Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Lagoon in Cairns

This is a small section of the pulbic lagoon on the esplanade in Cairns. This public area is unbelievably nice -- and it is all free! The lagoon is basically a very large swimming pool with one side having the fine powder sand like a beach. A new expansion addition to the lagoon was opened last week. It is very shallow and has the dancing waters, lights and some low stone sculptures. All very nice. There are plenty of areas with the sand for children to play with their beach toys, but there is also deeper water for swimming that is enjoyed more by adults. The surrounding grassy areas are covered every afternoon with tanning tourists along with a few scattered locals. Mornings are devoted more to children and older adults because the hard-bodies don't normally get up until noon or later. BeBe and Zachary enjoyed several afternoons playing at the lagoon. The first photo on the left shows them playing in the sand near the sprinkling sculptured fish. The esplanade also has walking path, running path, bicycle path, numerous exercise stations, and propane-fueled grills -- all very neat and clean and open free to to anyone. Why can't we have something like this in Galveston? Really brings in the tourists and they spend money at the local businesses.

And more photos of the grandkids playing in the lagoon. That dark brown stuff in the far background is the mud from low tide. The tidal range in Cairns is up to 3.42 meters or slightly more than 11 feet. It looks pretty during high tide but yucky mud is exposed for a couple thousand feet during low tide. And further down the esplanade from the lagoon is a playground with more dancing waters. Next door is a fish & chips cafe so this is a popular place.

Aaron and Lynn rented a van large enough to seat all 7 of our little family group and we did the tourist attractions within driving distance of Cairns for 3 days. We had earlier purchased 4-park tickets that covered the wildlife dome in Cairns, the Rainforestation in Kuranda, the Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas, and the Rainforest Walk and obversation tower in Daintree. We had already taken the scenic train up to Kuranda and the skyrail back down and visited the Rainforestation, so this time we drove due north to visit the Port Douglas Rainforest Habitat and the Daintree rainforest walk. There is a limit to how much you can do in one day with two 8-year-old kids and a newborn infant, so we spread the tourist attractions across several days.

One evening we went to The Sushi Train for an early dinner. I don't think they have anything like this back home in Houston but someone should open one there. Diners sit at a counter and a train circulates in front of them. The train pulls flatbed cars on which are placed saucers of various sushi and sashimi. Each person removes whatever plates appeal to him or her. When you are finished the waitress tabulates your bill. If you want something that is not on the train then you simply order it from the waitress and the chef brings it to you. The plates are color coded by price of the various types of sushi or sashimi so the waitress simply counts the various colored saucers in order to tabulate what you owe. Elisabeth loved this place. Bill isn't a fan of sushi but he managed to find plenty to eat. In fact, we were all so full that we didn't even stop for the traditional ice cream cones on our walk back to the marina.

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