Friday, July 6, 2012

Arrival at Last

Twenty-five hours of flying and 4 hours of driving later, Cayla and I have finally reached the Cape Tribulation Beach House.  We landed safely in Sydney, picked up our bags, and found out we were in the wrong terminal for our next flight.  We took a quick shuttle to the correct terminal, then ran into some heavy charges for overweight baggage.  Once that was sorted out we grabbed lunch, even though it was only 9 a.m.  Our bodies were very thrown off by the time change.  By 2:15 we landed in Cairns and were picked up by a rental car company.  Cayla and I were driven to the rental car shop and were ready to hit the road when we realized the car was stick shift instead of the automatic we requested.  Fortunately they were accommodating and even gave us a “three-tier” upgrade.  Now we’re rolling in a Toyota Camry, living the high life.
Our drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation was breathtaking.  Cape Tribulation is located on the north-east coast of Australia.  It is known as the land where “the rainforest meets the reef,” or according to a friendly man in the airport, “the sticks.”  The coastline is adjacent to the rainforest, which is home to an array of exotic animals including crocodiles and snakes.  Cayla drove on the left side of the road like a natural and only had to be reminded to stay out of the right lane a few times.  The landscape is everything I’ve gazed at in photos for the past few months.  The sun was beginning its descent as we drove down the winding roads to our destination.  Cayla and I could not get over the lush green landscape.  The two lane road is sheltered by canopies that frequently break open to reveal the Pacific Ocean.  We pulled over onto a pebbled area on the edge of a cliff to take in the view.  The ocean stretched for miles and the waves neatly rolled into shore.  It is truly paradise here.
View of Cape Tribulation from the road
Despite our excitement about the views, it got dark quickly and we meandered on a small bumpy road for a long time before finding our lodging.  We were jet lagged, hungry, and in desperate need of showers when we finally pulled up.  Cayla and I walked into the reception area at 6:59, and reception closes at 7:00.  Talk about timing. Thank goodness we were able to check in.  We walked down the path where the lodgings are located and found our room.  The “Escape Cabin” has three beds (so we really could have picked up that hitch hiker we passed a few km back...) and a bathroom.  We immediately headed to the cafe for dinner.  The cafe is a large deck with a roof and tables for dining.  There’s a pool right next to it and the path to the beach is easily accessible.  We ordered at the counter and didn’t speak until our food was finished.  The chef gave us advice for tours and activities, so we have big plans for tomorrow.  We’ll catch some much needed sleep tonight, and wake up early for rainforest adventures!

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