I am standing over a camp stove making coffee 140kms south of Cairns and the rain has finally caught up with us. We awoke under a sagging canopy full of water and thanks to good fortune rather than good planning, the tent on our rental car is canvas. We managed to stay completely dry.
The air is still very muggy despite the rainfall and under a blanket of humidity we drink our coffee. All is quiet and still.
I love birds. I do. I fancy the owl to be my favourite animal. Yet, fatally aggressive, endangered birds larger than myself do not inspire a great confidence in my safety. This fear is how today became known to my husband as ‘The Day Haylee Tried to Climb a Car.’ To his great delight, he managed to film the entire incident.
Driving into South Mission Beach you are met with many ‘Beware of Cassowaries’ signs. I am on alert on the road because I have been forewarned. However, packing away the breakfast dishes and waiting for the coffee jolt to take effect, I do not expect to turn around to find a fully-grown cassowary trying to eat the scraps from the bag in my hand. My animal encounter tally grows. I have now been bitten on the toe by a possum (yes, you read that correctly) and was saved from treading on a snake by a quick thinking husband who stopped me just in time.
There have been many beautiful moments that have made this trip truly rewarding. There are days when covering so many thousands of kilometres confined in a car with one other person seems insane. It becomes very easy to start counting bad arguments as well as coastal towns as they all start to blur together.
While this moment does not reign over my list of favourite moments, I know it is climbing my husband’s list very quickly, and that is what this has been all about. The travel has been enlightening but this is nothing without someone to catch it all on film and share it with you.