Some people have no idea how to sell a destination.
“You need to go up to Mossman Gorge,” our friends told us last week when they returned from their expedition. We would have joined them but we were in the throws of a bug which had us languishing around the bus feeling unwell. “It’s beautiful! Fantastic! Really amazing!”
There was absolutely no mention of a bus which, for a few gold coins each, would drive you all the way up to the start of the tracks, and a cafe at the Mossman Gorge Centre, where it leaves from, which serves up damn good coffee.
You don’t have to catch the bus up either, so the whole trip can essentially be free, bar the caffeine hit. And I mean we wanted to walk up but I’m very serious about putting money back into projects like this and it seemed the right thing to do. For my sanity and well being.
And it is beautiful. Truly. The rainforest and the rapids are just magic. I’d go again.
But you know how some people claim walking in a rainforest and getting back to nature reenergises them or is good for their soul. I’m calling bollocks. In fact, I found it on par with a trip to the supermarket.
“My feet hurt.”
“How long until we can go home?”
“She pushed me!”
“Did! And you did it on purpose! She did it on purpose!!”
“Why can’t we just look this up on Google?”
“This is taking too long. Let’s go back.”
“I twisted my ankle! Carry me!”
“OMG, I’m out of charge!!”
We could have been doing a grocery shop.
And okay, so that last one was me, but you get the idea. I would not call today relaxing. But even as it became nerve-gratingly obvious our kids are not used to this sort of barbarian yesteryear off-road activity involving feet and unmotorised movement, it also became obvious they were enjoying themselves immensely. And by immensely I mean they ran out of energy to keep up the complaints.
“That wasn’t too bad,” Master11 told me while we were waiting for the bus to take us back down the mountain to the cafe.
“I’m glad you liked it,” I said, “because we’re going to be doing a fair bit of this sort of thing on our travels.”
He stared at me for a moment.
“You mean, if we don’t behave?”
Bushwalking is actually one of the things we’re most looking forward to doing with the kids over the course of our travels. I guesstimate we walked five kilometres today, a lot of it up a bleeding great hill with uneven paths and tons of trip hazards. Even I thought it was super fun, despite my phone running out of charge. Just to be away from computer screens and bitumen roads and to hear the sounds of falling and crashing water…well, it’s quite simply wonderful the way the nearer you get to the source of the noise, the less whinging you can hear.
If you’re up this way – it’s 20 minutes north of Port Douglas – check out the beautiful rainforest and rapids at Mossman Gorge.