Wednesday, 3 December 2014

How to leave Cairns?

I lived in Cairns for nearly 15 years, and in so many ways it was the perfect place to live.  I remember back then when I accepted a job in Ballarat saying to friends, how can you possibly leave Cairns? John Metcalfe (who is still there, living in the same house and riding his old bike) said, it's easy to leave - you just drive to the big fish, and you keep going. And that's what I did last week.

The Big Fish is the marlin that used to be at the southern gateway. These days it marks a shopping centre that has quadrupled in size from out days of living up the road - we used to have a game when Matt was in a carseat in the back in his nappies, I'd have to look the other way and he'd shout out 'I see wish worse!' (I see the fish first).

Farewell Trinity Beach - no more moonlight swims now that stinger season has arrived. 

Off on a 2000km drive south....

Monday, 1 December 2014

Rusty's Markets in Cairns

The Friday and Saturday markets at Rusty's Bazaar are still going strong. The noise and the smells take me back to any southeast asian market, but the people and the produce are distinctly Cairns. Some of the atmosphere of old has disappeared, but its still a great experience. Just for old times I had to combine my visits with a coffee and cake at what we always called Paris Croissants, now the Swiss Cake and Coffee Shop. Not much has changed here except it is not Terry and Sally behind the counter any more.

Probably the main change in the markets is that there is a stronger PNG and Islands presence. Otherwise there are still the Italian farmers from the tablelands, Cambodian families and local organic foodie artisans.

Can't you smell the mangoes, coriander, basil, vanilla coffee and incense?