Rainforests continue…Wildlife along the way…What’s next for us in Australia?

Nothing is more exciting for us than spotting wildlife in its natural habitat as was the case here when we spotted this pelican.

At this point, we’ve decided not to make any long road trips. The little car has trouble on mountainous roads and that’s the only direction we haven’t headed since we arrived in the Cairns area over two months ago.

Exiting a portion of the rainforest we encountered this park-like setting.

Also, we aren’t excited to do a road trip especially when the areas we’ve yet to visit require an overnight stay based on the distance. Perhaps, when our cruise makes a stop in Cairns in November 2016, if there’s anything more we’d like to see here, we’ll arrange a tour at that time.

After exiting the wooden boardwalk through the densest area of the rainforest, we found dirt paths that lead in either direction to the two nearby lakes, saltwater, and freshwater. 

In the interim, we continue to scour the Cairns area and can’t imagine running out of sites to see in our remaining slightly over three weeks in Australia. We’ve tightened our budget to prepare for expenses required to fill in the gaps in our itinerary and also to pay for upcoming vacation rentals and cruises. 

A footbridge over the saltwater creek.

At this point, we have little interest in spending money on overnight stays or sightseeing. It’s the “nature of the beast” if we want to live only on the amounts we’ve delegated from our monthly income, avoiding the necessity of tapping other less liquid resources. Isn’t that what most retirees do anyway, managing a budget to avoid creating stress?

The saltwater creek.

Not surprisingly, we’ve had little trouble finding interesting sites to visit on a budget. Early on, we’d considered the train and Skyrail up to the rainforests, but after hiking through several rainforests we both agree that seeing them on the ground has more appeal to us and provides a better photo-taking opportunity with our interest in “small things.”

Peeking through the vegetation to the saltwater lake.

Some may say there’s nothing comparable to seeing the rainforest from high above the treetops but, considering how many sites we’ve seen worldwide these past three years, we’ve learned to carefully pick and choose that which appeals to us the most.

We’re always drawn to the water.

After all, as much as posting each day means to us and believe me, it does more than our readers can imagine, we’ve chosen our activities based on what we prefer to do as our first priority. We’ve chosen a life centered around our own interests and hope our readers understand and appreciate the path we’ve chosen. 

This palm tree appeared to have been trimmed to result in this peculiar trunk.

Based on our ongoing, continually growing worldwide readership, for which we are very grateful, we make the assumption our readers are OK with our stories and photos. However, we’re always open to suggestions if you’d like to share your thoughts and ideas via comments or email.

Let’s face it until we’re in the rainforests of the Amazon (on our “to do” list) we may not be witness to the degree of wildlife that fulfills us the most in our travels. 

We didn’t spot any wildlife in the saltwater lake although we heard the songs of many birds.

Foolishly, we’d expected Australia to be comparable to Africa in its available abundance of wildlife. In some areas, this may be the case. Here in this beautiful area of Cairns, Queensland we’ve seen few animals in the wild other than birds, kangaroos, and wallabies. Had we not been to Africa, this would be all we’d expect or want to see.

We traversed back over the bridge to the creek to head in another direction.

Ah, Africa…it nags at my heart for the day we return. If it was my choice alone, we’d be returning after we’ve completed our time in the South Pacific. But, this isn’t a one-person operation. And, as much as Tom loved Africa, and believe me he did, he encourages me to have an open heart and mind to explore other parts of the world while we can.

My logical nature totally agrees with him. Don’t get me wrong…I’m loving Australia, the most friendly continent in the world. It’s beautiful, tropical (particularly where we are now), and consists of one exquisite sandy beach after another. 

I literally squealed when we spotted this pelican in the freshwater lake along with a few duck species we’d yet to see. 

Who could ask for more?  Australia is a great place to live. Housing prices may be on the higher side but the cost of products and services seems reasonable to us. We’ll easily stay within our shopping budget while here which will prove to be about 35% less than it was in Hawaii (not surprisingly). 

Probably, one of the most delightful aspects of Australia is its people. Their tongue-in-cheek humor, their ease with voicing their thoughts and opinions, and their easy way of laughing and loving is heartwarming.   

Pelicans are graceful and elegant.

Lately, two evenings a week, we’ve been watching Australia’s version of “The Bachelor,” one of my favorites in the US. Even Tom got on board with this show over the years. Seeing the way the girls interact with one another in a loving and affectionate way is so typical Aussie style. 

We observe this same warmth on the news shows and when we’re out and about finding ourselves laughing over their playful nature. We’ve never experienced such ease and vulnerability of people anywhere in the world. It’s refreshing and, if we leave here with only that in mind, we’ve learned a valuable lesson from its warm, kindly people.

Every so often she scoops up a tasty morsel from the water.

With six Australia based cruises in the future, we have plenty of opportunities to interact with more of these unique people. Without a doubt, we’ll enjoy every moment.

Have a wonderful weekend as summer begins to wind down for those in the uppermost northern hemisphere and for us, winter in Queensland is perfect every day at a sunny 82F, 28C.

                                             Photo from one year ago today, August 14, 2014:

With little humility, I patted myself on the back for managing to take this photo of Venus de Milo at Le Louvre without a crowd hovering around her. Visiting the world-famous museum will remain as a highlight of our travels.  For more photos, please click here.

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