Down Under Day 40: Bouldering

The day began like all the others of recent. Lunch was leftovers from the BBQ from last night, which was quite lovely. I might actually be able to leave Cairns quite cheaply with the exception of my eventual excursion to the Great Barrier not too long from now. Today I felt a little more like a real person being able to put my clothes in drawers unlike the disorganized mess I’ve grown accustomed to. The afternoon involved meeting some new arrivals to the hostel. It’s kind of odd for me now staying in this place for awhile. I am used to being the one getting up and going quite quickly, always on the move to see the next city or place. Now, I get to see and meet the waves of people that shuffle through a hostel. The continued research and discovery of what lies ahead for me in Asia continued. As much research as I need to do, I still need to leave a fair bit of room for the unpredictable, the flexibility of travel. In my opinion, a travel experience falls short if you don’t improvise at least once along the way, otherwise you might as well be apart of some tour. Later on, I convinced my roommate and coworker Dave to join me for bouldering. Even though I don’t have the time to do day trips and no desire to spend my money carelessly, I still have found some worthwhile things to do here. I figured why not try something new and meet some cool people along the way. At the end of the day, that is why I am here, to experience the unique and intangible things that I won’t necessarily find at home. In case you are not aware, bouldering is much like rock climbing, except much shorter like a boulder. With the exception of a few spots, you do not need to be clipped into a harness, allowing you to free climb. The goal of the exercise is to only touch certain colors designated by the route to circumvent the rock before eventually tapping out by climbing to the top of the boulder. This outdoor boulder spot sits outside along the Esplanade and today it is one of the sponsored Active Living activities in Cairns. We had use to climbing shoes and powdered chalk for the hands all for free. Countless times I fell down but every time I strived to make one further move, one further reach to my destination. Bouldering is exhausting. By the end of it, my forearms were screaming and my fingerprints seemed to be rubbed down to nothing. All in all, I had a great time and plan on doing it again. Everyone was extra friendly trying to teach each other how to make it around a certain colored path; some of them unreal like real-life Spider-Men. Back at home base, I had more of the BBQ leftovers; no shame in that. For a little dessert, I was offered a taste of a mamey sapote fruit. Personally, I have never tried it nor heard of the fruit in my lifetime. The fruit is quite large with an exterior much like a kiwi and a soft coconut. Inside, it is filled with bright pink flesh. As far as taste goes, it has the texture of an avocado, thick and creamy, and a strong sense of caramel. It truly felt like I was eating candy, very addicting stuff. Apparently, mamey sapote originates in Central America and has now found its way into Florida. At the next open market, I definitely plan on buying a couple. I kept meeting and talking to some more backpackers before watching a movie to end the night.

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