We got to Cape Tribulation which is part of Daintree National Forest by crossing the river on a car ferry. Very nice. The 40 kilometer drive from the river to Cape Tribulation through the national park was breathtaking. In some parts the rain forest canopy almost completely obscured the sky above making it seem as if we were driving through a leafy green tunnel. Our specific destination was what turned out to be the appropriately named Noah Beach where we had reservations at the campground for two nights. We pulled into the campground and were excited to find that the beach was just seconds from our site. We grabbed our chairs and headed out. Later that afternoon it looked like rain, (well it is the rain forest), so we packed up and soon it was raining pretty steadily. What we did not know was that the rain would continue virtually non-stop for the next 36 hours. The good news: We got to spend the entire next day just reading and relaxing with no pressure to do anything. The bad news: We were prisoners in a campervan with no bathroom. You know, it seems like if you sit around all day and don’t really drink much liquid, your body would not have to pee very often. However, the opposite is the case. I had to pee probably 7 times that day and I had to wait for the breaks in the rain (that is, wait until it stopped pouring) so that I could run to the bathroom without coming back soaked through and through. The ladies in the campsite next to us, after giving up hope of ever being dry, began to just walk around in the wet getting completely drenched as they packed up and presumably moved on to drier pastures. It seems that everyone had the same idea. By the time night fell we were the only people left at the campground. Around 5:00 that evening it had become so ludicrous that we just had to laugh. Water was falling in sheets from the trees around us and it was battering the campervan which I expected to wash away down a newly formed river at any moment. We were wondering if perhaps it would not be a bad idea to start collecting two of any species we could handily grab.
But worse than the rain in the rain forest are the mosquitoes in the rain forest. I loathe mosquitoes and I never get tired of squashing them with my fist or clapping them between my hands and seeing their little parasitic bodies explode. What really irked me about the mosquitoes in the rain forest is that they didn’t conform to mosquito guidelines. Mosquitoes are supposed to be active in the early morning and evening. These were biting 24/7. They are supposed to respect bug spray. These mosquitoes clearly did not. As a result, between the two of us we sustained an estimated 120 bites and I wish I was being dramatic here. My feet will have scars for years to come that tell the tale of the epic battle with the rain forest mosquitoes that we decidedly lost.
After the rain stopped, we were able to drive up to Cape Tribulation proper and take a walk down the beaches. There were some superb mangrove forests along the way and it was good to finally be out in the open again. We took a couple of walks through the forest area, but for a park as big as Daintree which holds a remarkable amount of wildlife, very little is actually accessible. Most of the walks through the forest keep you confined to extremely long wooden boardwalks that wind through the park. However, just the drive through the park on the road is worth going up to Daintree. Just be sure to bring your hazmat suit to foil the mosquitoes.