Just returned from Cairns aka “Cannes” aka GREAT BARRIER REEF LAND.
We left on Friday afternoon about 5 pm. We got to the airport at around 330 to make it through security. Why? That’s a great question. It took us a total of 5 minutes to make it through security.
Not once did someone ask to see my passport or any sort of photo id. I took my shoes off and my jacket off to go through security. The security guard was all.. “Uh.. You can keep your clothes on.” I didn’t even have to take my phones out or anything. like WHAT IS GOING ON? No one patted me down. Nothing. It was the easiest security I have ever been through. They even let me keep my sunscreen in my bag even though it clearly wasn’t less than 100mL.
“Uh..it’s just sunscreen miss.” Right. Totally. Just sunscreen. Got it.
Anyway, moving on…we arrived in Cairns about 730 pm and made it to our Hostel … Dreamtime Traveller’s Rest… and unpacked. This was my first time staying in a hostel. It’s … an experience. It definitely wasn’t a negative experience.. it’s just different. We had a room of four and then there were also 2 guys from Finland. They barely spoke English and one of them really enjoyed sleeping naked.
For 20$ a night you can’t expect much and for what it was it was nice and cozy. I barely slept at all Friday night. One, because I was in a hostel. Two, because it was hot. Three, because I WAS GOING TO THE GREAT BARRIER REEF in a matter of hours.
Saturday morning was the day. We walked and found the boat and got on and got really excited. It had been about 30 minutes when all the sudden..I died.
Okay, I didn’t die. But I got really sea sick….and I stayed really sea sick for the next 4 hours. :(
I am the worst person to travel with. Ask anyone that’s traveled with me. I get car sick, plane sick, sea sick, sick on roller coasters, sick in elevators (true story), basically sick EVERYWHERE.
Somehow one of the crew men, his name was Paul, still wanted to talk to me and be my friend after watching me puke my guts up 4 times.
He took care of me and gave me some hard core sea sick pills (even though I had already taken some of my own. COOL DRAMAMINE.)
I eventually was able to make it out snorkelling for at least an hour before getting sick again. I saw the great barrier reef. Like I was legitimately swimming with sea turtles and all kinds of Nemos and probably sharks but we don’t think about that. I saw coral reef and I swallowed a BUNCH of salt water. It was AMAZING. Like I can’t really even describe it. It’s something that pictures just really cannot do justice. It’s UNREAL.
After snorkelling (everything in Australia has 2 l’s …let it go) it was time to venture further down(up? over? next to?) the reef and find a sand bar/island. We took a glass bottomed boat to the sand bar island thing. The crew made me up a special lunch complete with sea sickness tablets and told me to go to the sandbar and stand on solid ground and I would feel instantly better.
They were right, of course. Paul hung out with me on the island and told me about how he was traveling the world. He’s been moving around every year or so for like 10 years now. His job is literally to take people on a tour of the Great Barrier Reef. WHAT A JOB. Also they gave him a visa to do this so I guess if you’re into that kind of thing you could probably get a visa in Australia and stay for a while.
This sand bar was unreal. I’m running out of words to describe what I saw yesterday because it’s just too amazing. I was standing on this small little island of sand in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. IT WAS LIKE WALKING ON WATER. Except there was a sand bar. But when I looked around all I could see was ocean and it was the most beautiful color of blue. I wanted to build a fort on this island and stay there forever. However, after about an hour and a half of being on this “island” …it disappeared. All washed away. :(
Paul played rugby with me and made sure I got back on the main vessel (I’m practically a sailor now) safe and sound. By this time it was time to head back to the mainland. BUT FIRST, jumping off the very top of the ship into the ocean!
Sounds like the best idea ever right? Yeah, until you hit the water.
Anyway, you can’t say I didn’t try. I did it. and it hurt.
FInally we made it back to the mainland and I’ve never been so excited to walk on a sidewalk before. It was my new best friend.
We showered up and went to a place called “The Hog’s Breath” (yummmmmy) for dinner. It was delicious despite the name but by this time (9 pm) we were all exhausted. I slept 100 times better the second night.
This morning (Sunday) we had to be out of the hostel by 10 am so we got up and went to find a place for breakfast and stumbled across a farmer’s market!! I have never been so excited about fruit before. I got 4 pieces of fruit for 1 dollar!
I had an amazing weekend and I still cannot believe that I was literally ON (in?) the great barrier reef.