Cape Tribulation and the Bloomfield Track
We are now heading on a short detour from the main game of travelling to the top of Cape York. We have backtracked from Daintree Village and crossed over the Daintree River for a few days on the Cape Tribulation Peninsular, staying at the Rainforest Village Camping ground which is about half way up the Peninsular. It is 15km from the ferry crossing with a further 25 km or so to get to Cape Trib (as the locals seem to call it). It was called Cape Tribulation by Captain Cook, because it was the prominent land feature he saw when the Endeavour ran onto a reef off of present day Cooktown……it was the start of all his ‘tribulations’. After leaving the ferry we stopped in at a lookout over the mouth of the Daintree River. You could see all the way down the coast to Cairns, albeit the mountains shrouded in cloud and haze. The mouth of the Daintree shallows out and is quite clogged these days due to sediment washing down from the farmlands. Back in the old days the river ran clear and the rainforest was down to the coastline. Great view, we had some morning tea here before heading for the campground.
The blog is a little out of sequence now as we have been having some internet issues, there is little Telstra coverage on the Peninsular, particularly at our campground where Optus seems to be ok. Telstra is patchy elsewhere as well. Apparently, there is a spot at low tide when you can go out a way and get connected. Allthego was thinking of the Peter Pan movie and the clock in the crocodile going ‘tick tok’ when thinking of going out at low tide to log on. Maybe, today you would throw your mobile to the crocodile and have Spotify play some catchy tune rather than just ‘tick tok’.
Anyway, we have given this a miss and just try to connect where possible. The weather has been forecast to be great for the next few days, clear blue skies, sunny no cloud etc. Tough stuff. So, the challenge of the Bloomfield Track has been accepted and we decided to do this as a first day exercise. This track is written up extensively and is pictured as some horror experience. The track links Cape Tribulation to Cooktown in the north via a coastal traverse through the rainforest, up and over a couple of ranges and across the Bloomfield River. It is not far to Bloomfield from Cape Trib, about 37 km of gravel and from Wujal Wujal it is all bitumen to Cooktown.
We are doing the Track well into the dry season and were not expecting any great issues. Signs at the start gave the necessary warnings particularly emphasizing vans and trailers were not allowed. Notwithstanding this we passed a number of vans coming the other way. Must say it didn’t look that much of an issue. The only real drama was getting through the 20cm of water across the road at Emmagen Creek, earlier in the season this can be at bonnet height. Climbing the Donovan Range involved a 1 in 5 grade and the Cowie Range a bit steeper at 1 in 3 grade. The Cowie descent was a little unnerving, seemed to be straight down! Both of these climbs had concrete caps on the high points making it quite an easy climb in low gears. If it was wet it would no doubt have been a bit more dramatic.
We arrived in Wujal Wujal unscathed and had a quick stopover at he Bloomfield Falls before heading off up the road towards Cooktown. Wujal Wujal is an indigenous community on the banks of the Bloomfield River. We could have returned back down the Track but decide to head back the long way along the Mulligan Highway via Lakefield and across the range to Mossman and then back across the Daintree River on the Ferry to Cape Trib.
Briefly stopped at Black Mountain. This is a great big pile of black boulders, formed by a quite involved geological process. It is a revered indigenous place and there are many stories of people going missing among the boulders. hissing noises etc etc.
Sounds like a long way back to Cape Trib, well it was.