Palm Cove – Cairns

Sunday and pouring rain did not inspire us to go anywhere, but since it was our last day in the Cairns area, we wanted to see Palm Cove. The other guests as well as Andrew had told us how nice it is. Around one in the afternoon, there was a break in the weather, still more rain coming, but Andrew said that according to the forecast, if we did not go then, we would miss out. We waited to hail the bus down, but it arrived with fifteen minutes. The female driver had long dreadlocks, was personable, and polite. Our ride lasted for almost thirty minutes, before we saw resorts on one side and beach on the other. This was Palm Cove, all three blocks of it. Well, it may actually, be a few more, but none of the others are of interest to anyone other than those living there. The first thing we did was walk the beach, looking for any seashells and just relaxing to the rhythm of the shallow ocean waves as they softly broke on the shoreline. Pristine sand stretched for miles; the cleanliness of it was incredible impressive. Not only was no human litter, there was barely any seas litter, either. The sand was void of shells, few fragments of driftwood, no seaweed, and no remnants from the ocean left as souvenirs. This only made it more challenging to find a shell or some memento take away as a remembrance. I found one shell, so I won the game over the sea. Ron found two. In addition to being void of litter, it was also void of people sunbathing and swimming. We only came across on couple sunbathing, but as we walked further, we realized the only bathing was being done in the roped off and netted area. One large rectangular area was marked off as the designated swimming area, with lifeguard overseers. The lifeguard was patrolling in the little shed set above the sand to give a broad view of the area. It still amazes me that all of the nasty creatures know the net is their barrier and they should not try chew through it, or swim through the holes, or even go to the bottom of the sea and lift up the bottom of the net to travel under and up. With the tides, the water movement, I am also curious as to how they can keep that netting close to the ocean bottom to create a sealed off area. Part of my answer was answered by a sign behind the lifeguard station. The township, the county, the state, and the nation will not be held responsible for anyone who chooses to swim in this area, regardless of the netting. Although the netting is a barrier, it is not foolproof and no section of government can be held responsible if anything happens, thus you are swimming at your own risk. Right above this warning are pictographs and a note stating that this area is known to have crocodiles, jellyfish, and sharks. How comforting that netting it under these circumstances. Just after I was getting my laughs over these signs, it started raining: heavily raining. I had an umbrella, Ron had a poncho we bought at the Skyrail, yesterday. But this weather made a fairly dead Palm Cove even deader. There were hardly any people around to begin with, but some of these few fled when the heavy rains started. We used the time to check out what was what. Basically, this strikes me as an artificial little community set up to sell expensive condominiums, hotels, and resorts on beach front property. Then to cater to these people, you need a small assortment of stores to make them feel like there is something to do here. There are a few clothing stores, a couple of souvenir stores, one small supermarket that is not much more than a convenience store, and a smattering of restaurants spread down the street. People need to drink, eat, and feel good when they are on vacation. I could not help but imagine how beautiful this area must have looked before people started messing with it. Andrew had suggested a restaurant if we were going to eat here, so we found it easily amongst the four choices. I had a burger called the LOT. It was too. It was a hamburger, beetroot, pineapple, fried onions, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, and BBQ sauce. I could not keep it together to bite into it. We also shared the largest french fries I have ever seen. They were larger than steak fries, hot, and delicious. All the time we were eating out on the balcony under umbrellas, the rain was coming down in sheets. As we were finishing our meal, the two women at the next table started talking to us. They admitted they had too much wine, but chattered away. One of the women left to go to the ladies room and never returned. It took her friend about twenty minutes to realize this, but then she kind of panicked and went looking for her. It was kind of comical. Eventually, she found her and came back to announce it. Ron went to the grocery store to pick up snacks for later and I went to check the bus schedule. There was four minutes before the bus, so I ran to get Ron. There were two guys waiting on the other side at the bus stop, so I asked if they saw a bus go by. They told us we were on the wrong side. This led to one of them telling us he is a medical doctor and is trying to get licensed in the States. We were so rapt in conversation, we almost missed our stop. The rain was intermittent showering and pouring, so when it was only showering, we took that opportunity to jump into the pool for a swim. Time to pack up. We leave tomorrow for Hobart, Tasmania on Virgin Blue.