Australia, day 2: Under the sea and into the flames

didgeridoo player

Oh, wow. That’s kind of an intense title, isn’t it? But I actually found it a bit poetic, so I’m keeping it.

As I mentioned yesterday, yesterday’s adventure included some exquisite Great Barrier Reef-ing. Sadly, most of the pictures I took were on one of our newly-purchased disposable underwater cameras, so I tried to capture a few moments on the boat. I DID manage to capture how stunning all of us looked in our snorkeling suits, however, so no regrets there:

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Father and GF Christi photo-ceptioning is us before departure.
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My brothers Bo (23) and Declan (9) getting pumped.
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A sneaky little ocean about to lose its temper.

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I’m conveniently missing from the last¬†picture. ūüėČ

While the water was misleadingly calm in the harbor and just outside it, we ended up traversing through the angriest, choppiest waves we’ve ever experienced to reach the outer reef. I experienced my first ever bout of feeling seasick and ended up in the back of the boat trying to meditate myself out of it for dear life. Rather than throwing up and succumbing to the utter chaos in my stomach, I¬†closed my eyes, curled into a ball, and repeated the same mantra over and over again: “Snuba.” Weird? Yes. But did it distract me from barfing for 90 minutes? Somehow, miraculously, yes.

However, watching a giant sea cucumber being picked up, patting a giant fish named Angus on the head as our guide fed him, and swimming within inches of an adorable sea turtle made the long journey worth it. While the reef waters were a little murky and we weren’t able to visit some of the planned reefs due to weather conditions, we were all still awestruck just to know that we were in the reef at all.

That said, we are aiming to get our disposable pics developed within the next few days. I’ll be sure to update everyone when these are added to this entry. Please forgive me! I’ll make it up to you by showing pictures of our dinner shindig.

For our second adventure of the day, we paid a visit to the dinner extravaganza, Flames of the Forest, situated in an old rainforest clearing just a few minutes from our hotel. It was basically a large, multi-course, family-style meal with interludes of Aboriginal music playing and story-telling. Now, THIS is where the big girl camera finally came out to play.¬†We listened to the calming, foresty sound of the didgeridoo, learned the Aboriginal origin story of the playpus, and…may or may not have tried kangaroo. All in all, it was an experience that definitely seemed to encompass the history and indigenous culture of Northern Queensland. I highly recommend it, though other vegetarians may find themselves eating mostly bread as I did. Hey, for someone like me who loves bread regardless, I’m cool with that.

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My attempt at trying kangaroo…’twas a little steaky. Not that I really eat meat or know anything about meat.
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Dad, Christi, and my little brother’s waning life force.
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Mandatory group pic.

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Our next adventure¬†that we’ll be taking today (remember, it’s currently a Friday morning here in Oz) will be to the wild animal park near our hotel. Since we have only today left in Queensland, we are going to make it count, dang it. Fair warning:¬†the next entry might break the internet with animal cuteness. I am not responsible for any damage done as a result.

-H

Travel tip: Go to the GB reef between June to November for the best visibility and conditions.

 

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