Friday, 31 August 2012

Cairns continued...

After Green Island we went back to the mainland and spent the afternoon white water rafting on the Barron River - this was probably my favourite part of the trip. It was so much fun. It was a Grade 3 on a scale of 1-6. Our guide, Roddy (the guy at the back of the raft in the photo below), was hilarious and made the experience really funny. He described Grade 1 as a 'fart in the bath' and Grade 6 as 'you will probably hurt yourself badly'. There were 3 guides and Roddy chose me and James to go into his raft along with ladies who were sisters aged between 50 and 60, all grand mothers. These ladies were good old Aussie 'sheilas' who loved turning everything into a dirty joke, and boy did they enjoy having James to include in these jokes. It was so funny, every possible opportunity they were making comments about needing mouth to mouth (after being knocked into the river by Roddy) 'Ohhhh Jaaaaaames, doctoorrrr, I need the kiss of life!!' One of the manoeuvres we had to learn was the honeymoon shuffle (rocking your hips back and forth when the raft gets stuck on a rock), when ever this move was used the ladies went wild - it really was so funny! James was at the front blushing away and paddling furiously to compensate for their lack of paddling - they were too busy joking around to help much. Anyways, it was really fun and having these characters with us made the experience all the more memorable. 

Rafting on the Barron River

James and his ladies

The next day we took a 12 hour tour up to the Daintree forest and Cape Tribulation. It was a day full of beautiful natural scenery, only slightly tarnished by some very annoying Spaniards with long lens cameras, snapping constantly at everything. The worst was on the Daintree river when we were on a boat looking for crocodiles, it clearly said 'do not lean over board, crocs can jump!' However this group of snap happy chappies were hanging off the edge of the boat at every opportunity, even invading my personal space by almost resting on my head to steady the camera, it was ridiculous. The evil part of me was hoping a croc would jump up and know that ridiculous lens out of his hand!

The only one on the trip to get into the cold lake!

In he goes...!

Cape Tribulation

Little Wallaby

Befriending the blind one that no one else wanted to feed

Baby crocodile

Big croc

The following day we had a 4am pick from the hotel to go on a sunrise hot air balloon ride. Although setting your alarm for 3 something is horrible it was worth it. We arrived at the farm land at about 5am and watched the balloons inflate and take off with the first group, then it was back into the bus to 'chase the ballons' and then finally get in for our 30 minutes, just after sunrise. It looks like it would be scary but you barely feel the movement and the landing was so soft. It's as close to flying as I've got (I haven't been sky diving like James!).

4am hot air ballon start

There comes the sun...

Posing like our fellow Asian tourists - it's never too early for a peace sign


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Green Island


It's been a while since my last blog post and I finally have some stories to tell!

 Last week James and I took a five night trip up north to Cairns. The first few days we stayed on Green Island - about a 40 minute boat trip from Cairns.  There are lots of day trippers to the Island between 10am and 5pm but outside of those hours it's very quiet as there is only one resort on the Island with less than 50 rooms. It's usually really expensive to stay at the resort but James found a good deal so we had two nights there. Included in the price was snorkeling, kayaking, fish feeding, sunset cocktails and a glass bottom boat trip.
During the daytime the main beach was full of Japanese tourist in the water so it make the snorkeling really murky. But when we went early in the mornings it was just us there and the water was perfectly clear (and cold!) so we saw loads of fish and few turtles.

The fish feeding was at 5pm each afternoon in the same spot so the fish knew to congregate ready for their feed (what happened to 3 second memories?). So there we were on the first afternoon, post snorkel, looking at all these fish swarming around when I see a fin, then another fin. James says the look on my face as I realised I had just been swimming in sharky waters was priceless! They are only black tipped reef shark but still! A shark is a shark in my mind!

The next morning when we were snorkeling on our own we were lucky enough to swim along with a turtles for a while. We also came close to one of those sharks, I was just thinking to myself I bet one is nearby when I spotted it's black tip. My first thought was to try and get a photo (we have a new underwater camera) then I quickly decided no, I'll just get out of here!

For a winter holiday it was a warm 26 degrees, nice and warm without the sweatiness of summertime! It's a really beautiful island, especially if you walk around to the deserted areas and avoid the long-lens snapping of the tourists (I have a new found hatred for SLR cameras - more on that later). James' latest obsession (along with fishing) appears to be sun rises and sun sets (also more on that later), and I have to admit we saw some beautiful sunsets from the beach each night, with a glass of Champagne in hand!

This part of the trip was very relaxing, shark sightings aside, James had just finished night shifts so we had early nights and early mornings but that suited island life! The rest of the trip was a bit more action packed... but first here are some Green Island photos...

Suit wearing tourist

The main beach

Our quiet beach

Sunset drinks

My new backpack

Loving life

My turtle

Kayaking off the island

My favourite big fish

Glass bottom boat

Green Island

I read The Help on our trip

Sunset picnic on the beach

James' fav photo - he likes the 'lines'

A whale!