Today, I dropped my good watch 15 metres to the bottom of a coral reef and almost cried. These two things happened at different times... I did not almost cry over the watch, although it was traumatic as I particularly liked it, and it wasn't exactly cheap (although not hugely expensive either). However, the good news was that having reported the loss to one of the crew on the platform, and having pointed out the exact location of the fall, one of the divers managed to locate it in the sand, and so it is back on my wrist, tick-ticking away and making me particularly happy.
We're staying at a B&B in Port Douglas which is about an hour's drive north of Cairns. However, it took us three hours to get there, as we (I) decided it would be a good idea to drive inland to a place that I have kindly named Barramundi, as I find the name impossible to pronounce (apparently it is Yungaburra, I am told). It took us just over an hour to get there, via impossibly windy roads, which apparently were possible, as we drove them, and made me feel distinctly nauseous.
Along the road, we overtook a freight train, so I took a picture specially for Dad:
It was very interesting actually, as the road was criss-crossed at many times by the train tracks, often announced solely by a sign saying "watch for trains" - of course this was a signal to me to actually watch for trains...
So we stopped on the train tracks to watch for trains.
On the main roads, there were actually flashy red lights to warn you if you a train was coming, although no actual bar thingies to stop you shaking hands with the train.
This picture was taken actually a little further up the road after we stopped in at a little airfield called Mareeba to see an awesome old DC3 - pictures will come in another post, otherwise this one will get far too long.
We stopped at a lake just outside of Barramundi to stretch our legs and de-nauseate ourselves, and met a friendly crocodile.
Apparently it wasn't a crocodile, much to my disappointment. It had a very big nose, just like crocodiles, and it almost had teeth, but apparently crocodiles don't have feathers or necks quite as narrow.
As it swam into the distance, I (having been chanting "ooh look it's a crocodile!") changed my tune to "where did the crocodile go? Where did the crocodile go? The one with the big beak!" to Kurt, somewhat loudly, and an old Australian lady seemed to take offense to this.
"IT'S A PELICAN!" she retorted loudly, and with disgust, not seeming to realise that my eyes weren't quite so bad as to have been unable to distinguish a pelican from a crocodile.
Here he is, in all his pelicanny-gloriousnessity:
So anyway, after the crocodile infested lake, we got to Barramundi, and had lunch in a little Slovakian restaurant. Fish and chips, which I was expecting to be cod-like, and was actually Spanish Mackerel-like, which I didn't want to eat, so Kurt ate it and I ate his chips.
It is now Wednesday morning, as unfortunately time got away with me, this post was never finished, and here I am, apologetic as always. And now that I have covered the time lapse, I shall return to the topic of Barramundi.
The little Slovakian restaurant was interesting, with little plastic coffee tables covered in somewhat dingy tablecloths, and bright arrangements of fresh flowers to lighten the mood. Some tables had roses, others carnations, either way a nice effort. The restaurant was staffed (and presumably owned) by a Slovakian family - we met the little old lady and the daughter.
After Barramundi, we drove up north towards Port Douglas, which was a gorgeous drive, passing fields of sugar cane, banana palms with their bananas all rolled up in sacks, and countless termite hills.
We stopped on the way to visit the Nut House at The Humpy, and I took a couple of pictures, because I liked it.
They had loads of different nuts, handmade candies, dried fruits, etc. all from the region and we treated ourselves to Russian Fudge (made in Brisbane), homemade liquorice allsorts (all for me, Kurt doesn't like liquorice) and home-dried mango (haven't tried it yet).