So the day we were least looking in forward to, in some ways, turned out to be the best of all. As I had previously mentioned, we had swapped our Safari Tour day with the Barrier Reef trip, and so our last whole day was to be spent with our lovely French tour guide Franc.
He picked us up with some other guests from our hotel early in the morning. The day was to be pretty packed:
1. Eubanangee Swap Nation Park
2. Johnstone River Crocodile Farm
3. Lunch at a Australian / Italian restaurant
4. Jospehine Falls, where we could take a swim
5. Bindaâ€™s Boulder, with another chance for a swim
6. A visit with a aboriginee shop with demonstrations of the didgeridoo, and the bush telephone.
It was quite the itinerary, and it was something very special.
Franc was an excellent guide. He was constantly telling us stories about the passing countryside as we traveled about 70 km away from Cairns. He provided us with a detailed history of the natural environment, and what is rare in a guide, admitted when he did not know the answer to our questions. I loved this about him. As a tour guide it is too easy to BS the unknowing tourist (I have done it myself â€“ usually for my own amusement though). On the very rare occasions Franc came to the edge of his expansive knowledge base, he was forthright in prefacing his statements with either a â€œI do not knowâ€, or a â€œI think it is becauseâ€¦ but I am not sureâ€.
Our first stop on the tour was Eubanangee Swamp, where we got a walk along the river, staying more than 5 metres away from it all all times, before climbing a hillock where we got a lovely view of a swamp where the land was filled with water birds, and unseen dangers in the shape of crocodiles. Although we missed the crocodiles, we got to see some of the local avian population in the wild â€“ it was pretty special.