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Anna's Amazing Adventures

Great Barrier Reef

USA | Wednesday, 24 December 2014 | Views [270]

4 dives in 24 hours is a lot, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I saw corals, nemos, dories, rays, and a sea turtle. I spent Friday in two areas of the reef diving and hanging out with all the backpackers. The group I hung out with consisted of one British guy, one Scottish girl, two girls from Norway, and two German girls. Everyone was super cool and we agreed to meet up at a bar/hostel called Gilligans later in the evening. Man I'm glad I wasn't staying there, because it becomes a nightclub, open to 5am, everyday and it was loud. I didn't stay out too long because I had another early day, but I stayed out to hang out with the Norwegians (Thea & Eddi) since it was their last night. Robert (my British buddy) and I agreed to go to the casino Saturday night as it was our last night in Cairns.  Saturday out on the reef was beautiful, the pictures don't even show all the colors of the water. The visibility wasn't that great, but I did meet Barry the barracuda, who is huge. I also met an ex-pat originally from Maine who moved to Australia to work on scuba boats. She was super friendly, giving me places to dive closer to home and the cheapest places to get certified. I also met a British girl named Vicky, who couldn't dive cause she was diabetic, so we would hang out when the snorkeling happened and I let her take some underwater photos since the ones available to rent were all gone. Man, I'm really glad I bought a waterproof camera, saved me a lot of hassle. Later that night, I met back up with Robert and head over to the casino. It was my second time gambling ever, so he was showing me the ropes. After the electronic games were a bust, we hit the roulette tables. I actually did pretty well and was ahead. Then we went to a game called wheel of money where you place your be on a number and that number is the ratio you get paid out if it hits that number. First number I picked was 5 and boom, made $25. After a while of winning and losing, I was down $40 and decided to stop for the night. While I had stopped, Robert decided he would place one last bet at roulette on black, for $100. It was almost a sure bet, red had been the last 7 colors. So Robert won $100 in 30 seconds, so he was quite pleased with himself. I decided I wanted to try to recoup my losses, so I went back to the wheel and tried to win my money back. Armed with a few chips, I tried, but finally with one chip left, I admitted defeat. As the woman spun the wheel, I threw it on 11:1 odds, figured what the heck, go big or go home. The wheel hits 11 and I made back all the money I lost the entire night. After that we walked away, grabbed some drinks and wanted the Manchester United soccer game on this huge projector upstairs. Once the game ended, it was 130AM and I was pooped, so I said goodbye to Robert and wished him safe travels and went to bed.

My last day in Australia, I was a bum. I woke up at 10 and spent the next 3.5 hours poolside working on my tan and face timing Amy. Then I showered and headed down to the pier and Lagoon to grab lunch and explore. It was so hot and the sun is so strong, SPF 30 applied every hour was the equivalent of tanning lotion, you were getting color where you wanted it or not. The lagoon has a Christmas tree surrounded by Palm trees,  which is pretty cool and a man made pool overlooking the ocean. It was filled with little kids trying to cool down, having been in a pool all morning, I opted for the ice cream route. It was so hot, my ice cream was a puddle before I even got a block away from the shop. I spent the rest of the afternoon packing and watching the W-league soccer final, my team won again! My first flight wasn't until 120AM so I didn't need to go to the airport until 11. I wondered back out into the city to grab dinner. Fun fact: Cairns is an incredibly small town. I mean, I ran into 3 different people I had gone on reef dives with while searching for food. Ran into Robert again, who was also killing time before his flight with his friend Theo. We said our goodbyes again and I found a Woolworths (think Mariano's) and got a pizza made, grabbed a drink, and a croissant and watched towards the shore to enjoy the view and the storm rolling in. Pretty sure during all of this, I ran into Lisa DeVanna, who plays soccer for Australia and  plays in America as well, which was pretty cool. Then I watched some TV packed my final things and checked out of the hotel. Getting all my flights sorted seemed to be more or less brain surgery for the desk people for United; they didn't understand how I had two reservations. Well that's easy, United gives you shitty flights if you use miles, so I had to buy one of my flights. They were telling me initially I'd have to grab my bags at LAX and go through security again, which I replied I have 90 minutes between flights, and getting backs and re-checking in through security was not going to happen. Besides I already went through customs, immigration, and security in Australia, Guam, and again in Hawaii. Three times was enough. My flights were fairly uneventful, minus Satan's child who kicked and grabbed my seat for 7 hours even though me and his grandma had told him to knock it off multiple times. Luckily none of my flights were delayed and I got home with my luggage in one piece. 

Tags: australia, cairns, great barrier reef, scuba diving

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