Train in the sky
Is it just me who didn't know that Australia has a rain forest or should I have kept this quiet to hide my ignorance ? Apparently, at one time, it took over a large portion of this very big island. And now it's just 0.1% of the land mass and is largely, and necessarily, protected by law.
A twenty minute bus journey takes you from Cairns to the 'Sky Train.' This is a cable car station like they have at ski resorts. A cable car takes you over the rain forest to the top of the mountain and a little town of Kuranda. As an alternative, most people take the slow train back down the mountain. The view over the rain forest is awesome. At one of the cable car stops you can get off and take a fifteen minute guided tour. This is far more interesting than any 'school lesson.' At another station you can see a waterfall.
Finally, at the top is the little town of Kuranda. This appears a little odd as there is dense rain forest all around. It seems we are lucky that the weather is good, it has rained by three meters in the last three months. The town has cafe's and shops all willing to see you part with your money. Lunch comprising of burger, chips and a coke was a tad expensive (that's another way of saying a rip-off). There is a 'snake venom' zoo to visit that has snakes, insects and bugs to see. Also, there is a koala zoo, which has other animals like wallabies to see there. There are plenty of things to occupy a few hours.
On my tour party I meet Tamsin, who is an exchange teacher from England, and she has to have her picture taken while holding a koala, like a teddy bear. There are plenty of other, mainly girls and women who are equally dotty over these creatures. It's interesting to listen to the views of Brit who's been here for a few months. I still don't hear anything negative about Australia. By chance we walk past someone who looks like an Aborigine teenager who is just conversing with an American. 'Yoh, give me some skin bro,' the Aborigine boy says (something like that anyway). This is a little freaky. Do these kids want to be Harlem 'Boys from the hood' too ? Tell me I'm dreaming.
After a few hours it's back down the mountain by slow train. The train is very old and may actually be a converted steam train, I don't know for sure.