Time to leave the Daintree Campsite this morning. We get up and have breakfast and a coffee and start our morning pack up. No rush to get away early as we don’t have far to go today and want to take it easy.
We leave camp at about 9am and make our way towards the Daintree river ferry. The ferry is only a short bitumen drive away and soon enough we are there in the short queue. Ticket paid for, about $19 one way, car and trailer from memory and we approach the ferry. Wait time was very good and we are crossing the river soon enough and continue on.
A few places we want to stop at this morning just north of the ferry, is a coffee place, an ice cream place and a tea place.
Driving along the tight narrow road we are keeping an eye out for the coffee place when we get to the area we believe it is. Next thing I spot the Ice-cream shop, so we pull into there. A quick look at the map and it appears that we have missed the coffee place, oh well not really that concerned, we head into the ice cream shop for a look.
We choose some ice cream, it is made on site here fresh and is delicious. Better than the ice cream from the other day, but we need to stop eating ice-cream before 11am I think.
A couple of km up the rd we come across The Daintree Tea Company, so we pull up and there is some paddocks with tea growing and a shed with some info, pictures and some old machinery. There is also tea for sale as leaves of as tea bags. We grab 2 boxes of tea bags and drop our $8 in the honesty box and continue on.
Soon enough the rd changes to dirt, I find a spot to pull over and air down car and camper tyres, we are now on what is known as the Bloomfield Track. This track is known for its scenery, river crossings, and it steep hill climbs.
We go up and down a few small hill climbs and soon enough we are at our first crossing, there is a bunch of people stopped to the side of the rd. We pull up and have a look around, the water is beautiful and clear. Jumping in the car we continue in across the river, and before long I see a steep hill in front of me, I’m already in H4 (high range 4wd for those that don’t know) as I like to drive dirt roads in H4 for the extra grip, so I hit the bottom of this hill in 3rd gear, very quickly I realise this is the wrong gear and quickly change to 2nd, as we are 1/2 way up the car is losing steam and the hill doesn’t appear to end, I quickly go back to 1st and with the revs on about 3500 I think we will be good, but then It gets steeper, car is losing revs, watching them drop I am now starting to worry and even look at Lyndall and say a few naughty words. So here we are on a steep, loose dirt rd with the car losing steam, with me basically praying for it to keep going, felt like winding down the window and hitting the door with a whip. Revs dropped down to about 1000rpm and the road is starting to level out
Thank god for that, that took my breath away for a moment, the last thing I really wanted to do was a hill start on that hill with the trailer, but all good, and I learnt from that.
Continuing on I made sure that any hill that I thought was going to be an issue, I just put it in L4 (low range 4wd) to use more engine torque.
Some great views and some remote beaches along this stretch. We pull up at one beach and go for a wonder. Stopping and chatting to a couple in a cruiser ute with slide on camper about some of the hills. They are travelling the same direction.
This road is quite busy, with traffic in both directions, and some on the descents are very steep also, so to not overheat blacks is back to L4 and let it walk down the hills.
We cross a few river crossings, but as it is later in the season, a lot are dry so it makes easy work of them. We find a nice little spot next to s creek and have some lunch, and funny enough the same spot as the couple in the cruiser ute have stopped also. The gentleman approached us to see if we wanted some hot water for a cuppa, which we decline, but geez there is some friendly people around.
Lunch finished and we head of, and from here it is not long before we get to the Bloomfield river. There is a nice new bridge here now, but previous to this you had to use a low causeway which has caused fellow travellers problems in the past. The bridge makes easy work of it, and kind of kills the adventure, but progress we can’t stop I guess.
Just after the bridge we take a left turn, it goes to a tourist info place and a local aboriginal culture centre, it also is the way to the Bloomfield falls. We stop and have a look at the cultural centre before heading to the falls. The falls are a short walk from the car park we walk up and have a look and get some pics. Back to the car and we continue on, from here it is bitumen, so I put some air back into the tyres.
About 3 pm we pull up out the front of the Lions Den Hotel. In all the brochures and info on “the cape” this is an apparent must see. I know they have a camp ground at the rear, so I head into the bar to find out about camping. This paid for and directions giving we drive around the rear of the pub and continue down the back and find a spot close to the creek.
After setting up the camper, we grab the dogs and head to the creek. The creek here is apparently safe to swim in, and there is some people already swimming. Myself and Charlie are in, with Lyndall and Sophie watching from the side. Charlie is loving it, swimming over to other people and back to me, this is his first swim on the trip and I think for him, he feels like he is now “camping”! Back to the trailer and we just sit back and have a chill for a few hours before showers. Dinner tonight we decide to go up to the bar and have a drink and get a pizza, supposedly pretty good.
On arrival, we noticed a sign that says, ” keep your dogs out of my bar, and I’ll keep my bullets out of your dogs”. This turned us off even going here, but we assume they don’t want dogs in the hotel, a simple sign that says no dogs allowed would do, but all good, I guess it’s a bit of humour.
We are ready to head up for dinner about 5:30 so head on up, we take the dogs and tie them to a post outside that we can see from the deck, and get a beer and ordered a supreme pizza. While waiting we see other pizzas coming out, they look pretty good so happy about that, and we both have a look around the pub. It has lots of stuff on the walls and hanging from the ceiling, with me even spotting a t-shirt I recognise.
25-30 mins later and our pizza comes out, and Sophie is having a bit of a sook, so we decide to finish the beer and go back to the camper to eat.
Back at the camper and we get into the pizza, what a disappointment, and if it wasn’t so far to walk back I would have thrown it over the bar. Thick 1/2 cooked base, bit of onion, bit of capsicum maybe an olive, and about 2kilos of cheap home brand shredded ham covered with cheese. So it may have looked great with plenty of topping but under the cheese it was just ham. Dogs wouldn’t even eat it, I through the lot in the bin. Anyway all part of the fun, maybe the apprentice made it.