Friday, 24 March 2017

Relaxing on Fitzroy Island

PHIL: 25 Mar/Day 39

Allie wakes to find a crystal-clear dawn but no sign of her ‘boogie (waist-bag) with money, keys etc in it. She concludes that she must have left it in an alcoholic haze at the café where we had ‘early doors’ wine last night. By the grace of God (and Australian honesty) an early-morning cleaner at the establishment locates the bag intact.

on our way to Fitzroy Island

Set out by ferry to Fitzroy Island which sounded a more civilised option (96% National Park) than the alternative, Green Island, which offered every conceivable entertainment to the masses. 

Looking at the people in the streets of Cairns – the headquarters of Australian defence against anticipated Japanese invasion in 1942 – it is clear that, whilst the Japs might have failed back then they have certainly succeeded in the early 21st century. 

Apparently as the nearest piece of tropical Western-style civilisation to Tokyo north Queensland is the prime destination for Japanese desperate to make efficient use of their short holiday entitlements.

ALLIE: DAY 39: Sunday the 25th of March

A leisurely day out on Fitzroy Island

A beautiful morning! Bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky. But disaster strikes me just after I get up – where is my moneybelt? I must have left it at the bar yesterday. How utterly stupid of me. Race back to the pub, but of course its Sunday morning 7.20 and nobody there. But my fortune angel is with me, and a minute later the cleaning lady turns up, opens the doors and we find the purse with all my belongings in it. Not a cent stolen! How lucky was that?

Later that day, my husband looses a strip to secure his glasses (which we bought to prevent loosing them!). But like me, he is lucky today and the thing turns up a bit later. We swear to ourselves to be more careful, but actually we are quite careful about our things, but nevertheless we tend to loose things at the rate that we buy them!
exotic flora
Anyway, our day trip out to one of the small islands in the Great Barrier Reef is saved and we drive to Cairns to board a catamaran that takes us in 45 min to Fitzroy Island. The Island actually belongs to the national park, but a tiny stretch of land is privately owned by the company that runs the ballooning opposition to Johns Company.

Since it’s still off season, the boat only has one service a day and so the odd 40 people that have arrived with us are the only visitors on this island. But even they seem to disappear after a short while on various other tours and Phil and I find ourselves alone on Nudey beach. Well, it could be indeed a nudity beach, since we feel like Robinson Crusoe with nobody around us, just the blue sea and the lush green jungle around us.

We put on our hired black stinger suits (Phils resemblance to James Bond now is remarkable!) and dive into the warm clear waters. A fantastic underwater world opens up: corrals, fish and fantastic colours make the snorkelling a really great experience. I swim through what seems blue deer antlers, yellow human brains, long red hair and landscapes like the karst hills of Guilin. 

Suddenly I find myself surrounded by a huge swarm of little fish. It’s amazing how quickly they all react turning and moving in the same directions. My greatest discovery is a big sea turtle, the chelonia mydas. Out of the world wide 7 species 6 of them live here in Australia. It doesn’t seem to be afraid of me and I can follow it just a meter above. It moves very gracefully just paddling with its front legs and then disappears into deeper waters.

empty beaches on Fitzroy island

It’s a pity to see that this island won’t stay as it is for long. The company is planning to build a huge hotel with 3 swimming pools and all the rest of the entertainment junk. 

So at 4 pm we wave good-bye to one of the last remaining paradises near Cairns and return to Trinity.

We celebrate our last evening and enjoy a nice dinner at the L’Unica Trattoria with John. The wine is so good again that back home I immediately collapse into a very deep sleep.

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