Innisfail

We both slept well and did not hurry out because breakfast at the Queens Hotel did not begin until 8:00 am. We were there soon after that and both opted for coffees with fruit salad and a side of granola as distinct from another menu item, granola with a side of fruit salad. Our meals took a while to arrive, most likely because it took time to cut up and arrange the wide variety of fresh fruit which included, dragon fruit, rambutan, and much more topped with yoghurt. We walked away pleased with our choice and ready for the day.

Back at the motel I called Peter Dryden to let him know we were on our way to Good Counsel College where he had offered to meet us for a tour. That took substantially longer than it would have when we were last here because the school had grown considerably since I left at the end of 1988. Enrolment had risen to around 600 during the rebuilding of Innisfail after Cyclone Larry but had settled back closer to 400 which is still close to twice what it had been when we left. Much of the area that had been open ground then is now covered in buildings that serve a variety of pre-vocational subjects as well as academic. It was good to see that GCC continues to succeed.

Cassowary and chick
On the road to Coquette Point

After Peter had left us Majella drove us to Flying Fish Point on the north side of the Johnstone River mouth. Then it was back through town and around to Coquette Point. As we drove up the last section of the road a cassowary stepped out onto the road. Majella slowed down and then stopped as much for photographs as to avoid an accident. The adult had three chicks and they all wandered slowly along the road not at all bothered by our car.

At the top of the hill we stopped by the house where Pat and Laura Ryan had lived. That house is almost entirely obscured by vegetation now and the southern side, which had been open ground, has a house closing it in. The view from across the street up the Johnstone River to Innisfail and beyond is as impressive as ever and we stepped across for photos of that. We were not able to check the view to the ocean from that point but saw some of it further down the road as we drove to the river shore. There were no crocodiles visible today but there was a warning sign.

Back in town we went for a look at the church. It has new glass in the windows as a consequence of the cyclone. It also has multiple video screens for projection and numerous speakers. There have been some upgrades in 30 years.

We had lunch at a cafe across the road from the motel and then walked back via Coles where we picked up what we need for a simpler breakfast tomorrow. I found time to process some photos from this morning and Majella rested before we went out separately later in the afternoon. Majella walked to the shops for some things we needed and I walked around town with my camera to capture a few more memories.

After a little more rest it was time to head off to Peter and Cathy Drydens’ home for dinner. Peter had missed contacting some potential catch-up guests who were out of town but Sergio and Kathy Buosi and Trish Miskin were able to join us. We enjoyed a meal and much conversation about old times and what had happened since with family and mutual friends. It was a great night of reminiscing about life in Innisfail punctuated at one point by a short loud burst of rain to remind us of what Innisfail was like. Fortunately the rain had passed by the time we walked out to the car to drive back to our motel.