Blue Skies, Birds and…Cockroaches

Bit of a slow day today as we didn’t really get up to much with us spending the day at the Cairns Botanic Gardens tomorrow. It should be a pretty good day and I’m hoping to get a photo of one of those amazing Ulysses butterflies so I imagine it might be a bit of a hectic day too. With this in mind, I was more than happy to have a wander around Cairns and enjoy the beautiful weather in a laid back sort of way.

After we woke up, got dressed, slathered on the sun lotion and had some toast for breakfast, we sat around for a bit before deciding to spend the afternoon at the lagoon. The walk there was nice as there was a bit of a breeze which meant that we didn’t overheat and I enjoyed watching the little common myna birds hopping around and picking up crumbs off the floor. This particular species of bird seems to be everywhere so I found it rather intriguing and had a little read about it to found out more. It turns out that the myna is an introduced species brought over from Asia in order to try and control the pests in the cane fields back in the 1880s. However, whilst in Asia they feed on insects unearthed by ploughing, here in Australia they love eating fruit and so have turned into pests themselves. It came as no surprise to me to discover that they also belonged to the starling family as they have that look about them but also because they’re pretty birds that people don’t seem to pay much attention to normally. It’s a shame really because they’re little yellow ringed eyes are eye catching and they’re captivating to watch and listen to when they sit and whistle on traffic lights. It’s also down to human error that this has happened so as long as they’re not decimating populations then they should be just appreciated as being another species of bird. I think if something is labelled as being a pest then it seems to just be written off whereas it shouldn’t be the case at all. What is thought of as being a pest in one sense isn’t necessarily a pest  in another…

When we made it to the lagoon and had picked a suitable shady spot to lay down our towels, we walked across the painfully hot path and waded into the cool, refreshing water. We’re quite picky about where we leave our things when we’re swimming at the lagoon because we’ve been told that lots of people were having their things stolen and of course we don’t want that to happen. To make sure it doesn’t, we always put it in a place we can see it when in the pool and so far, fingers crossed, it seems to be working. After a little swim about and after I’d held Codie’s sunglasses for him whilst he swam about underwater, we got out and settled on the towels for a little relax in the sunshine. There’s free internet around Cairns so I spent a little while looking for places to do some wildlife volunteering and made a list of contact details for when we got back to the hostel. It’d be great it we were able to as I love volunteering and it’s the perfect way to really get to know some of the Australian native wildlife. It would be such an incredible experience. Once I’d done that and used up all my allocated allowance of megabytes (grrrr), I turned over and had a little read.

Whilst I was reading, I found myself distracted by the dazzling shade of blue overhead. I tried to get a photo of it so I could remember what it looked like but as I only had my phone, I only managed to get the “usual” sky blue. Hmmmm. I’m pretty sure that I’ll remember it though; I’ve never seen a sky so vibrant and I ended up putting away my iPad just so I could lie down and look at it properly. It really was very nice but it wasn’t long until the clouds rolled over from the mountains and cast the place in shadow, smothering the sun and causing a bit of a chill. It didn’t look like it was going to pass anytime soon and so instead of hanging around in the shade, we decided to pack up our things and head to Woolworths to get something for tea. I’d really been enjoying the sky so it was quite disappointing but we had spent quite a while there and I had had a pretty good look at it!

After picking up some tasty food and some snacks to occupy us later on, we wandered back to the hostel and soon found ourselves in the pool. It’s always nice to be able to go back to a lovely, deep pool and although I was absolutely freezing and shivering quite a bit, Codie was loving it and so we ended up in there for quite a while. In the end though it was time for us to go for showers and get warm and then go and make tea before the kitchen became to overcrowded. It’s a really nice little kitchen, definitely one of the better ones we’ve been to but being little makes it quite hard to use a lot of the time. I’ve often found myself being elbowed in the face by somebody carrying a pan of scolding hot water or had my toes stood on by hoards of people all trying to find space on the surfaces to prepare their food.

Tea munched we went and sat on the sofas for a while and messaged some people from home whilst making the most of the hot Cairns evenings. Being able to sit outside and staying toasty and warm but not too warm is such a nice feeling and it’s not one I can see myself growing tired of anytime soon. Looking up and seeing bats flying overhead and watching the colours of the sunset splashing across the clouds in the sky, it’s so relaxing that when accompanied with the heat, it’s hard to keep yourself awake and I’m really, really going to miss that back in the UK. There are of course bats but none the size of a fruit bat and the sunsets are still sunning but are rarely accompanied by heat on this scale. It really is a tremendous appearance and I’m making sure I’m soaking it all up and taking it all in. Another thing I’m going to miss is Codie’s shocked face when a creepy thing runs past, wiggling it’s legs, like the little cockroach we saw when wandering back to our room. When it got to about 10pm, we decided we should probably head back and go to bed ready for tomorrow and collected our things together and toddled down the stairs. Suddenly a cockroach ran past in front of us and Codie leapt into the air thinking it was some sort of hairy spider. It was so, so funny! I found another one in the room whilst he was in the bathroom, crawling around by his bag but he missed it which was a shame. I’ve no idea where it is now, for all I know it could be in our bags but it was such a teeny tiny little thing, it wouldn’t matter even if it was. I don’t tend to mind cockroaches if they wander about away from me but if they run at me then there’s not a chance I’m hanging around!

It’s time for bed now as it’s getting late and we’re probably going to be walking loads in the humidity tomorrow so I need to make sure I have as much energy as possible. It should be a good day and I’m excited to see more wildlife; we just need to hope that it doesn’t rain!

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