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I must admit having more than a few moments of regret after we decided to stop in Cairns for a day on our way to Japan.  Cairns in the middle of summer is a hot and humid place to be and I enjoy heat and humidity about as much as a cat enjoys a cold bath. What were we thinking??

However, a day of rest and relaxation in the tropical north proved to be just what the doctor ordered after what had been a fairly stressful week.  After a lovely long sleep in, we wandered down to the Esplanade for brunch near the Lagoon – Cairns’ place to be on a hot summer’s day where you aren’t in danger of having a croc encounter of toothed kind.IMG_4841

Cairns is a lovely town still with old colonial buildings gracing the centre but what surprised me the most was the bats.  Yes, bats.  Smack, bang in the centre of town is a collection of trees with some very strange fruit indeed.IMG_4826

I could hear the shrieking from a few blocks away but it was only as we got closer we realised that all the brown things hanging from the branches were actually hundreds of Flying Foxes!!

We were very careful to close our mouths as we looked up to see all the foxy faces curiously peering down at us.IMG_4794

After some time peering up at our foxy friends, we continued our wander through the town.  Although hot, it was nice to see such lush greenery everywhere.

Australia Day celebrations were in full swing with boys (oversized smurfs??) playing football,IMG_4859

people picnicking,
everyone crowded into the LagoonIMG_4839

and helicopter fly-by’s.IMG_4878

Our hotel pool was beckoning so we made the most of the sunny afternoon by taking a dip and enjoying the bottle of sparkling generously left in our room by the hotel – thank you Pullman Reef Hotel!IMG_4868

At sunset we strolled over to the Salt House, a great restaurant and bar on the harbour where we could enjoy a few cold ones as the light faded.IMG_4888

So despite suffering the hot and humid conditions, our stop in Cairns was a very relaxing start to our holiday.  Bring on Japan!