Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation - Larry and Barry go north (part 2)
I hate waking up early. When people say “if you consistently get up early it becomes easier” I scowl at them. I drag my butt out of bed at 5.30am 3 or 4 times a week to go cycling because the traffic gets too hectic in Sydney later in the morning, but I still moan and groan about it every day. I wish I was that sprightly adventure girl who leaps out in the morning, ready to climb a mountain. Yeah i’m not. Allow me 20 minutes to snooze my alarm, then hand me a coffee and I might talk to you in an hour.
Despite this, I convinced Phil that we had to get going by 5.30am on the Port Douglas - Cape Tribulation leg of our “Larry and Barry goes north” holiday so we could escape the heat of the day. We had 85kms ahead of us today, plus a wait for a ferry in the middle, so the flashbacks to yesterday’s heat malfunction forced me to see reason and put aside the fact we were on holiday and set that alarm for 5am. Phil annoyingly is one of those people who leaps out of bed happy, so he was perfectly content with this plan. Grr.
Today’s ride ended up being quite fantastic. It was slightly cooler than the day before, and the first 60kms was almost dead flat. The roads were much quieter once we were past Port Douglas, and were surrounded by cane fields and banana plantations.
(I didn't actually steal the banana...it came from the supermarket!)
The scenery felt a lot like Bali, up around Ubud...but fewer mopeds.
We arrived at the Daintree River Crossing at about 8.30am. This is the point where we cross over into the Daintree Rainforest. When I read we had to take a ferry, I was imagining a big air conditioned boat that we could chill out on. Nope. The ferry was one of those contraptions that are pulled along by wire - more like a floating pontoon. It does take cars so is pretty large, but no air-conditioning...or seats. It was pretty cool though. We paid the hefty fare of $2 for a return trip, cycled straight on, leaned our bikes on the side & chilled out watching out for crocs. The journey was so short I didn’t even finish my muesli bar.
We were back on the bike within minutes and on our way again. We were now in the true rainforest and the quiet shady road was absolutely beautiful. At points we hugged the coast and it was just magical as the aqua water and white sandy beaches would appear out of the trees.
(This was on the way back - note the change in jersey! I don't normally change clothing mid ride...)
I was really enjoying myself when we hit the climb. Daydreaming over. At about 4kms in length with a few kicks up to 10% it was a bit of a killer, particularly in the the heat dragging panniers - I was missing my road-bike at this point. But we made it up with no issues, and were greeted by a lovely view over the rainforest which almost made the hot steamy climb worth it - almost!
After that it was smooth sailing to Cape Tribulation. There was one more short climb over the ridge about 10kms from our final destination, but the shady road made it really enjoyable. We had our eyes open for Cassowaries as they are apparently cross the roads quite frequently, but we didn’t see one on this leg (but we did on the way out - but that’s another story).
We arrived in Cape Tribulation at around 10.00am, and cycled right down to the beach. Wow. This is truly where the rainforest meets the sea. Sparkling blue water, white sand...and no one on it except us. Bliss.