Paul and Colleen Geysen

April 17, 1997


Today I explored Trinity Beach. The locals here are very friendly and helpful people. Cairns is a city with a harbor with most of its shoreline filled with mangroves and mushy land. It looks similar to a major low tide. Most of the coast is famous for bird watching. This land mass was formed by volcanic eruption. Some of the business locals here would like to fill in the bay thinking more hotels and development would be good for tourism. However, a unique habitat would be lost!

In the evening I cycled 25 km north up the coast to Trinity Beach. I was the guest of Colleen and Paul Geysen. Paul is the younger brother of Peter from Victoria. Colleen and Paul are both photographers and we spent the night taking the local Australian Rules Football team's pictures at the club.

April 18, 1997


Departed the Geysen's in Trinity Beach for Port Douglas. The cycle was undulating, with scenic coastal views throughout. Colleen told me that she had trained the Belgians on motorbike along this route at an average of 40 km. I was cruising along, but not at that level. I cycled by the home of Charlie the Crocodile at Hartleys Creek Crocodile Farm. Fascinated by this reptile, I had to attend. I spoke with the management and they agreed to a web story for entry.

Hartleys Creek was established in 1934, and has the best crocodile show in Australia. The farm is situated in a lush tropical setting. Charlie holds the record for the longest held crocodile in captivity. He was caught in Browns Bay in 1934. Charlie has been a star attraction to hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Cairns region and is a household name to three generations of locals. Besides entertaining the visitors, Charlie wants people to understand crocodiles and not fear them due to ignorance. By encouraging public awareness through education, people will be able to accept crocodiles and help avoid conflict between crocodiles and humans. There are other attractions to the park such as live shows daily, featuring such animals as koalas, flying foxes, and dingoes. There is also a snake show , where I learned many things about snakes in Australia. I even touched a Python-cool. The show was informative about the facts of snakes. In general, snakes are docile creatures and only attack when their space has been invaded. Australia, home to 20 of the 23 venomous snakes in the world, is prime breading ground.

Hartley's Creek is also home to several Cassowaries. The Cassowary, a flightless bird, growing to a height of 1.60m (approximately 63"), inhabits the dense rainforests of North Queensland and parts of New Guinea. The World population is only around 1500. This intriguing bird of the rain forest devours tropical fruit whole. The Cassowary is important to the area because it spreads the seeds of many tropical fruits throughout. It is the only animal that eats several types of fruit in the area.

A stop at Hartleys Creek is worth the price of admission. The education, shows, and live entertainment make an excellent value.


Photo: PEER Productions

April 19, 1997


Relaxed in Port Douglas with my new host Corien. Had the pleasure to surf and ski in the bay for several hours in the morning. The locals at the caravan park held a yearly BBQ. Corien, the Geysens, and I enjoyed an evening of food and singing, along with 30 others under a bright moon on the beach. Port Douglas is famous for The Clinton's visit to the area in November of '96. The locals here were impressed with the Clinton's for sharing their time with the locals. Big Bill was walking the streets shaking hands with all the locals. Port Douglas is a beautiful little town to explore.

April 20, 1997


The journey had to proceed due to time factors. In the A.M. I left Port Douglas in a northwestern direction. Cycled over the Great Dividing Range to an inland route toward Cooktown, some 270 km's. This area is famous for its minerals and gems. The minerals are embedded in the rocks throughout this region. The sun reflects the natural beauty of the minerals. I reckon that rocks release properties of various energy, each one having it's own principle. To gain some time I committed to riding with the moon light. The harvest moon in the high tropical desert was spectacular. The shadows of the rock formations were breathtaking as the light danced off the rocks into the sky. Cycling into the next day, under the moon light in the tropical desert was amazingly awesome.

April 21, 1997


The evening rest had a late night surprise, I was awakened by a wild white mustang which circled me, but posed no threat. The full moon illuminated the sky so bright that I could see the horse's eye's some 15 meters away. The cycle was 145 km off road. The total elevation climb was over 8,000 feet. My second moon ride in as many days was equally awesome. I thought of my mates back in California to inspire me on to Cooktown. I'm Looking forward to exploring historical Cooktown tomorrow.

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