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carmel’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 27 Jun 2006

Location: Atherton (still), Australia

MapMonday, 26 June 2006

I forgot to mention that between Herberton and Atherton, there were some hydroponics farms. Unfortunately I donít know what they were growing.

Initially we were going to do wonders today, but surprise, surprise, it is raining. Itís usually only drizzle, but you sure get tired of it. I donít know how the locals can live with it. Our first stop was Platypus Park. We didnít see a platypus, but then again they are nocturnal. BUT we did see a water dragon. It was sitting on a log in the middle of the creek. Barrie went to get the camera, and took a while getting set up. The water dragon stayed there while this was going on, but the instant he was ready to take a photo, the wretched thing dived. We waited around for a while, but we didnít see him again. Iím sure he did it on purpose. We then went to see the restored 105 year old Hou Wang Temple. It is the only one of its kind outside China, and, as you can imagine, it and its museum were very interesting. We were there over 2 hours, so, by now, it was lunch time Ė and back to the van.

After lunch, we went to the Crystal Cave, which, as the name implies, was a wonderland of crystals. Again, we were there a long time, so didnít get anything else done.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Still raining. The owner of the caravan park here justifies it by saying Ďyou canít have rain forest without rainí, but I think Atherton takes it to extremes. Today we went to Mareeba. It is known for its clear blue skies. Well, I donít know about that, but at least it wasnít raining. Mareeba used to be a really big tobacco growing area, but now it is mainly coffee plantations and wineries. We checked out the Coffee Works and the Mt Uncle winery, but didnít think much of either so we were home in time for lunch. This afternoon, I had a look at the Atherton shops and am now going to the internet café.

Tomorrow we are going Hasties Swamp and Wetland (a bird sanctuary) and Carrington Falls, then I think we will have seen all Atherton has to offer.