I love it when the tours I book start at 10, but the weather doesn’t care about my ability to sleep in, as the sun usually wakes me up at 7 no matter what. But when that is the only complaint I have in life, it’s not really a complaint at all.
But my skyrail experience up to Kuranda was booked to 10, so of course I arrived at 9:30. I don’t know how to be punctual, I’m always extremely early. The skyrail over the rainforest was amazing, and they had two stations where you got off and could take a closer look at the views.
Kuranda feels like a little hippie village up in the mountains, with lots of stores selling everything from opals to the typical tourist t-shirts. I walked around, bought some christmas gifts for my niece and nephews and then decided to go to the different wildlife sanctuaries there. They had one for butterflies, one for birds and one with all the native Australian animals. And yes, I got to cuddle another koala. I just can’t resist when it’s offered to me, they’re so cute and cuddly!
On the way back down, I had booked the Kuranda Scenic Railway, and I even splurged and got myself gold class tickets. That meant that I got to sit in comfortable seats, I got all the drinks I wanted and some great finger food. I sat next to two nice guys from Sydney so we spent the ride sipping sparkling wine, eating cheese platters while watching the view and talking about life. It was definitely worth that extra money, and the views as we descended the mountain was fabulous.
(Ps I have new earrings, they are koalas.)
On Monday it was time for my second snorkeling trip out on the Great Barrier Reef. We gathered at 7 by the boat, were given wetsuits and snorkeling masks and told that it would take 2 hours to get to the reef. We first headed to Fitzroy Island to pick up some other guest before we kept going. I was feeling pretty bad by then, and after about an hour into the journey I though I was going to die. I was standing at the back of the boat desperately clinging to the railing while trying to not…well, die. Those seasickness tablets I had taken definitely did not help me at all. An hour later we were by another boat out at the reef, it’s always stationed out there so we were brining supplies and new divers who were going to spend the night there. At that point I couldn’t imagine anything worse than having to stay there for an entire night as well! When we stopped we saw a huge sea turtle as well, but I was feeling so bad that I could hardly get excited.
But I got my snorkeling mask and flippers on and jumped in the water, and even though it was still lots of waves my stomach immediately calmed down and I was able to snorkel around for an hour or so just watching the amazing wildlife. This reef was much more beautiful than the one outside of Airlie Beach, I saw hundreds of different types of fish and so many corals. I tried taking pictures but it’s hard to capture just how beautiful it really is.
I dreaded the moment I had to go back on that rocking boat, but it was lunch time so everyone had to get up. I put my cap on, wrapped myself in a towel and promptly fell asleep. I’m so thankful for that because sleeping always helps to fight seasickness, and I couldn’t have eaten anything anyway. An hour later we were allowed back in the water, this time I got in a wetsuit to protect my back from the sun, it was 26 degrees in the water though so it wasn’t necessary for that reason I thought. The Aussies still think it’s cold, crazy…
After the second swim we all got back on the boat and headed towards Cairns again. This time we were floating in with the tide somehow, and it was a lot calmer. I finally felt better! And that was good because I could take advantage of actually talking to the two other Swedes on the boat, one guy who worked on it and another guy who had been out on the other boat for a night diving. We really bonded right away, after 10 minutes we were discussing self worth, the meaning of life and how important it is the know yourself haha. It got really deep, I’m glad I was feeling better so I didn’t miss out on that. Oh, and just let me say that I saw a lot of burnt skin on they way back, ouch! I had showered in spf50, but burnt my lips. Could have been worse though.
Back in Cairns everything was swaying but I was STARVING. I hadn’t eaten since six that morning and it was now six at night. I got back to the campground to find out that someone had stolen my spot (they’re numbered) but the woman working moved me to a better spot so no complains from me. I ordered a pizza and fell asleep completely exhausted at nine. It was a really rough day for me, but I still think it was worth it. Had I known just how bad I would feel, I probably wouldn’t have gone though.
Today I needed a calm, relaxing day after that crazy Monday. My options were to get a drop in appointment to get a koala tattooed on my body, or to drive to Douglas to have lunch. Unfortunately Port Douglas won, but I’m really glad I went. It’s about an hour north of Cairns. It was amazingly beautiful up there, as you can see for yourself here. The tattoo can wait for a little while I guess…
Tomorrow I’m heading west finally. Well, first I need to go back south for a little bit before I head west. Alice Springs here I come!! Well, in a few weeks. It’s really, really far. 2420 km, or 1503 miles to be exact. I’m really looking forward to seeing the outback though, even if I know that there won’t be much to see at all. And I’m hoping to catch the couple from my hometown in Sweden who is on their way to Alice Springs on longboards (!!) before they get there, it would be so much fun to actually be able to help them out somehow on the road. It’s also always good to have examples of people who are crazier than you, because I can show them to my mother and say “at least I’m not doing this!” to her. I find that very helpful.
The next time you’ll hear from me, I’ll be in the outback. I’m not expecting much of a phone reception out there though, but maybe it will surprise me. Wish me luck!