Lake Tinaroo to Hann River via Port Douglas 07/05/2011-13/05/2011 by Mrs Kanga

Saturday, May 07, 2011 at 00:00


Day 22 - 7/05/2011

Adriane got up and checked the pots, a couple of the small ones from last night had escaped but a couple of much bigger ones were in another pot. He cooked them up to have for lunch later. Everything was a bit soggy from the dew overnight but soon dried out enough to pack up. Shame to leave such a gorgeous spot, Adriane had a quick swim on the way out. Back on track to Cairns by 9.30am. Back on the black top and what a road! Breathtaking views from the windiest road we have been on, a bit reminiscent of Western Tasmania. Glad it is a lovely fine day because it is obviously very treacherous in the wet. Fantastic! Passed a cyclist on his way up, can’t imagine it would be much fun. Lots of road repairs going on but signage a bit interesting, you are going around a 30kph bend then you get a sign “Reduce Speed 60kph” sign which makes no sense. Unless you were in a low slung sports car, you are unlikely to be able to do more than 50kph on any section of this mountainous road.Quarter to eleven and we are down from the mountain but still only doing about 70kph in a 100kph zone. Pulling in to Cairns, sick of the traffic lights already. Drove straight through because parking with the campers in tow just wasn’t going to happen. Topped up the tanks at Smithfield then on towards Port Douglas , traffic lights have given way to roundabouts, getting dizzy. Finally hit the coast on the Captain Cook Highway, awesome, nice to see the sea again. Pulled in for lunch at Ellis Beach ($16.50 for six pieces of salt & pepper squid and a nice little salad, extra for chips!) pay for the view I suppose. Beautiful scenic drive along the coast, stopped to watch some paragliders. Booked in to the Tropic Breeze Van Park for a couple of nights, walking distance to most things ($36pn powered) quite compact sites but nicely shaded.

Day 23 - 8/05/2011

Walked into Port Douglas for the Sunday markets. Definitely worth a look. Up there with the best markets we have been to, although Gordon was a bit disappointed there was no old second had stuff. Lots of stalls with all sorts of crafts, food, massage therapist and jewellery, to mention but a few. Bought some lovely fresh prawns, fruit and veg and went back to camp and had it for lunch. Went back to the markets after lunch so Adriane could get a crocodile leather hat band he had his eye on. We then drove north to Mossman Gorge. Enjoyed a extra creamy soft serve cone from the ice cream van in the car park while walking to the gorge. It has apparently changed a bit since Gordon and Andrea were here a number of years ago. They now have some great suspended walkways as well as the suspension bridge. Adriane went for a quick swim before we moved on to check out the Daintree Ferry and found the Bloomfield Track was closed. Had a quick look around Daintree and picked up some brochures for possible things to do the next couple of days.

Day 24 - 9/05/2011

Adriane was up early and down the beach for a swim and Gordon washed off the bird or bat poo that had appeared on the cars overnight before removing his alternator for further investigation. After breakfast and a phone call to the local auto electrician, Adriane drove Gordon there to see what could be done. Andrea and I wandered in to Port Douglas main street for a mooch about the shops. After a call from Adriane, Andrea phoned the Nissan dealer in Cairns to get the price on a new alternator and was flabbergasted when she was told $2062. Bob, the very interesting auto electrician didn’t like the looks of Gordon’s alternator so recommended and ordered a new one for seven hundred and something dollars. The boys then came and met us in Rivers, one of the nicest ones we’ve been in. Had a lovely lunch at Taste on Macrossan and did some shopping then back to camp. Booked in to the van park for another three nights.Gordon, Andrea and I went for a walk down to the beach, water 27°C, sand like concrete, had an ice cream on the way back to camp. Found Adriane cooling off in the pool with a Swiss couple. Had to beat Andrea at cards coz no one else will play with me any more:-( because they think I cheat. We booked a tour for tomorrow while we wait for the new alternator, then had dinner, boys went in the pool while Andrea and I caught up on a bit of computing.

Day 25 - 10/05/2011

Got up a little bit late and Gordon and Andrea made berry pancakes for breakfast then Adriane went for a swim while Andrea and I put on a stew in the Ecopot while Gordon did the breakfast dishes. Relaxed for a while until our 11am pickup for our “Glenn’s Karunda Half Day Tour“($145pp). Picked up one other passenger, a lovely Swedish lady called Cornelia. Glenn first drove us past a multi million dollar canal area, a bit like South Yunderup, but they have crocodiles instead of dolphins so the occasional dog goes missing. Then we were off to the multi award winning Skyrail Rainforest Cableway which makes two stops on the way up to Kuranda so that you can check out the waterfall and other rainforest scenery. Cornelia had a spider phobia so when a Golden Orb Spider was pointed out by a guide, I had to take a photo of it for her. The views were truly sensational, it is fantastic to see so much natural rainforest so close to suburbia of Cairns. Glenn met us at the top and quickly drove us around the small town of Karunda then left us to our own devices for an hour or so. As it was lunch time, Andrea, Cornelia and I opted for a Barramundi Burger while Gordon and Adriane went for a seafood platter before a quick look round the markets for a stuffed Cane Toad for Dale (son). Glenn then took us to the station to catch the Kuranda Scenic Railway back down the mountain, wow what an incredible trip. Hard to imagine the railway being put in with only picks and shovels, and the workers had to supply their own if they wanted a job! Glenn met us at a station at the bottom and drove us into and around Cairns before leaving us there for an hour. We had a quick walk around the Lagoon foreshore area before hitting the Nightmarkets, picked up a couple of things, had a $10 ten minute shoulder massage before back on Glenn’s bus to take Cornelia to the airport and us back to camp. Had a call from Val, our real estate rep, on the way back to the bus to say she had an offer on a property we have on the market. Got back to camp around seven, dinner waiting in the Ecopot, pretty great day all round. Spotted a Cane Toad between our campers, locals reckon they don’t see many around these days. Planned to go to Iron Bar Pub tomorrow night and watch the Cane Toad Race.

Day 26 - 11/05/2011

Was planning on going to Cape Tribulation today but Gordon’s new alternator hasn’t arrived yet and he needs a new battery too. We also need to be near a fax machine for Val to send us the offer. So Andrea and I got on and did some washing and computing, Adriane went for a swim down the beach and Gordon ordered a battery from the guy getting the alternator for him. Got our fax from Val around 11am (9am Perth time) while Gordon & Andrea grabbed some shopping from town and Gordon decided to hire a car so that they could go to Hartley Crocodile park. They got a nice little Toyota Corolla for $55 for 24hours then off they went while we waited to hear from Val again and update the blog. Got the paper work sorted with Val then walked in to town for lunch and a spot of shopping.Gordon and Andrea ended up going to Mossman Hardware then Tropic Wetlands Park on the way back. As planned, we went to the Iron Bar Pub for the Cane Toad Races and decided to have a bite to eat there first. The food was delicious and I can highly recommend the Toblerone cocktail for dessert. The Cane Toad Racing was ($5pp to watch) hilarious. Jockeys were drawn from the audience for the first race and auctioned off for the second. The Jockeys are issued with party blowers as whips and the commentator is very entertaining, great night out.

Day 27 - 12/05/2011

Headed off towards Cape Tribulation for the day, over the Daintree on the ferry ($21 per vehicle, return). Spent an hour or two at the Daintree Discovery Centre ($28pp plus $5 for the audio device) , reading and listening to all sorts of information about the rain forest and it’s flora and fauna. There are suspended walkways and a 23 metre high tower into the rain forest canopy. Lots of interesting plants but didn’t spot any animals until we moved on to the Cape Tribulation Lookout where Andrea spotted a small Lace Monitor Lizard near the beach.Gordon got a call from the Auto Electrician to say that his new alternator had arrived, so they decided to head back and get it fitted ready for tomorrows departure to Cape York. Adriane and I tried to see if we could go Jungle Surfing but the 2.30pm session was fully booked and the 3.30pm one would be too late, so we thought we would see how far we could get along the Bloomfield Track. Some stunning scenery, rocky but shallow and easy river crossings were encountered. Thankfully the steepest sections are concreted and as some of the track seems to run along the top of a ridge where you have a steep drop off to the sea on one side of the track and a similar drop off down the mountain on the other side. Got as far as the Bloomfield River Crossing at Wujal Wujal where the concrete crossing has a large section washed down stream and hence is closed. We returned the way we came, making the Ferry crossing just after 5pm and back to camp by six, only to find Gordon and Bob the Auto Electrician fussing over his car. Turns out the alternator is the wrong one and hence doesn’t fit so Bob took it away and will call tomorrow morning about another one. Spent some time on the internet after dinner to see if there were any other options and checked the maps and itinerary for contingency plans.

Day 28 - 13/05/2011

Adriane and I were up at 7am to pack up and move on, while Gordon waited for a call from Bob about the alternator. He also discovered a slow leak in his passenger side front tyre and it turned out to have two small nails in it. He plugged the tyre and Andrea and I went in to town in the Corolla to pick up a few last minute items and extend the car hire another day. By the time we got back, Gordon had heard back from Bob and a guy that I had emailed off Ebay last night. Ebay guy could get one to him by Monday if sent before 12noon. Bob got one coming from Cairns that could be here by twelve. So we crossed our fingers and Adriane and I headed off by ten. Stopped for a few photo ops on the way up the mountain and grabbed some fresh produce from a road side stall (turned out to be delicious stuff). Got to Lakeland for lunch (highly recommend the vege burger). Telstra 3G working so we could check on Gordon & Andrea’s progress throughout the day. Alternator had arrived but some modifications were required to make it fit. Missed the Laura turn off near Lakeland, saw three dead pigs on the road then turned and backtracked about 10ks to find the turning. Road conditions very good, mostly bitumen but signage not always clear. Stopped at Split Rock to walk up and see the Aboriginal Art.Later took a right to Laura which was the wrong way, needed to continue along the Peninsula Development Road past a the flashing sign on to a good gravel road before taking a right to Old Laura this road was being graded. Got to Old Laura turnoff to New Laura and Twelve Mile Hut (Lakefield National Park) only to find that it was closed and had to backtrack 27km to the Peninsula Developmental Road to head to Hann River Roadhouse. Got the good news that Gordon and Andrea were on the road at about four. Checked in at Hann River before dark ($20pn) friendly interesting crowd. Some tame wildlife including peacocks, an Emu and a Rainbow Lorikeet. Shower choices were one each up at the roadhouse or two with a donkey, Had a chat with a nice couple with their new Bushtracker with a pushbutton awning, very nice. I braved one of the donkey showers. Adriane had heard from Gordon and Andrea and they reached Lakeland about 7pm and decided to push on to Hann River which they reached by 9.20pm. So quite a bit of messing around today, but we are back together and back on schedule.
Tempus Fugit

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