'Let's play a game.'
'I'll give you a word and you tell me the first thing that pops into your head.'
Haven't we all played this? Someone says a word and out pops the first thing we associate with it. Association is a weird thing. It's influenced so much by where we are, who we are with, what we do, what we read, where we go; and it embeds itself so deeply within the mind that sometimes, we don't even see beyond it. And I think that is SO unfortunate, because man, do we miss out on so much more!
Folks I spoke to before going to Australia, most of 'em hadn't even heard of Cairns. Those who had, knew it is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. I admit, I was one of them. I knew about Cairns, but not much more than the fact that I knew I had to go crack the surface of the blues and greens of the Pacific and lose myself in the world below.
But it's amazing what a little bit of research can do! A slight bit of reading up and Cairns opened up a whole new vista of natural beauty for me. Not only is it the perfect springboard for that bloody beautiful Reef, it also lets you experience the dense lushness of the rainforests - those gigantic trees, the poisonous plants, the waterfalls, everything!
I went chasing waterfalls in Cairns.
I'm a complete water baby, and Uncle Brian's Atherton Tablelands waterfalls tour looked like it was made for me. The photos promised a lot of fun, so this mad, excited child went ahead and made the booking ????
When Gus the Bus pulled into the lobby of my hotel in all its rainforest-printed glory, and Cuz Rohan got out of the driver's seat to let me in, I knew I had made the right decision. My first impression was that Gus looked like the cutest bus ever; and Cuz Rohan.. Well, let's just say his enthusiasm for life is so infectious that not only does it last all day, it stays with you long after. No kidding.
The guy knows how to bring complete strangers together and band us as a family (that's why they're called Cousins!), he knows how to keep up a tempo, he has a great sense of humour and can totally consider an alternate career as an RJ. He also knows his stuff, he spoke to us so much about the history of the place, and how it has shaped the country to be what it is today, and there were tidbits of information we got at every stop along the way. What more could you even ask for in a tour guide?