Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 4 (By Sean Walsh and Sara Culhane)

We all awoke from a great night out in Port Douglas and had a wonderful breakfast under the hot sunny sky. We loaded the bus and headed to the Daintree River crocodile solar boat ride. As we traveled down the river we didn't have much luck spotting crocodiles because of the cyclone that recently hit Cairns. The water in the river was too high on the river banks so most were probably in the water. We finally saw a 3 year old crocodile named Eric cooling off on a tree in the shade. Also on the boat we learned about the many different trees, birds, and of course, crocodiles. Many different species of trees and birds live among the Daintree river, along with about the 76 species of mangrove trees along the river. We really enjoyed the entire boat trip, without or without lots of crocodiles. 

As we were leaving the area, Ari spotted our first cassowary of the trip. It was just walking near the side of the road, which is lucky because they are endangered and it is quite rare to see one in the bush. Lunch was delicious at a roadside nature center, especially because of all the different animals surrounding us. We ate among many birds and there were reptiles as well. After eating we walked around the back to a pen with wallabies and kangaroos in it that we really sweet and friendly.  

Our next adventure was visiting Daintree Discovery Center, which is an ecotourism visiting center. As were were being talked to by the owner Pam, another cassowary and it's baby were seen walking through the forest. It was awesome. Pam told us that out of every 4000 guests that walk through the park, one person sees a Cassowary (and no one ever sees a chick!!) 

We learned all about why the center was built and what it has done for the Daintree Rainforest. They have achieved the removal of 40 tons of debris from the forest, including sheds, cement slabs, tynes, water tanks and a water tower. Weeds, oils palms, and debris were all removed in 31 days and the reconstruction began. 1,764 trees were planted in the area. They have done great things for the Daintree Rainforest which allowed endangered species like the cassowary to start making a come back. 

We arrived at where we are spending the night, which is in a cabin like peaceful place. As soon as we arrived and got our suitcases unpacked, we changed into our bathing suits and went right to the river down the road. It was a beautiful river, super clear. We all were hot and bothered being in the humid weather, but as soon as we all got into the water, our moods instantly changed. It was a great time with everyone. Some locals showed us a rock like substance called Ochre.  It is quite the hot commodity and people used to trade for it all over Australia.  It is used as face paint in the aborigine culture.  
We had a wonderful dinner and played a card game all together. Each day has been truly amazing in this beautiful country.

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