Cape Tribulation, the Daintree and Cool Waters Tourist Park
This was more a funny day out than a fun day out. It was
spoiled just a little by overcast skies which later developed into rain.
To reach Cape Tribulation you drive north from Cairns, past Port Douglas
and straight on through Mossman until you reach the Daintree River. Stop
there, especially if the ferry is at the other side. For $16 return, the
ferry will take you to the opposite bank. Continue driving north through
beautiful rainforest until you run out of bitumen - and there you are, Cape
Tribulation. Note that you have run out of bitumen but not out of road.
To reach the most northerly tip of the Australian mainland, Cape York, by
car involves a drive of a thousand kilometres over dirt roads. How bad those
roads are seems to depend on who is telling the story. We decided on a different
method of reaching Cape York, but that's for another day.
Left: Waiting for the Daintree River Ferry.
Right: The Daintree
The name Tribulation was bestowed by Captain James Cook in
1770 when his bark, Endeavour, bumped into a reef. The reason for his choice
of name was, in his own words,
. . . because here begun all our
In our opinion the Tribulation area is in danger of becoming
over-commercialised. Its attraction is in its natural beauty and its remoteness.
Today there are all the usual businesses springing up; accommodation, cafés,
camping, tours galore, jungle adventures, discovery centres, horse rides,
museums, boat hire, shops and more. Because the area is so large and these
operations are well scattered, it isn't yet too 'tacky'.
We were really lucky; at the beach car park we came across a family of cassowaries, a rare and endangered species.
At the beach car park we came across a family of cassowaries
There was mum, dad and two chicks. Signs warned of the dangers of approaching
too close to these large, colourful birds when they have young. They are
capable of inflicting fatal injuries if provoked. Just look at those claws
on the adult in the left picture. Unfortunately I wasn't able to obtain
any good photographs as the birds kept wandering around the cars and other
photographers were always in the way. I've selected the best here.
The right picture shows more clearly the cassowary's peculiar crest
which looks quite rubbery, and also its bright pink, red and blue head and
neck colouring. Only one of the adults sported the long, dangling wattles,
presumably the male.
The Cape Tribulation beaches were lovely – rainforest running all
the way to the water's edge except where there was sand. We sat on
the beach and ate our lunch, watching families enjoy the calm water as rain
clouds rolled in. Behind us a most irritating young fellow was knocking
down coconuts, and a good deal of foliage, from the tall palms. The rain
started as we left the beach to set off for the Daintree Village.
What we expected of this village I'm not sure, but certainly not what
we found. The place consisted of a large parking area with a museum on one
side, some tourist-type shops on the other and boat access to the Daintree
River at the far end. Amongst the shops was a café where we went
for an afternoon drink. Outside the café door sat an extremely scruffy
bloke - looked like a bikie - who was obviously fairly full of grog. He
was holding a loud and slurred conversation with a brassie blond sitting
several metres away.
Inside the cafe Pam requested a cup of tea. The cups, tea bags and hot water
were pointed out to her. She had to make her own. Everybody was referred
by the strange-looking woman behind the counter.
I think the best thing about the Daintree Village was the road out.
Some Amusing Modifications to Road Signs
On our way to Cape Tribulation we had passed some 'modified'
road signs. We thought they were funny though the authority responsible
for their upkeep might have a different view. See what you think.
Left: The top sign warns of speed bumps ahead and the lower
sign of cassowaries on the road.
signs as we saw them. Some quick wit had seen the potential and applied
a little black paint.
Left: Couldn't help smiling at this one.
Right: Don't try this at home, Folks.
Meanwhile, Back at Cool Waters Caravan Park
On arriving back at the Cool Waters Caravan Park, Andrew,
one of our hosts, showed me the weirdest creature I've ever seen.
It was a male Rhinoceros Beetle (Xylotrupes gideon). I knew that you'd
demand some pictures, dear Reader, so naturally I've obliged.
To help you to get an idea of his size, I got him to pose on a 20 cent coin
(the beetle, that is, not Andrew). Poms, a 20 cent coin is the same size
as your 10 pence coin. The beetle's forked horn is made of hard shell
but I couldn't guess its purpose. Opening beer bottles, perhaps? The
female beetle differs in that she doesn't have the forked horn and
her shell is a matt black. Both genders squeak loudly if disturbed but are
If you look at these pictures and decide that I'm 'having a
lend of you' and the thing is really made of plastic . . . well, I
wouldn't blame you. If I hadn't seen it walking I'd think
it was something dreamed up for a Star Wars movie. Hey, come to think of
it, it does bear a striking resemblance to Darth Vader, doesn't it?
May the force be with you.
A Rhinoceros Beetle. Kids, why not put one of these into Mum's bed? You know how she loves a good joke.
While I was looking at the Rhinoceros Beetle, what should come along but Emily,
Andrew's pet Rainbow Lorikeet. Or rather one of them, for he has two.
Emily, the Rainbow Lorikeet. Beautiful, isn't she?
The story of Emily is interesting . . .
Andrew had Remo, a male Lorikeet, which had the run of the place. Remo always
confined himself to the area outside the rear of the office, never
the front, so it was with some surprise that 'he' was seen at
the front. Somebody took the cage out and opened the door. Remo normally
hopped straight in but not this time, so 'he' was picked up
and put into the cage. On re-entering the office it was discovered that
Remo was, in fact, happily playing at the back. So who was in the cage?
Emily (as the new bird was christened) was kept in the cage for a few days
and then released. She's been around the place ever since - company
Pam Takes To The Water - Gives the Red Wine A Rest
The Cool Waters Caravan Park has a beautifully landscaped
swimming pool. The shallow end was so shallow that Pam, not normally one
to venture into water over her ankles, began to gain confidence. She went
out and bought a boringly modest swimming costume and slowly, day by day,
she ventured further towards the deep end until the water came up to her
The pool at the Cool Waters Caravan Park.
As Pam gained confidence, she was seen many times in the pool.
As winter turned to spring and the daytime temperature rose
into the thirties, that pool was a godsend. The best part was that we could
enjoy it as much as we liked but somebody else cleaned it. Some mornings
we'd set out early for a walk - eight o'clock is early - and
return hot and sticky. The sun had quite a bite, even at that hour. Then,
after a quick shower, into the pool before breakfast. Half an hour of lazing
in the pool reduced our core temperature nicely.
Core temperature is the 'in' expression this season. It was
started by good old Ross and Jan Taylor from Jimboomba, Brisbane. Cheers,
Ross and Jan. How are the Happy Hours going? Are there still 180 Happy Minutes
in one Happy Hour?
Warnings On The Dangers Of Alcohol
Talking of Happy Hour, our lovely niece Hannah must worry
about us. She sent us some warnings about alcohol:
- The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened
to your bra and panties.
- The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are
tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.
- The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing
- The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.
- The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy.
- The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like a retard.
- The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over
and over again that you love them.
- The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering
when you are not.
- The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically
converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.
Thanks, Hannah, but many of those are the reasons why we drink alcohol -
especially when we sing and dance like retards. And with the exception of
the pregnancy warning, I find that advancing old age has very similar effects.
Now where did I leave my bra and panties?
This is the end of Page 15. On Page 16 we go north on a cargo ship, stand
on Australia's northernmost tip, and one of us is pronounced dead.
Footnote: This re-working of Page 15 was completed on 18 March 2013. It conforms to HTML5 and CSS level 3.