Mission Beach

Paronella Castle

Mena Creek Falls

Paronella Park

Nadoc March

Indonesian Dancers

Indonesian Wedding couple

Kouri Avenue

Cape Tribulation

5th July, 2013

A quiet day today. Rob went fishing for the whole day and caught absolutely nothing. He got 50% of his book read though.

6th July, 2013

Overcast and drizzling rain this morning.

Rob took me to the café here in the park for breakfast. Won’t need anything else till tea time tonight that’s for sure.

Bacon, eggs, sausage, hash brown, tomato, baked beans, toast and hot chocolate. All fat free and calorie free I can’t guarantee it………..LOL

After breakfast and the washing hanging under the awning we decided to go for a drive, weather notwithstanding.

Took the tourist route to Mission Beach.

We were so very lucky that there was a Cassowary crossing the road just on the outskirts of the town and he was quite obliging and let me take a picture, although very quickly done.

Carried on into the town and parked, as we do, and went for a walk up one side of the street and back down the other.

There are two caravan parks, one on each side of the road, and while they look quite nice there really isn’t all that much room to move and from the brochure the cost per night is a bit up there as well.

Mission Beach is more for the younger, back packer type of clientele as there are many bars offering live entertainment and sidewalk cafes.

The beach is quite nice although I didn’t venture too far off the beaten track even though I had covered myself with anti pest stuff.

Nice to go and have a look but I don’t think it is somewhere that I would want to spend a whole heap of time.

Did the circular route back to the van and a quiet afternoon.

10TH July, 2013.

No I haven’t lost a few days; they were just quiet days and quiet nights.

After dinner at the tavern last night we got away from Tully around 8.30am and headed for a place called Paronella Park.

Paronella Park was initially built by Jose Paronella, a Spaniard in 1929. He had a vision to create a castle in the rainforest and by the time he had primarily finished he had planted more than 7000 trees including an avenue of Kauris.

He had also built and installed North Queensland’s first hydro-electric plant in 1933 on the banks of the Mena creek and adjacent waterfall to power the 13 acre park including the castle and associated buildings.

In 1946 a log jam from further up the river came loose and flooded the park and swept away the railway bridge.

The Paronella family then proceeded to replant the gardens and repair what they could and re-opened to the public 6 months later.

Jose passed away in 1948 and the family keep the park going till 1992 when Mark and Judy Evans, the current owners rediscovered the almost lost park and set about restoring the 13 acres to be as close to Jose’s dream as they could make it.

In 1979 a fire swept through the Castle, leaving only the walls and the Turret as a reminder of what had been.

In 2006 Cyclone Larry did a massive amount of damage but the Evans’s kept on going.

In 2011 Cyclone Yasi swept through and ruined most of the work that they had done but they were able to salvage and repair some of the structures and continue on to this day.

If you should ever want to go to the park and stay overnight, BOOK YOU POSSY. They have quite a few cabins and about 14 camp sites but are booked out most nights and well in advance.

Our site, as most of them are, was very tight to get into and out of but we managed.

When it came time to leave the next morning we were able to exit without too many problems but Greg and Caz had to wait till the people in the next van woke up and moved their car.

11th July, 2013.

We had booked into Lake Placid Van Park about 10 days ago and a good thing too. Cairns at this time of the year is full to overflowing and camp sites are at a premium and you pay accordingly.

Our site is on a corner in behind a tree and there is no way we could have got the van onto the site by ourselves. They have a little tractor that runs around putting vans into the most narrow and difficult access sites and we unhooked out on the road and they manoeuvred us onto the site with ease.

Greg and Caz were put onto the site in front of us and when it comes time to leave the tractor will come back and move us out.

The park is quite large and just about every conceivable inch is taken up by vans with JUST enough room between each.

12th July, 2013.

We went into Cairns today to have a look around and came across a parade in recognition of Nadoc Week which terminated in the park along Esplanade with many stalls and corroborees.

We had a walk along the foreshore and through the Rusty Markets where they sell some lovely fresh fruit and vegies and then took a walk to Cairns Central Shopping Centre where we met up with Murray Truswell, my nephew at his Gloria Jean’s Coffee shop.

It was so lovely to see Murray again after almost 5 years and he hasn’t changed a bit, still the most handsome young man and he gives the absolute best cuddles. Hopefully it won’t’ be so long between visits next time.

Back to the van and a few quiet hours till dinner at the camp kitchen where it is an East meets West event.

The ladies from the Indonesian Association of Australia entertained with a fashion parade and dancing from various regions of Indonesia followed by Indonesian food. All funds raised benefit the Association.

They held raffles and we won the last prize……………..drum roll…………………….A ROLE OF TOILET PAPER. LOL.

13th July, 2013.

Never thought to spend time in Cairns Base Hospital again on this trip but as it turned out we spent a good part of the day there.

No, not for me this time, Rob has had a bad leg for nearly a week now and progressively getting worse so I didn’t give him any option.

Again, as with me, we can’t fault the hospital, in the door, paper work done, x-rays taken all in double quick time.

As it turns out he has what they term a “compartmentalized nerve” which makes walking very painful. The Physio strapped his foot and ankle and now sports a lovely white stocking (maybe he might take up bowls now LOL) and gets around with the aid of a pair of crutches.

14th July, 2013.

We had made plans to go to Cape Tribulation today and Rob wasn’t going to let being on crutches change our plans.

Our first port of call was Port Douglass.

The resorts and the hotels up here are quite palatial with large white colonnades out the front and beautiful gardens full of tropical plants of many different colours and of course ferns everywhere. Must cost a fortune to stay in some of them.

The markets on the foreshore were quite large and full of some very beautiful crafts such as copper pictures and mirrors, some tie dyed clothing, which of course I couldn’t resist, and locally painted coasters and place mats.

We both agreed that this is what “markets” should be like. There wasn’t a food stall in site apart from sugar cane or pineapple juice stalls.

After a walk around the markets we went up into the main street for a wander around and had a lovely breakfast, which will last us all day I would think.

Port Douglass is a nice little town, very easy to get around on foot and all that you could want in the way of shopping, both for retail therapy and necessities.

After leaving Port Douglass we had a lovely drive up through the Daintree National Park with all the ferns and vines covering the tree tops and creek crossings with crystal clear water. Of course the “crocodile warning signs” are everywhere.

The road winds around right beside the ocean. We have noticed up this way that the beaches are nothing at all like we have down home. They have a lot of rocks and pebbles and the water is neither the brilliant blue that we get at Mollymook, nor the sand as clean and white.

Today being Sunday, it lived up to its name with the “Sunday Drivers”. OK, we weren’t in a rush, but by gee some people don’t seem to know where the accelerator pedal is. Some people were in a rush however and by these others driving sooooo slowly a couple of times could have had a very different outcome and caused a lot of damage. We did see one “roll over” on the way up. It didn’t look like anyone way hurt in a major way thankfully.

We eventually got to Cape Tribulation which is more or less the farthest point North you can go on the tar road to the North. After this it is on to Cooktown on the dirt.

I covered myself with as much anti-bite stuff as I could put on and went down onto the beach. I was not going all that way just to sit in the car.

It is a nice little bay and probably has more sand than most of the beaches we have come across up here in the North.

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