In order to get down to Sydney, I’ve booked with a company called “The Oz Experience” They specialize in multi-day bus trips stopping at interesting places during the evening. I’m a little older than their target audience, but its been a lot of fun. The only real complaint I’ve got is that their drivers are way too hyper for 8:00 am! The first day we left Cairns, and headed to the town of Kuranda. We took a cable-car over the mountains and into the local rain forest. We wandered around the forest on boardwalk paths for an hour or so, just appreciating all the green colors and earthy smells…at least I really enjoyed this..maybe I’ve got extra appreciation because of the recent deprivation.
After our hour was up there, we headed south, driving thru lush greenery on both sides of the road. It was a nice change to see after the stark red center around Alice. Our next destination was the Johnston River Crocodile Farm. These guys raise crocs for both their meat and skins. For extra money, they give tours, and we happily let them show us around. It’s amazing to me how fast these animals can move when they want to. Being around them, you get a very strange feeling…an almost primordial sense of danger that seems to awaken some long dormant danger instinct. Looking into their eyes, you feel that they’d like nothing more than to eat you, and they wouldn’t have a second thought about it. One cool thing at the farm was that they’re raising cassowaries. I’d read about these birds, but never seen one before. Ugly, but in an interesting way.
We stopped for the night in Airlie beach. It’s got a beautiful coastline, but due to the box-jellyfish, it’s another forbidden beach for swimming. The town has taken care of the problem by building an artificial lagoon that’s netted off of the ocean so it’s safe for swimming. Later that night a bunch of us decided after way too many beers that it would be a great idea to go skinny dipping around midnight. Luckily the local magistrate thought it was funny too, and let us go with just a warning.