Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The GREAT Barrier Reef!

Well, I wasn’t going to update until after my trip to Cape Tribulation as I figured there’d be not much to write home about between where I left off and today, but, sorry to make you all envious… too much great stuff has happened!!

The couch with which I surf!
So first off, I made the Pie for Katherine and Steve, they seemed to like it (clean plates!). Then fell hopelessly asleep during harry potter and half blood. Hopefully that was the last of the jetlag! Woke Monday morning and went into town to sort out my camera, which was successful. Then met a lovely yank from Michigan, Heidi, for lunch. We got on v well and even shared a little weep about leaving beloved boyfriends at home.

Me at the botanical gardens!
That afternoon I caught a bus back to steves and went to the Botanical Gardens – simply beautiful. V relaxing! Came back to an empty house to chilled out for once and did nothing! Had to get a reasonable night to prepare for my Reef Experience!

Well I can honestly say that I was not expecting much, I’m not a fan of massively touristy things at the best of times. They have a tendency to be underwhelming, impersonal, stressful, and well, a bit shit. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when all the staff were mega friendly, they very first people I spoke to I simply adored and subsequently spent most of the day with (and am meeting in 20 minutes for dinner tonight!). And we hadn’t even seen the sea yet!

Lara & Fernando!
So after getting along super well with Lara and Fernando (from Milan), I had to go with a different group for my dive (yes, I did a bloody dive!!!). 3 lovely young german girls. Lovely they were, dive capable, they were not! So after 20 minutes of floundering about like tangled idiots, our time was up, and we were pulled up by dive master Pat, mercilessly mocked, and sent back to deck! 

Amazing Dive Master Pat
...I had one of those weird things were I was kind of sure I was doing it all right and that they were, bless them, holding me back, how very arrogant of me! …Or not, so it would seem, as Pat, v subtly, grabbed me, shoved my breathing apparatus back in my mouth, and ducked me under the water. He then grabbed my hand and dove (is there such a word??) me all the way to the ocean floor where I had a one-on-one dive experience. It was amazing.

me and the sea cucumber!
Spent rest of day snorkelling with a marine biologist  (who made me hold a sea cucumber!) and Lara and Fernando. We saw 2 sharks!!! (that deserves 3 exclamation marks). And loads of sih n coral of cousre. Would tell you the names of the reefs but my memory is awful, some outer reef cay and soemthing else!

Angel Fish
Anyway...I shall be late for dinner with them if I natter any longer! Bring on cape trib at 7am tomorrow morning!

UPDATE: Just back from dinner - what a fantastic evening. God bless those two people who I met this morning - I feel as though I have known them forever - and that's not just because they refused to let me pay for my dinner and bought all the wine and beer! Think I may have made a couple of friends for life - and they're spanish who'da thought! Simon would love Fernando - when I asked if he wanted water - he said "no, its dark, after dark, no water, only booze" or something to that effect!

Me and Lara :) 

Saturday, 27 November 2010

First Few Days....

So after some teary goodbye's at the airport, I somehow managed to catch both flights, without cocking up once! I even got a spare seat next to me on both legs of the journey so had a v. comfortable experience! Faye - you were right - plane food is delish! Christ knows why they pump you full of it every 4 hours though.

First day and night went in a bit of a jetlagged blur - I managed to stay awake and upright all day. Met Steve, my first couch surfing host, for a few beers and a pizza - we got on super well, all easy going, then I collapsed back at my hotel at 8pm. Can't say I had the best nights sleep - but at least I made it!

Spent all day Friday exploring central Cairns and sunning myself by the lagoon until the rain really got going! Lovely town. Steve met me about 3pm, we came back to his so I could dump my stuff and have a shower then we headed out on the town where I met an awesome french couple, Amelie and David, and some other nice folk. Got back to Steve's at about midnight and stayed up til gone 1am playing guitar and chatting (I showed off my Good King Wenceslas on the recorder!)

Saturday we decided to go to the Tablelands, David drove us in the campervan, it was bloody awesome. First we walked through the rainforest (where we found a massive toad hiding in a termite mound, which Steve promptly bludgeoned to death with a stick) to see Josephine Falls - that's me and Amelie there in front of it! Then to Millaa Milla falls, then to a cool lake with turtles, then to try and see platypus but they were hiding.

Anyway - a fab day all in all. will try and get pics on facebook. We went home for thai take out, watched Shortbus, then crashed.

Woke up about 8.30am and Steve, domestic God that he is, made us amazing pancakes for brekkie. He even showed me how to perform the infamous Tim Tam Slam, don't believe me? google it! you bite a corner off each end, then use it as a straw to suck your coffee though, which almost immediately melts the tim tam into a mushy, chocolaty mess which you have to cram into your mouth as quick as is humanly possible. yum! After that exciting experience, we shuffled off in the stifling heat to the market and had a wonder.

Going to attempt to make a chicken pie for dinner tonight - so off to the supermarket now! catch you later guys! xxxx

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

God, I cannot believe I'm blogging.

Ok, So this is my first post. I leave in under a week, so I guess this doesn't really count as part of my travel blog... and I haven't even decided yet how honest an account I am going to make this. Or who will have access to it. But sod it, I have, at least, set myself up a blog!

So I graduated on Monday......
It was a lovely day - no tears etc. David Attenborough gave a funny little speech which was somewhat repetitive, but to be honest, we were just grateful he hadn't died in his chair, as was previously supposed!  

So anyway - now that's out of the way, the whole trip round the world seems alot more real, and I am genuinely, very excited. I will be sad to leave Faye and Jobe, Mum and Pete, Dad, and of course, Simon. Today I went and said my goodbye's to Nan and Pop. I hugged Nan with such force I'm surprised I didn't puncture a lung, however I did squeeze a few tears out of her.

They both look so well considering they're in their eighties, but a year is a long time, and I couldn't help wondering if that might be our last cuddle. I cried all the way home.

Things to remember for next post: be more cheerful.