Wayne in the Kuranda Bird World
From the sea to the forest. Our day was spent in the rain forest that grows above Cairns. We traveled high into the mountains to Kuranda, a small village comprised almost totally of oodles of tourist shops and near the rain forest interpretive station. Brian Clarke, our lecturer this morning and our guide through the forest is a most interesting man. All his knowledge comes from personal observations, experience living in the forest and interaction. He dropped out of high school at age 16 and moved to the forest where he built and has lived in a cabin for the past 40 years. He is one of the last professional crocodile hunters. A short walk through the forest with him provided us with looks at the wet tropical trees and preceded a sky rail ride over the tops of the trees and back into Cairns. On our walk we briefly experienced what rain is like in a rain forest...buckets worth of it that drowned out our voices. Wayne and I used some free time in Kuranda to visit a bird Sanctuary where I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park Performance
Our final adventure on this full day was a visit to the Tjapkai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Like previous visits to indigenous centers, this felt a bit like being at Epcot. There is an educational aspect to it, but... There was a Sesame level performance of Aboriginal hunting dances, singing and didgeridoo. We did get to try our skills at throwing a boomerang and a spear. More training is necessary to pursue that activity.
Time was taken with our dinner tonight to share our memories and highlights. It’s been a great group. No jerks, no smokers, only one childish woman who mostly provided laughs with her antics. Only one couple was late for the bus once (harumph, excuse us but we thought boarding time was 5:30 NOT 5:15). Everyone was retired and pursuing personal growth and interests. No one complained or groused. 90 percent were progressive Democrats. Many were outstanding in their professions (discovered through questions and deduction. No one bragged or made a point of their professional achievements) I loved learning so much about the earth’s formation, the flora and fauna and seeing the land. My suggestion was to have Aboriginal lecturers that balanced the information. Pictures of beautiful birds and other things at flickr.