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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Silky Oaks Lodge

I am sitting up above the trees, nearer their crowns then their roots. In front of me are stag horns, elk horns and crow’s nests. This animalistic image bears little resemblance to what is in front of me. Softly shaped horns, it is true, but ones that bend and flow in the breeze in vibrant shades of green.
I look below and I see the water burbling past the rocks further up, sliding smoothly before me, through an expanse of river, which shimmers green, yet unerringly translucent.

 A type of Ginger 
This is Silky Oaks Lodge, a haven in the rainforest, sitting on the edge of the Mossman river, in Northern Queensland where I had the delight to spend three days just recently.

The dining room and the reading room are beautifully positioned along the side of the river, while the tree houses are hidden in amongst the trees of the rainforest. The view from them a mixture of trunks, leaves, ferns and bark, as far as the eye can see. A hammock is offered on the balcony in case there is an urgent need to recline in front of such natural beauty.

We travelled up from Cairns and enjoyed the wonderfully warm and friendly stories of the area that Des shared with us. Tales of how Cairns, Port Douglas and Mossman grew with the gold rush and the timber and how eventually the sugar cane came to dominate the area. The slaves were brought in from the islands to help cut the cane in fields full of rats and mice, which the deadly taipan snake happily pursued. 
This snake is considered to be the most venomous snake in the world, the poison from one bite able to kill 100 men! The only way they could cut the cane safely was to burn it before it was cut to make sure that the snakes had gone before they went in with their machetes. Back breaking, hard and often dangerous work, men’s lives were lost and families torn apart.
 The sugar cane grows again rapidly in this moist and warm environment to a height of some 6-8 ft. 

Mercifully now the cane is cut by a machine and loaded onto to carts, which go to the processing plant nearby. The sugar cane was being harvested all along our journey, with vast tracks of the canes being cut and loaded onto the waiting bins.The raw sugar is exported to China. Chinese immigrants came to this area for the gold and some stayed and set up businesses. 
Port Douglas was devastated by a cyclone in 1911 and its recovery was long. It is off this coast that Steve Irwin was stung by a ray and died. It is here also that Bill and Hilary Clinton visited several times, the last time when 9/11 struck the US. The area now welcomes many more tourists and Chinese businessmen see the potential. People come here to enjoy the nice beaches but also a World Heritage site – the Daintree Forest.
The weather was a little wet – but that is not surprising- it is after all the "rain" – forest. It is probably the oldest in the world and comes right down to the sea. More about the forest in my next blog. 

1 comment:

  1. A green world, so different from what we see here! beautiful sis


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