Australia: Day 6 – 17.11.18………Men in uniform!
We slept well beneath the ceiling fan on our very bouncy beds and pillows, our aches and pains having dissipated overnight due to, we think a) our yoga challenge and b) the tiger balm we bought from the airport in our endeavour to spend our Singaporean dollars.
We were up early so I rang the local transfer office at 7.30am and booked our transfers to Port Douglas and from Port Douglas back to the airport. It was much cheaper than expected so we’ve a bit of extra cash to spend on dining out tonight.
Believe it or not last night we made a plan for today. Firstly we’ve decided that we’re not going to delete any photos of us no matter what they look like, we don’t wish to appear vain in any way. And secondly, we’re going to do a circular walk of Cairns, along the esplanade boardwalk, find somewhere for breakfast then make our way to the botanical gardens.
Having participated in the usual morning ‘faffing about’ ritual we managed to get ourselves out by 9.30am, walked to the end of the esplanade and found a lovely cafe called Mooz overlooking the estuary, a great place we thought to sit and relax, enjoy our breakfast, soak up the views and watch the animal life on the estuary. We’d just placed our order when the peace was shattered by two helicopters coming in to land. Seems this is the place where helicopter tours to the barrier reef fly from. Oh well, it was interesting to watch them come and go and we would have loved to go on one but at $200 for ten minutes we decided against it.
We always find people watching an interesting pastime and sitting her in the Mooz cafe was no exception. We found it particularly interesting during breakfast watching the antics of the two guys in uniform. These two policemen, obviously trying to emulate Maverick and Goose from Top-Gun and both sporting their ‘Top-Gun’ sunglasses, sauntered, or should I say swaggered past the cafe to the edge of the promenade and started taking photos of themselves with the estuary in the background. The sunglasses came off, they went back on they preened themselves, honestly, we felt like asking them if they wanted a photo together! I must say it made for a very entertaining breakfast. All this extra police activity is a result of the PNG APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Confederation) Summit. The place is swarming with police and as we witnessed, security is taken very seriously. So far today we have seen a) two policemen taking photos of themselves overlooking the estuary b) two policemen relaxing having a coffee overlooking the harbour c) one policeman reading the paper in an outdoor bar d) four policemen enjoying the view overlooking the bay and e) two policemen trying to manoeuvre a boat in the harbour. So it seems the police here are just as laid back as the rest of the locals! All this extra security just because the planes land at Cairns in order for them to then fly out to Papau New Guineau where the summit is held which incidentally is being attended by Mike Pence (USA Vice-President), Xi Jinping (Chinese President), Justin Trudeau (Canadian Prime-Minister) to name but a few. It’s amazing what you can learn from reading these blogs!!
You’d be amazed at the wildlife we’ve seen here in just under two days. So far on our travels around Cairns we’ve seen a colony of bats and a pandemonium of parrots up in the trees. They make such a racket it’s unbelievable. We’ve also seen a squadron of pelicans, a fling of sandpipers and a cast of crabs out in the estuary. You cannot comprehend how many crabs there are out on the sand, hundreds and hundreds of them and when they move it looks like the sand is moving. Quite fascinating.
After breakfast we walked along the esplanade to the botanical gardens stopping off at the Post Office to buy postcards to send to my mother. As a 90 year old she doesn’t do IT, perish the thought if she did, she has trouble determining the difference between her phone and her remote control!!!!! so I’m sending her postcards from each destination. Can you believe this, I asked for two stamps for the U.K. and they didn’t have any....no kidding. A Post Office with no stamps, whatever next!
By the time we got to the botanical gardens we were hot and sweaty. Mind you, it was 35 degrees, it was midday and we had by this time walked at least 15,000 steps. We mustered on, through the gardens, past the lakes, into the art gallery until our legs could take no more and we found a grassy spot in the shade, flaked out on the grass and had forty winks. Well, imagine my surprise when we woke up and I looked at my legs.....omg, they were covered in prickly heat! How did that happen? We decided to make our way back to the hotel which took much longer than we thought because a) our legs were still tired from our mega walk so we walking much slower b) it was baking hot and c) the road we thought we were walking down to the hotel wasn’t the correct road so we had to retrace our steps to get to our road. Of course this extra detour cost us another 3,000 steps! I had to have an emergency cold shower to cool my legs down, gosh it was cold, then daubed myself with some hydrocortisone cream I’d brought for my ears (hope it works) and then we had a ten minute doze which in reality turned out to be an hour. Our aching limbs must have needed it!
We were eating out tonight, which on reflection would be the first time since we left the U.K. that we are eating out in the evening. We’d seen a nice Tapas bar yesterday evening which we thought we’d go to but could we find it. We went round in circles until finally we came across it but of course it was full. Being indecisive as usual we contemplated our next move. We could go to Walmart, aka Woolworths (Maice keeps referring to it as Walmart) for the third time and purchase some water and then look for somewhere to eat. So that’s exactly what we did and ended up at another tapas bar where we enjoyed a lovely tapas supper washed down with two lovely cold glasses of wine. Must be the latest we’ve stayed out we thought, way past our usual 10pm but would you believe it, it was only 7.30pm! Seems we have absolutely no concept of time down under.
By the time we’d returned to ‘Walmart’ for our fourth visit to buy some breakfast provisions and got home, it was 9.30pm. What’s up with us? In bed by 9.30pm on a Saturday night? That’s what happens when your world literally turns upside down.......!
See you in Port Douglas