Monday, January 01, 2007

Port O'Call, Port Douglas

Two days in Cairns was enough for us. The Great Barrier Reef was amazing off this part of the coast, but we weren’t thrilled with the accommodations we had in Cairns, so we thought why not consider checking out another part of Queensland. We had heard much about Port Douglas- a sleepy town with not much night life, but then we had also heard about its quaint, little town feel. When we found out that the reef tour boats went to different parts of the reef in Port Douglas than they did in Cairns, and since the Great Barrier Reef was the whole reason we were in this neck of the woods, off to Port Douglas we went.

Our ride into Port Douglas was with the hotel courtesy shuttle with the Port O’Call. Our driver was extremely hospitable, telling us everything there is to know about the route between Cairns and Port Douglas. He slowed down by the creek where you could see Crocodiles swimming around and tried to point out a kangaroo eating by a tree near a road side field, but unfortunately, we could not spot him. Our accommodation was, as Lou put it, “a luxurious, full-service budget hotel”. The Port O’Call gave us 30% off any food on the first day of our stay, so after an extremely hot day in the tropics checking out the local beach and having lunch at the main street restaurants, we decided to take a dip in the pool, have a rest, and try the hotel’s outdoor restaurant.

What luck. This self service restaurant where you order at the bar and pick up the plate to take back to your patio table when they call your number was an absolute gem. I ordered the Seafood Platter which consisted of the freshest sea scallops, succulent shrimp, and crisp calamari all sautéed and served alongside a fresh green salad topped by a huge filet of seared barrundi, a white fleshed fish. The seafood was as fresh as I’ve ever tasted and was cooked to perfection. Lou had the pan fried barrundi served with mashed potatoes and blanched broccoli. There was not a single morsel left on his plate. Had they been open on New Years Eve, we may have done what we would normally never do and actually eat at the same place twice.

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