Trip Start Jan 05, 2012
Trip End Apr 29, 2012

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Where I stayed
Queen Mary 2

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Sunday, February 19, 2012

The day started with room service delivering breakfast as we moored alongside of Cairnes Australia.

JoRina was suffering from sunburn. I used what balm was available to try to sooth her discomfort before I went ashore alone. She needed to stay in the cabin and recuperate. Poor ting.

I took a tender boat ashore, then a shuttle bus to a pier close to the center of Cairns. Kevin, the WC Concierge had provided the address of a Catholic church a few blocks away from where the shuttle dropped passengers. As Mass was due to start in a few minutes, I hailed a taxi. The driver said he does not charge women going to church and drove me without charge. Honorable. Mass was settling for me. When the priest said his homily it was as though he was speaking to me directly. All is right between me and God. The congregation was unusually diverse at St. Monica's Cathedral, adding to or creating the message of divine love and tolerance.

I walked to the bus depot and took a bus up the mountain to Kuranda; a small touristy village. While in Kuranda I browsed through museums, art galleries and a small zoo. I saw a Koala bear, crocodiles, wombats and kangaroos. Only the crocodiles were fenced in, the other animals were approachable. A kangaroo crossed a walkway right in front of me. I wondered if kangaroo's could sense fear in me. I was trying to remember, was it the hippopotamus or kangaroo that struck out with deadly force? Thankfully it just laid down in the cool dirt and paid no mind to me as I passed. The weather was hot and humid. When a light shower passed over I walked in the rain welcoming the cooling effect. Lovely.

I took the Kuranda Scenic Railway back down to Cairns . The train traveled through a lush rainforest, about 15 tunnels and provided expansive views of the sugar cane fields and shore of Cairns. Interestingly, harvesting the cane used to take 400 men to complete, the job is now done faster and more economically by 3 men and machinery. I returned to the ship without incidence after picking up a calming spray for JoRina's burns.

Back on board I found JoRina in the Atlantic Room watching the approaching storm. Victoria had looked after her throughout the day, providing her with plain yogurt and cucumbers to sooth the burns. Between the homeopathic remedies and anesthetic spray she felt better. Still we opted for a quiet night with a visit to the Jacuzzi and room service for diner. We watched a Batman movie and discussed the men in our lives, how much we miss them and want to be with them.

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Tom & Carol on

Fascinating story about the taxi driver's belief not to charge women enroute to Mass. Suspect that gesture would be unlikely in say, NYC. It would have been interesting to explore this man's past.
By chance, did you attend one of Sir David Frost's presentations? That, and his Nixon interviews (film) might have provoked some lively political discussion. However, maybe Americans are in the minority aboard QM2 (dunno?), so maybe our US political crap is not in high regard internationally. That brings up a question.... among the American's aboard, is there a predominant political party leaning. I ask, because on several "Rick Steve" tours and a couple (formerly called) "Elderhostel" tours, Democratic-party-inclined travellers were strongly represented. Are political views shared in a polite manner? For fun, Kit, see how much dinner political indigestion you can stir up.

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