8 February 2014
Well it is pronounced Cannes, just like the town on the French Rivera, but the spelling is completely different. I guess they just want to be different here in the land down under.
Our original plan, since it was just over a 120km to Cairns was to drive thru the Tablelands. However once we got on the main highway the rain was coming down so hard we could barely see out the windshield we decided taking a detour might mean we couldn’t get into Cairns if the roads started to flood. We had already heard that the roads south of Mission Beach were closed in sections due to the rain, so we knew we were already tempting fate just getting on the road. Plus when you couldn’t see out the window a hike to the waterfalls would not be too enjoyable nor could we see any of the scenic rolling foothills of the Tablelands. As we did get close to the Tablelands the rain had let up a bit so you could see some of the rolling foothills but moments later the downpour began. As we continued along the highway we could see side roads were completely under water, so we were happy we decided not to take the long way around.
Once we arrived in Cairns we made our way to Rusty’s market which was kind of a permanent farmers market with a bunch of food vendors for lunch and enjoyed an hour or so of no rain with some good Vietnamese food!
We then made our way to the hotel and no more than one minute after getting into the car did another torrential downpour begin.
Our room wasn’t ready yet so to kill some time we made our way out to the Barron Gorge to see where the water from the tablelands made its way down towards the coast. There were waterfalls on the road to the power plant at the end of the road that were quite spectacular and made us feel better about skipping the waterfall loop at the Tablelands. But when we made it out to see the very large waterfall dropping down amidst a downpour it was a beautiful site. Without umbrella’s we didn’t stay out too long so after a quick look we made our way back to the car park to take shelter under the cover of by some picnic tables to dry off a bit and take in some of the smaller falls without getting soaked. On our drive back we noticed that in the rivers that were slowly flooding out onto open fields, locals with blow up pool loungers were just floating down the street.
We then made it back to the hotel to do laundry and pack up as in the morning we are off to Bali. And in a very unusual way neither one of us is really nervous/anxious about traveling to another country. I guess we are starting to get into a traveling groove. But it does feel like this will be the start of more challenging travel as we are leaving an English speaking country and it will be quite some time before we return English speaking countries. Hopefully I don’t have to figure out how to turn on hot water in showers with and sort of additional instruction outside of on or off.
Today’s Travel: Mission Beach to Cairns
Accommodations: Palm Royale Cove. Nothing to write home about here; for the price and what it was it should have been much cheaper so I would say we got ripped off in this tourist town. Oh, well it was just one night and tomorrow we will be in Bali!!