We left Melbourne on Saturday and flew to Cairns. It was a super early day for us. We had to get up at 4:30 for a 5:30 am taxi pickup to the airport. Yuck. But we made it fine and enjoyed the flight to Cairns, although JetStar’s service and their staff leave a lot to be desired. It’s a good thing we’re taking Virgin Blue when we go to Sydney because I wouldn’t want to travel on JetStar again.
Our hotel is super! Tony did a great job finding bargain places. This one was the most expensive of our accomodations but still under $100/night. We were surprised to find that we were upgraded to a suite upon arrival. That makes this a super deal. We have a huge suite on the top floor (7 th) with a beach and mountain view.
Sunday we boarded a catamaran which took us on a 90 minute ride out to the Great Barrier Reef! Once there we had 5 hours to explore the area by snorkel, diving, glass bottom boat, semi-submersible, and the underwater theater. I don’t swim so I didn’t get to go in the water. However, I did get to check out the other options and took some neat pictures. Tony went snorkeling and it was a kick to see him enjoying this as much as he did. This was the highlight of the trip for him.
One of the things I love about this place is the birds! We have been treated to a concert of chirping and screeching by no fewer than 20 different kinds of birds including lorakeets, herons, cranes, and many others. They hang out in the trees around our hotel so early morning and just before sunset, the trees serenade us and put on a beautiful show as they fly up high into trees and swoop down to the water and back to the trees. I wish I had thought to bring a mini cassette recorder so I could record it all. I might try recording the sound on the cell phone or something.
Tomorrow will be a day of exploring the local area then on Tuesday we will be going to the rainforest!!! Should make for lots of great pictures.
Internet is very pricey at our hotel ($20/day) so we didn’t pay for it yesterday and probably won’t pay for it again after today. With luck we’ll have internet when we get to Sydney.