July 4-12, 2012...Cairns

As we headed towards Cairns we came across the sign with the answer!  Ahh the state flower for Queensland is the Cooktown Orchid! Finally the answer sign… I was wrong imagine that!…QLD Gov 1, Cat 0!…Bring it on!  Well, I guess that is the end of the game, maybe I am meant to make up my own questions now…I don't know, talk about leaving you hanging!…More trivia signs please, with shorter distances between answers if possible….Thank you! :)

Beautiful lush countryside, just absolutely picturesque pleasurable riding.  I would say that the beauty began at Mission Beach, and so far there are no signs of it stopping.  The air is growing thicker, the smell of the sea continually floats and freshens the air now.  Such a blessed pleasurable  breeze that clears your nostrils of the sugarcane and rotting roo's.  Destination today is Cairns…I can't believe how far we have already traveled!  Today we will be arriving at Dennis' place.  We have not met Jose, as he is more commonly known, but we have been exchanging communications and today we'll finally meet!  

Josephine Falls looked interesting so we stopped for lunch there and checked it out!  I  caught myself in a relaxing trance as the black bitumen road meandered through the lush green sugarcane fields.   I was focused in on watching the fluffy, mauve tinged, feathery tops of the sugarcane gracefully sway and puff up, like a bird rustling it's feathers.  I also caught sight of a large flying fox hanging upside down on the electric wire, he kind of looked dead, but I suppose if he was dead he would have fallen off???  A flying fox is like a huge bat, larger than a squirrel, maybe the size of a possum, black dark and mysterious…I'm sure that they have fangs, not for blood, but for fruit, nevertheless, I really don't want have the desire to see one up close!!  The hike into Josephine Falls was like walking through a botanical garden.  I was amazed at the rainforest's canopy and the size of the Ficus trees.  There was every shade of green imaginable, I'm glad that we stopped here for lunch! Approaching the falls I could hear screaming and laughter, backpackers galore, slipping and sliding over the boulders into the clear pools…what a blast…I decided to strip off and cannonball bomb them all from above…ha ha ha…Nah, it was great plan… in my head!  

Back on the road, on track to Dennis', we are trying to coordinate our arrival with his…so now we are traveling under speed, slowing it all down!  We did pretty good, rolling up…literally only 5 minutes before him!  G'day!, G'day!…Yeah we'll get along just fine!

Dennis had made up the spare bedroom complete with his and hers towels on the bed.  It was cocktail hour with wine, chilled prawns and garlic muscles.  Are you kidding me, how awesome is this?  Now that was just the "break the ice appetizer" witch we enjoyed with warm conversation and riding stories.  Unbelievably, we had lobster, and fresh fish for dinner!  Now that is an Aussie welcome, a very very generous one…Thank you Jose!

Our bodies were surprisingly tired. It was really nice to sleep in a bed, between sheets, and have a toilet just down the hall…ahh, simple pleasures!  Dennis had hung a freshly laundered robe on the back of the bedroom door for me, ahh…bliss… I wore it all day because, I could… I really don't think that it is proper etiquette as a guest but I was enjoying living rogue, or should I say "in my robe" and loved every minute of it!  

Kev and I felt as if we were moving in slow motion, or maybe that was what we were subconsciously, intentionally doing…a survival technique that allowed us to absorb the comfort and enjoy the hospitality that Dennis provided…Man that sounds like a load of bull…I think that I'm honestly feeling very guilty!  Dennis introduced us to friends of his that offered us information on future travel plans…very valuable information that we immediately zeroed in on. 

Dennis took Kev and I out fishing in Tubby…maybe we could get lucky and see a croc too?  It was amazing to me that we were practically only a couple of kilometers from the CBD and boating in and around the mangrove waterways.  Fishing lines were in the water hoping for a bite!  Dennis asked me to steer, I really do not know if that is the technical name of the task…I managed to skillfully jolt Tubby back and fourth then turn Tubby in a circle, crossing and tangle the fishing lines much to Dennis's disappointment…ha ha ha.  Dennis spent the next 15 minutes untangling the lines…needless to say I was not given control of Tubby again!!…ha ha ha

I had the pleasure of being introduced to Eileen, a lovely New York born lady, married to an Aussie, the opposite of Kev and I.  We hit it off immediately and she invited me to go hiking with her.  I accepted and the next day I was up before dawn rock climbing up the side of Pyramid mountain thinking "what the heck did I get myself into?"  Five hours of scaling up and down "the Pyramid"  was more than I had bargained for.  It left me with quite a sense of accomplishment when I reached the top.  The view was amazing, the mandarin I brought from Dennis' tree tasted awesome as my quads were warmly tingling.  Now to get down…So is it called descaling?  I don't know but it was harder than scaling.  My knee was starting to give me a bit of strife, I had settled into a right leg favored rhythm and didn't want to rest, fearing that I wouldn't be able to get going again.  I made it down, someone that day didn't and the chopper was airlifting them out… it was definitely a physical morning!  Eileen suggested a champagne after party…Hell Yeah, we earned it!  Move aside recovery drinks…bubbles are way more fun!  Now when I see the majestic Pyramid, lovingly renamed Madonna's Tit by you know who, I have a fun warm sense of my Cairns accomplishment!  Oh yeah you can be that I was robot walking for the next couple of days…all good, things soon loosened up!

We spent our days at Dennis's recovering, eating/drinking, cleaning, eating/drinking, preparing, eating/drinking, sorting, eating/drinking, entertaining, eating/drinking, running errands, eating/drinking, playing house, eating/drinking, cooking, eating/drinking…AND eating and drinking…did I mention we did a little eating and drinking…oy vey!!!!…burp!  We spent the calm balmy evenings listening to Split Enz, Cold Chisel, Pink Floyd, Creedance, and other old stuff sipping on port, laughing and enjoying the company of each other!

Our exit day has been decided on…we are going to attempt to ride to the very tip of Australia.  Kev has planned our route we are excited, very rested, too well fed, and prepared for our challenge ahead!

Dennis so very generously gifted Kev and I a telescopic fishing rod, reel, hooks, weighty ball things, and hooks for us to take to the Cape.  It fits in my tube…our outfit is complete…we are going to conquer the Cape and catch a fish or two!!!

Dennis launching Tubby!

Dennis launching Tubby!

Captain Dennis taking us to his secret fishing hole.

Captain Dennis taking us to his secret fishing hole.

Eileen on Pyramid Mountain.

Eileen on Pyramid Mountain.

Cat scaling Pyramid Mountain.

Cat scaling Pyramid Mountain.