We have two options: to ride bicycles along Four Mile Beach, or drive to the Daintree River, hire a boat and explore the crocodile-infested creeks branching off behind the mangroves. The sky is overcast. The day is humid and I am certain the rain will bucket down, which means the best option is to hunker under the veranda with a good book. “This is the dry season,” he says. “It won’t rain.”
I disagree but reluctantly consent to sally forth in our rented vehicle. Spots soon turn to splats, which turn to torrents. In the cane fields tractors lie idle while trucks laden with logs thump past, spraying water across the windscreen. The wipers slap all the way to Daintree, the rainforest town settled in the 1870s by timber cutters searching for cedar.
a seagull tossed
Huddled beneath an umbrella we make for the wharf to find the tour boats unattended. Rain streams down the crocodile warning sign and the river is grey and still with not a soul in sight. No wading bird, no curious reptilian eye. In strained silence we climb into the red sedan to head back down the highway.
Through the pelting wet, I see a sign. We slew to a halt, before sloshing our way along the path leading to the Timber Museum. The front door clacks shut behind us and we are assailed by the seductive smell of freshly-turned wood. We run our fingers over exotic bowls almost too heavy to lift.
the healed growth
of jarrah burl