I am now in Cairns, on the east coast. The weather is tropical and I have a hangover after a post-tour drinking session followed by a visit to a pub/club which played cheesy music. Seems like a nice place, very geared up for tourists of which there are many. Also surrounded by forrested hills, but there are no beaches here only mud flats. To go to beaches you have to go somewhere else, but I am not bothered.

The trip to Cairns was an overland trip with a company called Desert Venturer, and consisted of three days of driving along really remote roads, some unsealed, and staying in random places like a cattle station. There were 26 of us, which makes a change from the normal small groups, and we had a large 48 seat coach so plenty of room. I decided to name the coach The Venerable Coach, a reference which probably few people will get, as it was farily old being made in the 80’s. On the other hand, apparently most modern coaches would not survive being regularly driven along dirt roads without falling apart.

The trip was really interesting, seeing the land change from the red sand and small bushes of the centre through to the dry grasslands of the north Queensland outback, and finally to the tropical rainforrests of the coast. I think it is a great way to see the real Australia, such as Middleton, which is in the middle of nowhere, has a population of 6 and consists of a pub and nothing else. It was also very hot along the way, reaching into the high 30s, and this is only spring - in summer it can get up to 50 degrees. Cairns is a lot cooler, but it is also fairly humid.

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