Day 5 & 6: escaping the tropical floods
After spending some time in and around Cairns, we decide its time to move further down south. To where the free camp sites are!
Next destination: Mission Beach, about 140km from where we are now. To have some time for stops on the way, we’ll do them in two days and stay in Babinda for a night…not knowing that this ozzy village is also called “umbrella city”. Its raining during the night and the day starts with heavy gray clouds.
We pack up the completely wet tent (yaaay!) and start driving towards some beautiful waterfalls to escape the big rain (how ironic). We head towards the Atherton Tableland which is off the coast line towards the inland and home to some amazing landscapes.
And despite, or maybe even because of the rain we get to see some unique places that remind me very much of Ireland. Green fields of grass, cattle and thick rain clouds that permit only a couple of meters view at times. We stop at Ellinjaa and Zillie Falls and as a highlight at the Millaa Millaa falls.
In the hope for better weather we drive on to Mission Beach.
The optimists that we are we start a nice walk on the beach. But it looks as though the weather gods conspired against us. The only blue spot on the sky soon disappears and a tropical storm breaks loose. We run towards a public toilet for shelter but after a couple of minutes we stand with the water up to our ankles and no land in sight.
Because camping in the rain doesn’t seem like the best idea to any of us, we decide to keep on driving until it’s dry so we can pitch the tent and don’t have to sleep in the van with the four of us. In the car every free spot is used to hang up our drenched clothes and the heater runs at full blast.
Thank god we have that one thing that saves your road trip when the mood is dipping and you’re tired from many hours of driving: a good road trip sound track! The Rolling Stones, Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons put a smile back on our faces. And while I’m driving for what feels like 10 hours and sing along from the top of my voice not to fall asleep, my fellow passengers in the back make up a nice choreo.
200km in one day! But once I bring everybody savely to the next camp, they swarm out like busy bees and cook, refill the empty water bottles, pitch the tent, do the dishes and bring me a nice cold beer while I’m sitting in the camping chair. I guess being the driver is not that bad after all!!
And on top of it all we discover the next morning that the camp site lies along the banks of Crystal Creek, a beautiful stream with amazing clear water and turtles!!! So instead of using the outdoor showers of our camp site, we jump into the nice cold water. After pancakes for breakfast (which are btw now my favorite camping food) we are ready to head for Townsville.