Day 402 of Traveling the World, Cairns, Queensland, Australia. March 10, 2019.

It is pronounced CANS. It is spelled C-A-I-R-N-S. Whatever the spelling and pronunciation, it is beautiful and magical, as it is the jumping-off point for all the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. But, there was a lot of rain again today, so water sports were limited. Mike wanted to do some diving, but it was not to be with the rain and lightning. So our memories of several days of snorkeling in the Reef, many years ago, will have to suffice. And, it means we will have to return for a longer time and wait for a sunny day.

Cairns was created over a sea slug fishing camp when gold was discovered to the north in 1876. It is home to the world’s largest lava tubes, which are 190,000 years old. It is also home to the largest moth in Australia, the Hercules moth, which has a wingspan of 10 inches! Today, as you can see in the first photo, the city is home to lots and lots of boats, many available for charter to fish, snorkel, swim, and dive in the Great Barrier Reef. After snorkeling here, we told people that it was like the Australian Tourism Board dumped buckets of orange paint next to red next to blue next to green….the coral was truly that vibrant and colorful. We understand it has “grayed out” or bleached out in the years since, but it is slowly reviving.

The photos are from around the downtown and the port, both before and after two short, but heavy, rain storms. In the photo with the turtle sculpture, I thought she was kissing him. Mike was incredulous: “Can’t you see that she is biting him? The flesh is clearly being pulled!” Sigh. One thinks, love; the other thinks, attack. Quite funny.

All around the port were dock posts with aboriginal legends on them. We took a photo of the legend of Guyalla. We like it because of the idea that everything you do should not be easy. The last photo is fun, as usual. We saw a restaurant advertising “Bush Tucker” on its awning, meaning that it is a thing here, something everyone would know. We didn’t. We found out that it is bush food, native foods used by the aboriginal natives for sustenance. We leave it to you to drool over the menu items of kangaroo, crocodile, emu, barramundi. Are you hankering for some Aussie treats yet???