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Published: September 4th 2009
Day 7 - Sat Aug 29 On the Wallaby
I'm wandering around Cairns tonight and there is a guy with dreads sitting on a stoop playing acoustic guitar. He's singing amazing versions of "Brown Eyed Girl", "Redemption Song", and "you look wonderful tonight". I drop some money in his bag, and he says thank you in his beautiful Aussie accent. I'm sitting outside in shorts, a tank top and flip flops. It's warm with a cool breeze, and I am in heaven. The summer air is like a drug to me- makes me almost manic! It's somehow nostalgic of those long humid midwestern summer nights. I don't remember the last time I felt so content. Small hippie towns in a tropical climate, I always love that. The air is humid so my skin feels moist, and I can actually breathe through my nose. My hostel reminds me of summer camp. I actually like how it smells. The others tend to get really funky during the night. Yuck. I wake up to the sounds of really cool birds. The window of the bathroom opens up to what looks like a baby rainforest, and the other night I was walking around at dusk
this mountain had some story about how it had a tram car up there. at the top was only a bar!
and heard this amazing ruckous. It look me a while to figure out that it was trees on the main street full of lorakeets making an enormous amount of noise. They were beautiful- blue and yellow, just like the blue and yellow parrots in the jungle.
Today was the best day I've had in years. I don't remember the last time i've laughed so hard or had so much fun. I was picked up this morning for my On the Wallaby Tour of the Atherton Tablelands by a guy named Bart- an older Aussie guy who could easily be a standup comic. He introduces himself as Bart, "just like Bart Simpson". He says he shares his attitude- " I don't care, I wasn't there, I didn't do it". He says, "you'll notice I don't wear shoes or a watch. The name of the game today is fun". He pulls out a disclaimer form that we need to sign, mentions a few words about it, then says, "We do have to explain a little further because we have an American on board, and they like litigation and fivilous lawsuits." He turns to me and says, "What this means, is coffee
The tour was great, not because of what we saw, but moreso becaue of the company. There was a gorgeous, sweet British boy who i would've like to throw a butterfly net around. He sang to the 80s songs on the bus all day and was just a delight. At lunch, he said "ladies first" and waited until all the girls were done. At afternoon snack, he made everyone tea. God, are there any sweet boys like that left in the world? There was a girl from Liverpool who had an accent so thick that I could barely understand her. Sounded Scottish to me, or Irish. Everything ended in a question. Reminded me of the Robin Williams bit about the Scotts, "you can't understand a f'ing thing they're saying". She was a total princess and a real hoot. There were 3 Brits, an Irish couple and me- all young and fun.
As I said earlier, Bart could easily be a standup comic. I'd like to videotape him! We were on a rainforest walk and stopped to let some people go by. He says to them, "watch your keys and wallet, these are backpackers, you know, they'll steal
anything". We went on this road with something like 210 curves, and he started counting them all. At one point, he tells us, "You can sit back and relax or check the inside of your eyelids for leaks- that's what i'm going to do. (he's driving at the time). At lunch, we met another one of the guides. Bart goes up to him and says, "you can scratch him right here, he likes it", and scratches Matty's ribcage. Matty pretends to be a dog moving his leg in response. The sweet Brit turns to me and says, "Everyone on this tour is MAD!", and I dissolve in laughter.
The whole day was like that. THE BEST day. I wished I had been able to stay overnight, as I had planned, especially when I saw the lovely lodge we'd be staying at and realized it would be just me, the sweet Brit, and 2 other Brits who were traveling together. We would've gotten to do canoeing and platypus spotting. Sigh. That was the perfect combination of tour- GREAT guide, great sites, and young friendly people. But I traded it for another day on the reef. (In retrospect, I would've done
this is one tree!
the 2 day tour and added another night in Cairns). At any rate, the day was worth gift wrapping for a rainy day!
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