Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Australia - Barron Falls, Port Douglas


Picture 229 I am awaken not by a free rooster but by the surround sound of birds in the trees of the rain forest. Nature's alarm clock rewards me with an Australian sunrise.



The sun makes its gradual ascent over distant hills and lifts the fog from the valleys below as the day begins.

It is early enough for me to make a stop at Barron Falls before continuing to Cairns for another attempt at visiting The Great Barrier Reef.


Tangled Vines The path to Barron Falls again takes you under the canopy of the rain forest where the rising sun provides only a glimmer of light. There are hundreds if not thousands of vines and trees extending to the heavens in search of this light leaving a comfortable shade behind.





Cool Nut I discover a cool nut like myself along the path and realize I might not be crazy after all.






Barron Falls Stream



Barron RiverAn important part of Aboriginal history, Barron Falls is awesomely beautiful and peaceful.





Barron Falls It makes a steep and graceful descent along a landscape littered with rocks and huge boulders. It occasional pools in certain areas before continuing its settling journey down stream.


Again, no luck today as “Compass” will not be sailing this week. At the Reef Fleet Terminal other options are available but out of the price range I am willing to pay.

These are mostly 8:30 – 5pm trips to mid reef or the outer banks ranging from AU$168 – 200's on fancy boats that seem more catered to divers than snorkelers.


minnow I am looking for the SS Minnow.






Brochures in town offer prearranged booking for about AU$100 for snorkelers without all the whistles and bells.

There's even a half-day trip from Cape Tribulation that sounds interesting.


Map picture


Beach 56km North of Cairns along  Captain Cook Hwy is Port Douglas.




Considered Australia's most “scenic coastline drive” there is not much to argue except I am again taunted by dangling fruit.

Stopping take in a view at a popular scenic spot, I get an understanding from a posted sign why there are so few deaths of Australians at cross walks.


Look Right  Apparently, they just pick up the cars while crossing  the street.



DSCN0268 56Km is a short in distance but not in time when there is so much beautiful scenery to enjoy. Cliffs and The Great Dividing Range on my left, beaches and scenic vistas on my right with a few curves to mix it up.



DSCN0272 A stop at a “Bottle Shop” aka “Liquor Store” and couple of local beers are purchased for an open eye unscientific taste test.









At Port Douglas Lookout I find out I am about 15184km away from home give or take a few kilometers. This seems as good a place as any for a test taste.

The weather is a beer thirsty 25C give or take a few C's as a coastal breeze gently sweeps the condensation on the competitors.  A deafening silence as caps are twisted and the competition begins.


DSCN0272 VB Bitters tops the competition and claims a solid victory over XXXX Gold.





gilligan Like “The Skipper” and Gilligan, Fosters is no where to be found.






DSCN0277 Finding a nice beach, I hang around for a while before continuing on to Cape Tribulation.






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