Cairns and Daintree

We spent the day on a tour around Daintree National Park, including, of course, Cape Tribulation. I think I managed to get a some photos of some of the more unusual creatures such as the Peppermint Stick Insect, a Gecko and a Saltie (aka the Estuarine Crocodile). He wasn’t very co-operative and just sat under the vegatation eyeing us up (lunch?), though thats about as close as I ever want to get to one as apparently, he could have closed the distance between us in less than a second. We also took some photos of the most beautiful beach at Cape Tribulation where we couldn’t go for swim (water was even nice and warm.

Why? Well, this time of year (“the wet”) it is quite dangerous to swim due the fact that Chironex Fleckeri (aka Stingers or Box JellyFish) inhabit the water near the shore, down about as far as Brisbane, the feckers.

Something we’ve found is that everyone, absolutely everyone is very helpful, polite and will help out however possible. A real ‘can do’ attitute seems to permeate the place. Well actully not everwhere, the two eateries at the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park were terrible, but other than that everyone is great. And, other than the the “diversion” in Katherine, all the tours have been great.

Cairns was a bit of a shock after coming from Darwin and Alice Springs. Darwin was hot and humid, Alice hotter and less humid, both relatively quite places. Cairns is completely different, a bustling city, with night markets, open air concerts and lots of shops (important for The Boss). Something else as well, though I couldn’t put my finger on it initially. On the way down from Darwin to Alice on The Ghan I was a bit uncomfortable, anxious even, and I couldn’t figure out why. It dawned on me today while looking up at the mountains on the way back down to Cairns.

For long parts of the train journey there wasn’t a hill (never mind a mountain) to be seen out either side of the train. I guess I must be a ‘hill’ person then :).

Another thing that was quite surprising for me is how close Cairns is to the rain forest. Across from the Marina, the forest comes right down to the water. Pretty much everywhere that hasn’t been cleared for buildings or agriculture is still forest. I guess I was surprised at the greenery after seeing the semi-arid land around Uluru.

Anyhow, tomorrow should see us out on the Reef mingling with some of the more colourful locals. And I’ll be trying my hand at ballooning the day after.