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Wednesday 13 Aug 2003
Daintree National Park, Australia

Cape Tribulation

Arrrgh... stupid sand flies!!

I left my window open (with the mozzie net over it) as I normally do every night but how was I to know that sand flies can still manage to squeeze through the tiny holes??? I woke up in a swarm in the van, and I was covered in lots of little red circles where the sand flies urinate (apparently). So first thing this morn was to fumigate the van with half a can of RAID. That seemed to work... Ill just keep an eye (or EAR) out for any survivors and make sure NOT to open the window again tonight...

My first and hopefully LAST confronation with sand flies!

I had my first shot at cooking some meat last night.. thats right: MEAT! No more "pasta n sauce" for me matey! Ive seen some (mostly French) backpackers making fantastic feasts out of the back of their vans, so I thought Id like to give it a shot...

2 breasts of chicken, some garlic and tomato paste, mushrooms, herbs n spices.. plus some wholegrain rice. All came along nicely, plus I got some admiring looks from passers-by... who says chefs dont get all the women??

In fact Im addicted now.. I want to try out new recipes since that one turned out really well and it was enjoyable making it as much as it was eating it. It only cost me about 6 euros to buy all the ingredients, some of which I can reuse several times more so its cost effective. I actually made TOO MUCH last night since I could barely fit in the last remaining morcels...

Thanks to Mum for the tips! Ill invent some great recipes and put em up here for all to try!

Well, today then... after the sand fly debacle this morning I drove north to visit the Daintree National Park, in particular the section called "Cape Tribulation". Passing though Mossman, I got to Daintree and paid 20 dollars to take a car ferry across a river infested with crocs (possibly the reason why theyve never got around to building a bridge there!).

As soon as you cross the river, you are greeted with THE most dense foliage I have seen so far along the sides of the road. This truly is the heart of rain-forest country.

Cape Tribulation is a mixture of mangrove swamps and tropical beaches (where the dense forest comes right down to the shoreline and soft, soft sand) backed by a skyline of rainforest-covered mountains.

The mangrove swamps are very interesting and you can go deep inside these forests by walking on the boardwalk which is suspended 2 metres above the swamp floor. The swamps are quite spooky and look like something out of Lord of the Rings or the Neverending Story movies.

Cape Tribulation is most famed for its paradise beaches, and today was no exception. Postcard views abound and it really is a breaktaking sight to see the mountains in the distance while a coral reef is only 20 metres out from the shore.

On the other hand, I didnt think that the beaches were THE BEST Ive seen in Oz since the water was not quite as accesible (a lot of rocky formations close to the shore).. Id still rate Rainbow Beach or Whitsunday Island (Whitehaven Beach) as having the best beaches in Oz. Still its an excellent place to sunbathe!

One day seemed to be sufficient to see everything that I could in the van.. after Cape Trib the road northwards becomes unpaved and atrocious (I know.. I tried to drive it!) so would require a 4x4. Basically the most northern paved road in Oz ends at Cape Trib, so this unfortunately means that I wont be able to get to the top north-east of Oz ... unless I find a cheap tour in Cairns... fingers crossed.

Tonight Im in Port Douglas again and back to Cairns tommorrow for a few days.. then Im off the East coast and heading into the HEARTLAND of Oz to see Uluru!!! Wahay!

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