Nowadays it’s difficult to to find locally made handicrafts that pay tribute to a culture without wondering whether or not it is just simply shipped from China. We did however find a gallery chocked-full of paintings, boomerangs, and didgeridoos. Our aboriginal liaison, Trevor, assuaged all trepidations as he recited aboriginal folklore, taught us boomerang technique, and even a didgeridoo lesson. Acknowledge.

Hotels begin to feel comforting and no longer foreign or vacationy- a place to call home for 1 or 2 days. Finding excitement with temporarily unpacking.

This particular day is what we call a dirty experience.

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space; its the biggest reef in the world that contains over 2,900 individual reefs. How could we pass up seeing this? Although we did discuss visiting the Whitsunday Islands, reading that it was much quieter and less “touristy” than Carins; If we had to do it over we would have gone to Whitsunday.

On this journey we have done a really thorough job of avoiding touristy things, but being the only way to see the GBR we had to suck it up. Arriving at the checkin area which resembled an airport terminal, and the sea of tourists reminded us what we signed up for.

Our morning started early, 6am-we walked to the esplanade to get a coffee and muffin to tie us over knowing that the so-called breakfast they would be serving wouldn’t be “nutritious and delicious,” and a good thing because by the time we got there it was all gone.
Terminal 5 was where our ship awaited; our yellow sheets contained our safety number. This replaced our names for the day. We were now referred to as 40 & 41. We boarded and found a seat in the bottom deck and observed the strange collection of people who, just like us had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
After all the briefs were discussed, the ship took off into the blue sea that appeared to be fairly calm, but it wasn’t 20 minutes in that people were up stumbling on their feet to find either the restroom or the white paper sandwich bags to hurl into. For me, I always travel with a Dr. and a good lookin one for that matter-so I was prepared. I had taken a double dose of Zofran. I kept my eyes locked on the screen in front of me that was showing underwater footage of perhaps what we would be seeing later in the day.

If you have ever been on an airplane with bad turbulence, this was 10X worse.

An hour and a half later we arrived at our first destination, Hastings. We were first to jump in the water to get the hell off the boat, swimming far out into the coral reef we noticed the water was murky and the reef about 2 meters below us so the visibility wasn’t outstanding.
When we were in Bora Bora we snorkeled in the topaz colored lagoon where the reef was just centimeters below us, at times having to hold your breath just so your belly wouldn’t scrap up against the coral. I’ll admit, I didn’t totally appreciate that experience until this day. I have posted pictures of GBF and Bora Bora so you can see the difference.

The second location was a lil better, water still murky but the reef was a bit more colorful and a tad closer. We got to meet Wully the neighborhood fish, he greets all the divers like a dog, wagging his fins and wanting to be pet and I had a white tipped shark swim inches in front of me, unfortunately we only got him swimming away.

Lunch was served; pork sausages, beef fillets and barramundi fish with white bread, mayonnaise and 3 types of salads. To our surprise everyone who was hurling earlier in the morning were filling their plates with not 1 sausage but two and a piece of fish and a fillet and salad, damn!
Not feeling 100% we both opted out of lunch.

An aborigine crew member on the boat performed some classic reggae for us to pass the time on the ride home. We were so happy to see the main land and couldn’t get off that boat fast enough!

Embracing our “tourist” designation we booked a heavily advertised tour to visit the area surrounding Cairns. After all, there must be more to Cairns than a harbor and some night clubs?!? In fact, there was more, just not that impressive. We rode past sugarcane fields bordered by light rail lines intermixed with paddocks filled with wallabies. The highlight of the day was simply the Australian history and current events perspective provided by our tour guide, Shane. We did learn the Daintree rainforest gets a lot of rain; Cape Tribulation was named by Captain Cook having a bad day; and the Daintree River is not for swimming. In fact, “Shit no! If the crocs don’t get you, the bull sharks will.”
… Meh.

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This is Bora Bora to see the contrast

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