but they didn't have their $1 menu so we bought a coffee instead which cost a lot more. We then headed into the CBD and grabbed some free parking. We started walking to try to find the tourist info center. We were stopped by a delivery guy who needed a hand with getting a box up some stairs and he pointed us in the right direction for the info center. At the center we asked about going out diving but apparently its high season so there were no deals on and many were booked into next week. Feeling a little dejected we start off down the street but decided to pop into to a tour center. This one said they had a good deal on with Cairns Dive Center where you paid for 2day/1night and got upgraded to 3day/2night unfortunately after she called to book us the deal had expired so we were back to paying full price. They did, however, have one room open on the boat for the 12th to 14th. There was also supposed to be a good weather window at that time. We decided to go for it and booked our dive trip. It was $570pp for 3 day/2 night and 10 dives. We'll be double our number of dives. Feeling poor and hungry we split a sub for lunch and then discussed what to do tomorrow. We decided to head up to Cape Tribulation. We drove to the Daintree River Ferry Crossing, caught the cable ferry across then continued to a caravan park 16km further. There were cassowary crossing signs everywhere but we didn't spot one. Our caravan park had a small reptile display and there was also to be crocodile and kangaroo feeding in the morning. Once we found a pseudo-dry spot to park Beau set to work taking the dash a part to try and find our lose connection. Sadly he didn't find it so we just pulled the bulb :P While we were doing this our phone rang and there was a girl interested in seeing the van. Turns out she lives and works in Cape Trib and we set up a meet for tomorrow morning. We then set to work give the van a good scrub down. We made some dinner, chatted with a British guy in his early 20's about traveling then headed to bed.
The Daintree River Ferry

On the Daintree River

July 11 – Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation
We woke up around 8 and met up with the park owner for his daily scheduled crocodile feeding. He has a 3 meter crocodile, Doris, who was rescued from a pet shop in South Australia. Doris used to be known as Boris because the crocodile farm she came from had sexed her as male and it wasn't until after she had laid eggs her new owner realized the mistake. Since it was pretty cool out Doris wasn't very hungry so she didn't eat anything. Afterwards we headed to the kangaroo pen where he had some rescued roos and wallabies. Most had been hand reared since their mothers had been killed in car crashes so they would never survive in the wild. We got to feed the kangaroos and wallabies. It was weird feeling their teeth graze your palm but super cool too. People pay big money for this at the zoos and we got to do it for free. The ground was saturated from the rain and extremely muddy. We had a shower and then breakfast before heading out. We headed to a backpackers to meet up with this girl to show the van. She didn't show up to the meeting until an hour later and only because she had to work. She said she lost track of time. We gave her a quick run down of the van and she seemed interested but we need to get a road worthiness certificate to sell it. We drove up the road to Cape Tribulation and went to the Kuluki lookout. We took a little walk along the Cape Tribulation beach as well before getting back in the van and heading back the way we came. We stopped at the Dubuji Boardwalk and took a nice 1.2km walk through the mangroves and rainforest. We then had some cheese, crackers and tomato for lunch. We headed back down the the Daintree River ferry but sadly did not see a cassowary. A cassowary is a large emu like bird with a big nob on its head, google it, they are very strange looking. They are also in Fern Gully! Once across the river we stopped into the public wharf to find out about river cruises. We decided to go out on the Solar Whisper which is a smaller, electric powered boat. It also had solar panels on the roof. We went for a 1.25hr cruise along the Daintree River and saw 3 adult crocodiles and many baby crocs. Some for the babies were only 6 inches long. We also saw a python that was coiled all up around itself in a tree. It was an enjoyable and quiet way to see the river. Back on land we returned a call regarding the van to the girl from this mornings uncle. He was headed up this way so we agreed to meet him and he could have a look over the van for the girl. We met him around Port Douglas and he had a quick check over the van. Back into Cairns we found a holiday park for the night and had a late dinner. Beau had an e-mail about Bombardier so he gave the agency girl a call and she'll be officially submitting his resume. We got ourselves all packed up for our trip out to the reef tomorrow then headed to bed.
Doris the Crocodile
Feeding a Wallaby
Cape Tribulation
Adult Crocodile
Younger Adult Crocodile
Baby Crocodile

On the Daintree

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