The ride up to Cape Tribulation was long and had some hard hills in it, 85 kms. After 40 kms we had to cross the Daintree river with the ferry and then we were totally enclosed in the tropical rainforest. The road ofter ran close to the marvoullous beaches of North Queensland, but we didn't see much of them as the dense trees blocked the view. The cape is a very quiet and lonely place in the rain- and mangrove forest, some campsites and small shops, that's it. The sealed road ends here and those who want to continue further north, to Cooktown, need 4-wheel drives.
For us it is the most northern point of our Australia-tour. From here it'll be southbound only.
The next day we first rode the same road back, but after the ferry we took a right and arrived in the Daintree village. There Dean and Anja run their Crocodile Express river cruises. We were offered a one hour cruise, the last one of that day. Though during all other cruises that day 4 big salt water crocodiles were spotted we didn't see any. As a matter of fact, apart from lots of birds, we have not seen any living specimen of the typical Australian wildlife until now. We did see many roadkills though.
The next days we rode south and just after Mossman we left the coast and got on to the Atherton Tablelands. Atherton, a rather pretty town, is situated on an altitude of app. 800 meters. So it was real climbing, made tough by a very strong headwind. The town fortunately has a good bikeshop. I needed one, as I had a broken spoke in my rear wheel. It was caused by a rock flicked up from under a car tyre. Robbert of the Northern Bikeshop could repair it and to be sure we bought some spares as well.
There is an active cycle group in Atherton and we found refuge at the house of two of its members, Jen and Tony, Warmshowers hosts as Warmshowers hosts are meant to be. We stayed 2 nights with them, they gave us an extensive excursion on the tablelands, with the rainforest, dairy fields, volcanic craters and a woodcarving exhibition as an extra.
After Atherton we will leave the Tablelands in two days and reach the coast again. We have to head south in order to reach Brisbane in time, still quite a distance to go.