Cairns, Queensland day 7 Fri 21 May 2021

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.” (

Take a moment to hear directly from the grower stallholders:

Meet our Stallholders @ Rusty’s Markets – YouTube

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.

Channel 7 – Australian Border Force patrolling the northern maritime boundary – Bing video

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.

27 thoughts on “Cairns, Queensland day 7 Fri 21 May 2021

  1. Wow! I am totally besotted by the market place. We have markets here, but nothing like this! Makes me think I’m living on the wrong piece of earth. Thanks for putting all this together. It speaks volumes about the culture and beauty (even in the midst of Covid and floods) that can thrive in communities and cities that care for their inhabitants. If I were still living in the South, or even on the West Coast, I might have access to markets like this–though I can’t vouch for them being there today–given all the turmoil and infighting that seems to have become the new norm. Trump’s ‘logic’ is stunning. Maybe without him in office for four years, we would have done better with this horrible pandemic. Well….Thank you again for sharing your view of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was totally besotted with the markets too, Elouise. It was a hard job to choose which photographs to feature.
      Trump’s logic is perhaps an oxymoron, but we also seem to be plagued with moronic world leaders in this last ten or more years. Perhaps it was always so, but now with the instant news cycle we are more aware.
      I’ve been having an ongoing blogging conversation with Agnes Ashe in the UK, on the subject of how their private elite boarding school system is turning out politicians who have no understanding of the “real” world. She has suggested several books on the topic to me.
      And as for us, we go to federal election May 21st…we live in interesting times.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Delta Variant is running wild here. Of course we have so many people who flat out refuse to get the vaccine. Then when they do get Covid they regret it or beg for it. To late then. I worry so bad about some of my family who refuse. But all we can do is tell them and keep ourselves safe. We are vaccinated and still wear a mask when shopping.
    Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our vaccine rollout is late and slow. My husband has had his two, I am still six weeks away from my second. There is any amount of controversy about which to have. The government has accidentally discredited AstraZeneca for certain age groups, and of course, that’s the one we have plenty of. Now people want the Pfizer, which the government did not negotiate enough contract for. The upshot is that many of my family are also hesitant. It will be interesting to see what happens as these case numbers continue to climb. Apparently scientists around the world are watching us as some kind of experiment. Sheesh!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hate that so many are refusing. I’ve done everything including begging my oldest granddaughter to get the vaccine. She has a baby. A beautiful almost 6 month old baby boy. Her husband does not believe in any of the vaccine or possibly the Covid things. I do. I have no doubt whatsoever. I’ve lost friends and family to it. It’s had me so upset. I think I am getting through to my granddaughter somewhat. If I have to keep on I will. I want my daughter to get my youngest granddaughter vaccinated also. My daughter did so she should her daughter. I know if anything happened to that child it would kill my baby. They are both my daughter’s children. The older one can get it. The younger one has to have a parent. My SIL refuses. They all have had this thing. But not this last one. This Delta is BAD here. I don’t want them to look back and say “why didn’t we get her vaccinated.” I wish they would just do it. I do trust our scientist though. I really do. I believe most of them care. That ex president moron we had I never trusted. Never!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I feel your anxiety poring through the page, and empathise with you. The situation in the States has been crazy. I think it’s one of the reasons we got off to a slow start, some kind of latent feeling that there were other countries in more dire need of the initially scant availability of vaccine. But there are some “interesting” conspiracy theories around, and I guess you had (have) such a groundswell of people needing to believe that Trump was the answer to the erosion of their living standards, that they were prepared to be influenced by him.
          It’s curious that with the world in such crisis, this is the time when the heads of government are lacking in leadership and emotional intelligence. Not only Trump, there’s Bolsinaro and Boris Johnson, for example, and over here we have Scotty from Marketing. All slogans and no fact. He’s just confusing matters, even when he supposedly quotes the scientists.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I noticed your new profile pic and thought the short, snappy and very stylish hairstyle definitely suits you. Weren’t you and Bill lucky managing to fit in a trip before the Delta lockdown. It is a strange ol’ virus. My brother-in-law’s, centenarian mother (double jabbed) yet caught the Beta version has AMAZINGLY recovered and the Johannesburg hospital are most likely discharging her today. On the other hand, my daughter’s housemate, a very fit and healthy 30 year old chap (gardener and bicycle courier in London) caught the Delta variant and was quite ill although not hospitalised and now three weeks later he still can’t manage a 20 minute walk without being breathless and exhausted. He is worried because if this does turn out to be Long Covid he won’t be able to carry on with such physical work. And yet, our ‘caring’ Westminster-based government have basically decided to let it rip through the country. It is quite an indictment of a society where the leaders are comfortable making the calculation that the old, weak, longterm ill and plain unlucky can simply be written off for the economic good of everybody else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been meaning to put that profile pic up for ages but didn’t spare the time until now. It is nice, isn’t it? Again due to my clever hairdresser. I was due for a cut when we went into lockdown, so for now, I’ve got Bill to give me a #4 clipper cut. My hair grows so fast, there’ll be plenty for the hairdresser to work with when we re-open, LOL.
      Now, the serious stuff. It seems incredible that a buffoon-like person such as Boris Johnson should be in charge at such a critical time. And here, through bushfire, floods and pandemic, we have Scotty from Marketing. High on slogans, short attention span. I worked with many like him in my career.
      My thoughts are with your family and their friends. Scary times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I think that style really suits you. I am sure Bill is a dab hand with the clippers to keep it looking good.
        Actually, I have mentioned you and your comments re Covid to several friends and they are impressed with Australia’s low numbers, but surprised by the slow vaccination rate. I think Johnson has been dragged kicking and screaming to take any sensible, science-based actions maybe Morrison is cut from the same cloth. They are both big on style (photo ops etc) and decidedly lacking in content.
        Here’s a gem. My daughter only knows two people who went clubbing on Monday night (so called Freedom Day here) when the night clubs reopened for the first time. And, one of them, double jabbed, started feeling ill this morning and has just tested positive. Who’d have thought!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Interestingly our NSW Health Minister mentioned this morning that double-jab doesn’t necessarily stop you getting or transmitting the virus, but reduces the chance of severe illness.
          I mentioned to one of the other bloggers that I think the worldwide pandemic severity was one of the reasons we got off to a slow vaccination start, some kind of latent feeling that there were other countries in more dire need of the initially scant availability of vaccine. Also difficulty securing doses, the EU would not allow us to be supplied at one stage, and too much reliance on the locally made Astra Zeneca. Now emerging studies show there is a rare risk of death from blood clotting from AZ in younger age groups, and while the detail of the health advice apparently referred to making a considered decision weighing up risk v benefit, dear old Scotty mouthed off about the headline only, and now we have thousands who won’t take AZ and want Pfizer which we have little of. Negotiating supply is a Federal issue, getting it into people’s arms is a State issue, and now, because of the Federal lack of planning, we have the States squabbling over sharing their toys (ie Pfizer). I can understand the other states not wanting to gift NSW their allocation. The transmission is getting away from us here in NSW, and from other states point of view, they may be thinking the horse has bolted, and the best thing they can do to protect their population from more breakouts across the border, is to get their healthy people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
          But that will get distorted in the news cycle, and we’ll all be blaming the other States for not coming to NSW’s rescue, when the Feds should never have put us in this position in the first place.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh my goodness that all sounds as bad as some of the major mismanagement here. I had no idea that there was such a split between Federal and State responsibilities especially when an infectious disease certainly doesn’t recognise boundaries. I was only saying to my daughter at the weekend that with all the incredible strides in science and medicine in the past 150 years, you’d think that we’d have globally managed this crisis a lot better. It is disappointing to see that yet again it will not be humans’ finest hour.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. So pleased you managed to slot in this trip up to Cairns when you did. I’ve enjoyed reading about how you spent your days. We’re enjoying a heatwave here which is very welcome. I don’t know why everyone moans in this country that it’s either too hot or too cold. We’re off to London for the weekend to celebrate our younger son’s birthday and taking him out for dinner this evening as his birthday is today. Hope you both have as good a weekend as possible in lockdown. Marion

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was in England once when it was in the low 30s and found it a bit much in the shops. But then, I hadn’t packed the right clothes. So unexpected.
      Do enjoy your time away. Freedom Day! Whoohoo.
      Here, I’m losing track of which day is which, except every evening is Happy Hour instead of the usual Friday. Just can’t share it with the neighbours. Although two of them did get together for a drink recently – over the phone, LOL!
      I’m so pleased you enjoyed the Cairns adventure. Queensland closes its borders to NSW at 1am tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Super market! I’ve seen a few in my travels too. Mauritius & Fiji are the two that I remember took my fancy. So pleased you had this break Gwen – it’ll be a while before you do it again!


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