I think we must have slept for 12 hours last night out of exhaustion. We woke up this morning and took a shuttle into town to pick up our rental car. Then we drove up the coast about 20 minutes to Mossman Gorge where we had our first walk into the rainforest. It was so humid we could barely breathe, but it was beautiful. The vines and giant leaves and odd looking plants were really neat. We also saw a very large lizard in the process of eating a relatively large insect so that was neat, too.
After a 2.5km hike up and around the rainforest there we continued our drive for quite a ways to the river crossing. You have to drive onto a little ferry and for $12 they ferry you like 2 minutes across the river to the other side. It’s very fast. We drove all the way up to Cape Tribulation and had lunch at a place called Whet. We were seated outside on a patio elevated up in the rainforest and right next to the table was an enormous spider web a couple feet in diameter with a gigantic 6 inch spider in the middle. We asked to move tables, but the waitress actually sounded offended and explained how that was one of the most beautiful creatures in the rainforest and she had been living there for 2 months keeping their insect population down and she wouldn’t come out of her web and wasn’t interested in bothering us. So we stayed at the table. The spider had several snacks while we ate our meal. We had tin can bread and butter to start which was delicious and piping hot. Eric had a burger, and I had potato/leek soup and a side salad. It was rather good food for the location.
We then walked around on the beach of Cape Tribulation and enjoyed being right at the edge of the rainforest and beach and knowing the reef is just off the beach as well. It was a very cool meeting place of so many habitats. On our drive back down the coast to the ferry we stopped off at a couple more walks to learn more about the plants and ecosystem of that rainforest. We didn’t see too many other creatures, but plenty of plant life. We also stopped at an ice cream stand that is known for their exotic flavors. Each day they have 3-4 flavors and they only sell cups with those 3-4 scoops in them for $6 and that’s what you get. So today’s flavors were apricot, coconut, wattle seed, and black sapote. They were all really delicious. We had learned from a guide back at Desert Park that wattle seed, once soaked and boiled and crushed into a powder, is actually commonly sold at Australian supermarkets and kind of tastes like coffee. So it can be used as a coffee flavoring in substitute for actual coffee. She was right! The ice cream did have a mild but distinct coffee flavor. I also found out later that the black sapote, which had a mild chocolate flavor at the time, is also known as the chocolate pudding fruit. It is a breed of persimmon that gets a chocolate pudding flavor and consistency when ripe. Cool! It was all delicious.
We drove back into Port Douglas, relaxed briefly at the hotel, and then went into town for dinner. This time we tried a bar that served wood fired pizza. It was really tasty and they were having some drink specials so that was a bonus. Also we saw a bunch more bats flying around overhead. They’re easy to tell from the birds because of their wing shape.