As late as breakfast this morning there was negotiation of arrangement for our excursion to Kuranda today. We had discussed it last night but some were already asleep by then and we needed to be sure who was doing what.
Majella and I had decided to go up by cable car and back on the train. Callum had agreed to go with us and we thought Sophie would come to make the second child in a ‘family’ but she had not been awake when we discussed that last night. Nick was planning to add Emily as a second adult for another ‘family’ plus a child but she was unsure whether she wanted the cable car ride. Eventually we set off with Jane and Lea bringing Emily in a third car so that she could go up with them if she opted for just the train back. In the end she did that and we booked cable up and train down for a ‘family’ and an adult with three children.
The cable car ride greatly exceeded Majella’s expectations. She had expected a straight-up cable car ride but this one had two stops along the way and took more than an hour. At the first stop there is a boardwalk through the rainforest and we were lucky to catch a guided tour which pointed out a variety of interesting features along the boardwalk. The second stop was above the Barron Falls where a new lookout was opened only a week or so ago. The old lookout was good but the new one is pushed out over the gorge with glass safety barriers and partial glass floor so the the viewing is much improved. From there the cable car rolled on to Kuranda.
As we left the cable car station, Hannah, Matt, and Claire drove up. We agreed to meet further into town and they headed off to park while we walked up the path. As we reached the village, we met Jane, Lea, and Emily and further on we found Sam, Bek, Lane, Joel, and Grace. Hannah had a recommendation for coffee so those who needed refreshment headed there while others cruised the shops.
That pattern continued throughout our time in Kuranda. Groups formed and changed, visited different venues according to interests, and bumped into each other as we moved around. Gutkes, Jane, and Emily visited the butterflies, Nick shopped opals and a variety of quirky gifts, and we explored the markets. Eventually it was time for those driving to head home and the rest of us to catch our train down the mountain.
The train ride down takes 90 minutes to pass through 14 tunnels and over more than 20 bridges as it twists and turns. It stopped at the Barron Falls station for 10 minutes so we could appreciate the lookout over the falls. The rest of the trip was non-stop but often very slow around tight bends with occasional gaps in the forest affording views to the coast or other parts of the landscape.
We arrived at Freshwater station on schedule to find Jane and Lea waiting to convey our drivers, Majella and Nick, back to the cable car terminus to collect our cars. Emily and I waited with the kids. Once the drivers returned with cars we headed back to Harvester Home where some just relaxed with a cold drink while others swam in the pool.
Dinner was barbecue. Liam Pelly was in town with work so came to join us. We enjoyed chicken wings, steak, sausages, and trimmings with salad. There was plenty of food and drinks to wash it down.
There had been considerable effort expended in posting and appreciating the photographs taken by each team for the competition arranged by Hannah. That required selfies of team members with the specified objects and, in the absence of certain ‘real’ objects there was a great deal of creativity in finding substitutes. Sorting out an eventual winner proved to be a major challenge with a lot of argument about what counted and how it should score. Hannah and Jane built a spreadsheet to add points and finally determined the winner as Nick and his boys by a solid margin from the Gutkes as runners-up.