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Hitting the Coral Coast

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 16 May 2008 | Views [1379] | Comments [3]

We’re sitting under the protective shelter at the Serpent Hostel. It’s a rainy day and Albert has deserted us for the pleasures of the reef (see his post at a later date). Jett is content with his school work (singing quietly a song from a movie he watched this morning - Bunty aur Bubli), and I’m catching up on my posts for the journal.

Palm Cove

After leaving the Daintree, and driving south, we found a very pretty little cove, Palm Cove, and slept along side the beach in the Council run camping ground. Happily for us, it fulfilled our few requirements. I insisted on a beach front camp (wanting to practice yoga early with the glory of the sun rise spread before me across the reflective surface of the Coral Sea), it was cheap enough for the Catalan (Ellis Beach was twice the price and twice as empty ie- exclusive), and it had a mop in the showers for the little cleaning maniac of our group.


(Jett is missing the cleaning apparatus of his grandmother’s house. She told him of a new mop she has purchased, and he is practising with great skill in preparation for reclaiming his position as mop boy when he comes home. I would like to add here that I believe his presence in my life is due to my previous lack of ability of accepting the super clean habits of my late paternal grandmother (she vacuumed twice a day and re-cleaned anything I was told to clean, she wiped every supermarket item that came into the house and made my life, chaotic and messy as I am, confusing and painful) and my obsessive colour coordinating friend living in Italy (we lived together for a year and the only argument we ever had was after I screamed uncontrollably ‘STOP CLEANING!’, to which, understandably, the answer came ‘THEN STOP MAKING A MESS’, repeat.)

Jett is forcing me to live with and accept that some people (even me at times) work better in a tidy environment. Ok, lesson being learnt.

Palm Cove (continued)

There was an atmosphere of money exchanging hands across the long strip of the beach. Facials, massages, quality hotels, and yet, there were quite a few for sale signs, and restaurants bragging that it was ‘only 8.50 for coffee and cake’. The people on the beaches were not high fliers sporting one too many colour coordinated accessory items and I was totally caught by the huge paper bark trees lining the streets. They were obviously old and from what we could see, respected within the context of being built around and catered for within the commercial growth.

We spent a couple of relaxing days at Palm Cove. Walking the beach, swimming in between the nets (still stingers about – and crocs), playing in the sand, reading at our leisure and generally taking a break from our whirlwind hunt for a new location.


Yesterday we took a day trip to Kuranda. Its famous for the cable car and train duo transit. We were a bit put off by the enormous amount of superficial markets and politely bored expressions of the sales people, but we continued along, determined to find the Candy Kitchen. The problem with children learning to read, is that their options open up and their squeaky demands also need to be heard. In other words, Jett saw the advertisement in a BROCHURE and was as excited as a kitten chasing a butterfly.

We bought a regular mix, a long ‘g’day mate’ stick of candy and a packet of rosy apple sweets. I was going to buy a packet for you mum, but I know I’d eat it before we got there, so you’ll have to be happy with the hat badge (and Mario’s blend from Tichum Creek coffee farm).

As we walked further into the arcades and shops and markets and animal presentations (someone thrust a stick insect at us and was shocked when Jett and I screamed and declined further contact, thank you) we found remnants of charm under all the new development.

To put it simply, we enjoyed ourselves. And, after the discovery of a community centre run buy mah-Jong playing-cake eating lovely women who sold books for ONE DOLLAR (50 cents exchange price), we were thrilled (especially me). Coming to rest our weary heads here, at the Serpent’s Hostel, was a pleasant treat to end a fun day.


I like hindsight. It’s a cool thing. We can transverse objective time, fly into the universe to the past, and, miraculously, repeat the pleasure sensations we have previously experienced (without the money cost and objective time cost of a REAL repeat (that incidentally can not be guaranteed to be as good as the one you remember), AND, a bonus, we sometimes learn something. COO OOO OOO OOOOL. Three cheers for memories!


The Serpent Hostel (the only place we’ve slept outside of the van since we began our trip in early April) hosts a huge community of backpackers. It has a relatively large and shapely pool, and cooo ooool – a sand volleyball court. They have their own bar with fun night time games and friendly staff. Everyone knows how a few shots of the right stuff can loosen us up from our usual straight jackets, and it seemed more than popular last night (a WEDNESDAY!!!- don’t these young people know its not the weekend yet?).

They cater for everyone, also adding space enough for a wide screen and lounges for zoning out. The receptionists are all pretty and helpful and brag a variety of accents. Did I mention they ALSO offer a free meal? And although its true that its a 25 minute walk from Cairns centre, they compensate by offering a FREE shuttle bus until the wee hours of the morning. Considering there’s enough to do right here at the hostel (and more than enough people to meet from allll across the world), I don’t see the point of going anywhere? Especially today. Its been non-stop rain since 8 this morning.

Next stop - Paronella Park

Tags: allwelcome, ambassador van, beaches, t a j




hi, the new mop is great jett. i am still impressed with it.
kuranda was boring, the train ride up is great, and the butterfly park. we had lovely indian food,i thinki bought jett some t shirts there.
did i tell u thatwe had a snake by the pool at night?
it is cool here now at night, what was he doing? going for a swim?
love mum

  v. lewis May 16, 2008 4:23 PM


he he, Tiff you ARE messy indead.. keep up the good cleaning Jetty and S ;) I need your help at home toooo..

  Geir May 20, 2008 12:12 AM


The Butterfly thing cost $16 per person. It was a bit much we thought, and Jett just wanted to buy candy anyway.
Jett's quite brave now, about potential snakes and spiders. He understands that the necessity of emptying his bladder is more important than a maybe spider under the lid. iiiiikkkkk

I am not messy. I am reformed.

  allwelcome May 24, 2008 7:29 PM

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