Cairns provides easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest and offers a multitude of activities such as helicopter flights, scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, parasailing, viewing aquatic life and crocodile feeding. On occasions tourists are used for that last point, but disregarding that, usually it is the first place backpackers think of when planning their tour down under. And it is also a favourite destination for Japanese tourists. Our package includes two day trips, and in the days leading up to our departure I was contacted by a “tour guide” to book up more. Even though it has been at least twenty years since we were last here, we decided against any further commitment beforehand.
So on this, our first morning, we had a lazy start. I sat up in bed and finished Ursula’s Story before we wandered off for a late breakfast at the waterfront. We chose the Blue Marlin Bistro, one of the restaurants in our discount voucher book and it sure was busy! We were kept amused as various missing items came to our table as they became available from the dishwasher. At first there were no water jugs, and then no glasses, and finally no cutlery. But we got there in the end and my Eggs Benedict was very tasty, and Bill enjoyed his scrambled eggs with spinach and smoked salmon.
Then we wandered around to The Lagoon, the saltwater pool we’d seen the previous evening. Bill enjoyed a couple of dips, and I managed to walk in part way, but I am not much of a water babe. It has to be very hot for me to brave the cool water, and even though we are in the tropics, it is “winter” so mid-20s Celsius does not crest my bar. One year, though, when we were in Hawaii, I just about lived in their bath-temperature water. I returned home many shades darker.
It was pleasant stretched out in the sun, and before I knew it, I was dozing off. After over an hour of that, we thought it prudent not to expect too much of our sunscreen, so we meandered back to the hotel. Here we collected towels from reception and headed for the hotel swimming pool, where Bill went for another swim and pronounced it too cold for me, but by the time he had revved up the spa, I had drifted off to sleep again! Everything was fine and dandy until a stiff southerly breeze whipped up, so it was back to the room and a proper afternoon nap on the bed. I have no idea what got into me, but I am a firm believer in following your body’s cues. Even though I am “retired”, at home I am always busy with one thing or another, so I guess it was simply a reaction to that. I refuse to admit I may have been bored. I could have written a blog post if that was the case.
Suitably refreshed, and having burnt no calories for the day, we then headed off for a “two-course dinner with welcome drink” that was also included in our holiday package. This was at the Ochre Restaurant, one of the string of restaurants lining the harbour foreshore. My mango daiquiri was served frozen, so that occupied me drinkwise for the entire meal. Of a choice between beef carpaccio and coconut prawns with kimchi side, we both chose the latter. For mains, Bill had prosciutto wrapped chicken breast and I tried the beef cheek in coconut red curry sauce. All very nice, but the a la carte menu also looked appealing.
Back at the hotel, we used another of the complementary beverage vouchers for a nightcap, Bill a red wine, and I – since we are almost at its home base – a Bundaberg dark rum with a dash of cola.
And that folks, was the end of one of the laziest days I can remember in a long time.