Day 14: bienvenue a la jungle

We got up early, but we had a very good reason: we were flying to Cairns to stay at Thala Beach Lodge. We’d decided to build some downtime into our schedule, and booked in at this quiet lodge near Port Douglas.

It was quite unlike the other very beach-y, very tourist-y resorts we passed on the way up. In fact, someone in our shuttle (bound for one of those beach-y, tourist-y places) sniffed, “It’s a bit jungly, innit?” as we pulled up.

We had lunch in the restaurant and a drink in the bar while we waited for our cabin to be prepped. This, by the way, is the view from the bar:

By the time we got to our cabin I was pretty much dying from the heat. It was practically tropical here, and I was still dressed in the jeans and shirt I put on in Sydney that morning. Once we got into some cooler clothes we headed down to the beach. Our cabin was a few minutes’ walk up a hill from the beach, but what it lacked in sandy nearness it made up in convenience of getting to the main lodge. Not to mention the view:

Not that the beach wasn’t worth the walk. We got to see lots of lizards on the way down. We also saw lots of animals on the beach: tiny molluscs of some kind that would wash in on the surf and immediately bury themselves in the sand. We could see it happening as we walked up and down the beach (during which time Nellie suffered another soaker). What a beach it was too…just incredible.

We walked back up to the cabin; I stayed in and cooled down while Nellie checked out the pool. I wasn’t good looking enough to hang out at that pool. It’s where all the resort’s hot people were hanging out. We did return to the sea for a quick swim at sundown which, it turns out, might not be the best time to swim there given the potential for sharks and saltwater crocodiles. But man, if you could have seen that sunset, you would have swum out there too.

After the dip we watched a bit of the Rugby World Cup semifinal and went for dinner. Dinner was quite good, even if the starter showed up at the same time as the mains for some reason. No matter; the food was good, the wine was good, the setting was extraordinary and the walk home barely stretched our legs.

Now this was vacation.

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