Wednesday 5th June 2013
Day 43 - Atherton to Lake Placid, Cairns, Qld - 88 kms.

It was a cool night and we slept well and awoke about 7:15am, which was great.
Today was another 'big' trip of 88kms, packing up between rain showers and left at 9:07am. The road was very hilly, especially coming from Kuranda down the mountain, we arrived at Lake Placid Tourist park at 10:41am. We setup camp with power, water and Marg's special room.

The tyres on our fiver are on the verge of being replaced, so I rang Cairns Pit Stop and they had 4 tyres in stock that I wanted, which were GT Radials Maxmiler EX 215/70R15C, SO I told Russell that I will there in 1.5 hours as I have to jack up the fiver and take the 4 wheels. I emptied out the tray of the mighty Navara and loaded the wheels in there, then I drove into Cairns, where Russell fitted the new tyres. I drove back to camp and put the wheels back on the fiver. I don't think that Lowndesy would be happy with my pit stop, but the end result was great, 4 new tyres on the fiver. I had a shower and sat outside with Marg and unwound by drinking a chilled refresher or two. Total cost of the new tyres were $772 (4 x $193), more than I wanted to pay, but I wasn't in a position to haggle over the price.
We also took photos of the 3 geodes that we bought yesterday at 'The Crystal Caves'.

Dinner was ham steaks and vegies. It was YUMMA.

Tomorrow the forecast is rain, so we don't want to pay $150 to ride the Skyrail in the rain, we hopefully will ride it on a sunny day, but the forecast is not favourable.

To save you going back a page, here are our 3 geoges that we 'cracked' at The Crystal Caves. They guarantee that you will get crystals inside, if not, they give you another geode to crack until you get one. These geodes come from Mexico.

Our route from Atherton to Lake Placid, Cairns, Qld - 88 kms.

Geode No: 1.

Geode No: 2.

Geode No: 3.

Thursday 6th June 2013
Day 44 - Chillin' in Cairns.

It was a warm night, I only had the doona cover on, no blankets and we slept well and awoke about 6:15am, and laid in bed watching Kochie.
Today as the weather is rainy, we are driving to Cairns Central so Marg can get more retail therapy. I hope to find a caravan accessories shop, so I can buy another external mirror, to replace the mirror that Eddie committed suicide on.
Bloody Emu.

We arrived at Cairns Central, as it was raining we parked under cover. It is a 2 storey building and we saw every shop and entered the majority as usual, the majority just happen to be women's clothing, I bought a DVD (Kath and Kim's Kimderella). We stopped at the food court for lunch, Marg had a noodle box, while I visited Subway. After leaving Cairns Central, we decided to visit the marina, so I could check out the boats, BAD MISTAKE, the Cairns Ironman is on this Sunday and all the marquees, etc just happen to be on The Esplanade at the Marina. I did notice a monstrous 'yacht' moored there and after my thorough investigation, it is Paul Allen's Superyacht 'Octopus' I want to get a photo of it but with the road closures for the Ironman, I think that I am stuffed. Bugger.
We eventually made our way back to camp, only to be confronted by road works about 2kms from camp, after a few minutes delay we arrived back at camp. The afternoon was spent watching TV episodes of Law and Order Criminal Intent. I also managed to order a mirror to replace Eddie's mirror, this one is being sent to our caravan park in Townsville. I notified the park and all is good, they will hold it when it comes.
Dinner was curry sausages with rice, absolutely YUMMA.

Tomorrow the forecast is still rain, so we will probably drive to Kuranda.

Friday 7th June 2013
Day 45 - The day I met Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft), well nearly....

Another warm night, no blankets and we slept well and awoke about 6:30am, and laid in bed watching Kochie.
Today's forecast is 27° with frequent showers, well we got them.
I dreamt about how can I photograph my new best friend's boat (Paul Allen's MY Octopus), so when I got up, I left Marg at camp, she didn't want come with me anyway, and drove to the Cairns marina. Yesterday, the marina was blocked with all the marquees and bike areas etc for Sunday's Ironman competition, so today I had plan B, which was to park at the wharf and walk a kilometer or so to the marina. I thought drive to the marina on the oft chance that I can get through, well the planets were all aligned, when I arrived there, there was no traffic and I also managed a parking spot, 2 spots from the yacht club. I was rapt. I bought my parking ticket and off I walked to the easterly end of the pier, where Paul's boat is moored, strangely, there are high security fences stopping everyone including me. As I walked out along the pier, I spoke to another guy who was walking out there with his camera, it was Shaun who is competing in Sunday's ironman, we chatted for 10 minutes as we admired the boat. He also took my photo with me and the boat.
As we walked back to the yacht club, we parted ways, with me wishing Shaun good luck for Sunday's race. I then walked to the western end of the marina, as I walked past some of the marina piers the security gates were open so I walked to the end of the piers to get better photos of Paul's boat.

Now technically, Paul and I were within 50 meters of meeting each other, he was on his boat and I was on the pier, so that is close enough for me.
Just a couple of facts: Paul is currently worth $15 Billion a tad wealthier than Marg and I, the MY Octopus was launched in 2003 at a cost of $200 million and is 413 feet long. My last yacht was launched in 1970 at a cost of $2,000 including trailler and was 20 foot long.
Paul's boat docked on 1st June, I checked all the local newspapers since then and nothing has been said about him or his boat. Question,why is he here? And does he say I will visit your dock, only if you don't give me any publicity. Who knows. Image this. You are walking along the marina and you come across a 416 foot long ship that just snuck into port. Shit, I wander who owns this?

After walking along all the piers that I could sneak onto, I finally drove back to camp, where I picked up Marg and we drove to Kuranda. It rained as we drove up the hill, but as there were roadworks everywhere, I didn't have to speed in the wet. We parked in the public carpark and walked up and down the main street and the side street where the original markets are. We had lunch at the pie shop, Marg had a steak pie, while I had a steak pie and a prawn and scallop pie, which was bloody YUMMA. We bought a piece of rose quartz, some hair clips, a toy for Mont (grand daughter) and of course, I had an ice cream (rum and raisin and choccy). We were there for a couple of hours, believe it or not, we were there 4 years ago and not much has changed. We left and stopped at the Henry Ross Lookout half way down the hill, with great views, even with rainclouds coming over.

Back at camp, Marg had a nanna nap, while I laid down beside her watching a Law & Order episode with headphones on, but I fell asleep. Shock,horror.
Ohh, I forgot to mention, that we also bought some fudge, which I have now finished the lot and feel shithouse, so dinner will be cereal, thats all I feel like, naturally, Marg is better controlled and only ate a small portion of hers. I will never learn, but it was YUMMA, while I ate it.

Tomorrow, we plan to visit the Smithfield shopping centre which is our closest shopping centre and maybe visiting the Barron Gorge to take photos.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Me and Paul.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Marg coming up the steps to the Kuranda markets.

Kuranda Markets.

Kuranda Markets.

Marg at the Kuranda Markets.

Kuranda Markets.

Kuranda Markets.

Marg at the Kuranda Markets.

Kuranda Markets.

Rum and Raisin and choccy ice cream - Bloody YUMMA.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Paul Allen's MY Octopus.

Cairns marina and yacht club.

South view from the Cairns marina. (notice the weather)

Cairns from Henry Ross Lookout. (notice the weather)

Saturday 8th June 2013
Day 46 - Another day of Chillin' in Cairns.

Another warm night, no blankets and we slept well and awoke about 6:15am, as it was the weekend, Sunrise doesn't start until 7am, so I put on my headphones and laid in bed and listened to the ABC - Far North Qld, while Marg had a sleep in.
Today's forecast is 27° with frequent showers and windy, again the bureau didn't lie. I hope the wind dies down for tomorrow, as the Ironman event has 2 laps of Cairns to Port Douglas and return, the return is into the wind approx 45kms twice, that will test them.
We eventually had brekky and headed off to the Smithfield shopping, before we did a couple of loads of washing. We deviated to Barron Gorge hydro plant to take a few photos, then headed over to the shopping centre. We walked a lap of the shops with Marg checking out some clothing shops, before doing some shopping at Woollies, then some beer shopping before having a coffee at DonutKing. On the way back to camp, we stopped and topped up with fuel and air.

The afternoon was spent packing up a few items (the 12v fridge and all our bags of rocks), just in case, it rains in the morning. I watched Tv, while Marg had a nanna nap, while the clouds rolled in. No rain yet, but with the wind blowing and the clouds moving quickly, it doesn't look flash.

Tomorrow, we drive to the Beachcomber Motel/Caravan park in Cardwell for 2 nights. A 191kms away.

Kooka our early morning alarm clock.

Lenny the Lace monitor, just wandered past us while we were outside.

Lake Placid Tourist Park - site 142.

Me at the Barron Gorge Hydro plant.

Marg at the Barron Gorge Hydro plant.

Looking up the Barron River.

Looking down the Barron River.

Their big rock catcher.

The path across the gorge to the Hydro plant.

The Oracle.

Lake Placid.

I can just see our site.

Marg at Lake Placid.

Sunday 9th June 2013
Day 47 - Cairns to Cardwell, Qld - 191 kms.

Well, that's it, we are now heading homeward.

A very warm, humid night, no blankets and we slept fair and awoke about 6:30am, as it was the weekend, Sunrise doesn't start until 7am, so I put on my headphones and laid in bed and listened to the ABC - Far North Qld, while Marg had a slept in till 7:30am.
Today's forecast is 24° with frequent showers and windy, again the bureau didn't lie. I feel for the triathletes competing today, the weather is crap. Luckily, I started packing up yesterday in the dry, as it was raining this morning, but I still managed to pack up outside between showers and without getting too wet. We said goodbye to John and Gail and I also thanked John for the use of his Sat Dish, as we were covered by a magnificent, big, leafy tree.

We left at 8:52am and headed into the misty rain squalls, which persisted the whole 191kms to Cardwell. We stopped at a rest area about 65kms from Cairns, the traffic was heavier than we had experienced since leaving Victoria. The Bruce Highway was Ok, with a few sections of roadworks but being Sunday no stop/start zones. We arrived at Cardwell at 11:34am, we check in and were given a drive thru site. It was still drizzly rain while I setup, but I still setup the power, water, Marg's room, and the Dish. It was very humid and after setting up, I had a beautiful shower with heaps of hot water pressure.

The rest of the arvo was spent watching TV and I also managed a nanna nap.
Dinner was nachos.

Tomorrow, there is nothing planned, so it may be a quiet day, depending upon the weather.

Our route from Cairns to Cardwell, Qld - 191 kms.

This weather stayed for most of the drive.

This weather stayed for most of the drive.

This weather stayed for most of the drive.

Our wet rig.

Site No.4

Site No.4

Monday 10th June 2013
Day 48 - Chillin' in Cardwell.

A warm, humid night, no blankets and we slept fair and awoke about 6:15am, and after Marg awoke shortly after me, we watched Sunrise.
Today's forecast is 25° with isolated showers and windy, again the bureau didn't lie, it nearly got to 25°. As we didn't plan to do anything, we didn't rush, so about mid morning, after we had brekky, we walked along the beach to the Cardwell jetty, probably about 1.5km each way. The council is still planting vegetation after Cyclone Yasi. I photographed a tree that was blown over and is still alive and covered in foliage. There are a couple of dwellings that are still being rebuilt, but the most of the houses that we saw after all back to normal. We watched the weatherman read the Cardwell weather station, he reads it at 6am, 9am and 3pm daily. After our walk, we drove to downtown Cardwell and to the 'new' Port Hinchinbrook estate, there are some nice houses there and then we drove back to town for a coffee. We parked in the main street overlooking Hinchinbrook Island, we sat out the front of the Bakery, Marg had a cream bun and lemonade, while I had a coffee and a cream bun. Marg also got the life story of the 'girl behind the counter', she lived in Victoria and her mum sent her to live with her granny in Cardwell. She appears very happy with her situation.
Back at camp for the arvo, I watched the movie "Identity Fraud", very funny while Marg had a nanna nap.

The weather is getting to us, it is humid, overcast with isolated showers. We want the sun again, but the forecast for the next week is much of the same.

Tomorrow we drive to Townsville for a 2 week stay.

This tree was nearly blown over by Cyclone Yasi.

but is still healthy with plenty of foliage.

The beach wasn't packed.

Marg on the Cardwell pier.

The rain clouds have been on the mountains since we were at Atherton.

The Cardwell weather station is located on the beach.

Marg out the front of the Cardwell bakery.

The rain clouds on Hinchinbrook Is.

The main street of Cardwell.

View from the pier looking West to North.

*2013 - Index page*

Heading to Townsville.