Friday, July 6, 2012

Rainforest Living

This morning we woke up at 6:30, ready to take advantage of the day.  We were well rested, and headed to the cafe for breakfast.  I ate a delicious muesli (which looks like bird food), kiwi, and yogurt breakfast.  Cayla and I then went to the reception desk to book a few tours.  After taking care of some logistics, we drove a km up the road to begin a hike of Mt. Sorrow.  We had to sign out of the Beach House, so they would know if they had to send a search party for us if we didn’t return.  The women at the front desk had never done the hike, but wished us luck and promised we’d be sore.  We found the sign for the trail, and parked in a small open space on the side of the road.  The trail immediately forked, but we quickly figured out the right way to go.
The path took us bush walking (climbing) through the most beautiful landscape.  It was a cross between Tarzan and the Jungle Book.  Endless trees and vines towered over us as the sun shined through the foliage.  The trail was marked by reflectors and highlighter pink bands tied to trees along the way.  For a long time we didn’t say anything intelligible, just ooo-ed and ahh-ed.  We quickly found out why it is called Mount Sorrow.  The trail was extremely steep and we had to pull ourselves up the inclines using ropes.  After about two hours of climbing, we reached a small platform on the summit that offered a spectacular view of the coastline.  Although it was cloudy, we were able to see for miles.  It was a completely different perspective of the area, and very hard earned.  We met a friendly couple from the Gold Coast, who snapped a few photos of us at the top and told us about schooling and university in Australia.  We hydrated and munched on nutri-grain bars before heading back.

On the way down Mt. Sorrow, Cayla and I got a little too caught up in conversation, strayed from the trail, and slid down a steep incline, only to realize we had to retrace our steps to find our way.  The return trip went smoothly after that, and we were back at Cape Trib Beach House at 1:00.  We signed up for a sunset kayak tour of the coastline and reef, but unfortunately it was cancelled because of the wind.  Instead, we took a nap and stubbornly succumbed to the effects of jet lag.  Cayla and I grabbed dinner and set out on a guided night hike.  We met a group of boys from Virginia who are spending several weeks touring Australia and will be in Cairns while we are there as well.  It was nice to see Americans.  The night hike was led by Brett, a Steve Irwin look-alike.  It was so interesting to see the places we trekked that morning in the pitch black.  Using just a flashlight, we saw endangered frogs, poisonous plants, birds, and even licked ants that tasted like lemon juice (quite a delicious delicacy in the forest).  No crocodiles were spotted, but hopefully we’ll get to see one on another adventure. 
Once again, we are wiped out and can’t wait to get some sleep.  We’re waking up bright and early for jungle surfing and will enjoy and exotic fruit tasting in the afternoon.

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