Australia – Surf’s Up Dude

Whatever that means.
Just added the surfing shots. As you can tell, Chris can surf. I can’t. So if there’s a picture of a dude on a board, on a wave, it’s not me.
The only picture of me is the close up one, where I’m trying to hang on to a board, crash through a wave and take a photo of myself all at the same time.

The picture of the big snake is one we found by the path in Noosa. Scared the hell out of me until I realised it was 15inches long, not 15feet. Some sort of daft lizard I guess. They have some weird stuff out here. Saw a wild koala (uncaged, not crazy), but he was way up a tree and not very photogenic.

Australia – Phish Fotos

I’ve just added the shots from snorkelling in the Whitsundays. As usual, the throwaway waterproof cameras aren’t up to much – you’ll have to trust me that it’s really a lot more colourful down there.

The only thing that spoils the fun is the sting-suits they make you wear. All-enclosing wetsuits are quite uncomfortable, and seem completely unecessary, as the box jellyfish are out of season. On the other hand, apparently stray ones are known, and they could kill you. But sometimes it’s just worth the risk.

I went for a 10 min introductory scuba as well, which was fun, but didn’t get to take any pics down there – I was concentrating on breathing and staying the right way up!

Australia – Groundhog Day

I met up with Chris Power in Brisbane and we went up to the Sunshine Coast for 4 days or so.
He complains that his life is now like Groundhog Day; every day is the same: Wake up, go surf, eat, surf, jog, eat, sleep. Repeat.
Sound like hell. Somehow I think he saw a different movie to me; I recall a lot of snow…

Anyway, I completely failed to get anywhere surfing. It’s hard work, and to me just paddling out to the waves is work enough. How they do it for hours and hours is beyond me. I need more practise. And probably more swimming-fitness…

Took some pics though – will upload shortly and then send one of my mass-emails before travelling to Japan on Friday!

Australia – Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays

Cairns brightened up after a while, but apart from the notorious bars, there’s nothing to do there. It’s just a backpacker-tour selling town.
So, I took a day-trip to Cape Tribulation. Despite the thrilling name, it wasn’t too exciting. The rainforest meets the beach. That’s the excitement. After the bus trip, we got about an hour there. Saw a goanna (lizard).
On the way, we got to see a wildlife santuary and Mossman Gorge. Mossman will no great thrill for anyone who’s seen a river/stream before. The park was better – I got to meet kangaroos, birds (various) and koalas! I felt like a true Australian. Tourist. 🙂

Anyway, with Cairns done, I got a train to Airlie Beach. Bit misleading in the name, because like Cairns, there’s no beach. Weird eh?
Anyway, the thing to do here is take a boat trip. So I did.

I took the Pegasus for 4 days and 3 nights with 23 fellow travellers. Sounds like a lot, but it didn’t seem that way on the boat (except at mealtimes :). Speaking of mealtimes, (which I wasn’t, except in brackets – does that count?), the food was awesome. BBQ’d steaks one day, roast beef the next! Great stuff.
We went to coral beaches for snorkelling, and I got a free introductory scuba dive, which was very cool, although my mask kept leaking.
We went to the famous Whitehaven beach, which has pure white sand for miles. Apparently it’s 90% silica, and is the finest sand I’ve ever seen. Crunches like snow underfoot. Very weird, but pretty and good for a game of footy on the beach and a quick tan-top-up. 🙂
We did a bit of sailing on the way back – one of the highlights I reckon, despite the occasional rain at the time. Nice to get the engine turned off. 🙂

I’m back on dry land now, which is swaying quite uncomfortably underfoot. It’s like being drunk while still sober. Kindof a vodka-redbull effect. Very peculiar…

Next stop: Brisbane!