If you’re anything like me, here’s what 25 straight hours of traveling and the complete disappearance of a whole day, will do for you:
1. You will ask yourself, so what in hell is fun about vacations anyway?
2. Your body will have a deep-bone fatigue in which you think your legs could not ache any more if they were being amputated.
3. Your husband will suggest a ride in a helicopter and you will think: yes, my husband needs another, more intrepid wife.
4. You will tell yourself that it is better to die with your beloved in a helicopter crash than to be a surviving spouse.
5. You will see yourself from all angles in a multi-faceted hotel mirror and you will think: this is how I look to other people. And you will want to die in a helicopter crash.
6. You will sleep for 10 hours. You will wake up singing. You will sit out on the balcony overlooking the blue-steel ocean, you will amble through the rainforest of the hotel grounds, you will have an enormous breakfast, and the excitement of being in Australia will totally overwhelm you. Depressed? Who? Me? Nah.
It’s winter in Cairns, Australia. Sunset comes early. But it is wildly tropical—as tropical as Hawaii, or Singapore. It’s perhaps 70 degrees and stunning. It is, of course, the jumping-off point to visit the Great Barrier reefs. It’s also a good place to take a day trip to Green Island with it’s lush rainforest, or Fitzroy Island where you can see fish swimming over the coral reef. See photos here.
From Cairns you can also hop the Kuranda Rail and Skyrail tour. You take this very pleasant antique train ride to Kuranda, stop off at Barron Falls, la, la, la, get off all happy like a fool. You visit Birdland, have a little lunch. And then it’s time to take the skyrail. Now, I’ve done this before in Singapore, and not without event. Yet, here we are again. Again riding a fool cable car high, more than high, 90-minute, panic-high over the rainforest where I and the other two women I’ve only just met, pretend to be brave and end up singing “Whistle a Happy Tune,” to calm ourselves. We might well have been in that helicopter. We end up at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Park which, if we’d gone by car, would’ve been a 10-minute drive. All that tsouris for nothing. Well, Jesus H.
So, here in Northern Australia, you’ve got your basic tropical flora:
|Banyan, er, Fig Tree||Waist-High Scarlet Salvias|
|Sweetsops! – “Custard Apples”||Tropicana From the Hotel
Then there’s the beautiful, curved, newish Esplanade. A great, wonderful, safe, recreational treat for both locals and tourists. For here you can:
|Make Like a Matador Near Sunset||Swim in the Huge, Shallow Pool|
|Crab a Yard from the Shore||BBQ at a Free, Gas Barbie|
|Form a Human Pyramid at Dusk||Or Just Sit. And Watch|
Or Sit. And commune with:
|Twilight Blue||Evening in Cairns|