return to Australia Trip Page Thoughts and Reflections About A Trip To Australia

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      Among the many sites that most intrigued us about our visit to Australia, Cairns and its many attractions including the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rain forest. This was our chance to experience the unparalleled beauty that this portion of Australia and we took full advantage of it. In leaving the dry interior of Australia, I was not at first certain what to expect as we flew over the many miles of austere beauty that flowed by beneath us. Then, we leapt out over the ocean and began our approach. This was our first taste of what was in store for us. My first thought was that this lush panorama was much as I had envisioned Hawaii might look like. That we are traveling to Hawaii in July of 2000 will give us the chance to see if my impressions were correct. After landing, my first impressions seemed fully confirmed as shown by the shot I snapped from the balcony of our hotel.


     Cairns is located in northeastern Queensland, on Trinity Inlet of Trinity Bay. It is the center of agricultural and forest industry as well as shipping in the region, but the main focus for us was its existence as a tourist resort community with a diverse mix of restaurants and sights to see. As with other points in Australia I was surprised by both the unfamiliar and familiar. As we walked the hot humid streets at night we found Kentucky Fried Chicken, dive shops, excellent local sea food restaurants, outdoor barbecues, always friendly people and an active night life. The dessert on the left, by the way, is a marangue, mostly egg whites, but very very tasty and we definitely did not finish it. Suffice it to say, we enjoyed many a fine meal while in Cairns.

     The other element of interest was the native wildlife. As we walked along the beach and then up the street that paralleled our hotel we noticed a car that looked like it had been draped with great swathes of white paint in thicknesses of an inch and more. This included the windows. All the windows. It was at this point that we became aware of the cacophany of sounds being made by the Sacred Ibises in the tree above this hapless car. I provide the picture we did shoot of the Ibises at a later time and a closer shot taken in Sydney to get an idea of what these creatures actually look like up close. They are very large and give new meaning to the old childs song about being happy that cows don't fly. At least for one car owner, I suspect he or she wished that the Ibises did not fly as well. We walked well out into the street and away from the tree in question.
     The most impressive adventure of all, however, was the one that followed the next day, when we were given the opportunity to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. This called upon us for an early start, but it was well worth it.


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