‘The sea is a desert of waves/A wilderness of water.’-Langston Hughes
The second stop on my Australian adventure was the coastal town of Cairns. I spent three days in this tropical paradise. When I arrived, an Iron Man competition had finished the day before. You want to feel out of shape…where a bikini with triathletes! Cairns is a tourist hub because it offers great access to the Great Barrier Reef (my next post). I was there in the off season and it was not a crowded as I am sure it is in the summer. The weather was quite warm, some rain, and so much sunscreen!
My hotel was right across from the main drag. There is a lagoon area to lounge and swim. It is right on the water, so it was fun to look out onto the marina or watch the seagulls. There are loads of restaurants and coffee shops. There is some shopping, I particularly like an aboriginal outpost that sells ware from a northern tribe and all the money goes back to the makers. I was able to get a really lovely pair of earrings and some coasters for my friend (as I had gotten him some Maori stuff, I figured some wood carving from an Aboriginal tribe would be good too). When I planned my trip, I had a free day in Cairn and because I had been so busy the previous week I was going to take it. I wish I had taken an excursion to the rainforest since my Blue Mountain trip was canceled, but hindsight is 20/20. I did go to the aquarium and it was cool, although small. They had a lot of fish from the Reef and that was one of those moments when you’re like, ‘oh, well I saw that snorkeling!’
I did have a night cruise my when I arrived. While I don’t mind traveling solo, this is not the activity to do when you are alone (it was included in my initial itinerary or else I wouldn’t have signed up). It was not what I thought and there was minimal interaction with other members of the cruise. I was bored for most of the three hours. Cairns is also not a big city and it’s dark, so not much to see. Overall, I don’t recommend but it is what it is.
One thing I didn’t expect were the bats! Apparently they are some kind of Pacific bat who it not necessarily nocturnal. And let me tell you, once I saw it fly into the tree mid-afternoon, I saw them in all the trees. I get it though, I too love a good ocean breeze! Being said, they are very active at night. I was walking one night to grab a bite and one nearly beamed me in the head. Sadly, Christian Bale was not nearby!
Overall, Cairns was a really relaxing time but the reason I was there was to snorkel and I cannot wait to share my experiences with you!