When we were in Far North Queensland last year, my handsome husband and I did an amazing thing: we put on wetsuits and snorkels and drifted down a crystalline river through 120 million year old rainforest.
It was, without doubt, one of the highlights of my life; and I’ve had some highlights.
The Mossman River is gin-clear and the rainforest that surrounds it is lush, alluring and dangerous. There are more poisonous plants in there or vines that will rip your leg open than I really care to think about. The river, though, is mercifully free of such things.
These are the things you can contemplate as you drift on the slow current with the bright green forest canopy towering above and nothing but the occasional gentle “plop” of seed pods and leaves falling into the water around you:
- The rainforest is 120 million years old. I know I already told you but 120 MILLION.
- Dinosaurs lived there and the forest has remained virtually unchanged since that time.
- You might see a platypus. Or a turtle.
- Many, many modern medical cures for serious diseases have had their basis in flora found in the Amazon rainforest. Only 5% of the Daintree has been mapped for its pharmacological benefits. Imagine what other remarkable scientific leaps forward in botany and medicine might still spring from this most extraordinary of forests.
And when you flip over onto your front and immerse yourself in the watery world below, well it near takes your breath away.
In rock-strewn shallows there is, as I’ve mentioned, water so clear it might almost not be there. That water is so pure you can drink it straight from the river.
There are deeper channels lit with ethereal rays of sunlight that look for all the world like molten gold on the sandy bottom.
Fallen coconut palms wave in the current, their waterlogged fronds like silently beckoning fingers.
And when you have a little suit you can slip over your iphone and take snaps underwater as you go, you also get cool shots like these that reflect the submerged world and its intangible reflection above the waterline.
There are fallen trees whose trunks, bridge-like, span the river.
Leaves that miraculously repel water so that it seems to turn to mercury on their surface.
Tangled mangrove root systems; tiny eco-systems all of their very own.
It really was one of the most life-affirming experiences I’ve ever had. Not to mention spectacular for our skin. After two hours in that water, our skin was as soft as a baby’s bot. For days.
That said, it wasn’t all gentle drifting. The current speed really picked up in some of the deeper stretches and I corked my thigh so badly on a log on my way past it was bruised for weeks. But just as as when I bled a little bit from my nostril after scuba diving on the reef a few years back I was loving the injuries. Yep, I may have damaged myself but that’s okay because I am HARDCORE baby.
On holidays, anyway. And I like feeling hardcore on holidays because other than that about the most hardcore I get is the occasional slice of white bread instead of grainy goodforya wholemeal.
And the iphone Drisuit (as it’s technically known) worked a treat in the pool too.
I loved it for underwater photos and videos.
Being able to capture Olive’s little legs as she made her very first frantic attempts at dog paddling was priceless. But it was also great just to be able to have my phone in the pool for above water snaps and not worry about it.
As always, this is not a paid or sponsored post. I bought this cover, love it and wanted to share. I can also vouch for the fact the company are good eggs. They went above and beyond when the initial vendor I bought from wouldn’t replace my suit after it developed a minor defect. Drisuit, however, cheerfully sent me a replacement.
They look like this.
The soft front means you can still access all the icons on the screen although I must say I found it much easier to change my camera capture buttons to the volume buttons (in settings) rather than trying to hit the photo capture button in the camera app underwater.
You can buy a Drisuit from the company’s website. They’ve expanded into other colours now too – love the white.
We did the river drift with Back Country Bliss Adventures. Can’t recommend them (and our guide, Barney) highly enough.