4736 kms, 6 fuel stops, 613 litres of diesel, 3 McDonalds visits (3 too many), 5 churches visited, about 80 people we caught up with, and 1 bunch of bananas later, we arrive in Cairns.  We felt surprisingly refreshed at the end of our journey… that was until we unpacked the car. We were both amazed at how much stuff we (for lack of a better word), stuffed into the car as we pulled it all out and tried putting it all in the little 3 room apartment we will be calling home for the next 6 weeks.
So we are sitting in our room at the Tree Tops Lodge in 24 degrees weather (at 9pm and it’s not humid).

Naomi, Kim and Sam

We left Townsville this morning with a record early departure of 8:30am… you get good at loading the car after 13 attempts.  The Frosty Mango was our first stop as we were instructed that we must not go past it.  Glad that we did, a mango smoothie goes down well in lieu of a good coffee.  Cardwell was going to be our next stop seeing that it was so beautiful and right on the beach and a good place to support a little town devestated by cyclone Yasi, but Sam took his time going back to sleep (he must have thought he was going to get some of that smoothie), so we kept on driving through so he could finish his nap. So we ended up stopping in Tully instead which was good as Sam was able to get his photo taken with his first (and only for this trip) ‘big’ tourist attraction – the Big Gumboot (complete with a tree frog stuck on the side).  Needless to say, he didn’t care less.

Sam's first 'big' tourist attraction

From Cardwell to Innisfail it was sad to see houses still with tarps over parts of the roofs, and trees snapped and mangled from ‘Yasi’.  The vegetation has changed a lot from Townsville to Cairns, it’s so jungly here.  We started seeing signs next to rivers warning people that crocs may inhabit the areas.  Jason better be careful where he wanders to find that photo he wants!
Well we’ll try to keep on blogging even though we won’t be on the road for the next 6 weeks, but I’m sure we’ll find things to write about during that time.
We praise God that our car ran without a hiccup the whole way and actually rides better with a heavy load.  We managed to average 13ltrs/100kms on the way up which was surprisingly good considering how much stuff we had in there.  We also thank God for safe driving (despite a few maniacal truck drivers and their overtaking habits) and that Samuel was such a trooper.  He has become such a good traveler in the car and adaptable when it comes to different beds.