Before I do anything else, I must thank Rob and everyone else for their "no rain" dance! It has been fantastic, and we have had absolutely no rain whatsoever since arriving here on Tuesday evening.
Tuesday morning was spent just relaxing at the house, well, sort of! I think we weighed our luggage five different times making sure that we were within the weight restrictions for Virgin Air. The taxi showed up at the house right on time at twelve noon for the trip to the airport. It only took a half hour to get there, so we had lots of time to check in, go through security, and then sit and wait. Better safe than sorry...
The flight north was great. We could see a lot of the islands off the coast, and I had some fun trying to pick out which ones I had been to on my previous trips to Queensland. We arrived at the Cairns airport on time, despite leaving Sydney a bit late. Our one suitcase showed up very quickly, and we were first in line to pick up the rental car. We were glad we only had one checked suitcase as the trunk (boot) in this car is very small!
We found our accommodation very easily as Palm Cove is not that big. After getting settled in, we walked the short half block to the esplanade to find a place for dinner. We decided on a place called the Casmar, up above the little supermarket. We all ordered the fish and chips, made with barramundi. It was so good, and HOT! Even after I was half way through the fish, it was still very hot. The beer, on the other hand, was nice and COLD!
After dinner we started the short walk back to our apartment. As I looked to the ocean, I was dumbfounded for a second. I know my geography, and I know east from west, and I certainly know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But there, over the ocean, was what I thought could never happen... for about a second, I thought I was looking at the sun setting on the wrong side of Australia. Of course I knew it was not the sun, but it was HUGE and a fantastic orange/gold colour. It was the biggest, fullest and most beautiful moon I have ever seen. And it was just sitting there above the horizon, slowly making it's way up into the night sky. We crossed the street to the beach side and watched it's ascent before heading back "home".
The next morning, we enjoyed our coffee and tea on the balcony before having a bite to eat. We finally got away at nine in the morning, heading north. Our first stop was at the Rex Lookout, then on to Mosman Gorge. We didn't bother taking a swim as a lot of other people were doing, but we did enjoy the walk around the forest.
We had planned to take a river cruise on the Daintree next, but we couldn't find the cruise company we wanted. We actually found ourselves in the line for the ferry crossing before we realized we were going the wrong way, so we decided we may as well keep going and pick up the cruise on our way south again. Our first mistake of the day...
We next stopped at the Daintree Discovery Centre. We took our picnic lunch into the centre with us and ate our sandwiches just below the tower that has the weather station at the top. It was nice to sit and rest a bit there as it was pretty humid in the forest. After we left the centre we stopped for our ice cream. The $6.00 cup held four flavours, passionfruit, pineapple, wattle seed, and sapote, or something like chocolate pudding. Very refreshing on a humid day!
We continued north determined to make it to Cape Tribulation. We came upon a store, and not much else. Linda and I sent Dave into the store to see how much further it was to Cape Tribulation and he came back saying it was another kilometre and a half up the road. So off we went. We saw a sign on the right for Cape Tribulation Beach, and kept going. In ten more metres, we were on gravel road!!! Our second mistake of the day.... We turned around as soon as we could do so safely, but sure enough, as soon as we started to turn, a big truck came up behind us honking the horn! We finally got turned around and followed the sign to the beach. So... Cape Tribulation is NOT a little town! It is just a couple of buildings. After seeing the beach, we headed back to that small store, and this time Linda and I went in as well. I bought a beach towel there for $15.00, and it has "Crocodiles Rock" on it.
After the store, we were officially on the way south again. We never got back to the Daintree River until 4:00 and by then, all the river cruises were finished for the day. We just headed back to the apartment for supper. Dave barbecued some steaks on the barbie and with potatoes and asparagus, we were quite content.
This morning we headed to the Freshwater Rail station for the 8:45 train to Kuranda. There was lots of room on the train and we were able to stretch out, and everyone had great views on the way up to Kuranda. I didn't mind Kuranda. Yes, it is a lot of touristy shops, but then, I am a tourist! Besides, in the market there was this wonderful woman with a bunch of 2nd hand books! I found Tim Winton's book "Dirt Music" for $8.00!!! I was so excited! And I also bought myself two t-shirts. Dave finally bought his hat too, a fair dinkum Aussie hat!
We headed back down on the skyrail earlier than our ticket said. We were lucky enough that there was room on the bus for the transfer back to Freshwater, that they allowed us to go down early. We did get off the skyrail at Barron Falls though, and we are soooo glad we did! There was a casowary in the bushes just 10 metres down the walkway. He was very obliging in letting us take his picture. Such an incredible blue colour.
We headed home as soon as we got back to the car. I was very happy to have the pool here to jump into! It isn't that big, or deep, but it doesn't matter in the least! It felt wonderful!
Sausages on the barbie tonight, salad and carrots...yum!
Tomorrow we are thinking we will head into Cairns for a look around. The weather is just wondeful, clear blue skies, and no rain in the forecast until Saturday night. Keep dancing please!