Port Douglas -Friday 4th November 2011


Actually, when you open the blinds, it’s pleasant enough and the room is huge! Let’s go and explore before we write any complaining emails about our lack of kitchen and the misnomer of an apartment!

The Ramada resort has pleasant paths through palm filled courtyards, a pool of concrete with a swim up bar and a waterfall. One path leads to the side roads and just round the corner is the beach. Built as a top luxury hotel, it has sold off rooms to private buyers. That is clearly what we have!

4 Mlle Beach: find sand with tide well out, it is very gently shelving producing tiny waves as the energy of the sea is trapped by the Great Barrier Reef. Not a building to be seen, except the look out at the far end of the peninsula.

The edge of the beach is fringed with coconut trees and palms. It’s beautiful! There are hardly 8 people over the entire stretch. We wander away from lookout point.

It’s blissful! But what strikes me is that not one of those people are in the sea, not even paddling!

The stinger season has just begun. There are two to beware of: one you can sure with vinegar, the other you need CPR!

Beware the Box!

We chat to a local lady who jokes this is her beach. She thinks there are only 5 or 6 stingers around so takes her chance, but we don’t actually see her in the sea!

For lunch we begin to realize one hand basin can be for washing dishes, there’s just about enough plates and cutlery to make a sandwich.

The town is only down the road, but it is a mile long road and very hot by now with a humid heat, so we are very glad of the car. There is so much to learn: what does 2P mean at raring zones? 2 hours free parking! Brilliant!

It’s quite different from Newcastle. More compact, lots of clothes shops, an attractive shopping street. At the end of which we randomly turn right and discover a park set against the sea on two sides. There’s a swing set, and picnic benches and a sort of shelter with a bench under it. We go to investigate.

It’s an outdoor barbecue! A public hot plate, just press the green button. Well, of course, John cannot resist this and presses. All my neurosis fly out! Health and safety: what if a child touches it while it is hot? Green issues: what a waste of fuel if we have nothing to eat here! Or what if we now run out of fuel? I need to leave this area.

Crazy reaction! We sit for a while. Keeping an eye of the BBQ, watching the sea and the fisher folk. But the BBQ still calls John. He goes off to collect the chicken, red pepper etc and we cobble together a brilliant meal,

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Later that day we take a bottle of wine down to “our” beach. One or two walkers go by but it is deserted. We find two patio chairs left by the side of the beach and sit facing the ocean. We face East and watch the sky turn pink, purple, dark.

This is retirement. Not fussing about kitchens or BBQs. Sitting and marveling about the beauty of our world. Pure magic!

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