Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Little Corolla Goes Into the Forest

On the last day of last year (happy new year by the way) I got to go somewhere that I’d been wanting to go for ages.

On the morning of the 31st we were already in Port Douglas (just above Cairns) after spending a couple of days in Ravenshoe on Wedding Business. We knew that at the very least that night we were in for a good fireworks display and a delicious dinner the likes of which Townsville’s best restaurants um… strive for. Plus, we had a whole day to play before that, and I got really excited when I looked at the map and realised that we were not that far from the Daintree. We could cross the river and go up to Cape Tribulation.

Crossing the Daintree River to see the rainforest on the other side was one of those things that I’d been wanting to do ever since we first came to North Queensland. It was such an old wish that it had sort of got dusty, and to take it out again and realise that it was possible was just so good. The wet season has started early in a big way this year, so when we crossed the river it was looking good and wide and brown.

True, I love a wide brown slow-moving river. Just ask the Mekong.

When we got to the other side we were instantly in jungle paradise, and I was sort of glad that I had waited so long for this particular trip because I have had a chance to become all enthusiastic about rainforest plants.
Usually we see these plants all scraggly and sun-damaged in Townsville gardens, and I wonder what the person was thinking who planted them there. It was so amazing to see them all flourishing in their proper habitat, under a proper damp grey rainforest sky. The fan palms are my favourite. So retro.

Even though activities were kind of plant-centred, Hayden had a good day too. His favourite part was when we had to test our little ’94 Corolla in 200ml of water across the road. The couple in the car ahead of us, which was similarly low to the ground, decided to turn around at that point because it was, as they so rightly pointed out, a terrible place and a terrible time (what, 5pm on New Year's Eve?) to try and get help if they got into trouble. But they were not as adventurous as we.

She made it! But we each sighed a sigh of relief.

Hayden felt so much relief that he drove back and across again to allow me to get some better photos.

We’re thinking we might fit a snorkel to her before we take her up that way again.