Cairns and Beyond

We flew up to Cairns from Brisbane today. A nice, short flight, only two hours, can you imagine! Out of the window we saw some inshore parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
Cairns is seriously hot. We picked up a hire car at Hertz. There was a longish queue. Many people are now arriving at the airport for the eclipse.
Picked up some veg at a market with a rather down-at-heel backpacker-cum-hippie feel to it though the produce was good. Many of the exotic fruits grown in this tropical area were on display and you could buy freshly pierced coconuts to drink the milk. Round the corner was an up-to-the-minute, air conditioned shopping mall where I suspect many of the hippie type stall holders do their own shopping.
We drive out on the main road and up a huge climb into the hills behind Cairns. on the radio two Aussie voices comment on the test match at the Gabba. We are in the Atherton tableland and located our next lodging, a cabin at Lake Eacham. We are right in the rainforest, it’s exciting. The guy running the place is very much into ecology and tells us all about the birds and beasts we can expect to see including duck billed platypuses in streams nearby! Meanwhile parrots and emerald doves flew around outside his office.
The cabin is done out in the style of a beach hut but there is nothing twee about it, apart perhaps for the lighthouse style lamp, but even that is robust. My favourite feature is the real ship’s porthole on one of the cupboards and the model of the diver’s helmet. The cabin is spacious, clean and very well appointed.
We are greeted at our cabin by a guinea fowl type bird and a pondful of frogs making a weird clacking noise. As the night does its trick of falling so fast you don’t realise it’s fallen there is a piercing, almost deafening outburst from the cicadas which dies back quickly to a continuous background. The trees around are definitely alien, jungly, big and dense. We have to keep the net protectors shut because of insects and the antechinus, a rat like creature which is inclined to run into cabins given half a chance!
Reassuring fact from one of the guides left in the cabin. Of the twenty seven species of snakes in Northern Tropical Queensland (NTQ) only half are venomous and only eight species have a potentially fatal bite, including the most venomous species on earth. We’ll sleep the sounder knowing that! There are also sixty one species of frogs.
We’ve come up to the office where the Wi-Fi hub is to post this. We used a wind-up torch to light our way through the almost palpable warm darkness. Only a small circle of sky is visible through the tall forest trees but that is dark and filled with alien stars.


One thought on “Cairns and Beyond

  1. This sounds fabulous- you have to let me know if you see a duck billed platypus in the flesh! The wildlife sounds so different…if a little scary at times! Don’t be picking any snakes up, just in case!! Enjoy the rainforest! Xxxx

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