Friday, November 27, 2015

August in Australia - Part One - Arrival, Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef

After our layover adventure in KL, We took a red eye flight to Sydney and landed Monday morning. We took the train from the airport to the station in Hammondville where my friends Tim and Simone live. They met us there, picked us up, and we spent the rest of the day/evening enjoying the company of great friends.
Me and baby Cambi!

We went to Sporties, a sports bar for members only. Lucky we have friends in high places. ;) Jon and I tried a kangaroo burger! Here is our selfie attempt. Tim, Cambrya, Simone, Ella and Alice (foreign exchange students staying with Tim and Simone), Davin, Jon, and Me.

A little bit better photo of the group!

I love this one, Davin stuffing his face! I love that Cambi is looking at the camera, too!

We also tried Sticky Date Pudding. Sounds gross, but it's completely amazing. Chocolate mousse wasn't bad either!

After our evening with our friends we went to bed so we could catch a flight Tuesday morning to Cairns! I almost missed this flight... Jon went to the bathroom and I waited for him, but when I went in apparently they called our names for the flight, so he left for the flight and when I got out of the bathroom I couldn't find him. Cue 1 minute later they say last call for me. So I start sprinting to the gate. I made it, but barely! Jon was already on the plane!

After we landed in Cairns, a tour van picked us up and took us to the Skyrail. Basically it's a gondola that transports you through the rainforest outside of Cairns up to this charming little town called Kuranda. It was really cool!

The skyrail stopped a couple times and you could get off and walk around in the rainforest. There was a tour guide too, which we stayed with for the most part.

Here is Jon, urging me to stop taking pictures and catch up...

In Kuranda, we went to the Koala Gardens. Jon got to hold the koala for a picture!

In the wildlife park up there this snake was trying to escape!

Jon and the bird that bit his finger

Me and a bird that did not bite me...

We ate lunch at this highly recommended restaurant.

Kangaroo, emu, and crocodile on the menu. Also barimundi (recommended to us). It was excellent.

After our visit in Kuranda we took the scenic train down to Cairns.

Us on the train!

It was a great view! But a 2 hour train ride after 3 exhausting flights in the last few days... Jon took a nap.

Enjoying the ride!

Another scenery pic

Jon in the train

The outside of the train.

When we arrived at our hotel, I couldn't help but take a picture of the map with Australia at the center! 

And to end our evening, French cuisine at C'est Bon.

The next day we awoke early for our trip to the Great Barrier Reef! This was the part that Jon was super excited about, and me... well I was super nervous to go snorkeling in the ocean when I'm not that great of a swimmer... Here are some pictures from Wednesday on the reef!

Getting reading to board the boat!

Goodbye land!

Jon ready to go on his dive

Off he goes!

Jon went on a dive, so I was left by myself to snorkel. We met some Dutch friends on the boat, so they kept me company! I rented an underwater camera and took some pretty cool pictures!

This is a really attractive picture, but it's still cool cause I'm underwater with the reef behind me! 

I saw these blue fish everywhere!

After the first snorkel trip I got very sea sick. I'd been combating it the whole time, but finally threw up right before lunch. So of course everything for lunch sounded terrible. I just ate some bread. :(

We went to a different dive site, and this time Jon didn't dive. We just snorkeled together. It was a lot of fun! And I was feeling a little better.

Here's Jon diving down!

Another attractive selfie...
Jon in the water

Some more coral. We didn't see any sea turtles or clownfish. :(

Jon and the reef

Terrible lighting, but here's a water selfie of us together!

We returned to land about 4 or 5 pm and I was starving by this point. I had only eaten bread for lunch, and I had an orange and some more bread for a snack later. We found an Indian restaurant close by and ate some curry. It was good and filling. Then we visited the market and headed back to our hotel to sleep. We had another early flight to catch, back to Sydney tomorrow.

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