Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unkindest cut (or bite) of all

My goodness, it's hot today: 33 degrees out in our shady, breezy porch, so no wonder I'm dripping after spending 10 minutes hanging out washing in the full blast of the sun. The cats are very crabby, but refusing to take off their fur coats. They could do with the pandas' water-cooled rocks to flop out on.

Wherever I've been in Australia, I've sweated (you're welcome!): in Melbourne's fan-oven blast, Adelaide's desiccating heat, Darwin's energy-sapping humidity... but worst of all was northern Queensland, on a 4wd minibus safari down from the tip of Cape York to Cairns, bumping along the Telegraph Track, going through tiny settlements where the houses were shuttered against the sun, and even tinier roadhouse hamlets surrounded by cathedral ant hills, orange and sculpted. Along the coast the beaches are golden and beautiful, lapped by brilliantly turquoise water that's almost too warm to be refreshing - apparently. I wouldn't know, because you're not allowed to swim. It's so cruel: so inviting, but so dangerous. Crocodiles, mainly, big hungry salties. And lethal jellyfish. Oh, and sharks too, but no-one bothers to mention them much because the salties are so much more of a danger. You're not even meant to clean fish on the beach in case one hurtles out of the water at you. It's astonishing how fast they can move, despite being around 5 metres long and weighing 1000kg.

Fortunately for our sanity, there are some places you can swim, inland. The young boy on our trip made up a rhyme: 'Where there's rocks, there's no crocs' - where there's flowing water and no suitable nesting sites, the crocodiles stay away. Which meant pure happiness for us at Fruitbat Falls.

2 comments:

MsDarkstar said...

I LOVE the name "Fruitbat Falls".

Pam said...

In Cairns, after this safari, I saw fruitbats streaming over the city at dusk, going to feed on the mango trees across the bay. There were thousands and thousands of them: an amazing sight.

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