Dave’s Odyssey #24

Cairns Coastline

In May 2008, I went travelling on my own for the first time and was out of England for a month. Along the way I took in Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand before coming home. I kept a journal of my time on the road, so here’s a day by day account of my trials and tribulations that has the undeserved title of Dave’s Odyssey. 

Day 24 – Cairns

Cairns
No golden beaches in Cairns!

It was nice to have a lie in this morning though I was still up at 7.30 a.m. and having breakfast by 8.00. I hadn’t planned on doing much today so set off before 9.00 to find an Internet Café. I was amazed that after nearly two hours on the Internet I was only charged $3. I sent around eight emails and confirmed the last of the season’s football results so I knew who was where as far as the leagues were concerned. Barnsley FC failed to impress as usual but at least we avoided relegation!

Afterwards I avoided the shops and made straight for the Esplanade. This was a road on the seafront with cafés, bars, restaurants and shops in abundance on one side. The other side offered the scenic route along the coast and encouraged health and fitness along the way.

I was surprised to find that there was no golden beach with crystal clear water. Instead the land stretching out to the sea was mostly mud with sea grass and other plants somehow finding the means to grow. Nearby notices warned of the possible presence of crocodiles in the area and included admonishments to stay clear of the water. It also offered other helpful hints like crocodiles may caused harm if approached. You don’t say! It certainly ended any temptation I might have had of a stroll along the water’s edge.

Cairns
That said the coastline was still spectacular.

There was a lot to see along the Esplanade. War memorials and relics paid tribute to the brave men from the World Wars. Further on there were a series of boards detailing the history of Cairns and numerous facts about the Great Barrier Reef as well. There was certainly a lot to take in.

Towards the end of the Esplanade I left the shops and restaurants behind and found myself in the residential area. A long line of houses looking straight out at the ocean; I shuddered to think how much they were worth. Despite their excellent location noise pollution would have been something of a problem. Every so often I saw planes appear from behind a copse of trees so the airport clearly wasn’t far away. It seemed a small price to pay for such a beautiful spot though.

I headed along a different road on my way back to the hotel. The pavement kept disappearing to be replaced by a long row of grass with brown tyre marks whenever I passed someone’s driveway. It was difficult to tell whether the grass was a public footpath or someone’s private property. I opted not to stop and ask.

Memorial in Cairns
Memorial in Cairns

I did little else for the rest of the day. I didn’t want my facial burns from the day before to be out in the sun too much and my cap did little to hide them from view. Thankfully, they’re not painful or tender but I’ll be much happier once they’re gone. I think this day was good just to recharge the old batteries. I knew a lot of other people in the group hadn’t planned on doing much either. Chance to take it easy on the tour were few and far between.

Tomorrow we would leave Cairns and fly to Sydney for the last leg of the Australian tour. There’d be little free time in Sydney while as I’d opted to use a day to head far out of the city and see the Blue Mountains. A week from now I’d be touching down in London and preparing to fight the rush hour mayhem. I decided to try and enjoy what was left of the holiday instead of worrying about that though.

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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