Or in other words, going up the mountain to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.
The road, from the turn off the Greenlee cottages, Is narrow, winding, and not one you can go faster than 40kph. Buses and trucks are restricted to 20kph, but as you get further into the mountains, it’s difficult to see how they can get along the road at all.
It’s difficult enough in a mid-size SUV.
At times the road is so narrow that you wonder how trucks and buses could get between the trees, because the close you get to the guest house, the narrower the road. And, at times, the car has to scrape by the overhanging branches, especially when having to make way for oncoming traffic.
The road in places is definitely not wide enough for two cars, but there are a lot of points where you can pull off to the side to let them pass.
It is tarred, but being in the middle of a dense tropical forest, it’s pitted and rutted, and very uneven. There is not one moment where can relax, or tale your eyes off the road, as some of us do, to take in the surrounding scenery.
But, whilst most of it looks the same, it’s certainly not boring, and every now and then you break out of the darkness into a clearing. And, sometimes a house.
Yes, people do live on the side of a mountain, and, just to be clear, their view, every morning, from the back verandah must be spectacular
At the end of the three quarters of an hour drive we emerge onto a mountain top, and what is O’Reilly’s guest house, though after a more investigative look around, the guests stay in motel like rooms. Those were the rooms we could see, but apparently there are villas that are part of the rainforest, but we did not get to see them.
That would be where I would stay, if I was going to stay up here.
There is an old wooden structure, but if this is the original guest house, it doesn’t look like people stay there any more.
But, it’s not the accommodation the people come here for, it’s the endless bush walks. Of course, there’s other stuff there, but I suspect for most people, it’s more about communing with nature, discovering the wildlife, and taking in the fresh country air.
Oh, and a plane, like one that had crashed nearby, with an interesting story to go with it.
We went into the souvenir story and whilst the prices are higher than I expected, there’s a wide variety of items that are worthy of being a reminder of the place.
We also went into the cafe, a large cavernous space that was a reminder of the chalet style building in alpine areas, made completely of wood. I was expecting it to be older than it was, but certainly, it was more atmospheric than the modern cafes. The food, though expensive, was good, and the coffee excellent.
It was a pity that we could not do more walking that day, but it was a pleasant interlude, and a place I would go back to.