Life here is pretty cool. I’m now into my second week living in Cairns, adapted to the time zone and the heat and I am loving it! Over the weekend we saw Ben’s old friend from England, Dom, who has been over here for a few years now after travelling and working around Australia with Ben. It was so weird seeing someone who I knew as a kid to now see him all grown up, living in an amazing house right by the beach. How time can change people is amazing, makes me wonder where the hell I’m going to be in 2 or 3 years time.
After the rain had hit us all last week Sunday was finally a good day. The wet season here tends to flood a lot of the land, and just beyond Ben’s house are the cane fields which were completely water-logged so we thought it was the best opportunity to get his quad and motor-cross bike out and get caped in mud. I had never driven a motorbike or even a quad, and knowing you pay hundreds of dollars to spend the day whizzing around on one I felt extremely lucky to be able to do it for free. What a wicked experience. Although I was rubbish on the motor-cross, the quad was pretty simple to use.
However me being me obviously had the first crash with first time driving one! Racing Ben on the bike I stupidly blanked and went head on into a creek, helmet flew off and now I’m left with swollen, black fingers and bruised hips. So worth it.
Later in the evening we headed into the city. Cairns reminds me of a stereotypical town in an American film set out in the country, but it also has a great holiday vibe to it. Buzzing restaurants and cafes, touristy shops, the huge lagoon that stretches out to the seafront, tourists and locals sunbathing all along the esplanade, and of course the perfect spot for backpackers. I can understand why they call it the capital for backpackers. Nightclubs and hostels lined the streets, with tour guides pushing you into their store to sell you an expensive day trip on the rapids or bungee jumping.
I recently put up an ad on Gumtree in search for another traveller who wants to accompany me on a journey around Australia. So far it hasn’t been too successful. One guy from London seems promising, other than that its men inviting me to accompany them on their road trip just the two of us…no thanks! I know I haven’t been here long but I feel a pressure to suddenly make lots of new friends and go off backpacking. But I need to relax and know I’m lucky to have such an amazing place to stay, rent free, and to enjoy getting to know my brother again, which has been a long time coming, It’s so cool to see where he is now and to have the freedom to go off on adventures with him.
I saw my first green frog the other day, its such a cool creature. The wildlife and nature out here is something I thought I would only ever see on my TV screen on a national geographic programme, not to actually have it land on my foot and sit in my hand! My dream has always been to travel and see the things splashed in bright colours on travel magazines and documentaries.
One animal in particular that has its own story is the bush turkey. An animal that is protected by Australia but is a real annoyance to residents yards. There’s this one specific turkey that makes his way into Ben’s yard every day. At first I always think it’s a person having a laugh, but no this turkey kicks and digs all the leaves and mud leaving the place a mess. It’s so funny to watch. A pain for Ben who has to clear it all up though. I guess the bush turkey here is like a swan to England.
There’s also the cane toad here. There are thousands of them. You walk into the fields and you can hear their deep croaking from miles away. They release this puss on their backs that is extremely venomous to other animals. I was told they were bought over here in order to stop the ants killing the sugar cane crops, however their numbers have multiplied by millions and the place is infested by them now and they have become the pest.
So that’s my little national geographic update for you all. Sorry if that was boring!
Friday were due to be hit by the cyclone again, but this time much worse, so the city is on high alert and were most likely going to be stuck for a few days. Today I am making the most of the weather and headed into the city, grabbed an iced coffee and time to update the blog.