September 25 | Comments (0)
Before we left Queensland Jen's cousin took us up to Kuranda where we took the skyrail down to Cairns. The skyrail is a 6 person gondola that takes you over the top of the rainforest and includes a couple of stops along the way where you can see the forest up close and get a guided tour. It's a great way to see a rainforest - you can see for miles. We didn't see much wildlife but we did get to see some cockatoos searching for food in the top of the canopy.
We arrived in Sydney late afternoon on Wednesday and realised that we weren't really dressed for the occasion - having traveled in SE Asia for 2 months we didn't anticipate how cold it would be. Funny though, if we were coming from Canada, we would have been happy in shorts.
We spent most of Thursday shopping for shoes and a sweater for me (and keeping out of the morning rain!) and met up with some friends for a drink in the evening. Friday we walked around the harbour to see the Opera House and the Botanical Gardens with its hundreds of flying foxes (bats). In the afternoon we took in a movie, Ratatouille, which we both very much enjoyed - I think it's a very close second to The Incredibles as far as Pixar animation goes. It was also a great relief to our sore feet - never break in new shoes whilst visiting a new city!
Saturday we walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge as I had to get a picture of the creepy entrance to Luna Park. It's like a set for a horror movie. On the way back we were almost fined $500 for walking on the wrong side of the bridge - thank god for our accents, the security guard just turned us around. More shopping in the afternoon as I had to find a shirt that I'd seen on a guy at breakfast the day before; I asked him where he got it and it turns out he's promoting the brand in Australia and left a message for me later that day with details on where to buy them. We had dinner at Zia Pina (great pizza!) on George Street in The Rocks for the second time (did I mention it has great pizza!).
A great end to our Australian visit - next stop is San Francisco for 3 days and then home for a rest.
September 16 | Comments (0)
We arrived in Port Douglas on Monday after a fairly painless 8 hour flight from Bangkok and a 3 hour flight back up the coast from Sydney. Jen's cousin picked us up at the Cairns Airport and took us to our home for the next 9 days. We're staying at the Mediterranean in a self contained apartment. It's amazing how good it feels to be able to cook your own meals...even a bowl of cereal in the morning is a novelty.
Port Douglas is a very sleepy little town on the northern coast of Queensland. There is plenty to do here including diving, snorkeling, beaching, wandering around the oldest rainforest in the world and visiting with family. Our main reason for visiting is to see Jen's Grandmother (fastest moving 92 year old when used as a landing pad by a flying cockroach) and her Aunt. It's been a great visit so far. Meals out, lots of ice cream (Nana's fave!) and good company.
On Friday we took a day snorkeling trip aboard the Calypso out to the Great Barrier Reef. We stopped at 3 separate sites along the reef where we saw thousands of tropical fish including a very friendly grouper (groper if you're a Kiwi or Aussie) who would eat from your hands. Whilst at the first site Jen and I managed to pick up a traveling companion. A small fish about 4 inches long decided to piggy back a ride, thinking that we were a large fish. No matter what I did I couldn't shake it and even when i was sitting on the end of the boat it was hovering around my legs as I was getting out of the water. It's the type of fish that hovers under large ones hoping to catch some of its lunch.
Yesterday we've visited the Daintree rainforest with Jen's cousin and one of her daughters. We made several stops at the beaches along the coast and had a beautiful cream tea at the Silky Oaks Lodge, which would be an amazing place for a special occasion. After our tea we took a quick walk down to the river where we befriended a little turtle which was named Isabella Angel by Jen's cousin's daughter.
Today we've visited the local market and tonight we're in for a feast of Barramundi and kangaroo steaks. I can't wait!
September 9 | Comments (0)
The last few days in Asia were spent shopping in Bangkok. We stayed at the Buddy Lodge on Kho San Road for the 3rd time. We've visited most of the big shopping areas (including MBK, Suan Lum Night Bazaar and Chatuchak) and at the end of it we were both exhausted - We forgot what it was like to walk so much after such a long time on the beach. We both managed to get a few new outfits and I even managed to pick up a new set of glasses and new lenses for my Oakleys. We didn't do much sight seeing this time as the last time we were in Bangkok we visited all of the major sights.
Next stop is Port Douglas, Australia. It's a bit sad as this ends the Asian leg of our travels. I can't believe 2 months have gone by so quickly, I start work again in 2 weeks (Yikes!!). It seems like just yesterday we were deciding whether or not to fly or take the train into Vietnam from China.
September 9 | Comments (1)
Things that have fallen on us from the coconut palm we used to shade ourselves on the beach.
1. Coconuts (obviously) - Luckily it didn't fall on us, just beside us. THUMP!
2. Spiders - One as big as my palm fell on Jen and bounced up the beach back into the tree.
3. Snake - The same snake fell out of the palm 3 times. The first time it slithered up the beach, over my arm and back into the tree. The second, it fell with a thump and caught a gecko on the beach which it proceeded to devour. The best bit was watching the gecko's tail twiching in its mouth! The third time it slithered up beside Jen's leg.
Our 12 days on the beach were glorious!