- We Be Nomads Home Page
- South Pacific 2014
- Tahiti, French Polynesia
- Mo'orea, French Polynesia
- Bora, Bora, French Polynesia
- Rarotonga, Cook Islands
- Aitutaki, Cook Islands
- Drawaqa Island, Fiji
- Pacific Harbor and Nadi, Fiji
- Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, Australia
- Brisbane and Ayers Rock, Australia
- Ubud, Bali
- Temples, Bali
- Amed, Bali
- Sydney, Australia
- Kangaroo Island, Australia
- Adelaide, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
- New Zealand North Island
- New Zealand South Island
- Vancouver, Canada
- Cairo, Egpyt
- Luxor, Egypt
- Kenya, Africa
- Tanzania, Africa
- Home 2009 Travels
- 2007 World Tour Final Words
- Coastal Costa Rica
- Central Costa Rica
- Costa Rica Cloudforest-Volcano
- Belize Interior
- Caye Caulker, Belize
- Mayan Ruins - Yucatan
- Caribbean Mexico
- Croatia Coast
- Auschwitz, Poland
- Czech Republic
- Arizona 2
- New Mexico
- Machu Picchu and More
- California Parks
- California Coast - Hwy 1
- Agra, India
- Varanasi, India
- Delhi, India
- Trekking in Nepal
- Katmandu, Nepal
- North Vietnam
- Central Vietnam 2
- Central Vietnam
- Mekong Delta, Vietnam
- South Vietnam
- Phuket, Thailand 3
- Phuket, Thailand 2
- Phuket, Thailand 1
- The Killing Fields, Cambodia
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Bangkok, Thailand
- LATEST TRIP LISTED FIRST
Cairns was our launching point for an overnight trip on
the Great Barrier Reef.
into the charming Reef Palms Motel with a full kitchen and a Jacuzzi tub in our room. What a delight as in this part of the
world (the South Pacific), showers reign. We’ve had a tub maybe 2 or 3 times max during our entire trip (and Suzan,
in particular, is partial to tubs).
Jim had mentioned that there would be a beach nearby and that likely it would be netted off so that
sharks could not get in. Upon checking into our motel, the front desk agent told us, “Do not get into the water here,
in fact, don’t even walk on the beach, we have mud flats and there are crocodiles.” She said some bird watchers
had to be rescued who walked out on the flats to take some photographs and got stuck. They were perfect waiting bait for the
salt water crocodiles.
We’d heard there was a beautiful man-made lagoon next to the beach where people can swim without any threats
and were looking forward to going here. Yet when we arrived we found out it had closed for a month, on the day we arrived,
for major renovation work.
During our brief time in Cairns it rained quite a bit (oddly enough during the “dry season”).
We walked along the boardwalk with our umbrellas (no sightings of crocs) and also, walked on a boardwalk through a mangrove
swamp (testing our luck here). We saw a beautiful butterfly and an odd fish with legs – it looked prehistoric.
We stayed in Cairns
mainly as our jumping off spot to get out to the Great Barrier Reef yet had enough time to explore the area. It did not seem
to have a pulse like the other Australian cities we visited. We found it to be rather blasé and the highlight, other
than where we stayed and our walks, was Rusty’s Market, a hot spot for local produce and gift items.
A short drive from
Cairns is a lovely beach area called Palm Cove. It is much like the La Jolla area in San Diego with trendy restaurants, upscale
shops, and posh hotels. The main difference is the warning signs for crocodiles and marine stingers for beachgoers. This area
did have the netting in place so people can swim without being attacked by sharks yet during much of the year there are marine
stingers which can get through the net (as can the crocs). The stingers are a deadly type of jelly fish. When someone is stung
if he/she does not receive prompt attention, one can be dead in less than 4 hours. During the height of the stinger season
everyone must wear a full wet suit including a face covering to avoid getting stung.
On our way to Daintree Rainforest, after leaving
Cairns, we stopped in Palm Cove for a picnic lunch. In spite of the warning signs people were in the water in droves - kayaking,
swimming, paddle boarding, and all else. As much as we have been enthralled with Australia, we aren’t
sure how we’d adapt to all of the hidden and in some cases, not so hidden dangers prevalent here. Although San Diego
has had its share of Great White sightings and even, attacks…..
We sailed to the Great Barrier Reef for an overnight diving and snorkel trip. While rain and clouds dampened
the experience, our boat crew and other visitors made the experience quite memorable.
on an overnight sail boat diving/snorkeling trip out to the Great Barrier Reef with 5 others plus 3 crew members as the rain,
continued! So much for arriving during the “dry season.” On board we had one Aussie fellow, Peter (originally
from Ecuador) and 4 Europeans (from Switzerland, Simone and Ester (both nurses), and a couple from Austria, Katie and Bernard.
The weather may have dampened our time, yet the company (our crew and guests) surely made up for it! We had a lot of fun hanging
out with everyone and enjoyed some delicious food (including sashimi made from Tuna that the Captain caught during our trip).
took us about 4-5 hours of sailing and motoring to get out to where we would moor for the first dive and on the way the boat
leaned so far to each side so many times, Suzan thought it might capsize. We stopped at Norman Reef and everyone began suiting
up for the first dive. Suzan joined the two Swiss women to snorkel and found a wet suit vest with a hoodie to wear over her
rash guard to stay warm. Turns out this trip was well-suited for divers; the rain and wind did not help us snorkelers. I swallowed
far too much salty water yet in spite of it, thoroughly enjoyed the views (even if not as sharp with the weather). I even
saw both black-tipped and white-tipped sharks!
During our one night on the sailboat Jim went to bed early, and Suzan stayed up
to play several games of Uno with Peter and Katie. She also practiced her Spanish with them (realizing how if one doesn’t
use it, one can lose it….with living in San Diego, there are no excuses).
Overnighting on the sailboat took some getting used
to. The constant swaying motion felt like being in a rocking cradle so this we found soothing. The continual noise of the
generator right near us, not so much. Also there is an art to taking a shower, and using the bathroom. Suzan ended up with
quite a bruise on her leg when she took a shower in the cramped quarters and a heavy, rolling swell surprised her.
Overall Jim experienced
4 dives (including Hastings Reef). The Great Barrier Reef had been a lifelong dream for him yet the visibility, coral life
(colors, etc), and underwater sightings did not live up to what he’d anticipated. The very poor weather conditions played
a significant role so maybe we’ll need to come back for another experience. Fortunately on the second day the sun came
out for one of his dives. Due to this we have some photos of underwater life to share with you!
|Mac our dive master and Tyson, our goumet cook
|who took good care of our dietary needs
We stayed at a family run zoo in their B&B during our
visit to the Unesco site Daintree Rainforest
of our visit to Daintree Rain Forest was our stay at the Daintree Wild B and B. A parrot greeted us with “hello”
at the entrance. This place seemed like an upscale version of San Diego’s Wild Animal Park’s Roar and Snore program.
What a treat to visit the zoo at any time as often as we liked right out of our door. Wallabys and Kangaroos greeted us, and
one Wallaby in particular wanted to return with us. We found out every day she hops over to be held and given a bottle.
The zoo had quite an
array of animals including many salt water crocodiles. We observed their feeding as they chomped down entire chickens (in
one bite) along with a whole wheelbarrow of beef steaks. It is the “dry season” yet the owner told us it has been
pouring rain every day so his place had become a swamp. Some crocs didn’t eat because they weren’t happy with
the weather so they were on a hunger strike (actually we learned they can go 6 months without eating yet watch out when they
We also saw a rare Casawary Bird, owls being fed dead baby chicks (ee-uu), colorful parrots who chatted with us (mostly
in loud squawking lingo and Dingos, wild dogs, which we wanted to pet through the fencing yet feared our hands might get chewed
off. We also saw wild Turkeys being chased by an Emu as the Turkeys ran after the sheep and goats. We found this zoo to be
The first night in Daintree we arrived late in the afternoon and learned the owners would not serve dinner as they
were going out to celebrate their anniversary. We were the only hotel guests too (full reign at the zoo)! We drove to the
nearest town for dinner which took us about 30 minutes in pitch dark on curvy roads. Yet fortunately we found a quaint pub
at the Exchange Hotel. Jim had some real Fish n Chips and Suzan greasy lamb chops whilst taking in great local people watching
(especially a large boisterous group with more beers on the table than they had hands to grab them with).
The next day we took
a ferry across a croc infested river (though no sightings), and then drove for hours stopping at various places with boardwalks
to walk through mangrove forests, and other types of rain forests. In one area we walked out to a beach and were fascinated
with the patterns in the sand made by the sand crabs. We also encountered rain, of course (well, it is the RAIN forest)! We
made it to a famous eatery called Nelson’s where we had quite the Bushman’s feast. We shared mini-burgers (crocodile,
emu, kangaroo, camel, buffalo, and wild boar). Our favorites were crocodile, kangaroo, and buffalo)! Suzan has become a carnivore
during this trip….
Enter second column content here