We spent two rather wet days in Mission Beach. Boy are the wet tropics wet at the moment! Mission Beach is a lovely little ‘village’ – a bit like Byron Bay with the laid back sort of culture, mixed in with the rather flash looking waterside homes. We were surprised to see so many kangaroos and wallabies in suburban backyards. No sign of the famed cassowary though, despite heaps of warning signs to slow down and let them cross.
I had my first mud crab on our last night in Airlie. We bought it off a guy who had caught it. We also had a bit of a mini feast with prawns and some spanish mackeral that was straight off one of those deep sea fishing charter type of boats. All cooked on the barbeque with minimal preparation and fuss. Yum!
This morning we packed up our camp at Mission Beach in the rain. After a night of pounding rain the canvas was soaked and the ground all around us was a muddy swamp. I felt like I was wading ankle deep in mud to pack up. Not a lot of fun. The night before it had rained, but the sun came out during the day, and with burning intensity it dried everything off pretty quickly. We normally don’t mind a bit of rain while camping, mostly because we have pretty good equipment that keeps us dry and happy. But this time we had set up relatively late in the evening, in the darkness, and had not put a tarp up over our tent. My insistence on keeping the windows partially open meant that we got a bit of rain in the tent and a few damp sheets etc. We had hoped for a bit of sunshine to make packing up easier, but it was pretty clear that it was going to continue to pour with rain all day and delaying was only making it worse. As I was packing up in the mud and rain I was thinking that it was almost enough to turn me off camping. So tonight we are staying in a rather nice resort in Port Douglas. It is not raining here, just the occasional drizzle, which is a welcome change. And the dry sheets, lights, insect free zones, etc are also rather nice too. The only problem we have is that none of us has any suitable clothes. Pretty hard to pass off camping clothes in fancy restaurants. Andrew and Sam bought and wore tourist tshirts before going into the restaurant tonight (the only shop open). Tara and I will have to find something tomorrow….I could not bear to buy or wear one of those tshirts and decided that my clean but stretched/unattractive tshirt was better!
I do feel guilty about that soggy camper trailer sitting out there in the car park. But I have to do some virtual training tomorrow and need to be in a place with decent internet and phone signal. I must say that my telstra phone has been brilliant in terms of coverage the whole trip up here. Andrew’s vodaphone one has been all but useless from the moment we left Sydney. Brisbane was ok too I think, but that has been it. I think I have had signal virtually the whole way (apart from those two days in the national park when my phone went dead and the sim card locked itself….pin number back in Sydney ofcourse.
So after two days of slumming it in Port Douglas we will head up to Cape Tribulation for a few days of camping and then perhaps a brief trip to Cooktown as well. Two weeks into our trip we will have reached our end point and will then turn around and start to come back slowly to Sydney.
The rain clouds lifted once we got to Cairns and we got to enjoy the spectacular drive from Cairns to Port Douglas. Here’s hoping we get some more sunshine for the next few weeks. At least I know we will arrive at Cape Trib in the daytime and can choose our camping site with care. Apparently there are lots of crocodiles at the spot we plan to camp at. Gulp!