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The Wet Tropics

Tuesday 22nd September 2015

sunny 28 °C

We had arranged to do a twilight tour on the Daintree River and wanted to use the rest of the day to explore the rainforest from our accommodation southwards towards the river. Daylight gave us the opportunity to get a better view of our lodge and the surrounding area.

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We were starting to get used to the animal noises, heard at times in close proximity. The loud bangs of fruit and nuts dropping onto the roof were no longer startling me as they had the first few times this happened. We had a nice freshly prepared breakfast of tropical fruits and scrambled eggs for Nigel and croissants for me. We relaxed for a while and I did some blogging before getting ready to go out. There is a nature walk that can be taken from the lodge down to a nearby creek and back. The path was clearly marked but the rainforest seems particularly wild and remote here and I took particular care where I put my feet. We were constantly on the lookout for cassowaries, a large bird about the size of an emu that is indigenous to the area. They can be quite aggressive, with very sharp talons and people have been seriously injured and indeed killed by them in the past. I think we were both simultaneously wanting to see but being wary of doing so. In the end although we possibly caught a fleeting glimpse of one in the distance we did not have any positive sightings.

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Once back from our walk we were ready to go out for lunch and do some sightseeing. We went to a restaurant nearby that had been recommended to us by our hosts. We had some very nice food, I had a curry and Nigel prawns. As we were going to be out into the evening this was going to be our main meal of the day. There were a number of animals there including parrots and parakeets in cages and snakes inside in vivariums. We got talking to the owner after we had finished eating and he told us that he had only bought the place in January and it was a contents and all deal. He is intending to have built more suitable enclosures for them so that they can spend more time outside. In the meantime he brings them out onto the lawn when ever he can. He brought out a black headed Python and explained how they live and what they feed on.

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He was told us that potentially dangerous animals cannot be released into the wild and that the snake, used to be fed dead animals since it was young wouldn't be able to catch and eat live prey. It was really interesting talking to him, and it was reassuring to know the snakes and birds weren't going to spend their whole lives in small cages. From the restaurant we drove to the beach at Cow Bay.

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This is a lovely broad beach fringed by rainforest with a small creek flanked by mangrove trees. I spoke briefly to a lad who was checking traps in the river. I asked him what he was hoping to catch and somewhat nonchalantly replied 'anything'. I also asked him if crocs venture as far as the beach, he replied that they didn't but would be present further upstream. On that basis I don't think I would have been happy wading in the creek the way he was. Continuing south towards the Daintree river we stopped at the Alexandra Lookout and took a few minutes looking at the stunning view across the rainforest towards the Daintree River.

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We arrived at the north side of river crossing, in plenty of time to meet up with Dan. At the agreed time he came ćhugging into view on his small boat. It turned out that we were the only people on the excursion although Dan had his wife with him for this trip. We set off and Dan encouraged us to ask lots of questions. It soon became apparent that the tide was quite high which reduced the chances of us seeing any crocodiles as they are much easier to see when they are laying on the mud or in shallow water. Nigel spotted a couple at the start of the trip. We were given lots of information about the flora and fauna of the area, particularly about the mangroves and their flowers.

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The whole trip seemed a bit strange however, perhaps because there were only two of us and Dan and the woman with him. In the end it was lovely seeing the river in twilight and after dark but was a bit disappointing in terms of wildlife.

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It also seemed odd that Dan seemed surprised by the height of the tide when he has been working on the river for years. After our allotted time we were rather unceremoniously dropped of at the river bank near where we were parked and Dan and his love disappeared off into the moonlight! We made to drive back to our little bit of the Daintree Rainforest for a quiet and relaxing evening watching a movie and drinking a glass of wine.

Posted by Gill's Travels 06:13 Archived in Australia Tagged flowers australia river rain_forest daintree mangroves

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