|The Esplanade, Cairns|
We were in Innisfail within 15 minutes and soon found a tyre place. It only took another 15 minutes to diagnose and repair the problem as the beading had separated ever so slightly from the rim and had created a slow leak. Our north Qld location was apparent in the way the guy doing the repairs related to me. An Aboriginal man in his fifties, he answered my questions with "Yes Boss", even when I pointed out to him my name was Peter. He received a rebuke from the owner because he had neglected to place a dusk cap on the valve (even though the had been no dusk cap on it). As the owner of the business walked along side of me to the office, he cautioned, "doesn't pay to be too familiar with them." I'm always gobsmacked in the face of such racism.
We parked the car and Sue took some snaps of the art deco buildings for which Innisfail is famous and then had the best mocha of the trip.
Even though it was mid morning, cloud clung to the peaks of the ranges to the west, bathing them in a soft opacity. Several road side spots loomed as though they would be interesting but the tall heads of the sugar cane and laden banana bunches in their plastic suits lined most of the road to Cairns, so we kept an eye on them for anything different but found nothing. Instead, we pushed all the way to Cairns and despite common sense, drove straight to the tourist mecca of the Esplanade which runs along the foreshore of Trinity Bay in beautiful-people down town Cairns. In a public car park at the heart of it all, we found a space to park car and trailer which again emphasises my reputation as the parking wizard.
We took lunch in the only shade available and felt extremely frumpish as the other thousands of people around us had, at most, two articles of clothing, whilst we hid from the sun in long sleeved shirts, long trousers and big shade hats. As we ate our sandwiches, we watched skin specialists dreams come true under coconut oil and aided and abetted by iPods and good looking partners.
Our camp for the next two nights is among the rainforest.