All Because Of You

Trip Start Jun 15, 2004
Trip End Jun 15, 2005

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tuesday 16th November 2004
Another early start - 5am, another long long bus journey, this time, the route from Alice to Cairns.

Coach rhis time - with 30+ people on it, where I have been used to 10-12, and in reality 30 people is too many.

Drive through mile after mile of desert, and through dirt roads, and pass into the state of Queensland - and a new time zone.

Pass a huge termite mound - bigger than the bus, and 2/3 of it is underground, and then stay on a farmstay overnight. A little surreal having dinner in the open with pet kangaroo's, emu's, dogs, sheep, pigs and children running around

Wednesday 17th November 2004
Have breakfast alongside a kangaroo, who, not wanting to play shadow boxing with me, decides its more fun to try and eat my watch, and then my t shirt, and then starts hopping up and down...time to get out of here

Another long drive - the Alice to Cairns route is 2067 km - hence about 700km a day, on dirt roads that are sometimes single track, but I do at least learn a few sentences in Swedish, from the Finnish girls...who only speak Swedish...its very confusing - you never know when it might come in handy...

Stop in Winton, where the almost official national anthem of Australia, Waltzing Matilda, was first played, in 1895. Key attraction here for us is the local swimming pool though, which is shear bliss in the boiling sun - its now 40c.

Onto a gorge with some aboriginal artwork - not stunning, but OK, but wasnt helped by more modern "artists" deciding to add their name. Stay overnight in a hostel in Hughenden.

Thursday 18th November 2004
The landscape is changing now - the bush is getting more dense, and the earth less red, and many more termite mounds - at times it looks like there are cities of them.

Eventually get to the "dry" rainforest - a contradiction I know, but described as so as it does get rain, but all in one go, at certain times of the year.

Reach the southern Atherton Tablelands, and walk 2.5km through the now "proper" rainforest to the beautiful Nandroya Waterfalls, for a swim. These are the best waterfalls since Thailand, with the cascading water so heavy it feels like somebody is punching you. Excellent swimming area, and very refreshing. As usual, there were leeches around, but werent interested in my blood.

Arrive in Cairns to have a final dinner, at a pub called Rattle & I detect a U2 theme?

Friday 19th November 2004
Walked Cairns, which is not a particularily exciting city - grid layout, full of tourist booking agents, shops and restaurants - there is no character.

Instead, wade through the millions of leaflets deciding what to do from here, and in particular, which dive company to see the Great Barrier Reef with.

Seem to be a lot of backpackers here just for a party - have met some in Perth who come across, work, and party, without actually seeing the country, just the odd city or two - Dont actually get the point of doing that - you may as well stay at home? - Guess I am lucky to be able to afford all the tours, even though I'm overspending, and slowly going bankrupt.
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