Reluctantly we left paradise. We were forced out with an empty gas bottle and a defrosting fridge. Otherwise I would have stayed in Bingil Bay for 4 weeks and one day. After leaving we find Jake’s dirty thongs stolen and our keycard missing. But as my partner in car rides says “A new day, a new adventure.” (I’m sure someone else said it before him but I’m driving here.) We refilled our gas at a pie shop in Tully and took a drive down Canecutter’s Way. Yep, you guessed it more sugar cane. It’s not a bad view, I’ve come to love it, especially the smell of it burning. Tawny caramel cooking, molten molasses.
We stopped in at Paronella Park in Mena Creek, which is a gorgeous castle ruins built on a waterfall, set in rainforest. Jose Paronella was a Spanish man who came to Australia and built his dream in 1929 with his hands. The Grand ballroom and theatre house are now covered in a thick forest moss and you can see the watermarks on the staircase where the floods of ’46 and ’67 consumed the castle walls. Walking around the park through broken bits of handcrafted masonry is resplendently sombre. Beautiful in the vision, crushing in the fall.