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The Goodheart and Whitecorn Adventures "I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it." Rosalia de Castro

rain rain go away...

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 9 January 2015 | Views [476] | Comments [1]

Well, I know you are all suffering through cold and snow so it seems silly to complain about rain, but let me tell you- we have seen more rain than sun in the past week or so and it is getting pretty boring. The weather that is. Australia is not boring. Far from it in fact!

As I’m sure you can imagine, the overnight bus was an absolutely thrilling experience but we got into Airlie Beach as scheduled and after dropping our bags of at the hostel jumped straight on a boat to the Whitsundays. It was a gorgeous day (this is before the rain started mind you) and we did some great snorkeling, a short bushwalk and spent a good chunk of time on the stunning and incredible Whitehaven beach. Oh. My. God. Talk about a haven. The sand was pure white and essentially the texture of flour. The water was warm and clear. It was the strangest New Year’s Eve we have ever had…in a good way! After the tour around the islands we came back for dinner then hung around on the beach watching the fireworks ring in the New Year- first for New Zealand, then for Australia. I must say, it was quite strange knowing everyone back home still had 15 hours to go before 2015. In fact, we slept, caught a bus to Townsville, went grocery shopping, and had lunch before calling New York just before midnight. Whaaa???

Townsville seemed like a cute place. We really only used it as a jumping off point for Magnetic Island, but did get to visit the Museum of Tropical Queensland which was pretty cool. We learned all kinds of cool things like the difference between alligators and crocodiles (basically head shape and layout) and that there was a ship called Pandora who went to collect the mutineers of the Bounty but ended up sinking herself.

 Sadly, this is where the rain started for us and…well…Magnetic Island wasn’t quite as magical as we had hoped. It truly is a beautiful place but we didn’t get to snorkel and somehow still seemed unable to completely dry off. We tried to hike and alternated between getting caught in downpours and sweating profusely which made for a cranky duo when we realized that the rain wasn’t going to let up or get rid of the muggy and therefore nothing would dry in our open air cabin. Sigh. BUT we did see kangaroos and kookaburras near our cabin, which were pretty cool. I wish Magnetic Island held the charm for us as it seems to hold for many people but I think Whitecorn checked out after getting bitten by and discovering 5 Green Tree ants on her foot during the hike and Goodheart probably checked out after discovering the reception desk apparently closed before 5pm and we were unable to get cutlery for dinner.

Thank goodness for Mission Beach and the wonderful, incredible Absolute Backpackers Hostel. Now, everyone says there is nothing in Mission Beach (true) so you don’t need to stay longer than a night, but we found ourselves wishing to stay longer. The hostel was so friendly, quiet and relaxing that the cranky duo quickly chilled out and calmed down. You may be wondering why we bothered stopping there at all if everyone said to move on…well, we stopped for one reason. SKYDIVING. Yes, you read that right! Whitecorn and Goodheart are officially skydivers!!! Somehow, the weather managed to cooperate for a span of approximately 4 hours during which we were able to jump. Were we nervous? Yes. Was Whitecorn terrified? Yes. Was it amazing? YES!!! I’m pretty sure both Whitecorn and Goodheart got the perfect tandem instructors for each of them. Goodheart’s was enthusiastic and talkative. Whitecorn’s was practical and systematic, a real calming influence. Which was really lucky because…surprise! Out of the 7 people in our plane Whitecorn got the news she was jumping first. I say got the news because there was no choice. Practical Steve (Whitecorn’s tandem) was perfect though and somehow Whitecorn was no longer terrified. The video looks otherwise but honestly Whitecorn has no memory of talking to herself just before the jump. I’d upload the video for you all to laugh at Whitecorn’s hilarious expressions but the little lenovo computer we have on the trip doesn’t have a CD drive. Wah. Wah. Sadly for Goodheart the video equipment froze and he did not get video. The extra bummer was he wished Rob a Happy Birthday on the video and that’s gone. Poo. Anyway- skydiving is an amazing experience- the rush is awesome and the views are incredible. We saw Dunk Island and reef from a bird’s eye view. Whitecorn got to touch a cloud and Goodheart got to steer his parachute. Oh oh! And did I mention we saw a Cassowary on the way to the plane? Apparently these birds are very rare and endangered. They are humungous and dinosaur like. To add to the experience we met an absolutely lovely couple who are doing a shorter version of our trip! Skydiving really brings everyone closer I think. Haha. But we did meet up with them in Cairns and will possibly see them again in SE Asia! Travel is so cool.

Speaking of Cairns- that was our next stop. With one thing after another we didn’t really get to see much of the city but I think the flying foxes filling the sky at night was all we really needed to see! Eek! Day 1 was spent in the Daintree rainforest on a really great tour where we saw a crocodile and learned a great deal about the amazing plant life of the rainforest. Day 2 we went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. We saw some of the most amazing fish and some really cool coral. The downside was because it was raining in Cairns and a bit on the way out to the reef the water was rough and about half the boat was seasick. Lovely. Day 3 we took tour through the Atherton Tablelands where we saw a tree kangaroo, a platypus and Whitecorn got bitten by a fish. True story. Thank goodness is wasn’t like every other animal in Australia and therefore not dangerous.

This morning we flew out of Cairns and have safely arrived in Melbourne at the wonderful home of Graham and Deirdre. They are the most generous people and we already feel like we’re at home half way around the world. Tomorrow we shall venture out into the city and see what all the fuss is about.

Lots of Love,

W&G

Tags: australia

 

Comments

1

Happy Birthday, "W"!! I hope the skies have cleared for your celebrating. I see the weather in the Melbourne area( If that's where you are still ??) is SUNNY!! today and tomorrow -- if that's what you have, enjoy today & tomorrow MLK Holiday in the States.Peace, Joy !!!

  Mary Jo Jan 19, 2015 5:51 AM

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