Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

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Rainy Rainforest

June 13, 2008

The RAIN in the Rainforest falls mainly…on our tent! On Saturday June 7th we headed up to Cairns and headed to Cape Tribulation immediately. While Andrew waited for me to arrive he got the car and visited the grocery store to get all sorts of yummy treats. He made it all by himself while driving on the left side of the road! Amazing!! 🙂 He picked me up and we were off to the rainforest!! We pitched our tent at the campsite and walked to the beautiful beach which was practically empty, it was so nice and relaxing. We cooked a little camp food, sat out and relaxed under the starts before heading to bed early…again! Overnight it rained, but we stayed nice & dry in our tent. The next morning…still raining! But it dried up relatively early and we went for walks along the beach and explored the area. We stopped for lunch at some picnic tables and had yummy PB&J. Just as we were finishing I heard step…step…step…slowly through the leaves, turned around and there was a Lace Monitor (Goanna Lizard) sneaking up on us. Yup…I jumped right up, and Andrew followed. A girl nearby said they wouldn’t bite, but they might scratch you up! Let’s just say we grabbed our PB&J (which the Monitor absolutely wanted) and high tailed it away. Andrew has affectionately named it the Peanut Butter & Jelly Monster and does a pretty good impression, tongue and all! After lunch we went for a walk along the beach and through the rainforest. We were going to stop by and close up our tent, but had a reservation for a fruit tasting we didn’t want to miss so we left the tent open to air out. BIG mistake! About halfway through tasting some VERY exotic fruits, it started to DOWNPOUR! Thankfully we weren’t too far away and Andrew got back to close it up before everything was too wet. But the rain followed us for the rest of the night! Meanwhile the fruit tasting was great. We tried many fruits that can’t really be found in many other places because they don’t transport welll…and well, they’re pretty ugly on the outside, but they were good on the inside!

The next day we had scheduled our trip out to the Great Barrier Reef with the Rum Runner. After an interesting trip through low tide to the boat we boarded and met the crew. Australians who live in Cape Tribulation are a little nuts. Let’s just say one of the guys lives in a ‘Tree House’ with no windows where the animals (snakes, birds and insects too) visit whenever they like…what?! But they got us safely out to McKay’s Reef, a beautiful small sand bar in the middle of no where. Granted, the high winds made the hour ride out to the reef VERY choppy. We sat outside in the front of the boat & got SOAKED! But it was still pretty fun. We took our first snorkel as soon as we got there & Andrew quickly spotted a reef shark, pretty cool! It was amazing how calm we were about it…and how disinterested in us it was! They’re not man eating sharks…don’t worry! The reef itself was amazing. Everything was so alive. Not only the fish, but the reef was beautiful! As we were heading back to the boat we also spotted a sea turtle cruising along the bottom. A small one, but so cute! After a yummy lunch we headed back out for our second snorkel and saw two more sea turtles and more beautiful reef. Of course, it started to poor while we were in the water…but thankfully it didn’t really matter since we were already wet! 🙂 The ride home was MUCH smoother than the ride out to the reef, but still we had 2 of the other passengers lose their lunch of the back. Andrew was struggling through the ride, but managed to get through the whole thing and was happy to see solid land! A successful trip to the Great Barrier Reef. I couldn’t be happier!

It rained again for the rest of the night, so hard it kept us awake. Every time it stopped, Andrew would open the tent, and every time he did it would start raining again…after a while it was pretty comical! Needless to say at 5am on our last day we were ready to go! We waited for a break in the rain, packed up the tent and headed out!! We loved Cape Trib, but were ready to go by the end! We headed down to the Daintree River for a Crocodile Sighting tour. Since we were ridiculously early, we took a small nap in the car! At 9:30 am we were ready for our tour, and were very successful in seeing some crocs! They are such cool animals. We saw mostly smaller crocs, the big one didn’t want to come out of the water at that time. I had no idea how long it took these animals to grow large. The 1 year old was very small, and the 2 year old wasn’t much bigger. The largest one we was a 30 year old female. So neat! It was a great end to our trip. We spent the rest of the day exploring Cairns and had a nice dinner. Cairns has really changed since the last time I was here, it’s a nice place to visit. All in all, this was another great part of our trip. Next we head to Sydney & the Blue Mountains!! The last leg! More soon. Love to all!

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Sitting in the Melbourne Airport

June 6, 2008

Well – this is another leg of the trip that Andrew & I ended up on separate flights. We got up at 3:30 am this morning & to the airport by 4:30 so Andrew could catch his 6am flight. My flight got changed from 9:30 to 11am…so now I am hanging out in the airport for 5 hours & figured I’d catch up from where I left off last night since I have more time.

The last 3 days: After we picked up the car we headed down to the coast. We stopped in Torquay (Tor-key) at the visitors center to get an idea of where to head. Torquay is a pretty cool town in itself, very big surfing area. It’s right near Bell’s Beach, which is where the final scene of Point Break is filmed (should anyone remember that movie with Keanu Reeves). We saw the beach & the waves were crazy. SO many surfers out on the ocean catching long rides! I think these people might be officially crazy. After Bell’s Beach it was on to the Great Ocean Road with beautiful views all the way to Appollo Bay. We stopped off at a random country club along the way where Kangaroos just hang out all day (see post below). I was amazed at how close Andrew got…though we think they feed the animals to draw people to their restaurant. Still pretty cool. Australian animal 1…check! Next we were on to look for Australian animal 2…the Koala. Another pull off of the road lead up to an area deep in Eucalyptys Trees. We drove slow & looked up and sure enough…there were little blobs up in the trees! Koala’s are pretty lazy animals. None of them were moving much, but they are still so cool to see! Andrew of course wanted to hold one, but from what we know…they are pretty vicious cuddly animals! So we drove on. We drove all the way on to Apollo Bay where we spent the night in a nice campground on the ocean. Our time has not yet fully adjusted, we were in bed by 7pm…and up at 5am!

The next day we woke up to a great sunrise over the ocean…which finally happened at around 7am. After packing up, we headed off in search of the famous 12 apostles. Along the way we stopped in the rainforest, which was cool, but we didn’t see much and at the lighthouse where the first morse code connection was made to Tasmania. It was the 2nd most southern point in mainland Australia, pretty neat, especially since we got to climb to the top! Afterwards we finally were on our way to the Apostles and they didn’t let us down. This sight is absolutely beautiful! The gigantic rock formations seem to rise out of the ocean and the colors are spectacular when the sun hits them. The pictures don’t nearly do justice to the greatness of this area, the rock formations are simply huge! After taking some pictures we also headed on to the Arch, the Blowhole and the Grotto, all of which were also pretty cool! Moving on from there we thought we’d stop to see some nursing Right Whales which are supposedly a guranatee at this time of year. Of course, whales are afraid of me…so we saw none!

We ended the day in Port Fairy with some dinner & another 7pm bedtime…actually, maybe it was 8…such late nighters we are! We were up again at 5am and got right on the road back to Melbourne…we wanted to beat traffic, which we ALMOST did, until we hit Melbourne at 9:30 am of course! Anyway, we checked into the hotel, took a nap (in preparation for our late night at the Footy game). Then we had a chance to walk around Melbourne, which Andrew hadn’t really done yet. Melbourne is a great city on a Friday night, there was live music, carousels, beautiful lit restaurants along the river. It was really a nice night to be out. And of course Andrew consumed his first meat pie…it’s true love! 🙂

We ended our stay in Melbourne with a Footy game, North Melbourne Kangaroos versus the Geelong Cats. We were North Melbourne fans of course! Our seats were great, 5 rows back from the field. the stadium is HUGE, and round so there are plenty of seats for everyone! Footy is a crazy game, but very exciting, and of course more exciting with all the crazy Aussie fans around. Though they only had 1 cheer, and it was pretty bad ‘North Melbourne, clap, clap, clap’. And the don’t know how to do the wave, which could be SO cool in this stadium. But we had fun none the less…and Andrew ate yet another meat pie! Only to realize afterwards just how much fat was in each…ha! He’s on a fruit & veggie diet for the next 3 days :). Sadly, the Roos lost to Geelong, they were clearly the better team, but we certainly didn’t give up with out a fight! It’s the closest scoring I’ve seen since I’ve been here…and I’ve seen a lot of Footy since that’s all that seems to be on TV here! So…here we are, I’m at the airport waiting to start the next part of our adventure, and Andrew should be just about in Brisbane if he hasn’t landed already. We’ll reunite in Cairns around 2pm and head up to the Rainforest/ocean of Cape Tribulation…where it’s about 80 degrees and sunny…yay! I’ll try to write again from Cairns on Tuesday! Love to all in the US!

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The Great Ocean Road

June 6, 2008

I’m going to keep this quick since I only have a few minutes of internet time left but I just wanted to update you all on our last few days.  We took 2.5 days to drive down the Great Ocean Road which is west of Melbourne.  After Andrew adjusted to driving on the right side of the car & the left side of the road.  And after I adjusted to the fact that he could actually do so safely, we headed out and had a great time!  We camped in Apollo Bay the first night, right next to the ocean and in Port Fairy the next night before driving back to Melbourne bright and early in the morning.  The sights were beautiful and the weather worked out great.  Here are a couple of highlights.  I’ll update more when we are in Cairns.

Kangaroo