Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Innisfail to Cairns
Tarried a while in Innisfail to watch the Anzac Day parade. About a thousand people took part and a similar number watched - in such a small town. Pity the poor kids who, unlike everyone else, didn't really get a day off, still had to get up early, wear their uniforms, march up and down and listen to boring speeches, etc. There were kilts, flags, banners, wheelchairs, veterans and a marching band. Many people wore medals, including small children, presumably passed down the generations. Last day of proper cycling and visited a couple of beauty spots off the highway; Josephine Falls and The Boulders. Swam in cool mountain water and drank a latte in someone's house overlooking fabulous greenery. When I say someone's house, it was a cafe in a house, with seating on the verandah and their toilet was also for public use. Crazy Australians. Only they were actually an elderly couple from Yorkshire. Later on, my lunch of cold chips dipped in vegemite is not to be recommended. And so to Cairns. I'll be honest, I had been trying to find an alternative place to stay. I'd been getting cold feet about the prospect of being in a naturist environment (and jelly knees, watery tummy and shrivelled up willy). It was obviously meant to be however, as I couldn't find anyone else. Mike lives in a beachside district 10 miles to the north, called Yorkey's Knob. No puns please. He had two other surfers from Taiwan staying, with the (additional English) names Roger and Mikey. All three pulled sarongs on when I arrived and then quickly dropped them. I had a cold shower outside (no puns) as this was the only option, towelled myself down, didn't put any clothes on and joined the happy throng. There was nothing to it, we didn't mention it, it didn't feel sleazy or embarrassing and conversed as normal. Mike lives in an open-plan house, which is effectively one room on each of the two floors. He has thousands and thousands of books, completely covering three walls, and also two big computer screens. Fred (skinny) and Philip (fat) made up the feline naturist component, and there are three frogmouth birds living in one of his trees. We had another guest, a bright green treefrog and earlier in the day I'd seen an approx. eight inch caterpillar and a praying mantis-type-thing rocking back and forth, as if in a trance. We had a roast dinner au naturel (no puns) and for the first time ever, I slept on a couch in a shared room (there were only two rooms after all).