Around the World a Bit at a Time

Travels: Past, Present and Future

Archive for the ‘Queensland’ Category

White Water Rafting

Posted by Leanne on November 6, 2006

A day of rafting on the Tully was truly the highlight of my trip- I enjoyed every single minute. When we weren’t paddling (or swimming) over rapids, jumping from 4m high rocks into the water, racing the other rafts, splashing around and getting pushed into the water, we had the chance to look around us at the amazing scenery, the dragon flies and Ulysees butterflies passing by and, at one point, a massive floating spider (non venomous). 

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Not for the first time since I arrived in Australia, I felt like I was in paradise. It’s strange, because when I was in New Zealand, which is arguably the most beautiful country in the world, I don’t really remember sitting back and thinking like that. Maybe because I’m travelling alone I have more time to sit back and reflect. Maybe this year, I’ve just learned to appreciate being alive more.

There’s an Australian film I saw on the plane called Look Both Ways which is essentially about death. In it there’s a woman who sees death and destruction everywhere she looks. When she’s walking past a railway line, the film cuts to an animation of the train derailing and ploughing into her. If she looks at people swimming in the ocean, she sees sharks rush in to devour them. You get the idea.

I really liked this film, partly because I identified with this character. When my brother died this year, it was like I suddenly realised that death doesn’t just happen to other people. It happens to 23 year olds and to people who are close to me. And it might happen to me too, so sometimes, I’d get the feeling that the film portrayed through animation-that I might get hit if I cross the road or something bad might happen when I walk home alone at night.

I was worried that maybe this might prevent me from partaking in some of the more adventurous activities such as jumping out of planes and paddling (or swimming) over rapids because maybe I’d developed a fear that wasn’t there when I was doing all these things in New Zealand last year.

Turns out that I had nothing to worry about. Which makes me very happy because that day of white water rafting is truly amongst one of the best days of my life.

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Horse Riding

Posted by Leanne on November 5, 2006

Me on Gonzo after riding through the sea to get onto the beach. He was a pretty lazy horse and needed a tap with a ‘go-go-Gonzo’ stick to get him up to a canter.

Horse riding in Cape Trib

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Cape Trap

Posted by Leanne on November 4, 2006

Today was the start of an overnight trip to Cape Tribulation- or Cape Trap as it’s known to the locals who apparently weren’t locals until they went there for a holiday and ended up staying.

The jungle in Cape Trib is straight out of a Tarzan movie and is host to these green ants, amongst other things. 

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Diving

Posted by Leanne on November 3, 2006

Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef- it’s got to be done! Need to work on my ‘OK’ signal though…

Scuba Dive

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A Sore Head

Posted by Leanne on November 2, 2006

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to cheat a bit on the one photo thing today, for reasons that will become very clear.

This is a picture of the dorm I was staying in at The Beach House in Cairns: 

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As you can see, the fan blade overlaps the top bunk by about 20cm, and is no more than 50cm, if that, above the top rail of the bed.

This is a picture of my head after I cleaned all the blood off my face and went to the hospital to get some stitches, though it doesn’t really justify the cartoon style bump:

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The hostel upgraded my room and paid the medical bill. They had just been taken over by new people who had put bunk beds in and were still in the process of changing the fans- so they told me. The bed was still made up, ready for someone to use and there were no warning signs posted.

I revisited the hostel 4 days later when Aoife- a friend from the Whitsundays was staying in the same room as me. The fans were still there, the beds were still in the same position and still made up as if ready for someone to sleep in. There were still no warning signs and the fan switches were not taped up as I was told they should have been when I had my accident. They had cleaned all my blood off the floor though.

I will be writing a strongly worded letter to whoever is in charge of health and safety.

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Who Can Resist?

Posted by Leanne on November 1, 2006

This is a view of some of the Whitsunday Islands from above. Now who can resist jumping out of a plane above that? Certainly not me- even if I did have to wait around for 4 hours to be picked up (they were waiting for the cloud to clear).

Ooh, pretty

As this was my second skydive, I could concentrate much more on what was going on aroud me and therefore enjoyed falling through the air at 120mph much more than I was able to the first time round.

When the parachute opened (woo hoo!) I got to steer it in circles for a bit before landing on our bottoms on the runway, instead of the grass. Apparently the lack of wind made it more difficult for Nathan, my tandem master, to control the ‘chute!

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Farewell Drinks

Posted by Leanne on October 31, 2006

After (another) early start we had one last snorkell before setting sail for Airlie Beach. That evening we all met up for farewell drinks. This is us towards the end of the night:

Eveyone

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Perfect Day

Posted by Leanne on October 30, 2006

Is it cheating to use a collage to represent a perfect day? Na- its still ‘one’ photo!

Collage of a Perfect Day

After sleeping on deck under the stars, we woke early and arrived on Whitehaven beach at 8am, before anyone else got there. Whitehaven beach has sand which is the texture of dark brown sugar, and the colour of… pale sand! While the others concentrated on sunbathing, I went for a walk up to the other end of the beach where I felt like I was the only person in the universe… or the only person in paradise.

After lunch, I snorkelled for the first time. Its an amazing feeling to swim amongst the fish, once I’d worked out how not to inhale salt water that is!

Back on the boat, sitting around in good company, having a drink while the sun set behind us and Mike (crew member) cooked dinner, I felt like I was in paradise and, for the first time since I’d arrived in Australia I felt like I was actually on holiday. Contrary to popular belief, travelling is hard work. There are early mornings; late nights; you have to cook for yourself; move on every few days. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way- I love to see the world in the traveller way and I’d get bored on a ‘proper’ holiday but it was nice, in this instance to relax and be looked after. Even if we were still getting up earlier than I have to when I go to work!

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Kings

Posted by Leanne on October 29, 2006

Today I set sail for the Whitsundays on a fine boat called Habibi. With nothing to do but sit back and be sailed around, the drinking started early and it wasn’t long before the drinking games commenced.

This is a game called ‘kings’ which I have played once before in New Zealand. What’s especially nice about this is that it is exactly one year ago today that I first played it. Last time I was dressed as a greenfly…!

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Airlie Beach

Posted by Leanne on October 28, 2006

Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays, has about 300 days of sunshine a year so I was obviously very ‘lucky’ to arrive on one such sunny day!! By day, it’s a picturesque seaside town and by night, it’s pretty horrid unless you like an 18-30 holiday atmosphere, complete with jelly wrestling and wet T-shirt competitions!

Sailing boats

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