After enjoying a wonderful week in Sydney and meeting with some Ozzy friends, it was time to board our plane north to Cairns and take possession of what would be our new home on wheels for the following 4 weeks. This was an easy process and, after very helpful and friendly staff explained the ins and outs of our recreational vehicle, we set off for our first beach booking of the holiday: the magnificent Ellis Beach!
Nothing prepared us for the beauty of this paradise surrounded by the rain forest. It felt like a dream come true and we required a while to take it all in, even if our first morning there was a bit overcast: there was no denying the magnificence of the place. The campsite was right on the beach, with its own swimming pool in the shade for good measure, but that was hardly needed as only a few steps away we could enjoy the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. I had never swam in such warm seas before and once in the water it was a struggle of wills to come out of it. Only the call of the golden soft and immaculate sand had the power to pull me out of the water.
We loved walking up and down the deserted beach, as if we were the only inhabitants, as it certainly felt like a desert island, with just the 3 of us rejoicing in such paradisaical landscape. The only sound was the sea and the birds and our exclamations of wonder.
We decided to book a day-hike in the rain forest from the Tourist Information booth outside the campsite and were picked up early the second morning by a minibus that would take us to the beginning of the walk. Once there, we met our passionate guide, Yanek, and the rest of our hiking companions, a dozen or so tourist from various parts of the world.
And so one of the most memorable walks of our lives began, where we learned about the native plants and tress, animals like the cassowari (a flightless bird not to be approached lightly due to its known aggressive behaviour) – and the Aborigine way of life and how they learned to live in harmony with their surroundings. Half way through the hike, we stopped for lunch on an island in the middle of the river and enjoyed a swim in the cool waters (only 16°C), a sharp change from the sea, but an almost surreal and unforgettable experience.
Yanek turned out to be a very wise and sensitve young man who had previously worked in the army and he was just a natural with young Peter and praised him for his stamina and not complaining about the long walk, as so many children seem to these days. I hope he is still sharing his passion for the rain forest with new visitors to the area, as we need people like this to protect what’s left of our unique and amazing blue planet. The end ot the walk came only too quick for me, as I could have easily spent a whole week in this most wondrous of places. A must for everyone who loves nature and genuine people.