April 22, 1997


This is Paul Magarey typing up Tim Chase's Web Diary for the day as part of Tim's plan to make his diary more interesting for those readers back home in the US of A. This morning I ate the last of my "Weet-bix". No, it is not "shi--" Tim. This is not an emergency, as I am planning to carry flour to make pancakes for breakfast, for the next section of my bicycle journey. The trouble with this is that it takes rather a long time in the mornings on my Trangia camping stove, even if the results are pleasing. If you're not bored with my culinary habits, I'll just also mention that for lunch today I had a horrible bean soup mix, which was only made edible by eating salt and vinegar chips (crisps), and some cheese and ham, kindly donated by Tim.

Anyway, it was during breakfast that I, as a brother cyclist, met gregarious American Tim. (He's also a big eater.) Our day spent in Cooktown involved us in visiting the James Cook Historical Museum, (housed, in a former (Sisters of Mercy Convent), and going to the Botanical Gardens and two beaches, access to which was gained via walks from the Botanical Gardens. It seems James Cook, the first Englishman to 'discover' Australia, was an excellent cartographer. It was the use of this skill that helped the English beat the French at some battle in Canada. Some of his maps of the Australian Coast are barely different from ones made today.

Today was also a day for snakes. It must be getting to cold for the snakes at night, so they're coming out into the sun in the day time. I was so surprised and scared at seeing a small grass snake about to go under my front wheel in the Botanical Gardens, that I promptly veered right and rode into a tree. Later I nearly stood on a 2 meter snake that luckily seemed rather dopey and refused to even raise it's head in acknowledgment of my presence. We also saw two other grass snakes, Australia is home to 9 of the 10, and 20 of the 23 most venomous snakes in the world.

April 23, 1997


The rain came in the middle of the night, Paul being the kind of person he is, invited me into his tent. However, my repeated snoring had me tossed out within an hour. So I exited to my tarp. The journey from Cooktown To Ayton took me through some geological wonders. Paul and I departed at Black Mountain. The mountain is made of massive large black boulders, leaving the remainder of the trek, which was approximately 40 km of lush tropical wet lands, an interesting contrast.

April 24, 1997


In the morning I left my local contact Colin Burns in Ayton. After sleeping the night on his veranda, I cycled to Cape Tribulation, some 40 km of brutal climbing in lush coastal tropical ranges. The journey passed through five deep creek crossings. I am pleased to say I rode over all the ranges into Cape Tribulation.

April 25, 1997


Letter to the World:

We need your support in saving the rain forest. If you are coming to Australia come and see the last remaining lowland rain forest before we wipe it out and the spectacular Cassowary (and its friends) along with it. If you feel worried about this do something today. One selfless thing that all of us could consider doing to save the planet.

For more information access www.altnews.com.au/austrop/rescue

Thank you! Jayne.

In Cow Bay, The Environmental Center is a must, open daily 9 am-5 PM . The center provides a unique opportunity for visitors to experience one of Australia's last remaining pockets of lowland rain forest first hand. Unexplored gorges, breath-taking waterfalls, tropical flowers and ferns, birds, and butterflies all year round. This exciting environmental interpretive center opens a whole new window on Australia's only lowland rain forest. For research, recreation or relaxation the display center provides some of the most outstanding images of the rain forests test ever seen on Australia. The latest in CDI touch screen technology provides access to a whole range of tropics; evolution, ecology, flora, fauna, fungi, ferns and flowers are all featured. Twin theaters offer a choice of films highlighting various features of the rain forest. Cassowaries, Reptiles, Kingfishers; the sound, the color , the splendor will leave you spell-bound. The rain forest boardwalk threads its way through lush, unspoiled rain forest, allowing visitors to experience this magnificent wilderness with an experienced guide or by themselves to see, to feel, to smell and to experience the rain forest first hand. It's a naturalist's paradise and a photographer's dream.

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