Location: Cape Tribulation
Waking up before the sun rose, we gathered our belongings and ran to the Townsville bus station. After several hours we arrived in Cairns, a beautiful seaside town where we waited for the van to take us on the next leg of the trip. We piled in and drove past some of the most scenic sights in the country as mountains reached into the sea. Eventually, we found our way into the Daintree Rainforest, and in time we found the “bathhouse.” The site was extremely rustic, made twenty some years ago with the ecosystem in mind. After getting accustomed to our surroundings and taking a walk down to the beach, we had a great conversation on the differences between living in Australia and the US before heading off to sleep. (This is where things get interesting). Suddenly, a chain of events so random led to one of the craziest nights and following days on the trip. First, the rooms had a slight bug infestation, which scared the girls but was handled swiftly. Then after moving everyone’s sleeping areas, the guys got into bed when suddenly one of the floorboards collapsed under the weight, leading to some great laughs. Everyone was fine; the floor needs some help. We got everything sorted and finally headed to sleep for the night. The next morning we awoke and set out to perform community service, stomping down invasive grass to make way for native species, one of the things that are being done to help restore the rainforest to it’s an original state. After completing our job, the counselors went up to our host and graciously told him of our troubles, and both decided that it would be better if we stayed elsewhere. Quickly, we moved our luggage to a lovely nearby hostel that our counselors found for us! We were so happy and soon decided to explore a beautiful nearby watering hole where we played for hours on rope swings. We loved playing in the water and soon decided that the weather was too good to pass up a trip to the beach. The view was incredible, and a few of us even went on a hike up to a famous point where we encountered one of the largest sea turtles I had ever seen! We ate a delicious dinner at the hostel and then headed down to the beach to have a squeeze. As we emerged from the path in the rainforest out onto the open beach, we were in awe at the stars. They were the best stars some of us have ever seen, as there is almost no light pollution to dim them, and we could even see the Milky Way. After we ensured that everyone in the group had seen at least one shooting star, we headed back to the hostel, ready for sleep after an exciting day.