We enjoyed the drive north, and were impressed with the funkiness of Mission Beach, and the size of Cairns, which I still had visions of being some small little tropical backwater hideaway. Not so. It's big, busy and bustling. The tourist zone in the CBD is alive with all kinds of people, from redneck bushies, diehard hippies and Aussie families through to all kinds of short-visit overseas holidaymakers and long-term travellers. Restaurants are packed, and the weather is perfect for hanging out at night time with a cold XXXX.
We were excited about taking the train journey into the mountainous hinterland behind Cairns, so lined up with all of the other tourists for the big Kuranda adventure. The train ride was interesting, but Kuranda was a big disappointment. Cheesy tourist souvenir shops, fast food and a great opportunity to have something really nice in the hills sadly wasted. Oh well, the lowest common denominator probably earns the money.
A great way to view the rainforest canopy, and get out at a few different stops on the way down to see it from ground level.
The whole day out made us realise how remote we are from the normal tourist program when we're travelling on a boat.
No queues, no tickets, no warnings to keep clear of the windows or doors, no seatbelts, no speed traps, no dodgy roadside tourist traps selling over-sweetened crap, and a whole, clean ocean to play in.
Surfing's been difficult. An excess 5 kilos of man-boobs doesn't help, plus 4mm of rubber, and along with icy water and a robust wind, I've slid dramatically down the pecking order. This Comeback Kid isn't coming back very well I'm afraid.
Come on Summer!
I have to say that it's been enjoyable catching up with people again, and I really appreciate being able to walk down the street in Torquay and know so many people. It does feel good to be home.
And the final picture below, which is a sign I made for my own little business in the late 70's.....shows that even back then, I had some romantic notion of sailing off into the wild ocean. I still have the sign, which has been inside the house somewhere ever since then. (the pic was taken at the old Torquay Boat Ramp by the way.....)