Thursday, September 22, 2005

Cairns trip

I arrived home from Cairns around 8.30 last night. The trip was reasonably good, although unfortunately the conference wasn't the most rivetting! (Maybe because it wasn't a writing conference ;-) )

I did catch up with a cousin I haven't seen for many years, and met her husband and children, which was great. They met me at the airport and took me to their home - a beautiful Queenslander styler house - for dinner. So we had a wonderful relaxed meal outside in the balmy tropical evening, caught up on family news, and watched the cane toads hop across the lawn. (I declined the offer to play golf with the toads. Toads are noxious pests, and Queenslanders try everything to get rid of them.)

The only blight on the evening was that when I went to carry some of the plates up stairs, I stumbled and fell heavily, smashing two out of the three plates I was carrying and doing minor damage to assorted portions of my anatomy. I don't bounce like I used to, but I guess it could have been a lot worse.

The following day we all went down to Babinda, an hour or so south of Cairns, and wandered through the rain forest where a river carves through the hills, with waterfalls, boulders, etc. Very beautiful! I also saw Ulysses butterflies for the first time - a gorgeous large brilliant blue butterfly. Then back to Cairns and the Botanic Gardens, where many tropical flowers were in full bloom and I walked around gaping in wonder.

The conference took up the next couple of days, but I did manage a few strolls around the city area of Cairns, which is a very short distance from the water, and wandered along the Esplanade and the laggon area. Yesterday I had a lazy morning and brunch at an open air cafe while trying to replot a novel before heading to the airport and my lunchtime flight. And then back to the real world and work...

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