It may seem strange to suggest that there were some similarities between the drive across Ireland to Ahakista in South West Cork and the drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation but similarities there were.
The drive from Dublin to Cork is mostly green fields, mountains and sky. The drive from Cairns along the Captain Cook Highway was mostly fields of sugar cane, small towns, mountains and sky. For much of the way there was a small gauge railway line that ran alongside the road presumably to be used to transport the sugar cane once it was harvested.
The sugarcane gave way once we were passed Daintree and when we were over the ferry across the Daintree River we were driving through rainforest. It took a couple of minutes and we kept a close eye out for crocodiles in the dark brown water but none were to be seen.
The first time you do the drive from Durrus to Ahakista it can seem as if the road goes on forever. To the right of you there is the spine of the Sheep’s Head Peninsula and to the left there is the water and then there is the road that twists and turns leading ever onward but with no sense of where it will end. It gets to a point you expect that round ever bend in the road you will be there but all there is another view of the sea and the road carries on.
So it was on the a road to Cape Tribulation. We were more conscious of the mountains on our left that being able to see them but every so often past a kink in the road we could see them rearing yo covered in green trees and shrouded in cloud. The road cleaved through the rain forest on we were hemmed in by green trees and then we would be able to see a glimpse of the ocean, the Coral Sea, through the green haze on right. Instead of tractors we were looking out for Cassowaries. We had been told that they are capable of killing a man, especially if separated from their young. Every mile or so there was a sign warning us that they had been spotted and we were not to run them down.
And then when we crossed a creek their were signs warning of crocodiles. They had been spotted and were capable of inflicted death and serious injury. The signs were in English and German although we had it on good authority that it was the Belgiums who were most in need of the warnings. Apparently the last man to be bitten by a crocodile was Belgium albeit the wound was superficial. He had been creeping up a creek looking for a good photograph.
We didn’t seen any cassowaries, crocodiles and Belgiums and still the road carried on and so we found ourselves revisiting the first drive to Ahakista and the expectant wait that round each next bend we would be there.
We did eventually arrive and as we did so the clouds that had shrouded the upper reaches of the mountains turned dark and then black and a heavy rain came down. It was the sort of rain that would turn the concrete umbrella on the pier into a sheet of water. It came down heavy and unforgiving. As we booked into reception I looked outside and asked about the weather for the next few days.
It was all going to be much the same. After all we were in the rainforest.