Australia Day 4

On Day 4 (and our 2nd full day in Cairns) we headed to the Kuranda Scenic Skyrail and train.  Although, the larger Daintree National Rainforest is supposed to be even better, a 3 hour bus ride ONE WAY prohibited us from going.  So we went to this “smaller” rainforest and we did not feel jipped at all.  We took the skyrail (aka gondola) over the canopy of the mountainous rainforest and at 3 locations got off to walk around and  tour the forest.  There was a lot of informational signage, a visitor’s center with some kids things and an Aboriginal guide that shared about how many of the rainforest plants have healing powers (Isn’t God AMAZING?).  There was a plant that would stop bleeding immediately and others that would make you go blind temporarily – random….he also talked about the Aboriginal people and their heritage.  He was a wealth of knowledge…we also ran into some LARGE spiders (but that is when we learned the big ones are less harmful – great!).
This is a canapy tree – it grows tall to create the canapy…I was fully expecting to see more animals but we didn’t – I had visions of Tarzan and monkeys – I guess my visions were nothing more then stereotypes based on fiction…I know better now!
There was a large gorge that they cultivated the water to use for energy.  The way they used to transport people was just downright scrary, a glorified dog cage that they would winch across the gorge – no thank you!  How times of change, now they remotely operate the site.
After our skyrail ride, we got off into a little town of Kuranda.  It was very touristy with lots of little gift shops that sell all the normal, run of the mill, every tourist attraction has them gifts but we also found some local shops where we purchased, you guessed it, a bommerang…it now sits in our bookcase in our family room with all of our other treasures picked up on travels – you have to have a boomerang from Australia right?  We also stopped at a restaurant and tried kangaroo…it was okay but we don’t want to dismiss it for the meat, we didn’t love how it was prepared….so we would try it again…Solon also tried his first “iced chocolate” Aussie’s closest version of chocolate milk but with ice cream and whipped cream but not quite a shake!  He devoured it but it might have been the immense heat and lack of air conditioning…
Then, Solon’s favorite part, we went to the train station to ride the special old-fashioned train back down the rainforest mountains (I didn’t know rainforests had mountains – but I learned!)…As we were looking around the gift shop, this young worker spots Solon and shows him all their toy trains, of course, he falls in love with it – she obviously was not a mother.  Scott and I decided to treat him with the souvenier as we normally don’t buy him things but he still LOVES it and was so excited!  See his excitement in the picture…don’t ask Scott how much that thing cost?!
Solon absolutely loved the ride and they did a nice job sharing the history of why the train was established (a gold rush in the late 1800’s) and how they completed the project, flora and fauna, and area history…Solon was so tuckered out he passed out (but note the train didn’t leave his hands :)…

Our train….
We were in Cairns in their down season, summer is their slow season because of their extreme heat (they are very conservative on energy because it is very expensive so there is not much AC either, our hotel room key turned on our air so it was not on when we were not in the room and many places had no air at all).  Luckily there was a nice breeze on the train!  That night we were so exhausted and we had a bit of snafoo with the hotel (but that is neither here nor there and too much to explain) so we just went to the grocery store (which is fun in itself), picked out some yummy salami and cheese varieties and had cheese and crackers for dinner.   We were still working out the jet leg and all in bed by 8pm…

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