Day two of the fantastic 4 team!
The adventure began with a drive north of Cairns, to Port Douglas.
We had heard that the road itself being only 40 something km would in fact take us up to anywhere near 3 hours to drive, give or take a little. That was due to the fact that the road ran right along the coast, the Daintree rainforest skirting the road, and then the ocean on the other side. The forrest meets the sea.
The drive for us did not take the 3 hours, but we did stop quite a bit along the way to take in the views. They were spectacular, beautiful lush, seriously green and crazy tropical forrest to our left, with then a cliff face at times, the ocean beautiful and blue on our right.
The roads themselves were quite windy, as we were driving along the shore line it made a lot of sense. If you are like me, it was a good idea to take travel calm before taking the trip, whether you sit in the front or the back!
The first major stop we made on the drive to Port Douglas was to the small town of Palm Cove. A stunning town right on the beach. All the apartments and shops lined one side of the street, while the ocean lined the other. Now there were people swimming, they looked relaxed and safe. However there were signs warning that crocodiles were in the area and to be cautious. I am sorry but no amount of convincing would get us in the water, especially not Annette. We settled for strolling along the jetty, watching some men fish, catch a small shark and then venture back to the car.
After Palm Cove, the drive to our hotel in Port Douglas was not that far. We checked into the QT Hotel, a stunning white wooden themed place. From all the movies I’ve watched it gave off a Hampton’s feel, not bad right?! We had a double apartment style room with a little kitchen (yay).
We arrived around lunch time, so before exploring the area we decided to have a little nibble at the bar. We ordered a margarita pizza, and some other stuff, that I cannot for the life of me remember. Li you will be happy to know that the pizza we remembered.
We remembered the pizza because when it came out it had no basil on it, however the menu stated fresh basil. I calmly asked the waitress if they would please put some on, and she ran away to get us some. Unfortunately she came back saying they were very sorry but the kitchen was completely out.
For us that was not a worry, however the staff were so apologetic that they provided us with 4 free drink vouchers. To top off the kindness, just before this occurred we had all ordered a lemon, lime and bitters. We all took a sip and thought it tasted a little sour. I went up and asked if maybe they could make mine again because maybe the sprite box had emptied, leaving just soda. Turns out I was right, so I got a new drink, and in the end so did the other three. However Chris decided to at least drink most of the first drink, not to miss out on anything.
So our quick little nibble turned into an eventful and semi-free long lunch.
Ok, we have received many drinks, some of them free, and had eaten, so the next stop was Mossman Gorge. A small drive from Port Douglas, we parked our car and brought our ticket to catch the bus up to the gorge. We were told that we had just over an hour to view the gorge, we wouldn’t have time to do the 2km walk but we would get to see the main bits non the less. That was due to the last shuttle bus coming back to the car park, otherwise we had a long and hilly return on foot.
With a time limit we set off first onto the boardwalk that ascended up into the trees. It was beautiful, rainforest everywhere.
We got to the 2km walk turnoff and Chris said we could definitely attempt to make the trip and get back to the last shuttle bus in time, after all we had to get our steps up. So as you can expect we set off on the walk, and it was amazing. The rainforest got thicker and we felt like we on the island from ‘Lost’ only without actually being lost.
It was spectacular and because we are awesome hikers we arrived back at the last bus literally just as it was pulling in to take everyone back. Alex had rushed on ahead of the rest of us, no matter what, he was getting on that bus!
Touring Mossman gorge was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, if we had had more time we would have definitely swum in the beautiful stream running through the rainforest. We settled for a beautiful but sweaty hike, some swining bridge walks and a little attempt at swining from trees like Tarzan.