17 March 2006

Port hopping

From Brisbane up the Great Barrier Reef is Pacific Dreaming. Once one touches the mainland or islands, one arrives back in the nightmare as usual. Building sites as far the eyes can see. Walls of cement-cubes and diesel filled roads herd all visitors away from the remaining 'bit of green or blue' behind. Hamilton Isld., Magnetic Island and now Darwin, the earth is erased and large holes of building rubble are on the edge of these places. It seemed that there were more 'for sale' signs on Hamilton, than trees.
The rainforest on Magnetic, once one penetrated behind the wall of commerce, was very nice. Snake galore around the feet or in the vines across the face. The famous death adder did not dare come out in the middle of the day. Magic granit boulders, covered in bright pink and yellow and offset by the few remaining Kaurie pines (Auracacias) echo the colours on their bark. The Pandanus clad tropical ocean is a no-no due to the box yellyfish.
Cairns - endless fields of sugarcane and on the slopes the wet tropical rainforests. The giants have long been 'harvested', the gold-diggers fixed up the rest. The task now seems to convert the fields of monoculture into tourist venues. A trip into the hinterland enlightens one about the glorious 'white history'. Shops are richly stocked with products fabricated in Asia.
It is sad to see the rich specificity erased for a few $ and replaced by boring monotenous 'W. Disney'-parks. In Darwin all seem to live and drive in air-conditioned capsules and aim for troughs of seafood. I am happy to get back on the boat and view the mainland form a distance...

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