Monday, October 23, 2006

cairns and cape tribulation

after alice springs, i flew to cairns on the north east coast of australia. from the desert, i landed in the middle of the rain forest. the weather was very tropical, very humid and warm and it rained a little bit, but not much. i spent 2 days in cairns just hanging around, shopping, going to the lagoon, a sort of outdoor swimming pool since the beach in a mud flat infested with crocodiles and sometimes box jellyfish.

i then went on a 2 day tour up to cape tribulation in the north. we saw a wildlife sanctuary with cassowaries, kangaroos and wallabies that you could feed, koalas (the first ones i have seen other than on postcards), crocs and all sorts of birds.

this is a cassowary, very nasty bird: it bites
we also went on a cruise down the daintree river and saw tree snakes and crocs of various sizes and a frog that had decided to spend the night on the boat, so it had to go up and down the river all day.

we then got dropped off at our respective hostels and the evening was spent enjoying a beer with other ppl in the room. it poured that evening, but the next morning was absolutely gorgeous. it's really cool to actually be in a rain forest since the only ones i'd ever experienced are in botanical gardens or conservatories. and it's so much more humid that you expect. the second day for me involved going snorkelling on the great barrier reef. that was absolutely gorgeous, like better than anything you can imagine. the water was really clear and there were so many fish. mostly parrot fish that grind up the coral with their mouths and produce sand. it's amazing how many colours they come in. and there were blue starfish and i saw a ray. some ppl in the group saw turtles (lucky them). and the coral is completely different in all the shapes and sizes and colours. in the afternoon, the tide was lower so the coral was closer and you could touch it (if you were stupid enough to do so) but the colours were much more beautiful and bright, i guess there was more light that reached it. sorry no photos cause they are still on my underwater camera. so for anyone heading to australia, snorkelling is a must! and make sure you cover your back somehow cause mine was completely red at the end of the day!


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