cape tribulation, 15-17 june 2005
World Heritage site, home to 12 out of 19 flouring (or flowering?) ancient plants, a pocket of maybe the highest density of biological diversity world wide. The road from Cairns was sealed only about 6 years or so ago. 18mths later, you only see about one snake per trip along the road, compared to 12-12 before the sealing. Quite often, that one snake was smashed by a car.
Sounds like a really bad downhill story, doomsday is close. Still a pretty awesome place, though. Rainforest, lizards sleeping at the end of a branchm, sothey
d feel the snakes approaching. Nocturnal frogts: “If you shine zour torch in his eye, you might as well smash him with a rock: he”d stumble around blindly until something eats him.”
The guide says the cape has changed, it’s not what is used to be,. He came here as a backpacker, 16 years ago. “But I don’t live here all the time anymore.”
Cut to PK’s Jungle Village, backpacker resort, a few minutes’ drive awaz. Drinkling games: on ebeer, a bowl oh Japalenos, a tequila shot, one weetabix. it’s mexican night, one corona $5, one shot $4. overweight australian girls being hit on by wasted wifebeater-waring blokes.
I’d like to see more of the rainforest, take ofne of the trips up the cape, to the northern tip of the continent, 6 people in twi 4WDs, camping and cooking on the Trangia. that kind of trip., but i can’t really afford it, so i’m here, at PK’s, trying to take as many walks as possible.
and again, i realize that i’d be quite willing to spend thousands of dollars to go out in the wild, with a jeep, sleep under the sky or in a tent, far away from electricity and comfort. rather than staying in a fancy hotel with full room service.
it’s not even bad here: the jungle is the real think, not some fake. at the back i saw a snake and a cassowary (?); the salt water crocodile living in the creek down at the beach was no to be found. in the last few weeks, it has been harassing tourists on kayak trips< it has grown some halfmeter since last year, so it’s kind of dangerous now. it’s a world heritage site, after all: nobody’s gonna kill the crocodile. hopefully/.
when i’ll leave at noon today (daily pick-up!), then i’ll have the feeling i so often have when i’m in touristy spots. the feeling that there is all this incredible, and incredibly interesting stuff. and that i only managed to see a tiny faction, water/down by the leyer of touristy no-risk policy and cheapness.
for now, i’m sitting on the verande of the cafe in PK’s, rain pouring down (i love it!). i wanna come back here, go further up, where it’s less regulated & controlled. i can’t wait.
ps. mobiles don’t work here. there is hope
pps. heather, adam and a girl
that may be called beth called evelyn: US exchange students from michigan who just finished their semester in perth.