Australian Rain Forest And Mossman Gorge

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

I kept expecting the gorillas to emerge from the mist but they never did. Wrong continent. Australia has crocodiles, not gorillas. It also has, like it’s allies the Americans, red necks. In this case, these Australian red neck people decided to frolic in the river next to the sign warning against frolicking lest one get eaten by a crocodile. Pondering such stupidity, I wondered out loud, “What do you say about people who get eaten by crocodiles next to the sign saying ‘don’t swim with the crocodiles’ at their funeral?” You certainly don’t feel sorry for them. My sister joked, “You say, ‘She died doing what she loved’.” And what’s that? Being stupid? So, we cross one little tributary on our way to the Denaine Rain Forest and I see a crocodile sitting near the edge. We cross the next one and Red Neck Ma and Pa and puppy are hanging out in the water splashing around.

Rain Forests are, generally, overrated. That is to say, once you’ve been one foot into one, you’ve seen what it looks like one yard or one hundred yards into one. Basically, there are ferns, trees, palms, more trees, more palms, birds that are singing, and butterflies, and loads and loads of bugs. My college biology teacher would be chagrined at my nonchalance. It was beautiful. That’s true. Lush, steamy, buggy, and dangerous looking, rain forests seem best enjoyed with copious netting and a machete. (Notice I didn’t mention bringing a 6, 9, and 11 year old who whined “how long until we go?” and “where are the tigers?” Seriously. These three things are extraneous to rain forest enjoyment.)

The novel thing about this rain forest is its proximity to the beach. According to my sister, this is the only place in the world where the rainforest goes all the way to the beach and ocean. And it does. I got great pictures which I’ll share with you at risk of being like that relative we all tolerate. How boring is it to look at other people’s pictures? Too bad. Besides, you should thank me. You could be looking at Blogojevich’s hair. I should get some sort of prize.

After getting carsick riding in the back seat to and through the rain forest, we came back and hiked into the Mossman Gorge. Now that’s something you need to see, if you come this direction. It is Aborigine territory. The Mossman River runs through the Gorge. There are huge boulders, a set of rapids, and soft shelled, very huge turtles that are shy. They didn’t come out. Still, it was beautiful. Next time, I’ll bring a picnic lunch.

Today we were supposed to go out on the Great Barrier Reef. 25 knot winds and my queasy stomach said no. Tomorrow should be better. I’ll let you know.



Australia In Pictures, Well, Parts of Sydney, Anyway

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Hi All! Well, I’ve figured out this much: my WordPress problem must be a Firefox problem, because the back end of my blog works fine in Safari. Go figure.

Today, we’re in Port Douglas. Flew up here yesterday. I’m finally sleeping better and used to the time change–although it’s been okay. The weather here is balmy and hot. Possibly tropical, certainly at least sub-Tropical. There is a rainforest that we might visit and huge hills–I’m not sure if they qualify as mountains. The beaches are gorgeous with tan, fine sand. It’s surreal, though. There are vast stretches of these gorgeous beaches with no one swimming. Sharks.

Tonight we went to a restaurant called the Pizza Shack and the food was excellent. I highly recommend the place if you’re in town. Get the garlic bread and the peking duck roles.

Tomorrow, we’ll be going to see the Great Barrier Reef. I’ll take pictures. It will be an all day affair with 400 people on one boat. Should be smelly considering the heat.

Hope you like the pictures!

Blokes

A whole store dedicated to “blokes”.

Obama Garage Sale

Barack Obama is hugely popular and being invoked to sell stuff people don’t need. Hmmmm…..

Christmizzle

Nerd chic is hawt in Australian. Actually, everyone is cool and relaxed from what I can see.

Climate Action NOW!

Lots of signs encouraging protecting the environment and protesting just about everything.

Sydney Harbor Bridge

Very beautiful punctuation to the harbor.

Sydney Opera House

I thought this looked like a sailing ship.

Sydney Opera House 2

Iconic Sydney.