Monday, 17 October 2011

Cairns day 1 - Great Barrier Reef! (+day 0.5)


I wrote about the plane being late on Thursday because of the thunderstorm (here). We actually flew over thunderstorms most of the way to Cairns. Because it was dark outside we could see the flashes of light through the clouds, sometimes 5 at once all close to each other.  I think it would have been kind of fun to experience that weather on the ground. From somewhere where you could see it all. I love weather like that, especially if I'm sitting inside with a good book. It also makes really good pictures when you can catch it properly. It also looked like there was glitter in the clouds some places. I wonder what that was, if that was the molecules in the air crashing, but just not enough to make proper lightning?

When I landed in Cairns it was 9pm and it was 25 degrees outside!! It felt really strange. But it was also quite nice. I did worry about the temperature during the day though. Especially since the humidity was high as well.

The room at Calypso, where I was staying, was the messiest hostel room I've seen until now (okay, I've only been to two others, but still...). It wasn't dirty or anything, it was just the other girls staying in my room had kind of spread their things out. Maybe because there were no lockers like there was at the other two hostels I've stayed at, there is room for it though, so they should think about getting some. Another first at the hostel was that there was no one else in my room with a suitcase. Everyone had big backpackers-backpacks.

Cairns in the morning.
I went through Down Under Dive and Cruise. We stopped at two reefs. The first one was Saxon Reef, and the second one Hastings reef.
I could almost touch the reef! Even though I was just snorkeling!
It was the first time I snorkeled. It was fun, but my feet got really tired from wearing the flippers, which I have also never worn before. It was also nice just to be swimming again as I haven't done it in ages. And of course it helped that the reef was absolutely gorgeous! I could live in the water and just explore the reefs all day! It seemed like there was more fish at Hastings reef, a big fish, I think it was called Wally, came all the way up to the boat and the staff was feeding him.
I hired an underwater camera for $50 for the day. I also then got the pictures I took burned onto a CD, plus some of the company's own reef pictures. I thought it was a lot to pay at first, but then I though I'll probably only do this once, I might as well get some pictures of it. Although most of the pictures didn't turn out great I'm glad I at least got some underwater pictures.
The crew did tell us that we might see some sharks. I didn't get to see any, but a boy from Netherlands did! I wish I had been swimming with him, that would have been awesome to see! I think it's really cool that the fish in the reef isn't scared of us, one of them even started "nibbling" my arm! The sea was actually quite warm, although I was wearing a wet-suit, it only went to my thighs, I didn't think my legs were cold or anything.
We were served a really nice lunch. They also had an option for vegetarians: veggie burger, which tasted really nice! Up til now Australia doesn't seem very good with the vegetarian option, but at least some people think of the vegetarians.

On the way back to Cairns, Elvis sang for us! He didn't do any Elvis songs though, but he was really good at singing. It was a great day out, and for anyone that is ever going to Australia be sure to go to the Great Barrier Reef!!!!
Seriously! His name is Elvis!
When I got back to Calypso I met two Swedish girls. Which meant I could speak Norwegian. Norwegians and Swedes understand each other most of the time. The room also looked a lot tidier, so I guessed the messy ones had gone.

One thing I was surprised by the first time I saw it, was how low the planes was flying here in Cairns. But then I realized that the airport is so close to town (it's kind of IN town actually) that of course they were going in for landing. It still freaked me out a bit though. Good thing there's no skyscrapers!


FP said...

Your blog is interesting, has left a great impression.
Best wishes

....Petty Witter said...

A great post, lovely photos and you are so brave to mention actually flying over thunderclouds.

Lilly said...

Well since we were flying over them and no through them, there wasn't any turbulence!


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