Sunday, 9 July 2017

Cairns to Cooktown in Blu bus

I've already written about how well Blu bus soldiered through the Bloomfield track, which was part of the section Cairns to Cooktown (doable also via bitumen for those without a suitable vehicle) but here's what else we did. 

We stopped 2 nights at Ellis Beach, just North of Palm Cove. Stopping 2 nights at a beachside caravan park where there's not much to do (aside from relax and enjoy the view) isn't hardly our style, but we did it because there was an Ironman competition happening on that beautiful stretch of road and so the road would be closed for most the day while that happened. 
Such is my sporting knowledge, I had always thought that Ironman challenges were surfing competitions (I learnt that from a cereal box, seriously) but no, it's a particularly tough triathlon.
H amused himself during the Ironman by waving a Flemish flag. I wonder if there were any Flemish (or Belgian) competitors or if anyone recognised the flag.
 H amused himself during the Ironman by waving a Flemish flag. I wonder if there were any Flemish (or Belgian) competitors or if anyone recognised the flag. 

After lunch H said the race had fully passed our campsite (he'd been spectating) and we could cycle into Palm Cove for a look. I trusted him, so we grabbed our folding bikes and headed down the road. Funny thing was that the (cycling part of the) race wasn't yet finished, they'd yet to pass for the final time, and we were, on our folding bikes, in the lead! Obviously we weren't competitors but people good heartedly cheered us on. 

Palm Cove is beautiful, although I can't imagine us ever passing more than a few hours there. 

Next we went to Mossman, where I hoped to have mail to collect. Fortunately, as members of the 'Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) we could stay at another members farm, but after waiting all week there was still no mail and we left. 

We did 2 crocodile cruises (different locations but sold as a 2 for the price of 1 deal) on the Daintree River before crossing over. Saw lots of big and small crocs, plenty of variety of birds and an amethyst python (snake). 

Then we took the ferry across the Daintree river to Cape Tribulation. We really liked Cape Trib. Two night there wasn't really enough, but we wanted to do the Bloomfield track before some forecast rain arrived. We did all the boardwalks and went out snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and I did a tropical fruit tasting. 

The reef tour, with 'Ocean Safari' was our best GBR experience yet. We loved getting there on a fast zodiac and the coral and fish were colourful, healthy, varied and the visibility great too. 

H wasn't interested in doing the Tropical Fruit tasting (at Cape Trib Farm) so I went alone. It was great! I tasted 13 different fruits, 8 of which were new to me (and I thought I was fairly knowledgable on tropical fruits). The explanations were very interesting, and then there was a guided walk on the farm. 

I think this one was called a Pangi
 I think this one was called a Pangi

Finally it was time to do the Bloomfield Track. And it was fine, see my last post. 

We stopped at Bloomfield Falls, they're nice. Then camped at Archer Point, which is really pretty but windy, before arriving at Cooktown. 

Cooktown is lovely and definitely worth visiting, especially for the view that Captain Cook had each time he climbed grassy hill (minus all the boats and development). I also very much enjoyed the botanic gardens and a small crowd enjoyed watching H chase his hat along the beach. Plus Thursday to Sunday you can watch a man feed the massive grouper fishes, very impressive. 

The view from Grassy Hill, Cooktown.
 The view from Grassy Hill, Cooktown. 

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