Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cape Tribulation, Australia

Monday, Oct. 26

We went to the tropical rainforest, Daintree Park.  These are called eco certified tours.  We preserve rainforests and UNESCO heritage sites by tourism in the areas.  Since we are travelling in a group we reduce our carbon footprint.  Wow, being a tourist has never been so virtuous! The drive along the northern highway which hugs the shore is beautiful.  We had an Italian guide!  At times he was hard to understand, but he did love this area of Australia. 
We went to a gorge where it was finally safe to swim, since crocs don’t like cold or fast moving water.  But there was really only time for a plunge, because we had to rejoin the tour.  We ate lunch in the most beautiful setting at a lodge deep in the rainforest.  There is no electricity, but Australians have a generator and are now using solar power for energy.  You have to wonder who had the money and vision to build that beautiful lodge in the rainforest.   Every beach has a bottle of vinegar as first aid next to the signage warning about stinging jellyfish (which arrive in Nov.) The signs warn about the crocs which come to the ocean in the summer, in the winter when the ocean water cools down they retreat to the streams and forests of the shore.  So every paradise has its flaws and it makes the Canadian black bears seem much more manageable as a hazard. Signs warning you about the hazards are popular i.e. “be careful climbing on the rocks, people have been hurt and even killed in this area”.  But families are clambering all over them, so just when your sense of caution goes into overdrive, your common sense reasserts itself. 

We climbed the aerial tower and walkway in the Daintree Forest which had beautiful views of the rainforest. 
I was thrilled to travel up the coast and get into the remote areas of the rainforest. 
The group we travelled with seemed very nice.  Another traveler told me that some people she had just met on the Cape Trib beach told her they were with a private guide.  They had paid $100 000 to fly in first class from Victoria and stay in 1st class hotels all the way and visit the rainforest and places in the Gold Coast.  She said “I can’t wait to be retired.” I asked her how someone she just met on the beach had told her this information.  “I’m a hair dresser,” she answered. “Does that answer your question?” She finished the day by betting which women the guide would pick for a kiss goodbye.  He only kissed some of the women as he dropped them at their hotels. Luckily I didn't get one and neither did she!