19 Aug 2019

Airlie Beach, Queensland, 19th August 2019

It's my birthday today, twenty one for the third time, where has the time gone? Still, can't dwell on that, there's too much of life still to live, and today is no exception. After a lovely bacon and egg breakfast sandwich (it's so nice being back in civilisation where we can get proper provisions!) we went segwaying in the rainforest. We have done this a couple of times before, but when it comes to getting back into one of these strange machines after a long period of absence, you always wonder if you are going to make a complete fool of yourself by falling off.

Fortunately, we both remembered how to do it, and there were no embarrassing moments! We went 5km into the rainforest, stopping off on the way to discover some facts about the world's second most poisonous plant, a completely inocuous looking heart shaped leafed thing that if you brush up against it, it leaves you in absolute agony. The guide did mention a story about a policeman who, about a century ago used a leaf to clean himself up after going to the toilet and ended up shooting himself dead as he was in so much pain afterwards and couldn't stand it any more. Warning! Do not try this at home!!

We also had the opportunity to climb inside a giant strangler fig.

It was very impressive looking up inside this leviathon.

On we went further into the rainforest until we reached a river and stopped for a snack lunch, thoughtfully provided as part of our trip. It turns out that the wife of the tour operator is a professional baker, and her chocolate brownies were to die for (hello, my name is Paul, and I am a chocoholic). After relaxing by the water for a while, the photo opportunity was too good to miss.

On the way back, we were able to go at our own speed, and we took off on our own, leaving the novice riders to go at a slower pace, made it back to the car park, then turned back to meet up with the following group, so we really made the most of the time allowed. All in all, a great morning.

In the afternoon, we took a courtesy bus around to Northerlies, a waterfront restaurant that had been recommended to us. We enjoyed a late lunch of Wagyu burgers with fries, sitting in the sunshine overlooking the sea. There are so many yachts in this area to look at. After  our meal,  we chatted with a group of locals who were on the next table, then we got a taxi back to town and relaxed on board for the evening watching a movie. All in all a great day!!

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