Friday, 30 November 2007
We took a tour to Rockingham (our last shocking 6am start of the holiday as only a week til we are home - gulp!) and boarded a boat in the cold and windy weather. I was a bit grumpy not being at my very best at that time, you understand, but once we swam with them it was totally worth it.
We were given wetsuits and snorkels again and had to get ready before we left as once they spot the dolphins, it is straight in the water in groups to swim with them. We weren't actually allowed to swim as such though as it disturbs them so we all had to wear belts and hold on in a line to each others belt with one hand, while our instructor leads with a scooter (motorised yellow machine that moves us).
One instructor would swim down and guide them but they do not feed them and we werent allowed to touch them. It was just breathtaking and they made lots of noises as they swam about. On our final spot of the day we swam amongst a group of about ten of them, and it was just awesome.
This sounds funny but as we have done so many tours I didnt think too much about today. Not until we had these breathtaking moments at the end did I suddenly realise, this is something I have always wanted to do and just done it! And to swim with them in the wild rather than an enclosure was just so much better. A highlight definitely!
These are photos that James (Julie's boyfriend) took as he brought an underwater camera. Unfortunately he was quite sick during the day but somehow he managed to take some stunning photos anyway!
Thursday, 29 November 2007
In the evening we decided to treat Pauline and Neil to the ritual that is... nachos and chicken fahita's! Dad - you would have loved it haha. I am not sure they will become a tradition here as they are at home for us but they did enjoy them, we are assured.
We haven't laughed so much in ages though - after taking lessons on fahita wrapping from Debbie, and being reassured by Katie that he didn't need to watch that carefully, I think Neil made himself a sour cream and guacamole wrap with a dash of chicken!!! He had sauce coming out of all of the sides and he couldn't eat it all as he had so much in, it wouldn't wrap up haha. He is the new King of Fahita's!
This morning Neil was treated to a day out with the girls while sadly, Pauline had to work. We ventured out to Cottesloe Beach and then onto Yanchep National Park. Here our guide told us all about the trees, the lake, the koala's and the kangeroo's - and we don't believe a word of it haha. I think Neil is getting our sense of humour ;o) We had a lovely outdoor bbq in the park, I love the fact that they have them in their parks.
And my creativeness has finally caught up with me! After four weeks of trying to block out my creative spirit, at least in the craft sense, a few work emails asking me to do projects when I get home has set me off and so I brought some crafty bits from K-Mart yesterday and made a few cards! They will follow soon - so hoorah for all you creative people who log on to read for that side of it, sorry for those that are just logging on for our travelling stories haha.
On the way home today I was treated to a little visit to a HUGE scrapbook store too! Yippee! Thanks Neil. I didnt know where to start as it was about six times the size of Artbase, if not bigger, and it still had a huge classroom. I wish I lived near there! This is a lovely selection of what I brought.
Tomorrow we should be a bit more back to our adventurous selves and might do something more exciting for you again...
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
So Pauline and Neil took us back to their house (I have been here once before) and it is so nice to be in a family environment. As it is lovely and sunny here we all sat in the garden and chatted for hours, and had dinner outside too, ah bliss.
We had a good family catch up and enjoyed the evening, I was filling them in on all the family news that had been overlooked recently. We had a lovely evening, they are so nice and especially so kind to be letting four of us stay!
Yes the houses really do look like they do in Neighbours, and they have a lovely pool too. I haven't actually been in it yet though!!
We have just chilled since we got here really, the effects of doing so much before I guess! we have watched a DVD this morning and are going to sit in the garden now. We will do some more stuff soon though!
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
This first photo is like where's wally - who can you spot??? Answers on a comment please!
But that aside, we had a brilliant time! Our first snorkel stop was a bit hairaising for us, well me for certain, I was actually quite scared. The waves were hitting us hard and the ocean was so strong that it frightened me, even though we didnt go far from the boat really. Once we got over that though we swam among some wonderful fish and the coral is just so colourful and pretty! It was so deep in places that I kept wondering what might jump up from beneath the ocean and get us!
This is me with Katie if you can't tell.
The second stop was more of the same but much calmer a spot so more enjoyable, and third was just as calm thank goodness. Our third one we had a eco tour from our guide and he snorkelled around with us, pointing things out and explaining them. He picked up lots of fish that we could hold and that was such an experience! Bright blue star fish - so pretty, this 'pineapple caterpillar fish' or something like that which was bright red and like a pineapple to touch but it slowly wrapped itself around your hand the longer you held it, it was so cute. And a black caterpillar fish that looked like a giant aubergine or sausage! I have forgotten the others, RUBBISH!
We had another hairraising boat ride back as I said, I was almost sick and couldn't wait to get off though I had been ok during the middle part of the day as we weren't hitting the waves hard with the boat. We had a little look around the shops then the barman here cooked us all a lovely meal on his night off! (and Stacey and Wendy had champagne and oysters again last night, what has happened to this backpacking lifestyle???).
Kate and I were snorkelling buddies for today.
Tomorrow we are heading off for our flight to Alice Springs, ready to do a three day tour of Ayers Rock. So we maybe absent for a little while - au revoir!
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
The first full day we spent here (yesterday) was raining alot on and off and we just chilled around, popped to the shops, went out for a smoothie etc - as you do living the life of travelling, eh! The hostel is ok, a little quirky but fine, as long as you don't really want to cook in the kitchen along with the minute ants that lurk around... We did cook the first night when we got here but last night we went out for a nice chinese meal, yum yum.
So today we decided we should do something with our time since we are no longer on an organised tour, and because the weather was too windy for our Great Barrier Reef snorkelling trip, we decided to try Jungle Surfing!
This is me!!! Zip sliding.
This meant we had to hire a car for the day at the last minute (thanks to Deb and Kate for sharing the driving), and as Stace and Wendy (our Canadian friend who we met in Sydney) didn't fancy it, they stayed in Port Douglas for the day. So we took a little road trip up to Cape Tribulation...
It was great fun! Only not long enough if you ask me, though Julie begged to differ. We had five different zip slides to go between among the trees, and we did this up at Cape Tribulation.(Kate and Debs here)
We donned some helmets and attractive harneses (spelt right?!?) and set off zipping among the slides. You had to sit down then slide yourself off of the edge which was the scariest part if you asked me, I loved sliding along the tree tops. Julie thinks I am mad though. (Next one is Julie)
The first one was preparation, the second and third we did as pairs, sliding along together, the fourth was alone and a fast one and then the final one was upside down! We had to wrap our legs around the top and hang, it was so cool. This one is me...As you can see I have finally worked out that you can change the quality of the videos on my camera to really low, that doesnt help with my surprise videos as they are too huge to upload but it does mean if I record future ones on low quality I can share them here. This might not look quite as high or scary as it was, but just think the video doesn't do it justice...
Sunday, 18 November 2007
We visited a crocodile farm on our way up to Cairns, our last day with our bus too which was very sad. They were huge!!! We got to hold the baby ones, but their mouths were secured closed haha, thankfully. There was also a snake which you could hold, I didn't bother going for that one but the stupid guide did decide to chase Katie with it, even though she has a real bad phobia of them, and chased her right onto our bus so that she was trapped, it was awful. Stupid, stupid man! She is ok now though.
Then it was off to finish our drive to Cairns and a last night out with our bus - we are really going to miss them, we had some great characters! We had a night out at Woolsheds for those that know it to say goodbye to everyone and it felt really strange. We got to wash dry and straighten our hair too - wahoo!
There was of course a bit of dancing on the tables from the girls, which was encouraged at this place I might add. We checked out the following morning and made our way up to Port Douglas on a shuttle bus yesterday as it is supposed to be much nicer up here for snorkelling and seeing the Great Barrier Reef than back at Cairns. It was very humid so we just had a little walk around and some lunch and then the rain came down and the floods went whoosh!!! Seriously, such a heavy downpour that I would have video'd it if the thing would load on here! This is where we are now staying for four days to do our Great Barrier Reef trip etc...
More windy sailing followed the next day on our way back to the harbour with one final snorkel stop - this is us three clinging on for dear life as you all had to sit in the middle of the boat while they moved the sails - it was very difficult!