I probably didn’t mention this before, but I’ve just spent most of the weekend in Cairns, Australia! I took a sidetrip there with some of the people in my study abroad group, and I just got back home to Sydney. If any of you have been following my blogging, you’d know that I haven’t done any diary entries in a few days, and that’s been because the Wi-Fi at the hostel I stayed at this weekend wasn’t very good and wasn’t very reliable. So to make up for that, under the cut below is my recounting of the entire weekend, one day at a time- enjoy!
DAY 23- THURSDAY
I don’t have a lot to talk about for this day, mostly because it involved preparing for the trip to Cairns. I not only had to print out the boarding pass I was going to use for traveling to Cairns, but I also had to make sure I had enough money, both physical and in my bank account. I was very hyped for the trip at the time, because I’d never been to Cairns before, and everything looked like it was lining up just right. As it turned out later on, that excitement was justified.
DAY 24- FRIDAY
Today was the day of the flight! We all had class today from 10 AM to 4 PM, but luckily we timed the flight just right so that we wouldn’t miss any class. The trip to the airport and our trek through the airport itself wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as I thought it would be, and everything went relatively smoothly. Plus, the flight to Cairns was only about three-and-a-half hours, which is always nice. The real highlight of today, though, was when we had to walk from the airport to the hostel, and we livened up the trip by singing Disney songs as loud as we could, which was almost surreal as the cars raced past us on the highway.
Finally though, almost at midnight, we arrived at the hostel, and we each paid our respective due, and headed up to the room. As we started unloading our stuff in the room, we met one of the current residents, a nice German guy named Marc, who professed to be a backpacker and had been all over the world. Talking to him for a little while was fun, but it wasn’t long before we all fell asleep so we could get ready for the next day.
DAY 25- SATURDAY
I barely got any sleep last night, but fortunately the events of today more than made up for that. After pepping myself up with coffee and grabbing something to eat with the others, I headed off to the boat with the others in the group that we were going to be traveling on for our particular excursion, which involved going out to the Great Barrier Reef area for snorkeling, scuba diving, and lots of food. I didn’t end up doing scuba diving because I was too afraid, but I had a lot of fun snorkeling, and got to see a lot of the Reef in addition to a few islands.
The food on the boat was great too, they had a lot of fish (which I love), cheese, fruit, bread, crackers- all kinds of things. I also got the chance to take a lot of pictures of the boat and the area, which you’ll all see as soon as I can upload them onto Tumblr. It was a ton of fun, and we ended up staying on the boat tour for several hours before eventually heading back to the hostel where we prepared for the next day.
DAY 26- SUNDAY
Today was our last full day in Cairns, and we were determined to make the most of it, so we spent most of the day hiking through some really cool rainforests in the surrounding area. We got to see a place called Wooroonooran National Park, and explore the jungle, which was very exciting, except for arguably the part where some of us ran into trouble with leeches. As with the excursion yesterday, I got a lot of good pictures, and we decided to end the day by spending a nice night out eating at an Australian restaurant, where I treated myself to a non-alcoholic cocktail and some chilled prawns! Needless to say, it was delicious. After spending a little more time in the town, we all went back to the hostel, for our final night sleeping there before we left for Sydney the next day.
DAY 27- MONDAY
Like most of the other days, we had to wake up at the crack of dawn, but thankfully that was the only major complication we faced today. After clearing out all our things from the hostel, we said goodbye to Marc and went on a taxi to the airport. Originally I had run into some trouble because the flight back that we had arranged before coming didn’t have free checked bags, but on one of the previous weekend days I was able to call ahead and pay for a checked bag, so there ended up being no trouble at all. The flight went very smoothly, and before long we were back in Sydney, and a short train ride took us back to where the rest of the group was staying.
Overall, I honestly had a really good time on this trip, and I’m very glad I came, as well as very grateful to all the others in the group for helping to make this happen. I think I like Cairns even more than Sydney, and it was a great experience to get to go there and see it for myself.