With Great Barrier Reef excitement, I wake up about twenty minutes later than planned. Fortunately, love her but Gloria is not working this morning so a speedy exit is made from Caravella.
“No worries, mate” within the hour I am headed south on Highway 1 to Yungaburra. Exiting at Highway 52, I spot my favorite fruit dangling from huge trees along the roadside. My mind starts racing with the possibilities.
The landscape shows signs of new life as evidence remains from a recent forest fire.
Yungaburra approaches and at the local grocery store I purchase a “Coke & Pie” special (AU$5).
Returning to Yungaburra there is a ”Platypus” viewing platform but it is the wrong time of the day for a possible sighting. However, not far from there guaranteed sightings of Curtain Fig Tree are assured.
This is my minor introduction to the rain forest.
There is a brief walking trail nearby that offers another opportunity to explore the local rain forest.
“That’s right four stomachs”, I am told that cows have by “Bouncer”, a cute kangaroo spokesman for the Australian Dairy Board. He continues, “Do you know all the wonderful things that are made from milk?”
An informative video narrated by you guess who, gives a good and sometimes comical presentation of Australia's dairy life.
I am dairy dairy enlighten!
The water is a bit cold but the air is warm and I am not shaking as I exit.
From a platform above “The Crater”, it takes a tree branch about ten seconds to crack the green duck weed surface of the water below.
What mysteries it holds may be only known by Jimmy and a few of his mates.
Having escape the fate of one Mr. Jimmy Hoffa, I am on the road again. Through Wongabel State Forest I am headed towards Atherton.
They are sorely in need of a better marketing agency.
At 80kmh, a glimpse of white headstones catches my eyes and I do a quick u-turn.
A visitor's log is available in which I record my thoughts as others have before me.
In Atherton, I get a sense of small town mid-west America complimented by a Super IGA. For me, grocery stores are a must stop because there I get the flavor and a sense of the local community.
Today, I am in for two surprises with one of them being potentially dangerous. The deli offers an apple crusted (I think) enchilada for only AU$3.
A tooth-pick tasting is delicious and I have to remind myself that I am not in East LA ( Home of Best Mexican Food On The Planet).
Although these are meant to be taken home and cooked, I am given one from the sampling table hot and ready.
A little “Aussie” hospitality.
OMG, Beside PEANUT, Whittaker also makes an ALMOND and COCONUT SLAB!
This requires a secret emergency maneuver but I am having a sinking feeling that being “Down Under” much longer, I might become an illegal immigrant or have to leave as freight.
Filled and refreshed, I continue my road tour for a peek of “The Outback” hoping to spot a kangaroo or some other Australian wildlife. Along the road there are unfortunate sightings of wildlife that have not met a kind fate.
Taking a side road a small group is found in a mango grove less aware of an intruder. Rounding a curve, I finally capture a wallaby up close but only in my headlights.
With night falling, I am again along the edges of the rain forest and take the sounds of it to my dreams.