Welcome to Australia!

Trip Start Jun 07, 2010
Trip End Jun 23, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A beating hot sun, but lovely temperatures.

Palm trees of various sorts.

Mud flats with an incredible variety of bird life. 

Pleasant, happy people. 

What do these have in common?  They are all characteristics of the city we are now in: Cairns (pronounced "Cans" or sometimes “Cains”).  What a lovely city!  Once settled, we walked all around the town.  It is similar to most American cities in many ways.  They have grocery stores, a post office, a library, hotels, restaurants, shops, arcades, and parks. 

Cairns is also different in many ways, though.  They have a lovely esplanade, or walkway, along the mud flats that partition the ocean and the city.  Trinity Inlet empties into the ocean here.  Where water empties into the ocean is called an inlet.  Over time, sediment, or soils in the water, have been brought down the river and deposited along the beaches.  This has created a large area called the mud flats.  At first glance, it merely looks like a lot of thick mud, like hot, milk-chocolate fudge.  But at a closer glance, you start to see the marvels of life!  There were crabs off all sizes, some partially buried in mud puddles. There were also small lizards and snake-like animals.  More obvious were the birds, many of whom were feeding upon the abundant life in the mud.  Some of the birds looked like birds you might see at a beach in the U.S., like seagulls and pelicans, but some were very different.  We saw an Australian White Ibis, an Australian Pelican, a Masked Lapwing, Peaceful Doves, and a Magpie-lark, among others.

People were all over the esplanade, strolling along, running, playing.  There is a very nice skate park here and skate boarders, roller bladders, and bikers were all having fun with it. The large playground has lots of water to splash in, ropes to climb on, and lots of interesting play things not seen in an American playground.
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