Deep in the Daintree

Smoking ceremony - Yalanji tribeOne of the best ways to understand the Daintree is to take a Dreamtime walk at Mossman Gorge with an indigenous host  who knows what is there. We went deeper into the forest past where the mass of tourists go. I learned lots about how the Yalanji lived for so many generations in sympathy with their land.

Shield, tray, cot - Yalanji tribeNuts, quandongDigger - Yalanji tribeThe first item is a shield/food tray/baby carrier; the second is a nut which is toxic unless ground and cooked, with the quandong; and the third cricket bat looking object is a digging stick.  We also saw the different boomerangs, the narrow lean returning one for the open country, and the thick club like one for bush-stunnings.

If I ever get stung by Stinging Nettle, I now know what to do in a probably vain attempt to forestall the heart-attack. You move the caught body part calmly back in the direction in which it came, grab some berries off the bush (without being re-nettled) and eat them, then pull the plant out (without being re-nettled), crush the roots and chew like crazy. By this time, the crazy bit is apt, but if you don’t have a heart-attack (then) you might survive for a life-time of pain. Or, you could know about these critters and keep away. Then there are the other stinging nettles which also have life time pain implications, and to make it a bit trickier, have false and real stinger plants growing side by side.  Just as well the crocs will take you out as you run for hospital.


Stinging NettleWas a truly beautiful forest though, with vegetation vying for survival:IMG_3039 (3)IMG_3036 (2)IMG_3035 (2)

IMG_3033 (2)And lots of fungi of course:


The Daintree River is glorious with so many massive volcanic boulders guiding its path and its purity.



Michael Monaghan August 2019

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