|From Cairns we took a day trip down to the infamous Tully river for a spot of white water rafting. The bus picked us up early and we headed down the coast building up nervous energy by the mile. Once we got to the river we were delighted yet apprehensive to find the water exactly as described - very white. It was a very welcome change from the brown and potentially toxic waters we rafted on in Thailand however the 'white' we were about to set off down was mainly grade 4 in steepness with one grade 5 thrown in for good measure. As a guide grade 1 is like a mild fart in the bath and grade 6 is for those with no respect for their own lives and no commercial company will take punters on a grade 6. We were more than happy enough with grade 4's!
So after a quick bit of training we donned our lifejackets and helmets (funny - they didn't seem to offer those in Thailand!) and clambered aboard our inflatable death trap.
Within in minutes Mrs P discovered a new vocal sound that had never before been heard - an inadvertant high pitched screech that reared its ugly head at each major rapid. Oh well it got the rest of our paddlers laughing!
All in all we did about 5 hours of rafting and were exhausted but delighted by the end of it. There were a couple of spills where we lost some of our gang but we are delighted to announce that Mr & Mrs P did not fall out even once (although it was pretty blooming close for Mr P who got a dunking but managed to keep one foot in the raft!).
So pumped with adrenalin after the rafting we got dropped at our accommodation which we had been looking forward to getting to for some time. We had booked to stay at what was decribed in the brochures as a 'delightful sanctuary' we had visions of infinity swimming pools, spa treaments and beautiful relaxing grounds. So we were a little suprised to be dropped in the middle of the rainforest to "wait for the 4x4 transfer". Reading the "Beware Cassowaries" sign only deepend the uncertain feeling that was growing! For those who are not familiar with the cassowary - they are huge big flightless birds, a bit like an Ostrich in size, but a beautiful blue colour with a crazy wattle thing on the head. Sounds fine doesn't it - and they are as long as you don't come face to face with one because they are know for their rather impressive claws which they use to disembowel anything that they don't like the look of (potentially including Perrys!) However the 4x4 arrived quickly and Mrs P pushed her Cassowary fears to the back of her mind until the driver proudly told us we were going to be staying in a Cassowary refuge area and were likely to see at least one a day!!!! So anyway we were given a map to navigate to our room and off we went deeper into the rainforest. We were a little suprised to find our 'room' was in fact four poles (with a roof like affair attached) with only mosquito netting for walls! Mr P's heaven....Mrs P's hell! Although the first night (and infact the second) passed uneventfully the sounds of all the nightime critters in jungle made for a pretty sleepless night and that was even before it started to rain like a monsoon. We stayed two nights and left with all our belongings soaked through and smelling of mould. We never did see a cassowary mind you we never did see the infinity pool and spa that we expected.