Cape Road-Trip-ulation

So it's finally - finally! - holiday time for me. I've not really done any travelling for the last 9 months so the prospect of seeing a bit more of Australia is something I'm pretty excited about. My first port of call was Cape Tribulation - so called because it's where HMS Endeavour ran aground on it's trip up the coast. The reef comes right up to the beach so you can imagine the trouble Captain Cook got himself into...

To get there Chris and I got a car and I met him in Port Douglas where he spent the night. Then it was north on the Captain Cook highway - and amazing bit of road - but first we had to get accross the Daintree river, notorious for being filled with crocodiles. The ferry was basically a bit of wood that gets pulled from side to side with massive metal cables. Not advanced but it did the job.

Everything here can kill you...even the electricity supply!

We made it to the beautiful Alexandra lookout point. Stunning views over the rainforest and down the coast and luckily we had it to ourselves for a bit!

Although I refuse to believe in the existence of Cassowaries (how have I never seen one? Ever?) this sign made me chuckle. Someone had taken it upon themselves to edit it slightly... It should warn you about the speed bumps!

Shh, don't tell the car rental company but we had to make the last 3ks of our journey on unsealed road. The little suzuki managed it OK, but I can only imagine how bad the road gets further north towards Cooktown.

Eventually we made it to the beach, dodged a huge downpour and got snapping. It was stunning, the rainforest growns out of the sand and the water is blue with hints of the dark coral beneath.

We found a little sand river which amused us for a while as we helped the erosion by standing on the edge of the sand 'cliffs' for as long as possible. Close up it does look like a set of cliffs...or was that just us?

We walked right the way down the beach and thankfully it did start to clear. This is the actual 'cape' itself.

And after our long walk we decided to treat ourselves to a cold bottle of coopers from the hostel bar. Well deserved.

We spent the evening making new friends - of both the human and non-human variiety! We shared our goon with our room mates Charlotte and Kerry and obviously looked like we were having a great time beacuse a massive bush rat (probably larger than your avaerage rabbit) kept trying to wander under our table. Never fear, I kept it at bay a good job given that everyone else was stood on their chairs! We also had lots of different bugs, although thankfully no spiders. You really are in the middle of the rainforest and you feel it. The sky was beautifully clear and we saw tens of shooting stars. I can't recommend making the journey north of Cairns more - it's amazing!

We woke the next day to find blue skies and decided to take the short walk to the lookout point... Unfortunately we hand't thought to look up the tide times!

Hmm. A bit too wet to walk on, especially given the abundance of marine stingers and crocs in the sea this time of year.

We found another way up and got to the lookout point. I'm so glad we did - the views were stunning.

There are mangroves everywhere too.

...there are also massive spiders hanging off every tree. You can imagine how much I loved that...!

Then it was time to drive back along the lovely modern roads...

But we did squeeze in a couple of excursions to various nice beaches along the way.

We got stuck in traffic for a good ten minutes, but you don't mind so much when the view looks like this...

We also stopped at the Rex lookout point. It's a bit of alright.

Then we made our way back, stopping for coffee and sandwiches in port Douglas before getting back to Cairns. There is so much to see I'd advise staying more than one night. The sea canooeing and horse rides looked brilliant, and there's also some excellent walking tracks. There is no phone signal and they've only just got internet too! Take cash - eftpos is rare - and slather yourself in mozzie repellent. But whatever you do - go north!

When is a travel blog not a travel blog?

I've fallen into that trap again. That 'well I'm not travelling so how can I write a travel blog?' trap. It's pretty difficult as at the moment I'm leading a fairly normal/standard life. I have a room in a houseshare with friends, a job with regular(ish) hours and a healthy social life. I'm not going on adventures or doing anything particularly exciting. Sure, it's very different to the sort of life I had back home, but I still have to do the washing on my day off and nip out to the shop for milk.

As I've mentioned before, I currently work for a company called Wicked Travel booking tours for people. Weirdly enough, I love the job that essentially pays me to talk to loads of people and plan their adventures. I also love that my boss doesn't care if I come in hungover (unsurprising given that half the time he's the one that dragged me out in the first place) and have spent many happily inebriated hours taking in the Cairns night life. Work is hard and intense - I'll often finish long after I'm supposed to - but it makes a change from your usual backpackers job. I do now find it hard to tell what day of the week it is though as I work odd days and it doesn't matter what night of the week you go out - the clubs will always be packed. On more than one occasion I've almost booked someone's tour on the wrong day because my brain tells me it's Thursday when actually it's Sunday...

However that's all about to change. Next Sunday Australia is to be the lucky recipient of an extra member of the population: my very good friend Chris. And we're going to go on an adventure.

I handed my notice in yesterday which was a bit of a wrench, but happily I should have a job to return to in the future. Our campervan has been booked and we have somewhere to sleep for NYE. In Sydney. Yes, finally, after over a decade of wanting to do it I'm finally going to see the Harbour bridge lit up with thousands of dollars worth of sparkling colour as the clock strikes 12.It's been a long time coming...

So you guys may be able to snuggle up indoors and quaff mulled wine, but our Christmas day will be spent in the surf of Byron Bay. Drink of choice will probably be beer, all the better to wash down our BBQ lunch. Down the coast we'll have a quick hop to Whitehaven beach for the afternoon, complete with obligatory 'jumping on the beach' pictures. I get to show Chris my favourite place in Australia, Mission Beach, and see all my friends there. There will be koala watching on Magnetic island and we'll get a Wednesday night sail. It's turtle nesting season at Mon Repos too, so one night will be spent on the beach with our red lights watching them lay their eggs. Basically, we're going to have an amazing couple of weeks.

And it means that, joy of joys, I'll have some travelling to blog about.