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Awfully close to the rainforest

sunny 92 °F

Cairns was steamy, and it was hard to see through the morning mist. Even the flowers seemed a bit attenuated. We had visited this town in Queensland in north Australia a few years ago as a launching point for the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. This day we were booked on an expedition to go white water rafting, and we were both excited and apprehensive. But Australia has been experiencing heavy rains and flooding, so much so that the river was too high to be safe, they said. There were no tickets left for the rainforest train, (nor, sorry Jack, for the Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk) so we set out to discover the town. Cairns is quite spiffed up from our last visit, its streets lined with Gucci and Tommy Bahama (and porn shops and massage parlors just off the main streets). We loved going into shops because they were cool and the temperature was over 90 degrees and humid enough to drip. We checked out Uggs for the grandchildren (too complicated) and decided to have pedicures. Into the spa came an old (80? Our criteria for “old” are changing!) man and his daughter. He looked exhausted and said that he had just arrived from Croatia and his feet hurt. He definitely didn’t look comfortable in the spa. His daughter nudged and cajoled until he put his (rather knobby and black) feet into the water. The pedicurist worked diligently; he stared ahead at the wall. And then she brought hot stones and started to rub his legs with them. His smile covered his whole face as he cried “Halleujah.”


Posted by HopeEakins 22:39 Archived in Australia

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