I got in here to Mission Beach about 2:30 yesterday afternoon, and I got checked in to my B&B.††† It is the Licuala Lodge, a beautifully landscaped property on the edge of Mission Beach, run by Mick and Sue.† It seems to be surrounded by rainforest.† There are four guest units, with a very nice guest lounge that has dishes, cutlery, a hotplate, and a microwave oven.† Just what I need for my humble dinners.† Last night I had some chicken pasta salad and a meat pie that I had gotten at Woolies on the way into town.† One of the attractions here is that Southern Cassowaries visit most days.† The Cassowary is an endangered bird, and this is one of the few places you can see them.† It seems that they come around most days, but not always, and it can be at any time of day.
Well, yesterday as I was still moving my stuff up to my room, they came calling.† A father and his two chicks.† The males raise the chicks, shepherding them around for many months, until they can fend for themselves.† I took a number of pictures of them, of course, and those will eventually get posted.† The mature Cassowary is a large flightless bird, maybe as much as 5 feet tall.
By the time I was through taking my pictures and getting my stuff up to my room (on the second floor), I was overheated.† The temperature was in the low 80ís and it was very humid.† It doesnít take much to get me sweating in this environment.† I cooled down for a while, sitting out on the veranda, and then I took a cold shower, which cooled me down to a comfortable temperature.†
It was cooler out on the veranda, with a nice little breeze, but there are flies.† Another guest told me they are called March Flies.† They are about the size of our horse flies, but with larger wings, almost like a wasp.† They bite.† There doesnít seem to be any lasting effect from the bites, like a mosquito bite itches, but when they do bite you, it hurts.† I donít think they are after your blood, like a mosquito Ė I think they are just eating you.† They carve out a big hunk of flesh, and it leaves a bleeding spot if you let them finish their meal.† It doesnít really hurt all that much, but the thought of them eating me turns me off, and I donít like them.† Fortunately, they are stupid and once they start in on you, they really get stuck in.† It is easy to kill them then, by swatting them.† Sue brought me a fly swatter, and I killed about a dozen of them on me, in about 30 minutes, sitting on the veranda.† If you donít sweep them of the veranda, though, then the ants accumulate on them, and I didnít want to encourage that, so I swept them off the veranda as I killed them.
It was hot, as I think I mentioned, and there is no air conditioning.† There is a ceiling fan, though, and a small box fan in my room, and it did cool down somewhat at night.† It was about 75 in my room when I settled down about 9:30, and this morning it had gotten down to 69.† I slept quite well with only a sheet over me, later in the night.† At 8:20 AM, it is heating up again, though, and it is up to 74 here in my room.† It may be cooler outside, but the flies are outside, too.
It turned out that I wasnít able to get my computer connected to the internet yesterday, even via the phone line, so I am feeling kind of internet deprived, after two days without it.† I plan to find someplace this morning to get online, and to receive and send email, as well as put the last two Ramblings up Ė numbers 20 and 21 (this one).† Then I plan to go off and explore Mission Beach, to see if I can add a bird or two my lists.† I am staying here again tonight, and then moving on, per my itinerary.
Brekkie was very nice.† Juice, ham, cheese, a hard boiled egg, delicious fruit, and a couple of small pancakes.† That should hold me until I can find a bakery somewhere, to get a pie and a slice for lunch.
I guess that brings me up to date.† More in a day or two.† Iím off to find an internet cafť and some birds.
Barry Downunder without internet access again.