December 31, 2014 – 2014 Goes Out With a Bang

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are viewing on your phone is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

In the absence of current travel options, this is a rework of our 2014 trip Down Under, previously posted on a private blog site.

+34C (feels like +42C) and sunny in Cairns/Port Douglas/Mossman and Daintree Village. Still +30C in Cairns at 10 PM.

We caught up on our sleep last night, awaking at 6:30 AM (9:30 NZ time). Opening up the balcony shutters, we found the temperature was still +25C, but it was still a nice place to enjoy morning coffee.

Resort view

After breakfast, we headed up North along the scenic coast, through Flame Trees, sugar cane and banana plantations, past Port Douglas to Mossman for an hour and a half long guided Aboriginal tour of the gorge.

Arriving in Mossman, we joined our tour group. After a ritualistic smoke purification, we walked along the forest path where our guide showed us the red cedar trees from which boomerangs, shields, canoes, sailing ships, etc.. were made, but these very same trees could also be used to signal through the forest by pounding on the huge buttress roots with a hand or rock.

We were also shown plants that had a variety of uses including soap, antiseptic, poultice, wound dressings, gum, etc. and even a plant similar to Poison Ivy that is three times more painful, but whose root also provides the antidote to the plant’s venom. Our guide mentioned that those living in the bush tended to use leaves for toilet paper, but using these leaves could be a painful mistake and jumping in the water only intensifies the pain.

The tour guide had a special bond with the kids (some came from Sherwood Park near our home town) in the group and included them in fruit and bark gathering and ritual story telling skin painting. We ended up at a river with the 3rd purist water in the world (Canada has the 1st), where Paul made soap and the fruit gathered from the forest floor was washed, so it could be sampled by all.

And throughout the entire tour, our guide dressed in a heavy long sleeved shirt was cool as a cucumber, with not even one bead of sweat showing. On the other hand, the rest of us were drenched and even our sweat had sweat.

Tour over, we continued North to Daintree Village and booked a river tour to see crocodiles (not easy in the summer as the water is so warm they tend to stay submerged for 3-5 hours). While waiting for the tour, we enjoyed lunch and Paul and I got our first Aussie Seniors’ discount. We had the Barramundi fish burger, which was delicious. While awaiting our tour time, we were very careful to obey all warning signs as we wandered along the river.

The breeze on the river was refreshing, the bird life was amazing and each time we thought we saw a crocodile, we were assured that it was only a “log-o-dile”. Despite only seeing a glimpse of the snout and eyes of one croc, we were satisfied learning about the annual flooding of the river during the WET (coming soon) and the bird life along the river.

We enjoyed the scenery as we drove back to Cairns. As it was New Years Eve, we had some difficulty finding a restaurant for supper, but finally settled on a Turkish place along the Esplanade. The food was good, but the service was at best, haphazard. After supper we wandered along the waterfront, enjoying the illuminated Christmas tree and festive lighting among the gathering crowd awaiting our midnight (9 PM kiddies) fireworks.

Then, we found a spot along the waterfront to watch the show. On the first shell explosion, the bird life headed for the skies in terror. I must say, we have never before seen such an enjoyable fireworks display. We were right under the shells which were launched from a barge just off-shore and the reflections on the tidal flats were amazing.

During the show, the heat was still oppressive and we felt totally drained by the time it was over. We drove back home for some bubbly and much needed showers and we were all fast asleep before 2015 actually rolled in, but ready for another fabulous day, tomorrow.

Happy NEW YEAR to you all.

Published by kagould17

After working for 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 3+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wanted me to do has been rewarding. While I still miss the social aspect of working with a team of great people, I have managed to keep in touch with many from my former team and I have many friends and family members who now fulfill this part of my life. Now that my Patty has retired, we are able to spend more time in pursuits and with people who are near and dear to us. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may not become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

19 thoughts on “December 31, 2014 – 2014 Goes Out With a Bang

  1. This was an amazing time it seems. I loved all your photography. I wondered if many of those Goliath trees had burned. So beautiful. The tree with the red was amazing also. Thank you for sharing. Hugs, Joni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great first day in Aus, to be sure. North Queensland has a lot to offer and we took advantage of the last day of 2014 to see it. Too bad the Crocodiles were almost invisible. The bush walk was very educational and the flame trees were magnificent in bloom. Thanks for reading Joni. Hugs back to you. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, yes the nature was truly amazing. I saw a Crocodile head in the water that was enormous. Such beautiful trees, just so lovely. Thanks for the hugs. You and your family have an amazing evening Allan. ❤️Joni

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband just got done enjoying your post He appreciated all the info too. The poison Ivey, the water with the third cleanest water in the world and the amazing trees. A really educational post. The flowers were so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear it Joni. I would want this guide with me when I was going through the bush. Seeing the old ways of the Aborigines and being guixded by someone with Aboriginal lineage made it a great tour. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice to have travelling companions. Thanks for joining. Just wish I had a better camera at the time. Happy New Year to you. We could all use a new new year in 2021. Thanks for reading Lynette. Allan

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Reading about your guided Aboriginal tour of the gorge made me think of natures powers. If people would start learning about wild, edible plants and fungi, they might just realize that they’ve been hiking through forests and meadows of food. Our ancestors relied on foraging for thousands of years before humans created an industrialized food system. Foraging wild, safe and edible foods can be a great way to feel more self-reliant and connected to the land. Back home in Latvia people still turn to nature to gather seeds, flowers, berries and nuts to make remedies that can heal several medical conditions. My mum still makes honey from dandelions, jams from wild berries she gathers in the woods, she makes teas from flowering shrubs, and she gathers lichens which help with a severe cough. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day. Aiva 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Modern humans have lost touch with nature. Even when they are in nature, many are tuned out with their phone, ear bud music, etc. Time in nature is time well spent. Understanding what is around you can sustain you and what can kill you was crucial to the aborigines. If our food chain fails, we will not last long. My Mom was a great one to make jams, jellies, preserves, freeze and can vegetables, as well. I still garden and my wife freezes the tomatoes for winter use, so we are still using fresh produce in season (our season is very short). Your mum sounds amazing. Good for her. Thanks for reading Aiva. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Love to see the different flowering trees around the world. our boat tour was in very hot weather and the crocodiles love to keep their cool. Watching fireworks over water was the bomb (except for the pelicans). Thanks for reading Marion. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh gosh, not sure how much time I’d want to spend in the bush given that poison ivy is three times more painful. Not sure I could handle the heat and humidity either! It’s remarkable how resourceful people were back then (and even today) with certain plants and discovering what they can be used for. Sounds like such an interesting tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Also, would not want to guess which leaves to use as TP or be travelling with a practical joker who would steer you wrong. I have s post coming on a visit to an Aboriginal center which shows some of the food prep. Wonder how many cooks they lost before they figured out the proper preparation techniques to make the food non poisonous. Kind of like eating Fugu. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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