Running in the Rainforest

I arrived in Cairns, Queensland which is in the North and a popular jumping-off point for excursions to the Great Barrier Reef, and is also situated near the rainforest. Sounds good, right? It was a different from anything I’ve experienced so far.  I hated it. I even used the word shit-hole to describe it a few times.  And I didn’t take any pictures the first two days because I just didn’t think there was much to see.

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But it did get me thinking about why we only take pictures of the beautiful things and how we sort of ignore things when conditions are not as ideal. This mirrors how we often deal with our feelings as well: ignoring or suppressing the “bad” feelings and only feeling like we are on the right track when we are laughing and having the time of our lives.  But that’s just not the world we live in. I’d like to recognize the so-so scenery, just as I try to recognize negative feelings that come up from time to time. Nothing is constant anyway. It seems to make life a little more enjoyable when you just give recognition to the fact that things may not be ideal, and instead make the best of the situation and move on.  So that’s what I did.  My hostel was one of the nicest hostels here, which was surprising since it wasn’t that nice. When you add to it a few less than desirable roommates for, like, the 8th night in a row, with the people in Cairns being the last straw, I decided to switch it up to a hotel after the first night. And booked another trip to get out of Cairns after the second night.  At which point this town regained some charm.

It rained almost constantly the first two days.  You know what you get when you are near the rainforest and it is amost winter? Rain! So I spent a lot of time indoors just hanging out. And on my third day there, when the rain subsided for longer periods of time, I decided to do my first run post-marathon in the rainforest! I went 5 miles up through the Botanical Gardens and onto a path called Red Arrow.  It’s in the North of the city between the city and the airport.

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The view from the "top" of Red Arrow....
The view from the “top” of Red Arrow….

There were a lot of stairs but the stairs only lasted for about a mile, so it wasn’t toooo hard for my first run back.  Side note: You can also go much deeper into the Daindree Rainforest, which is further north outside of Cairns, but since it was my last day, this was good enough for me.  I even saw some wildlife! There were a few of these guys hanging around….

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Another great running or walking location is along the Esplanade, which is a long path along the beach.

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And they have nice little workout areas to do some strength training. I’ve seen these in so many cities. They are so nice!

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And then you can meet your friends after for a dip in the pool at the manmade beach…

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

But first, check if it’s safe to be in the sun…

Extreme seems high, but maybe that's just me?
Extreme seems high, but maybe that’s just me?

And then grill out with your friends at the public grill stations! Or alone, whichever. There were multiple grills at the one station, and multiple stations. So a lot of grills.

IMG_1444And enjoy the wading birds…

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Overall Cairns didn’t end up being so bad, but if you have limited time in Australia I think there are better ways to use your time.  If you are able to stop in, then 2 nights is probably all you need unless you spend more time out exploring the reef and rainforest than back in town. I wasn’t able to do any reef exploring here since I am going on an excursion for all of that later! So there were a lot of factors as to why I didn’t necessarily like Cairns.  You may just want to check it out for yourself to decide if it’s for you. 🙂

Until next time, loves!

 

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