Port Douglas

10 days and almost 2000km since collecting Fergie, weather looking a little perkier, so time to slow down. Port Douglas looked like a possible stop for a couple of days a few walks and some misbehaviour!

Once again, the trusty park4night app comes up trumps with a car park right next to the Marina, pretty much in the middle of town. Took a gentle amble around the clifftop pathways and generally checked out the surrounding area. Handy facilities close by for numbers greater than one, a stack of bars, even a Coles a few minutes walk away. Don’t mind if we do!

Enjoyed a gentle feed in the fading sun and noticed a sign in the pub over the road. “Cane Toad Racing Tonight” Sounds like a hoot, tickets bought. I have raced many a strange species over the years, lobsters, hermit crabs, beetles, mice, (Including mouse vs Monitor Lizard!), sheep and frogs but never a toad. Let alone an invasive, poisonous one. Only in Australia! fun! Turns out the toads in the racing paddock were generally far smaller and far less poisonous looking than many of the ones stalking around town in activewear looking for kisses. Back in the pub, there is a pre-race bid to be the jockey, generally ending anywhere between $50 and $100 to ‘ride’ one of these. A bunch of toads wearing coloured hair ties for ID are popped into the starting bucket. Donald Jump, Aussie Aussie Aussie, Gay Freddo, camel toad and a few others. Each jockey is issued a ‘whip’, (One of those annoying party, blow/noise things), to encourage your investment over the edge of the table. Then it is just a matter of catching the slippery bastard before it makes a dash for the NSW border. Pop it into the winning basket first to win! Easy!
Five, four, three, two, one, GO! Mayhem as each jockey gives their party blower full throttle. About half make a bolt for it. The other half looking more like their activewear wearing mates, standing around in the middle of the bar area waiting for another arse tickle. All toads generally end up in the winning basket and prizes are awarded. A can of Great Northern seems to be the main prize. Why pay less?

Much fun had, took the 25 metre walk back to our digs.

Bit of a potter about town the next day followed up by another round of racing in the evening.
Turns out that overnight stays in the carpark are not strictly legal with a round of running with the rangers a strong possibility. Fortunately no unwelcome rangers, (Or toads), disturbed us so took a detour around an army of tree ants for an mooch around the local Sunday market. Noticed these two potential Darwin Award recipients who wandered past the sign for a bit of a paddle! Good luck with that!

Time to go, off to Mossman

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