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Journ-e: Cairns Daintree and Kuranda

Shalom pilgrims,

Did you know I went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef?

I'm just so proud.

Queensland is also home to another UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Daintree Rainforest. The day after snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, we set out on a guided tour of the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation.

As much as I love to go off the beaten path, sometimes the coordinated tours are the best route.

A van picked us up from our hostel and we had a fun tour guide who was very informative about the region.

Our tour-guide tells us about the cassowary. A native bird that has the most human deaths by species. It's high body count is due to it's talons which are used to disembowel.

At this point, I have come to accept that everything in Australia can kill you. Imagine my apprehension, when as we are walking back someone in the troupe says that they see a cassowary.

The tour guide and most of the troupe went back to see it closer. With the parrot wound still fresh on my hand, I kept my distance. So I did not see a wild caraway, but I'm cool with that.

We then went on to Cape Tribulation.

How did such a beautiful site get the name' Cape Tribulation'? I'm glad you asked. In 1770, colonizer/navigator Captain James Cook will attempting to create maps of present day Austraila ran his ship into some coral and nearly sunk it. Of the experience he is quoted as saying: ...the north point [was named] Cape Tribulation because "here begun all our troubles. He also named Mount Sorrow, the mountain near the cape.

...and they say women are dramatic.

The beach was beautiful and going in the middle of the week during off season meant that there were few people there. It was a really unique experience to be at two UNESCO World Heritage sites simultaneously.

After Cape Trib, we were off on a Crocdile River Cruise. Australia has not one, but two subspecies of crocodiles. Fresh water and salt water, but worry not. But let not ye be worried, the Saltwater crocodiles (the more aggressive of the two) can be found in freshwater as well.

Being from Florida, I often judged the tourists who went to the alligator tourist attractions, or worse still -- went in search of wild gators. Now I find myself on a boat tour to see the more aggressive and deadly cousin of the gator the crocodile.

I definitely took a moment to consider my life choices.

It really is a dog eat dog croc eat croc world. Recently there had been a battle for dominance between the standing Alpha male and others encroaching on his territory. The operator kindly referred to him as Scarface because the week prior, he had gotten into a fight for territory with another crocodile-- a standoff that lasted several hours. His face and body still bore the deep wounds from his victory.

Apparently more and more crocodiles are challenging him for top spot. I can't remember if the tour guide said he was 9 or 13 feet. I feel like it was closer to 13 feet from tail to tip. That thing was massive. Crocodiles often eat the smaller ones. Many baby crocs don't survive to adulthood. Whenever Scarface is dethroned as King of the River, he will retreat to a smaller territory he can defend and become a hyper-aggressive bull, eating everything that comes his way. Joy.

The final day in Cairns we went to Kuranda and Baron Falls and Palm Cove in the evening.

This was during the time of the Harvest full moon. The Moon was HUGE the waves were hitting the shore hard.

Cairns was an action packed start to the Great Australian Adventure. Next leg of the journey takes us to Byron Bay.

Until Next Time,



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