Posts Tagged ‘Cairns Northern Beaches’

Yorkeys Knob, Lake Placid, and Yungaburra Markets

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

It’s Thursday afternoon, and I’m only just getting around to writing about last weekend… which may give you some idea of just how insane this week has been at Cairns Unlimited. Maria and I have been absolutley bombarded this week, with the busiest week ever for our Digital Underwater Camera Rentals, more Car Rental enquiries than ever, and a veritable flood of Spanish readers contacting Maria for informacion en espanol sobre tours en Australia .

Last Friday we had to revisit Yorkeys Knob to collect something from the post office, so we decided to make a morning out of it. We wandered the full length of Yorkeys Knob beach, from the rivermouth mangroves at the southern end to the rugged rock wall at the northern end, where we used to see dolphins. No dolphins this time unfortunately, but it does remind me that at least one of the reef trip companies have begun to run dedicated whale watching tours in Cairns. I’ve been whale watching before, both in southern Queensland and in Canada, but Maria never has… so watch this space….

 

On the way home, neither of us were in a hurry to get back to the office, so we took the turnoff to Lake Placid, just north of Cairns. It was a cool and relaxing place to stop and take a breath, and I could have sat there all day if we didn’t have so much work to be done.

Then on Saturday, we hit the Atherton Tablelands to check out the famous Yungaburra Markets. Two years we’ve been living in Cairns, and every month we vow to visit these markets, but for some reason every month we miss them. Well, not this time… although we did run out of fuel on the way home that afternoon… luckily at the bottom (this side) of the Kuranda Range!

  

Exploring the area around Cairns

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Yesterday, Sunday, the day of the Lord, the sun woke us up very early (well, and a couple of our clients who were waiting for the bus to take them to Cape Tribulation on a tour) and since the sky was blue, the shine shining and the birds singing (another reason why we were up early), we decided to take the day off and go to explore the area north of Cairns.

First stop was Ellis Beach, one of the Cairns Northern Beaches and probably the least known of them all. We love the place and, actually, we’re not too unhappy if it remains still a bit of a secret. We stopped there to have breakky before we went on with our trip. The café just opposite the beach, there’s only one, so chances are you won’t miss it, still have more than affordable prices and breakfast is very good, with a bit for everyone. I discovered raisin bread at my Aussie Mum’s place at Christmas and loved it. Every time I have the chance, I order raisin toasts and that’s what I had yesterday. Three big fat slices of raisin toasts. And a vanilla thickshake that Steve and myself had to share, it was huge.

Our next destination of the day was Port Douglas. Being a Sunday morning, the city was a bit quiet and not many tourists could be seen in the streets. We soon found out why, everyone was at the Port Douglas markets that are held just by the sea. As I told Steve, what a beautiful place to have a market, overlooking the Coral Sea and listening to the sound of the waves. There was a good array of stalls, from second hand bric and brac, to arts and crafts (we fell in love with a mirror frame made out of irregular pieces of wood, although a bit too pricey for us). But what I found most interesting of all were faces carved on coconut shells. We didn’t think of taking a photo of the faces and I now regret them because my explanations won’t describe the faces as well. They were absolutely hilarious, with big eyes, thick red lips and funny hair. We bought a fruit called mangostin, originally from Asia, purple on the outside and white on the inside. We tried and the flavour is very delicate. It reminded me of some other fruit I had tried but still cannot think of the name. Steve is the one who wanted to buy them, see if he eats them or I end up eating them (he loves buying fruit although he seldom eats any). Mangostins are one of the many delicious tropical fruits locals love to make wines out of.

We also met Charlie, a dedicated biker, who runs Harley Davidson tours of the region. He will take you wherever you want to go on this gorgeous bike. He was so sweet as to let me sit on the bike to have a photo taken. The problem was that I then didn’t want to get off the bike. What a beauty! Being as unlucky as we usually are, just as I sat on the bike and Steve was going to take a photo, our batteries run out. So we ran to the nearest shop to buy new batteries cause there was no way I was going to leave Port Douglas without a photo of this baby.

After Port Douglas we went to Mossman Gorge, where we enjoyed a very refreshing swim. The water was freezing, but we still were brave enough to have a dip, while everyone else stared at us. I guess that there is a good side to all this rain we have had in the last few weeks and it’s that creeks, gorges, falls, etc are full to the brim, offering a fabulous sight. We have never seen Mossman Gorge carrying so much water. And the rainforest around Mossman Gorge is fabulous as well, so green and tall and lush. Here you have two photos of Mossman Gorge, one of them the waterhole where swimming is safe (no stingers or crocs here, although you still have to be careful with the currents) and the other one of the gorge, where it is not advisable to swim, I guess there is no need for me to explain why.

After Mossman Gorge we visited beautiful Newell Beach, just a few kilometres north. Newell Beach is a little beachfront comunity, with basically just a street facing the beach. The beach at Newell is beautiful. It is still hard for me to understand how, when some of the beaches Australia boasts are absolutely magnificent, most of them are still completely deserted. I guess I compare them with the ones that we have in mainland Spain, which are covered by the bodies of two thirds of the Spanish population. Steve loves day dreaming, buying run down properties and remodelling them, but all in his head. Yesterday he really enjoyed this pastime, driving me around to have a look at some of the houses, talking about what could be done with this property, bla bla bla. He even became rich in his dreams… But I must agree Newell Beach was beautiful, and very tropical, as you can see in the picture.

After Newell Beach came Wonga Beach and Oak Beach, but by that time we were feeling a bit tired and wanted to get home as soon as possible, so we only stopped for a couple of minutes and kept on driving. We didn’t even take photos, I guess we will have to go back some other time, hopefully very soon, my friend…

And here you have Steve’s favourite pic of the day, the car, my car, driving through some serious flood on the road to Mossman Gorge. And the photo next to it is dedicated to all my ex co workers back in Madrid. Guys, can you believe I drive this car????????

Celebrating my birthday

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Last night we decided it was time to celebrate my birthday, 35 years in this world. Although my birthday was last December 28th, we weren’t in a mood for any celebrations as it was the day our car broke down. By the way, the car is still in the garage and it seems Steve will get to keep both his kidneys. For the time being, at least.

On December 28 we celebrate a day similar to the Anglosaxon “Fools Day”, when you are allowed to play jokes on your friends and family and nobody can get annoyed. Even on the news there is a piece of news that it’s not true. But the tv presenters always manage to keep their faces straight, so it’s up to the spectators to find out. So when my mother told my dad, 35 years ago, that she was starting to have contractions, he thought she was playing a joke on him. Maybe that’s why I was born on the way to the delivery room.

Well, and since we were withouth a car, we couldn’t go too far from home. Lucky we chose YORKEYS KNOB to live as it has a fantastic restaurant in the Boat Club, Driftaways, within walking distance of where we live. But best of all, the Boat Club offers a complimentary pick up service. Isn’t it good Aussie service? Just to try how good the sevice was, not because we’re lazy, we made use of the complimentary pick up, and it has out two thumbs up.

We had booked a table for 7.30pm (I’m sure all the Spaniards will be thinking 7.30pm is the time when we have a mid afternoon snack. I know guys, things happen much earlier on this side of the world). But we got there still with enough time to enjoy a couple of drinks, and sure we did after a very hard day’s work. The Boat Club is located in the marina and has magnificent views of the mountains in the distance and all the boats anchored there. We talked to a few people before sitting down for our meal. Talking to people is a national sport, everyone talks to everyone. And I love it, it’s something Spanish people do as well as it makes me feel at home.

Our meal was delicious, thanks Mum Elma (to diferentiate her from Mum Manuela, in Madrid), for the present. We had a great time getting away from the computers and having some time for ourselves. And of course, I enjoyed not having to cook.

But just to keep on boasting about how friendly Aussies are, when it was time to come back home after our dinner, we were waiting for the complimentary bus service to take us back home. The lady at the reception, who we hadn’t met before, said that we would have to wait for another 10 minutes and, since she was leaving, offered to give us a lift. Again, our four thumbs up.