Cape Tribulation: where the rainforest meets the ocean -Monday 7th November 2011


Humm, the air con and the humidity seem to have given me a cough and it’s disturbing my sleep. But that won’t stop us, we’re off to Cape Tribulation!

All the literature we’ve seen advertises tours. Apparently you need a 4WD and a guide. I say, let’s go in the Getz. This is the only place in the world, I’m told where the rainforest meets the sea. I can’t wait.

We drive to the ferry where a large notice warns of crocodiles. We drive along a well made road and are just getting complaisant when part of the road is roped off because it has collapsed into the abyss; over and over again. I mean, half the carriage way has gone down the cliff!

The road closes in around us with long tendrils of vine reaching down to us. Sometimes it opens to reveal plots of land for sale, and once an ice cream factory!!! Or a cafe or hidden resort. At times glimpses of sea appear to the right. We stop at a look out, with the other vehicles from our ferry. A domestic hen roams the car park but there is no other sign of domesticity. The cars begin to take their unique journey time and we are able to travel in isolation.

As soon as you cross the ferry you get the sense of isolation.

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We open our windows and suck in the damp, the warmth. Once at Cape Tribulations the road runs out, unless you have a 4WD. We spray on the insect repellent and head off into the mangrove swamps, over the boardwalks.

It’s surprisingly creepy.

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But as we enter the beach, you have got to exclaim: rainforest tumbles down the hillside to meet the beach which extends as far as the eye can see. The sky over the mountain is full of rain, dark and menacing but the beach is warm with a gentle breeze. It’s hard to believe there is hardly anyone around.

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There are plenty of crabs, smaller than a fingernail who have make complex patterns in the sand by carrying tiny balls of sand.

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Each one is unique! It’s a tropical paradise, the kind you find at the end of ‘Trading Places’! It offers a romance that only truly beautiful places can. We know very few people are privileged enough to come to such a place.

Eventually we leave the beach, past warning signs of crocodiles and cassowaries. Beware! It really leads to a sense of adventure, uncertainty. The little mangrove crabs rustle about their daily lives and I jump! Luckily we don’t actually see a crocodile and, I’m sad to say we don’t see any cassawarries either.

But we have certainly visited a magnificent place. How can we be so lucky?

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