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Sunday 10 Aug 2003
Cairns, Australia

Atherton Tableland

Ive found a nice spot to "camp" in Cairns: the Esplanade. It is literally in the centre of town, pretty good considering all the "official" camp sites are about 20 mins drive out of town!

I had to contend with the noise of several drunken revellers throughout the night, but considering there is a 7 screen cinema Omniplex plus an exquisite lagoon within 5 mins walk of where Im parked, its acceptable damage.

I went to da cinema once again last night to see "American Pie 3: The Wedding". Not as cheesy as I thought, it was actually a rather good low-brow laugh.. though it definately wont win any awards, well maybe if MTV introduce a "Most Sexual Innuendo Jokes" award.

Today I drove off to the Atherton Tablelands, a landscape of lush green fields in the mountains 1000 ft above sea-level. I kid you not when I say the landscape is EXACTLY like that of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains. As I drove along I sometimes forgot that I was on the other side of the planet (*sniff*). A good image of the landscape can be found in the photos of the Dublin mountains on this website under the "Ireland" section.

The landscape would pass for Eireann, UNTIL you stop the car and take a walk into the surrounding rain-forests that pop up every now and then. It is within the palm-fringed boundaries of these forests that I saw some fantastic waterfalls and an abundance of dormant volcanoes (now filled with water to form mini-lakes). I knew I wasnt in Wicklow no more...

First stop was the volcano lake: Lake Barrine. This had an enjoyable bush-trail around the circumference of the volcano cone for 5km. Next I popped off to the "Waterfall Circuit" of Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Ellinjaa falls. Millaa, in particular, was stunning and the water looked so good to swim in I felt tempted to strip off there and then. It was a little late in the day though, so I might head off earlier another day this week and take a dip!

As for Cairns, I didnt really get to see much of it today, but I did manage to price a few scuba dives to the Barrier Reef. Thankfully competition for customers here is FIERCE so one trip I priced to the reef was only 120 dollars (including all equipment) .. thats unbelievable value when you consider what I WAS paying in Airlie. I suppose the kickback may be an over-crowded/over-dived reef, but still that price is a MUST!

Another observation about Cairns: obviously this place is catering exclusively to tourists but, in particular, the Japanese seem to get that "little bit more" preferential treatment.

*cough* rich-swine *cough*

For example, a lot of the billboards seem to have Japanese characters in large bold text, while the Anglo-version is subscript! Sushi and Noodle-bars abound! Even the toilet bowls and mirrors in the public showers (right beside where Im parked too, btw!) are so low that I have to bend down 90 degrees to use em! Obviously they were designed with the "height-deficient" person (or people) in mind!

Needless to say, this place is PACKED with Japanese.


1 Comment for this Travel blog entry

Timmygib Says:

23 September 2017


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