Nov 24 2011

Port Douglas in the wet season

Well I’ve returned to my least favourite place on our Great Cape York adventure – Port Douglas.

One of my girlfriends has been wanting me to come to Port Douglas for a while, instead of Noosa which is our usual girlie long weekend away. So far I’ve resisted, but she is going through a very stressful time at work and needed to get away. So, like any good friend, I volunteered for the arduous task of spending a week at Port Douglas with her.

Somebody has to do it!

We arrived yesterday, and as could be expected in the tropics in the wet season, it was raining. But, as is also expected in the tropics in the wet season but far less known, it stopped again and the sun came out long enough for us to laze around by the pool and work on our suntans for an hour or so.

Wet season in the tropics is not quite what most people seem to think. It doesn’t rain all the time, but it does rain most days. Often you’ll get a sunny morning and it’ll rain in the afternoon or vice versa. Sometimes, like yesterday, it’ll rain on and off all day, with sunny patches in between.

After our session by the pool yesterday we decided we really needed some lunch. It had been a very long morning, with a 4.30am wake up call to get to the airport for a 6am flight.

Working to that timetable there hadn’t really been time for breakfast, and I couldn’t eat at that time of morning anyway, and flying Jetstar they don’t feed you on the plane. By the time we got to the resort here it was 10am (11am Sydney time) and we decided the pool took precedence over eating. After all, we had to grab opportunities in the sun as they arose.

So it wasn’t long before I was starving.

If there’s one thing Port Douglas does do well, it’s eating spots. There are very many to choose from, so we wondered down the main street and settled for the Courthouse Hotel. We were just after something casual where we could get a glass of wine and sit and watch the world go by.

It was a good choice. Being on the corner of the main street and opposite the mouth of the estuary we had our choice of things to watch. And they served decent bubbly in piccolos!

Across the road is a park with one of the  best churches I’ve ever seen. It has a big glass window behind the altar which looks straight out over the Coral Sea.  Even as an atheist it would be a good place to sit and contemplate the majesty of the world – but then again, so was the pub across the road!

While having lunch we watched the rain, and the sun, and the rain again. Tropical rain is real rain – big, heavy drops that could flood streets in minutes. Fortunately places in the tropics are designed for that type of rain and have better drainage than, say, Sydney, which floods every time it gets a good solid downpour – which is often.

One good thing about wet season in the tropics is the amount of vegetation. It is lush, thick and colourful.

The greens are greener and the flowers are all out in abundance. It is magnificent, and most people miss it because they only visit in the dry season.

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