Friday, March 30, 2007

Some final Candids

Here are some candid shots we had throughout, and russel crowe as well. Some are repeats so tough. If you need/want explanations on them you are going to have ask, or come to grips with being disappointed : )

We hope you enjoyed following our trip as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you all.

Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

Well this is the last leg of the journey, it has been a great and tiresome trip so finally we are going to sit back and do nothing (no tours with duncan - see kuranda post) but sit on the beach and enjoy the last few days before we have to go back to reality.

WE arrived in brisbane and headed towards the jetty to take the 1:15 ferry ride to the island. We arrived and saw pelicans being feed and the sun was beating down on us, on the second largest sand island in the world. There was nothing but ocean, sand and trees on the island. We were guided around the resort and then went to check in at 12:00, well we were told that our room would be ready in 30 minutes, which actually meant 3 hours. And me being the ever patient one, took it all in stride and went with the flow... okay i might have raised my voice a little and the guy behind the counter as he never made eye contact with me EVER again. Oh well we sat and enjoyed a pint of australias finest - Tooheys new - lager so take away some of the frustration.

When we finally got into our room we changed and went right to the beach and went swimming. After this we went and looked at where we wanted to eat, and then thought we had better just get a pizza unless we wanted to take out a second mortgage for dinner everynight. So Pizza and beer it was (at least is was happy hour, which only lasted 30 minutes... crazy aussies) but the two jugs we had went down smooth as we watch a beautiful sunset over the bay.

The next day we went snorkling where there were old whaling boats scuttled, we didnt last long as the current was likely to carry us all the way back to canada a few days early. I tried swimming (no flippers) as hard as i could to see how far i would get, only to look up and realize i was in the exact same spot. So it took most of our energy just to get to the wrecks and back with the flippers. The rest of the day we spent on the beach and swimming in the pool.

Over the next few days we played teniis everyday ( but only lasted an hour or so before heat exhaustion took over) and then headed to the pool and beach. One day katie spotted a whole mit full of giant starfish and the next day i snorkled over the sting ray infested waters, which we later would walk in at low tide. The sting rays are almost impossible to see excpet for there black eyes in the sand, a few times i was almost impaled by the stinger, but not in the heart so no worries.

The last night we were there, we took the opportunity to go and fed the wild dolphins. This was wuite neat as we are instructed as to what to do, and then everynight the sunset brings anywhere from 5-10 bottle nose dolphins into the shores. The marine biologists bring us waist deep into the water where we had the chance to hand feed "Echo" three fish each. It was neat to see the playful side and wild side of these creatures. They do this everynight, but only feed them abot 10% of their diet and dont allow them to be touched to keep the wild.

After this headed to sydney for our long flight home, but not before a 7 hour lay over in the brisbane airport. We had dinner with sandra and steve once again and then at 8:20 down under on march 24 we ended the trip and started the 18 hour flight home. It was sad to leave and was the trip of a lifetime, when we got home we had been awake for 36 hours before we went to bed and had celebrated Chris' birthday March 24 for 48 hours. So at least we got the day back that we lost on the way there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kuranda and Rainforestation

We went to the little town in the mountains just north of cairns. I believe it was started as an aboriginal city and now they have a very scenic skyrail that takes you up the mountains to the city. It takes 45 minutes and you need to transfer twice to other gondolas. It is amazing how high you are and the dense green canopy of the rainforest below. The other way to get u p to the city is to take the train, which i have remember from 1990 as being very scenic, however, there was a mudslide 2 months before we arrived and the train hasnt run since due to the clean up efforts. (again everything here is dangerous).

We stopped at both the places to transfer and took a walk along the board walk to see the different trees and view. At the first one there was a cool stick bug which is almost impossible to see as it looks like, you guessed it, a stick (imagine that). Then we stopped at the second place and walked to the lookout to see the barron falls. These are the falls that start well above the city and work there way down. The water was thundering over the rocks and it was very neat to see.

In Kuranda we walked around and looked in the shops and vertured the city in search of the market. Once we were there we browsed a few items and found a "local" artist that actually hailed from calgary. It was neat to see how far people come to see and evetually stay in this country. We had lunch at a little german bistro (of course beer) and then headed to our booked Rainforestation tours which is where it turns funny/weird (at least sort of)

At the first tour we were greeted by this crazy bloke named duncan. He was a Steve Irwin wanna be and was right away loud and abnoxiuos, and unfortunately for us there we only two other people with us, Pommies (british people). We were supposed to be treated to this wildlife tour which consisted of a few koalas, one giant croc named larry, a few snakes and lizards and that was about all she wrote. During this "amazing tour" the four of us were man handled by Ste... er Duncan as he had no idea about personal space, more so with the women than with me. I sat back and was ammused by the looks that katie kept giving him and saw how she tried to keep moving but was ultimatley cornered everytime. So not only did the wildelife park suck, but i paid to have my wife felt up... :) and to top it all off, he knows our names and is coming to calgary this year, saying that he is going to look us up and stay with us... ahhhh the memories, well i laughed about it.

Then we went on the next great tour.... riiiigghhhhttt. It was called the army duck tour and basically we went through a tiny part of rainforest which we had see earlier, (see daintree post) in an old WWII vehicle that was built by all women in Michigan for the war efforts. They were big open rood trucks that looked like big aluminum boats, because they also floated and were boats. So that was alright, but nothing special. Again the dutch in me thinks about paying twice to see the same thing... once again contributing to the whoops we are idoits fund we have been keeping track of - sa far up near $800 or so- on the trip thus far.

After these "fantastic tours" we headed back down on the skyrail again and headed back to town. This time there was now rain so we headed into the city and looked for some open shops or anything, well it seems that a vast majority of shops close a little early and we missed most of them. So after a few too many pints (st patty's day after all) we headed back to the hotel and got ready to fly out to Brisbane.