Monday, October 23, 2006

down the east coast

after the rain forest, i headed back to cairns and then took the bus to townsville. the reason ppl go to townsville is to go to magnetic island(cook had problems with his compass in the vicinity of the island and name the island that way). so the next day i headed there for the day. in the morning, i did a walk to a gorgeous lookout point and enjoyed the views of the surrounding water. the water was a beautiful blue ( i tried uploading photos but the computer doesn't want to today). and then i walked down to the beach in horsehoe bay and went for a swim. the water was very cloudy so instead i just went to sleep under the palm trees. the cool thing about this time of year is the fact that it's spring so thing are in bloom, and the bushes are different from the ones at home. since the climate is much warmer, you get huge colourful blossoms, photos will come at some point.
in the evening i went back to townsville and the was a guy who showed up with a python that anyone who wanted to could hold. of course, not having the opportunity to do so everyday, i got my photo taken with a blackheaded python. the next day was a bus trip down to airlie beach, next to the whitsundays, islands that apparently are very beautiful. ppl usually do a 3 day 2 night trip on a sailing boat. i didn't really have time to do that so instead i did half a day of sea kayaking. we had a snack on a tiny island were the beach was made of coral. it had been blached by the time if made it to the beach but it looked really cool. then we did a little snorkelling but the water was very cloudy and i only saw one fish(but most ppl in the group saw only coral and water). the cool thing was to get the stinger suits on. they are like wetsuits but thinner and are supposed to protect you from the sting of the box jellyfish (one of the many dangers in the australian waters). on the way back did some sailing by putting 3 kayaks together and then putting up a sail. it was really cool. so i did some sailing in the whitsundays. the next day i was suppose to do a day trip and do some more snorkelling but the winds picked up(waves of 3 meters) and the trip was cancelled so i spent the day hanging around airlie beach. there isn't much to do there other than shop, swim and go sailing so it was pretty relaxed. that was good because i caught the night bus down to rainbow beach that evening. luckily there were few ppl on the bus and everyone had 2 seats to sleep in that night.
rainbow beach is absolutely tiny. you pretty much get off the bus and walk across the street to the hostel and then walk about 3 minutes down the street to the beach. the beach is beautiful, but the waves are really big so you can't go swimming in the ocean. from rainbow beach, i was going to leave on a 3 day selfdrive 4 wd trip. it's pretty much a bunch of backpackers that pile into a landrover and driver all over the big sand island in the world. it was cool. update about fraser island soon. but wildlife highlights were seeing turtles in the ocean and they would come up to breath, seeing a wild dingo(although that was a bit scary at first cause you only see a shadow until you shine a light at it) and then on the ferry trip back, we saw a pod of dolphins (it's a pod for whales, is it the same for dolphins?) and one was jumping around a bit so that was really cool. tomorow i'm heading to brisbane and will be in sydney by next weekend. suggestion for anyone doing the east coast of australia: take you time, a month is not enough, there is so much to see and do and things are far apart (you would think i would know that coming from canada! not be like the tourist who wants to see the rockies and drive to niagara falls the same day).


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