Today is the 22nd July, demonstrating it has taken me a full two months to document our short break in Cairns. I have been incredibly busy since returning, and am still so, even though we are in hard lockdown. Finally, (I hear readers breathing a sigh of relief), I have got the story to our final day – well half day actually – and this will be mostly a pictorial post. I’ve had to reduce them greatly, so please use your imagination to see the colours more vividly and the images more sharply.
First up, a few random crocodiles and a Melanesian carving I missed from the Wednesday post just to whet your appetite (or his):
Then a glimpse of the not-so-blue skies that greeted our morning:
Then we set off for Rusty’s Market which opens on a Friday morning. “From that point on, Rusty’s Market transforms into an event that goes far beyond the selling of fruit and vegetables. For three tumultuous days, stallholders and customers banter, barter, are entertained, and meet friends old and new.” (http://rustysmarkets.com.au)
Take a moment to hear directly from the grower stallholders:
The produce sure was fresh! And so healthy-looking. The markets are also home to flower sellers, specialty beauty products and creams, and clothing sellers. Here is a smattering of what we saw on our morning. Clicking on the gallery will open the photo to its full frame. Check out the crunchy asparagus beside the artichokes, and what about that cauliflower and broccoli!
Rusty’s was a few blocks west from our hotel, and after leaving there, we wandered back east for one last stroll along the waterfront. Bill used to be a volunteer lifesaver, so I got him to stand beside the lifeguard on duty sign for old times sake.
Bill was the first to spot a patrol boat from the Marine Unit of the Australian Border Force. Since 2013 the ABF and the Royal Australian Navy have ten of these Cape class large patrol boats. I have a relative who is a commander on one of them but not, as it happened, on this one on this day. His eldest daughter, in her early twenties, was successful in her application to the ABF and has also been posted to one of these. They don’t serve on the same vessel together, though 🙂
Here is an interesting video explaining what the ABF do in these northern waters, and it gives you an insight into where Cairns is and its proximity to other nations. The vessel featured is not in the same class as the above photo.
The last of the bonuses from our holiday package was a 12 midday checkout. We were all packed and ready to go before our morning exploration but had not officially checked out because we had some things in the refrigerator. Whoops! I was having too much fun wandering and we got back five minutes late to find our keycard already deactivated. We couldn’t even use the lift. Oh well, culpa mia. It got sorted, but what the receptionist did not say spoke volumes 🙂
Luckily we got this break in when we did as all of Greater Sydney (which includes us ninety minutes south) has been in lockdown since 26 June, and although it’s supposed to ease on 30 July I am convinced that won’t happen. This Delta virus is proving hard to contain. From first detection on 16 June until yesterday 21 July, NSW has around 1500 positive cases and five deaths, and although those numbers pale in comparison to other countries, I think we all understand the exponential multiplier effect. Testing is running at around 80,000 a day, so asymptomatic cases are being detected. Unfortunately, a high percentage of those people, unwittingly, have been out and about on one of the allowed activities such as essential work, supermarket shopping or medical visits. And so it goes on. Of course, “If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases…. It’s common sense.” (Donald Trump tweet early May 2020). So maybe that is the way to get our case numbers down to zero and be allowed to open up again?
Whatever, I guess we won’t be seeing this view of the Qantas tail from a plane any time soon.