Mossman Gorge

Woken up by housekeeping, it’s already afternoon. A drive up to Cape Tribulation is out of the question, but Mossman Gorge is possible.

I drive north. Past cane fields with their narrow gauge railways sadly not running right now.

The road winds its way through green rainforest tunnels and around the coast. The brown sea laps at stony beaches lined with palms, a classic image of the tropics.

Recent landslides can be seen, waterfalls in the rain falling between huge granite boulders. Repairs mean a couple of traffic lights restricting flow to a single direction along the way.

Mossman Gorge sits inland. The Indigenous community run visitors’ centre cafe is closing when we arrive, so we just grab a couple of sandwiches for lunch. The shuttle bus is the recommended way to access the walking trails. It drives over the partly flooded and damaged road, a water pipeline running alongside.

It’s still raining and we have no cover, but we decide to do the short walk along the elevated track through the rainforest to the Rex Bridge. It is so very pretty, buttress rooted trees, luscious green moss over boulders and logs.

Despite the warnings, people are still swimming in the light brown river, waters cascading swiftly over the rocks.

The metal suspension bridge rocks and shakes and marks the end of our short walk. We are quite soaked as we head back to the bus.

We head back towards Cairns, turning off at Port Douglas, an upmarket resort town. The views around the sugar wharf are beautiful in the golden light.

We struggle to find anything other than too-much pub food at this late hour, just purchase chips and nuggets.

The rain has retreated as we return to Cairns, the mountainscapes touched by cloud like they are smoking volcanoes.

A quick trip to K-Mart for swimwear, then we have a poor meal of Thai food. It’s a change from Japanese food, though one couple in the restaurant is talking in Japanese.

The hotel lagoon pool is too cold for more than a quick swim. Perhaps we will try again on another day.

Then sleep again. Needed sleep.

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