Saturday, April 10, 2010

Living it up in Cairns!

This past week has been just amazing!!! I saw and did so many amazing things. It was a great experience for me because I did a lot of things that I wouldn't normally do, and I'm glad I did it all!!

We took off from Perth late Friday night and landed in Cairns at 4:15AM saturday morning. From there, we stored all of our luggage at our hostel-since check in wasn't until 2PM- and were on a bus to go white water rafting by 6:30AM. It was the perfect start to our adventure filled week! White water rafting was a thrilling and exciting experience! I had never gone before, and these were going to be 4-5 grade rapids! The highest are grade 6. We had a raft of 7 plus a tour guide. It was SO much fun!! We had to learn the basics of rafting such as leaning left or right, the 'get down' position, the 'hold on' position, etc. We even flipped one time, which was pretty shocking for me, I didn't like this as much as everyone else seemed to! But other than that, white water rafting was a great time, and I'm so glad I did it!!

Our rafting group!!

We went back to the hotel after our extremely long day! We all pretended like we were up for going out, but in the end we ended up in bed around 10PM. I slept great that night. The next morning we were up early again to catch our boat to the Great Barrier Reef. I was sad I couldn't go to Easter church like I had planned, though... It took about 2.5 hours to get out to the actual reef where we would be snorkeling. I didn't realize how sea sick I was going to get, so the ride there was pretty torturous. Once we got out to the reef, we had to put on sting proof wet suits to protect us from the jelly fish. The snorkeling was the best I've ever done, and I've done it quite a bit! I even got to pet a wild sea turtle's shell as it was coming up for air!! It was amazing. We went to another spot for snorkeling as well, then headed back to Cairns. We ate dinner at the famous Woolshed bar and grill and had a pretty low key night. Once again, we were all wiped from the day's activities.

Me in my sting proof wet suit!

The next day, a few of our group members decided to go sky diving... which they said was the best thing they've ever done. I kinda wish I had gone.. maybe I can go in New Zealand.. that is if I get to go. The rest of us explored the city and went souvenir shopping that day. Out of the blue, I decided that I wanted to get my nose pierced! I got it done at the shop that was right next to our hostel, Gilligans. It hurt, but only for 10 seconds while it was being pierced. Since then, it hasn't hurt at all!! I love it!

Nose ring!

The next day we went on another day long tour, this time to the rainforest! We boarded a bus with about 20 people and had a crazy tour guide who knew a lot about everything we saw! Even though it was absolutely pouring that day, it was still great! We saw a lot of waterfalls and powerful rapids! We stopped at a chocolate and cheese factory and saw some farm animals. It was a jam packed day, and it was worth it for only $45! That night, we went out to a Mexican restaurant with the group and some new friends. It was so good! At Gilligan's that night, there was a jello wrestling competition that some of the girls did! It was so funny to watch. I also had to register for my fall classes at 1 AM that night, so that was interesting!

At boulder ridge rapids

Wednesday was amazing!! We were supposed to do a day trip up north to Cape Tribulation, but 5 of us were too tired to go and we didn't want to spend the money. Instead, the 5 of us went and rented mopeds for the day! I was the only one who had never done it alone, so I had to have a mini lesson. Turns out I was a natural! Even on driving on the left hand side of the road, which is what I was most worried about! We drove around the city and then into the rainforest where we stopped at Crystal Cascades-some rapids. Once we got back I had to get ready, because I was meeting up with Stef and her family! They happened to be visiting Cairns the same time that I was! Ashlee was also there with her mom, so it was a great reunion!! We all went out to dinner together, it was great to catch up!

On my moped!

Stef and I on her hotel balcony!

The next day a few people went bungy jumping, but I'm too much of a wuss for that! We all ended up doing some shopping at the mall in Cairns. We didn't do much else during the day. That night I met up with Stef again at her hotel. We ate at Macca's )McDonalds) and went shopping at the night markets. Such great deals! There was a man there that had snakes and he was letting people hold them. I held one!!! It was so cool/freaky. I'm glad I did it. After the markets, we went back to Stef's hotel and tried to swim in the hot tub, but it had been switched off for the night, so it was basically bath tub temperature. Stef and her dad walked me back to Gilligans, but then I went out to meet up with friends who were at the Woolshed bar. It was a great last night in Cairns.

Holding a snake, AH!!

Our last day, we had to check out at 10AM. Then we went to the public pool that is right on the ocean. It was free and so beautiful out! This was the one day I got some sun, actually burnt! We got a taxi to the airport around 4:30 and got back to Perth at 9PM.

The public pool in Cairns

I've been back for a day now, and it's really hard getting back into the swing of things! I have so many deadlines looming! I can't imagine going to school here full time. It's too hard to stay motivated when there are so many awesome things to see and do! I'll do my best though!

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