after a day in cairns we took off to the daintree rainforest where we camped there for 2 nites. we discovered how expensive food is up there when we decided to eat at the campground's licenced restaurant for dinner the second nite (we had been in there the afternoon before and overheard the owners telling a couple what their homemade veggie burger patties were made of)-- each of our meals cost the same as 1 nite camping there!! they were really good and came with a large amount of chips and a really nice salad but still more than i'd ever paid for veggie burgers before. it rained both nites in daintree (and we discovered our tent is VERY waterproof on the bottom with no tarp and sitting in the middle of a very muddy wet field). unfortunately my self-inflating mat decided to die the first nite (not just a hole but the foam inside decided to tear away from the liner!?! so now it inflates to a big blob instead of a flat mat) but the ground was very soft and didn't really bother me at daintree. we went to the daintree discovery center which was a bit pricey (we did have a good discount coupon for it though and made use of the 7 day re-entry we got with admission so it was more reasonable). it was interesting though and gave us good info on plants and animals in the rainforest
we spotted our first croc while we were in daintree:we also spotted our first cassowary:
not the greatest picture because unfortunately when it was more in a clearing facing us i had the camera setting wrong and the photos were blurry. this cassowary just appeared as we rounded a bend on a boardwalk thru the rainforest near the discovery centre. it was kind of funny because we'd been looking out for a dad and his chicks (the dad takes care of the young) at the discovery centre and didn't see it. we drove up the road to this walk and i said to zac as we started "i bet we see a cassowary just up this trail." not even 200m from the start this one appeared! it just walked next to the boardwalk past us then disappeared into the bush.
a couple days later we were walking up a LONG driveway to a cafe with dense rainforest on either side. just after we got onto the driveway we heard rustling in the bush behind and 2 teenage (fully grown but still had baby feathers) cassowaries appeared. they started walking towards us. both of us paniked trying to remember what we'd read about cassowaries and what to do if they come at you (they can do a 2 legged karate kick if they get aggressive). we started backing away but they kept coming at us. we turned around but they came at us faster!!! we kept backing up (as fast as we could in flip flops) and zac eventually found a large stick and started waving it in front of us to scare them. it didn't really faze them at all!!!! we just kept backing up and they kept coming forward (at one point zac could have actually reached them with the stick they were so close). it was very jurassic park-like. we got the clearing at the top of the driveway where the cafe was and the birds just vanished! that was a good thing cuz it turned out the cafe was closed for renovations anyway so no one was there to help if the birds were still coming at us. we found a different way to leave the cafe area to get back to the road. i wish i'd been able to get photos of them but i was too busy fearing for my life at the time to get the camera out of the bag. i think zac still has nitemares about that event (i just have croc nitemares)