Daintree Wild

So we left our cushy little tourist town of Port Douglas to venture north along the coast toward Daintree. When you drive here, the nice thing is you pretty much can’t get lost because there is usually only one road, and all of the little villages are along that road. I think the reason is that along the coast here is pretty much the only habitable place. Not much life is sustainable inland as there is virtually no water other than little creeks that may or may not have water in them depending on whether it’s the wet or dry season.
At home, it would be like if we pretty much only had US-31 running north and south and nothing to the east because there are no lakes and very few rivers to sustain life.

As you drive north along Highway 1 here, the water (somewhere between light blue and turquoise) is always on your right and the mountains covered in jungle-like greenery are everywhere else. It makes Highway 1 in California look sad. And that’s saying a lot.

We drove to a little spot between Mossman (a strange little town) and Daintree Village in which a lovely, strange little zoo/bed and breakfast awaited our arrival. This would be our “home” for the next two nights. I don’t really know how to describe this place. We both loved and loathed it.

Loathed it because of the mossies. Even now, many days later, I am covered head-to-toe in mosquito bites. We had the strangest room I’ve ever stayed in. One massive, institution-like white room with random, mismatched beds including a brass, queen bed, a single bed, white, metal bunks, and a wooden crib. Plenty of places to sleep. Nowhere to clean up–well, except the shared toilet. Yes, all along ‘mossie row’, fellow travelers shared a bug-infested bathroom with a community hand towel. It reminded us all too well of our campground days. The ones we had hoped were behind us.

BUT, we also loved it here. It was a zoo. And for one small, initial fee we had 24 hour access to the zoo and all its inhabitants. And it gets even better because many of these animals roamed freely about and wanted to be petted! We met wallabies and kangaroos and got to know them so well that we named them. And they loved us. Red, Buddy, Jack, Momma, Joey, and Gray are probably still devastated that we left.

I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed the time to enjoy these fascinating creatures. Momma had a nine month old Joey half hanging out of her pouch. Joey was at an age that he was about to be pushed out and expected to be on his own as Momma already had another little fella along the way. He would peek his little head out and let us pet him occasionally. Oh, the sweetness.

We interfered in some procreation as Jack, the only adult male showed off amongst his harem. Ahem…awkward!
We watched enormous crocs emerge from their swampiness, studied all kinds of birds from cassowaries to roaming emus to kookaburras, petted some dingoes, learned about strange, Aussie possums and other rodents, and even saw a few-day-old, so-ugly-she-was-cute, baby possum named Lily-Precious (due to her resemblance to a certain frightening Lord of the Rings character).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzsmUAhcPf8

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