when i left the tolga bat hospistal, i took the bus back to cairns, the tropical, friendly city in northern queensland.
i had a closer look at the city itself, flecker botanic gardens, and went for a walk on the mount whitfield conservation track.
it didn’t take me very long (or better “i didn’t have much time”) to find the right offer for a reef-trip:
i decided to go on a 2-day-1-night trip to the great barrier reef with reef trip, on their ship “reef encounter”.
onboard it was pretty roomy, contrary to what i expected. staff were very friendly, food was good (they served wiener schnitzel on day 1. haha…) and i very much enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere. and in the evening, there were two guitars and a didgeridoo for socializing. there, pete (a staff member) sang an interesting song about a horse-lover, and explained to us the real meaning of australia’s most popular song (de): a story about a thief who kills himself in order to escape punishment. :mrgreen:
(this song was even suggested for australia’s national anthemn.)
there were 6 dives a day (afair). i had planned on doing an intro dive, but couldn’t because i ticked the little “did you at any time suffer from asthma”-box on the form (being super-precise and thinking about my childhood-asthma).
while i was really looking forward to this first diving experience, i guess snorkelling was ok too. i did see lots of cool things, like giant clams, christmas tree worms, anemone fish, a sea turtle, …
among the 14 guests, there were two austrians (i met three alltogether on the entire trip), several other laid-back travellers from around the world, and an abnoxious little lady who kept asking questions during the briefing. and when no questions were left, she told us little anectodes and made them sound like questions. :-)
some unsorted information:
- one of the first things i noticed, was a colony of spectacled flying foxes near the city center.
- cairns does not have a real beach, so the city has it’s little “artificial lagoon” (officially called “the lagoon”) – a public free pool which is open and (life-)guarded from 7am until late at night. close by, there are several free barbecues and lots of picnic tables.
- there’s a café with free wireless internet access: cafe pacifico is located on the corner of esplanade & spence st. they’re only open until 10:30 in the morning, but their wlan-router stays on all day ;-)
people were looking at me curiously when i was sitting on the doorstep with my subnotebook and a headset, talking to my family in german…
- when i didn’t know where (in australia) to go next, i just asked some people in my hostel where they had been before coming to cairns. all the “cool party-places” they mentioned, i could easily tick off and concentrate on the places that “young people” considered boring :-)
- if you decide to stay at the “caravella 149 backpackers”, make sure you’re not served by ella. she just about screwed up every booking i made. other than that, it’s a nice place to stay, very close to the esplanade. for more acommodation information, check out my australia hostel review post (not finished yet).
[quote of the day]
…and we’ll tell you what to do when the boat sinks
reef encounter staff, using “when” instead of “if”
[view photos: australia’s eastcoast – cairns]
[view photos: mount whitfield conservation track]
[view photos: flecker botanic gardens, cairns]
[view photos: reef encounter – topside]
[view photos: reef encounter – underwater] *
* since i have next to no cognition of marine animal species, i would appreciate hints and classification info.