Monday, 12 June 2017

From Townsville to Cairns in the Blu bus

It's been almost a month since we were spotting platypus at Eungella National Park. 

I'm not going to give much detail but since then we have:
  • visited a childhood friend (of mine), 
  • stopped almost a week in Townsville (where H lost his wallet but had it returned honestly with all the cash inside), 
  • visited the spectacular Magnetic Island with friends, 
  • visited enough waterfalls and rock pools that the photos got confusing, 
  • saw plenty of wildlife (a Cassowary, a frill-necked lizard, a crocodile, musky rat-kangaroos, and a tree kangaroo), 
  • walked a few beaches, 
  • Visited a banana farm and a barramundi farm
  • Bought, eaten and enjoyed a lot of tropical fruits from roadside fruit stalls (bananas, papaya (pawpaw), custard apples (cherimoya), citrus, passionfruits, avocados, black sapote (chocolate pudding fruits). 
  • Taken coconuts from the beaches and enjoyed their water and flesh. 
  • And.... been white water rafting. 
The Cassowary sighting was the absolute highlight of the last month. Cassowaries are the third largest birds in the world, after the ostrich and emu. Big and flightless and with spectacular colour. We had wanted to see a wild Cassowary for a while and there are signs everywhere in the Far North of Queensland warning motorists to be aware of cassowaries (motor vehicles kill many) but we hadn't been fortunate enough to see one. Then some other motorhome travellers told us "go to Etty Bay".
here's the cassowary we saw at Etty Bay! 

Here's the cassowary we saw at Etty Bay!

We hadn't heard of Etty Bay. It is a secluded bay where you can find just a caravan park, a fish-n-chip shop, a surf-life-saving-club, and a Cassowary which visits almost everyday! Sometimes even a couple of times a day. 

Unfortunately this Cassowary is known to scavenge and so upon checking into the caravan park patrons are told what to do if a Cassowary turns up to your happy hour to steel your chips (Aussie culture here: Australians enjoy sitting down for a beverage (usually beer/wine) and a snack (crackers and cheese/ chips /nuts) about 5pm, this we call 'happy hour', it can be longer than an hour).

For us a cassowary visited in the morning. And we followed it around, from a distance, for quite some time. It didn't seem at all perturbed by us. I was blown away by its striking colours, it's glossy feathers, and the size of the feet and legs. (Third tallest bird in the world but second heaviest). 

We also ticked white water rafting off my 'to do' list. We did a half day experience of grade 3 Rapids on Barron River. I seriously banged my nose into the helmet in front of me! Ouch! Well, it's ticked off my list now and I probably won't do it again because, for me, it was too scary!
On the banana farm 

On the banana farm

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