I stepped outside the airport to get to the city center and fog crept up my glasses, covering them completely. I took them off to see huge dark clouds on the sky and large mountains on the horizon. I had landed in Cairns a couple of minutes ago and after I got my suitcase I headed outside where I was greeted by tropical climate, air so thick and humid you could almost cut it. After some confusion I finally found a bus to take to the city center, the driver thankfully brought me to my hostel’s doorstep.
I brought my stuff in my room and after a quick dinner headed out to have a look at what Cairns has to offer. Not thinking about much I looked up to the sky to look at the moon and I saw some birds flying by. “Hmm, so many birds so close to sunset, that’s a bit weird…” I thought “…and they have strange feathers…?”
Looking closer they were bats. Huge, gigantic enormous bats. Bigger than your face and faster than you can run. Welcome to Australia, the country of weird shit, where culture shocks happen within the hour!
Back to the bats: Apparently they live here in Cairns, right in the city center – actually right behind the public library I found out today. They are awake during daytime and they stay in trees, talking amongst each other, loudly. They are called “Mega Bats” and even though they are really larger than your face they won’t eat it because they are vegetarians, or more specific fruitarians and they prefer to eat mangos.
There are several warnings about them in travel guides (which I of course didn’t read ahem), the biggest concern is that when they eat the mangos they throw them on the ground to crush them and get to the juice and that you should watch out when you walk under those trees or you will get hit by flying mango. Also farmers don’t like them for that reason so they’re considered a pest and the city council also doesn’t like them (even though I think they could be made into a major attraction – I for sure am excited to see them and take pictures and videos of them)
Anyway, I’m in tropical Cairns and will buy a tub of DEET today, because I was too cheap to use the air conditioning last night and the anti-mosquito stuff that I had didn’t impress the Australian ones so I got eaten by mosquitos (yay). After finding out that Dengue fever here is an issue I thought I might take some late precautions (an oxymoron, I know).
Stay healthy everyone, and don’t get eaten by bats!