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I had more fun in Cairns that I expected. Heat and humidity are not my thing. The planned events turned out to be quite interesting and I survived. The CBD is quite vibrant and diverse. There are hundreds of little shops selling everything from cheap trinkets to $15,000 opals. Cairns, however, is where I learned to avoid the Australian interpretation of Mexican food. I've had great middle eastern food in Stockholm, great Russian food in Portland and wonderful Italian food in Riga. So, why not Mexican food in Cairns? We found this really cute and quite busy mexican restaurant open to the sidewalk. The food looked good on the tables. First of all, you had to order chips and salsa - the chips were soggy and the salsa was absolutely devoid of any spice that I could detect. The entre had an Italian style sauce with no sense of mexican spices whatsoever. Highly disappointing.

The major events of region consisted of a Great Barrier Reef experience and a highland rainforest experience. In between those adventures we explored the town taking pictures of pelicans and mud skippers, researching the didjeridu market and eating ice-cream at Baskin Robbins on the Promenade. It's tough to have a bad time with an unlimited supply of ice cream at your disposal.

OK - on to explore the region!

  • The very brief documentation of travel from Christchurch to Cairns (not really worth looking at...)
  • Green Island Great Barrier Reef experience
  • Kuranda - via Railroad and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • Pelicans on the Promenade

Now, on to Sydney

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