Cairns - a revisit

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August 10th 2011
Published: August 14th 2011
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Afternoon teaAfternoon teaAfternoon tea

Judy with Sheryl and Barry at their camp
Tuesday 9th August 2011

We must have slept well because whilst having our breakfast just after 7.30am we were told that one of the ladies parked near us had fallen at 6.30am, hurting her shoulder and cutting her face. She had called for help which we hadn't heard, luckily someone else had and an ambulance was called.

After readying the van for departure and hitching up, we went for our final walk with John and Marilyn. On our return we had a shower, made our farewells, and set off. We have in our mind that this may be our destination next July, after we return from Europe, both of us loving the area and being able to catch up with the people we have met.

The 100kms to Cairns passed quickly, we settling into our spot at Lake Placid Caravan Park, about 12 kms north of Cairns. here we met up with Sheryl and Barry, Sheryl being a the daughter of Judy's mother's best friend. Judy and Sheryl spent time together before Judy left Adelaide. We had lunch together at our van before we set off to check out some places to have the car serviced before going
Barron RiverBarron RiverBarron River

The river came past the caravan park.
into Cairns CBD.

Here, we relived memories of 5 years ago when we were last here, finding the motel we stayed at as well as the Conference Centre and the backpackers place we stayed at for the first few days. A wander through the streets brought it all back to us, we enjoyed the reminiscing. A surf shop having a sale brought us back to reality, we taking the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.

Returning to the van, we managed to prepare some meat ready for a bbq with Barry and Sheryl, before we had a much deserved 5 o'clock drink.

Dinner was a joint effort, portable bbq under our annex, and we got to hear more about what Sheryl and Barry had been doing and how they are wildlife carers in Jurien Bay.

Wednesday 10th August 2011

Today we spent most of the day at the camp as Judy has nearly 60 assignments to mark. Rags meanwhile, spent the day doing things around the van, reading, and organising a service for the car.
We did get away for a while in the afternoon to look at Barron Gorge, just up the road
Barron FallsBarron FallsBarron Falls

This must be an awesome sight during the wet season
from the park where there is a hydro-electric plant on the river. Here, we saw a short film on how it operated as well as showing how high the waters were in the 2006 summer. The people we saw white-water rafting today would really have had their money's worth then!

The evening meal was a joint effort with Sheryl and Barry, barramundi being on the menu. We supplied the cauliflower cheese, Sheryl the rest of this delicious meal, topped off with a caramel pudding. We'd certainly have to watch our waistlines more if they were around for too long!

Thursday 11th August 2011

As we slept in this morning due to being kept awake for much of the night by the strong wind flapping our awning, it was 10am before we set off to explore the Atherton Highlands.

First stop was Karunda, this attractive tourist town reached following a steep, twisting road up the side of the range. We had decided earlier we would not be doing this section with the caravan in tow, having driven up when we were here 5 years ago. Even then it was not an enjoyable drive with the steep

One of the many fine buildings in the city.
blind corners seemingly never ending.

Once there the area all came back to us, with many shops and malls all catering for the tourists who come there, most by the skytrain (like a ski lift) and the normal train. The area has become a bit of a haven for artists and we did enjoy seeing much of their work displayed and for sale at the various outlets.

From here we continued on to Mareeba, stopping at Tichum Coffee. We bought some coffee here for gifts after tasting some, remembering how we did the same the last time we were here. The owner was pleased when we told him of our earlier visit which was just after he opened. He gave us a discount on our purchases. A little bit of sweet talking sometimes pays!

We had a late lunch at the Mareeba RSL, pork roast being on the menu. There wasn't much left, but with a little coaxing they came out with fresh roast potatoes and more vegetables. A good meal, which made us decide that a scratch meal of bacon and eggs on toasted muffins would be sufficient for the evening meal.

As we are leaving Cairns on Saturday, heading west, we stopped at a shopping complex where Dan Murphy and Woolworths ensured we would be well provisioned for most, if not all, of the month we intend taking.

Pre-dinner drinks were had with Sheryl and Barry, as they were leaving tomorrow. Barry had a couple of mud-maps for good fishing/camping spots in Kununurra and just out of Derby for us to go to. It will depend on how we are going for time, as we aim to be home about the 10th September, and also whether or not there is a mobile connection for Judy's work.

Friday 12th August 2011

It was one of those days again, working, waiting and reading. Rags got the car to the mechanic's by 8am, only to be told it wouldn't be ready by 11am at the earliest. He then rode his collapsible bike the 10kms back to camp.

Judy meanwhile, spent the day marking assignments and doing her uni work. Rags read a novel, finally getting a call that the brake pads he purchased in Townsville were the wrong ones, and anyway, the ones on the rear were only half worn. So much for Osborne Park Jeep saying they needed replacing! That place has so much to answer for in regard to poor service, poor repairs, and poor advice. They've lost this customer and anyone else Rags can tell.

After another 10km ride (nowhere near as easy as on his road bike) Rags had an hour wait for the job to be finished, cost $150 more than quoted. He returned to pick up Judy to do some last minute purchases and for her to have a haircut. The haircut was not what she had asked for (trying to get it to the same length) but Rags did think it looked ok.

By then it was getting near dark, so we had a late 5 o'clock drink while Judy continued her work and Rags prepared a tasty fish curry. The evening was spent as usual, as well as us planning our route for tomorrow. We intend travelling back to Innisfail before turning west so that we don't have to traverse the steep winding road onto the tablelands. Be interesting to see how far we get in the day, depends a lot on how early we get away and we have tended to

One of the many galleries there.
sleep in.

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10



This was just one of the similar stalls we visited at the markets.

The parking was so tight the tractor was needed to place and remove Sheryl & Barry's van.

14th August 2011

Cairns look a nice town. How high does the Temp. get in the summer ? What highway did you take to Normaston ? I tried to follow your journey on Google Earth. But it was to hard ! Glad to hear you'll be home by the 12th if all goes well. My next appointment with Dimitri is on the 15th. Safe Travels.
14th August 2011

We remember fondly our own stay in Lake Placid caravan park in 1997. A lovely place. Enjoy your trip home. Kerry.
15th August 2011

Coo - ee
Hello young travellers, where ever you are. Ah, Queensland always so bloody hot and sunny, where the fun in that. You seem to have a keen eye for some nice photos of the terrain and points of interest - good job. I have a suggestion, not sure if it is possible. Can you include a map so that you can plot your location. This would give we geographically challenged people a ready reckoner of where you are. Take care, happy travels.

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