It’s Lāčplēsis day today. We get up at 5:30 and leave at 7:30. The Sun rises after 5:30. The place where we camped was good. When we arrived last night, there was a warning that there might be crocodiles, but it’s not like that as we are high above river banks. There are 2 big bridges over the river – one railway and the other – auto. There are many vehicles and trailers in the campsite. We meet a man from Switzerland who has been traveling for a long time – since 2007. He says he has caught lots of fish. Ilgonis wants a fish, but there’s nothing to give in return.
We are going to Cairns, beautiful hilly road, cattle is grazing on road sides – cows, calves, horses. It has been burning again on roadsides. We conclude that everything burns down, but the termites survive. The surroundings are changing. The road becomes lonelier, many warnings about road flooding. Sometimes there are empty cars left on roadsides. We are wondering whether those are the ones broken down in flood or left after crashes as a warning for people to not go so fast.
Near Townsville oleanders, rhododendrons and African tulip trees are blooming. We want to get to the sea and are heading towards Toomulla beach [Agnese’s comment – because that’s the closest to the highway]. We park almost on the shore. Short walks. The Saltwater Creek is flowing into the ocean here, it should be fine to go into the water of the creek. It is not fine to go into the ocean water as if the water is calm, there might be the small box jellyfish here, which are deadly. We can see beautiful shells that have been washed out of the sea and broken corals.
There are nice, green fields. We have several ideas, but Anders says – sugar canes. On one side of the road – hills, on the other – beautiful ranch houses with palms.
A stop and a walk at Tyto Wetlands park. The ground is cracked. Emīls realizes that there’s almost no shadow. On palm trunks there are ferns growing, there are tropical plants all around. Trees with interesting fruits, similar to rambutans from Indonesia. We are listening to bird songs. It’s hot, sweating, temperature surely around 35 degrees. In the lake there are ducks swimming and some white waterbirds. Anders and Rūdolfs are seriously observing everything. There are ants nests among bush branches and canes. Then something is rustling in the grass. We are sending Rūdolfs ahead. It seems that someone flees. On our way back – photo with a small wallaby who is fearfully hiding under bushes. Then he gathers courage and makes a mighty jump over the road.
We are going further. The surroundings have changed – rain forests, cultivated fields, plantations with bananas. Local vegetables and fruits are being sold. We buy 2 watermelons – and eat one at once. Very tasty, sweet. Then comes Cairns – green, blooming. We find Andrejs’ house and park in the yard. There are diverse plants here – a cocos palm with coconuts, pineapples, pomelo, flowers, blooming bushes. There are poisonous toads living in the garden.
Then dinner with seafood, rice and wine. Conversations going on, we are checking Andrejs’ photo albums, listening about local birds, plants. Drinking tea with eucalyptus leaves which have been gathered in Zita’s care in the garden. Late we are going to sleep.