The Shangri-La Squat and "VACANCY, NO!"

In Cairns, I stayed a night at a Five Star hotel, The Shangri-La, absolutely free.
I was dropped off in the city by two German girls, who I had been traveling with for the past three days. I have never been more happy to get out of a automtive vehicle in my life; I felt as though I had been trapped in a mini-van with a pair of Arian Dementors. It wasn't that they were rude or even unaccmidating hosts. They were just miserable.
They only ate one meal a day, splitting a bag of plain, 59 cent, store brand pene pasta. They didn't even have sauce! I'm all for low budget travel, but their existance was miserable. It was the first time I ate my rice and beans three nights in a row this whole trip. Their energy was all but non-existant. In the three months since they had been here, their English had seemingy not improved, and they refused to let me help them practice. They also lacked the metaboic resources to comprehend why I was telling them that their van, which coudnt even comfortable sit or sleep the three of us (I slept outside both nights) was not going to accomidate the both of them and one of their sisters and her friend. Four is indeed greater than three.
I digress. Once in Cains, I spent the afternoon collecting information about the Daintree and my travels ahead. After a wonderful, real dinner, I stashed my pack in an outrigger on the peir and went in search of accommodation for the night. I was drawn to this large, gorgeous building right on the water, The Shagri-La.
After an intial recon run, I retrieved my pack, made it past the two receptionists (again), and back up to the 3rd floor. There I suit all to myself... the meetingroom suit.
After leaving Cairns, spending a few days WWOOFing in Cape Kimberly, canoeing out to Snapper Island, snorkeling The Great Barrier Reef (Finding Myself, haha), and sleeping on a coral beach that twinkles with each lapping wave: I decided to go and explore the Daintree Rainforest a bit more. With a bicycle from my host, I rode the 38 kms up the mountains to Cape Tribulation.
With muscles that had lied dorment since the streets of Brooklyn, I made it their in good time. I had a bit too much fun bouldering around the cape though, eating coconuts and exploring the jungle. By the time I was half way home, the sun had set and the rain had blown in. My torch (flashlight) had died. At some point, a car passed me and stopped a bit down the road. The truck's headights illuminated what I had not seen. The small wooden bridge I had passed over earier in the day, above a once pacid creek, was now covered by a ragging monsoonal torrent.
I stopped to speak with the driver (a cute local, brunette girl around my age). She, in her [however many] ton 4WD pickup truck, was even a bit hesitant about crossing. We talked for a bit and she she was headed down past my turn off about 15kms down the road. She agreed to ferry the bicycle and me accross the water. As I was loading the bike in, she got out and said, "There isn't too much water accross that one side of the bridge," removed the bike, and scurried her vehice to the other side. Thus, leaving me alone, in the dark, pouring rain, on the other side of the bridge.
Naturaly, I crossed the bridge regardless. From there on out, I walked the bicycle. Even with the full moon just two days back, at times I couldn't even see the double solid white line beneath my feet. The only way to orient myself and keeping from walking off of the road was to look up for the slight break formed in the canopy.
After walking for a timeless while, I finaly saw lights in the distance. It was an arragment of three builings, one large house and two smaller cabin looking structures at the fore. A happy looking familly sat at the kitchen table, in the larger of the three. So, I knocked, sopping wet.
It turned out to be a very down to earth sheep farmer on vacation from Victoria, his wife with whome they had five daughters, as well as a female, Canadian foriegn exchange student. I couldn't have picked a better door to stop and ask directions from.
I spent the rest of the evening dry, playing Scrabble, and enjoying good conversation. The same can also be said for the morning. Upon departing, to return to Cape Kim, I notice the sign out front. It had been too dark when I came in durring the night to see. I had stopped at Thornton's Beach Bungaows. While biking in the day before I had a good laugh at that sign. On one side it read "NO VACANCY" (as is common place). While on the other side, they had messed up the spacing so the "NO" had to be moved, thus the sign read "VACANCY NO."

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Location: デインツリー国立公園 LOT 76 ケープ・キンバリー・ロード キンバリー クイーンズランド 4873 オーストラリア


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