The drive from Granite Gorge to Mission Beach was superb. We stopped at Lake Eacham for a picnic and a swim. We continued on along the 15K tourist drive to Millaa Millaa Falls for another swim. The water temps in both places were freezing but we challenged ourselves each time and always ended up squealing and laughing on entry. We were lucky to have the most beautiful warm and sunny day for our final drive through the Atherton Tablelands. The blue sky against those rolling green hills was breathtaking. Then to our delight the caravan park at Mission Beach, which I had booked in Sydney, is literally right on the beach. We can see the ocean and Dunk Island from our van. At night the moon shines bright over the ocean and looks a picture with the silhouettes of all the palm trees along the beachfront.
We have been on the road for 8 weeks now and have driven just over 6,000 kilometres. Every single kilometre of this trip has been such a joy. Sherrie and I have exactly the same taste in music and we crank up the tunes and sing along. Sometimes we play trivial pursuit on the long drives if I am getting weary at the wheel. We went to the op shop and bought the game just for the cards which we keep in the glovebox for question time. Dare anyone to verse us in Trivial pursuit on return. We know stuff !!!!!
Really enjoying having Cherelle and Ellen along too. Bed times are hilarious. We have the 2 pull out beds at either end of the van plus the bed that you make out of the dining table and chairs in the van plus we bought a skinny mattress from Clarke Rubber for the floor. That’s 4 beds for the 4 of us. We rotate clockwise every night taking our allocated pillow and doona with us. The floor bed is hard and the table and chairs bed suits a small child so we can’t wait till it’s our turn to get the big beds. Lots of aches and pains and lots of laughs as well.
Meal times are great. Tasks are allocated and before we know it we are sitting down to a scrumptious home cooked meal together. We made French toast this morning with cream and sugar. Mmmmm.
It’s usually sad leaving the town that we have adventured and stayed at but every time we arrive at our new campsite we embark on some other amazing adventure. We used to try and work out which was our favourite place but after 8 weeks we can no longer choose. So many amazing sights.
Here at Mission Beach we booked ourselves on a white water rafting adventure down the Tully river. Cherelle’s idea which I must say didn’t sound too good after the safety / survival talk. But this was definitely the highlight of our trip for me. The adrenalin was pumping the whole day. We had a full day on the river. 12 kilometres in total. The rapids were Grades 3 and 4. Extreme rapids are 5 so we were not far off a death wish. There were 7 in our raft and we rode the wild rapids all day. There are really no words that I could write that would do this trip justice. The water was clear, the boulders massive and the rocky canyon that framed the river with ferns, rainforest and water falls made our jaws drop. Just beautiful. Even when I sat by the river to eat my lunch I saw 3 turtles, a massive eel as big as my leg and hundreds of large fish all at once. They were literally all swimming together at my feet like a staged performance. Crazy good. And all day our little inflatable raft slammed into rocks, fell over water fall after water fall and squeezed its way through massive boulders, often backwards then spinning wildly to take the next waterfall down head first. I was at the front of the boat so the fear factor was massive. On one of the downward spirals our raft completely filled up with water and I thought we would have to bail out but these rafts are designed to let the water out of the holes around the bottom edge of the raft because the floor itself is inflated. Clever design. Us 4 girls were definitely on a high at the end of that trip. Woahh is all I can say. Thank goodness they suited us up with crash helmets and half wet suits. No one fell out but we call came close many many times. The fear of going over and then being held under by the force of the water was enough to make you hold those ropes tight. White knuckle rafting we call it now.
On the bus trip from Mission Beach to Tully for our rafting we noticed the big chimney stacks bellowing out smoke. This is sugar cane country up here and the mill is another tour option so we nicked out there today. It was hot, noisy and interesting. We were relieved it was over though. We learnt heaps about the sugar cane process. The main one being it’s an 8 hour process to turn the cane into sugar.
We slammed on the brakes a couple of times on the way there and on the way back when we saw cassowary's. There are only 1,000 left in the wild so it's a really big deal to see them.
When we got back to the campsite we dragged our camp chairs down to the beach and cracked open the wine. We stayed well past sunset and ended up bare feet in the ocean doing the dougie to songs from Sherrie’s iphone. The dougie is a dance move that Sherrie has mastered. I am sure we were great entertainment to onlookers. Overall our stay at Mission Beach was AWESOME.