We arrived in sunny Cairns Tuesday morning eager to explore our new surroundings. After checking into our hippy hostel Calypso, we walked down to the esplanade, home to Cairns' famous lagoon. We grabbed some lunch and spent the afternoon reading by the lagoon. I had been recommended to visit the salthouse, a lovely bar over looking the harbour. We spent many afternoons exploiting the $3.50 ciders at happy hour. We got chatting to a couple from Reading whilst there, enjoying the sunset and swapping travel stories.
The famous Aussie road signs.
It was on Sam's bucket list to Skydive. I said outright I wouldn't be doing one and was freaking out at the idea of Sam doing one. I wanted to cage dive with a great white Shark, that was going to be my thing I said. As we started to book all our tours and it started to look like we wouldn't make it down to Port Lincoln (SA) where I could dive with sharks. I felt like I needed to do something big and extreme. Whilst out here I have been constantly pushing myself to new levels, trying new things I would never have dreamed of doing back home. The day came to book Sam's skydive, and the words "book me a skydive too" slipped out of my mouth without even thinking. I didn't know where this new found courage had come from but I just went with it.
Boy am I thankful I did, I had the best time of my life. One of the most exhilarating moments in all my life. I was free falling 14,000ft through the air. I was so alive, aware of the wind rushing past my ears and through my fingertips as I screamed in delight. The calm rushed over me as the parachute opened and I felt like a bird soaring through the sky towards the clouds below. I could see Sam below me, it filled my heart with such pride to see him finally for filling his dream. As I landed on the beach I was eager to go back up and do another one.
We gave ourselves a free day in our itinerary on Thursday but decided we wanted to fill our day with another activity. We booked ourselves onto Uncle Brian's Fun, Falls & Forest tour after hearing many good things about it and also falling in love with the quirky advertising leaflet. We visited the famous Millaa Millaa Falls where Peter Andre filmed the iconic waterfall scene in mysterious girl. Josephine Falls where we slid down a natural rock slide, that was so much fun. The whole day consisted of lots of swimming and numerous food breaks. It was a long day and worth every penny, we even got to see see some platypus in the wild. The ride home was filled with heaps of laugher. Singing cringey songs you hate to admit knowing every single word. We finally realised why it was called uncle Brian's tour because at the end of the day the we all felt like one big family! Uncle Brian's famous quote was: Looking at life on the bright side of the road. Something I'll always remember from one of my favourite tours.
Us at Millaa Millaa Falls.
Friday was my 23rd birthday! It was my wish to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. We started the day super early, getting picked up from our hostel at 6:30am. When we arrived at the boat we were given breakfast whilst listening to a marine biologist give us a talk about the reef. We were first to dive, after having all equipment put on us we were ready to get in the water. The visibility wasn't what I expected it to be, it was similar to when I last dived in Koh Tao. I imagined to dive in to a scene of the little mermaid, colours everywhere. The reefs were beautiful though each coral fascinated me, how they were all growing and fighting for the largest surface on the seabed. After our long day diving we went back to our room to chill for a while, that's when I opened my cards and gifts and also skyped my mum which was lovely. It was an early night for us after dinner as we had another super early start the following day. I had such a fantastic 23rd, it will be a while before I'll be able to top that birthday for sure.
Admiring the Great Barrier Reef.
Saturday we were booked to go extreme white water rafting. At first I was apprehensive but agreed to give it my best shot. In the morning we met our team; Luca, Summer, Ron & Lizzie and our fab teacher Angelo! We ran through some safely and then we were ready to head out onto the Tully river. It took me a while to get used to the ropes, climbing back into the boat was a blooming task itself. Surrounded by breathtaking views I was just happy bobbing along in the lake enjoying the scenery. Paddling away, I started to let my worries float down the river and relaxed into the activity. We stopped after 4km for lunch, then continued down the rapids for a further 6-8 km. Each rapid brought different skills and ways in which we would manoeuvre the raft. I loved being splashed by the water and rolling over the rocks as we cascaded down the rapids. All the rapids had a different names, I wish I could remember them all; lemon squeezer, and birth canal were couple of names. We were also given the opportunity to dive off rocks into the river and even went down a few rapids on our bums. At the end of the day we all headed to the pub for a nice cold Somersby! Perfect way to enjoy such a fab day.
I thank you Cairns, I can honestly say you excelled yourself!
Love Chailey x