To those of you who desperately wanted that title to rhyme, don’t worry! It does!
Aussies do this thing where they don’t pronounce the letter “R” that often, so the city famous for the Great Barrier Reef is named after one of the things causing so much damage to it (“Cans”).
Growing up I had a lot of assumptions about the Reef and Australian Rainforest (and you probably do too), so here is a list of a few of the things I learned this past weekend on my adventure with Delaney and Courtney (and her parents) in the marvelous beach-town of Cairns, Queensland.
- Assumption #1: Cairns, the home of the biggest destination for the Great Barrier Reef, would have a beach. I was wrong. There isn’t a true beach within 100 kilometers from Cairns. The city has a huge port from which ships take people out to the Reef
- Assumption #2: “I can walk off the beach (*see above*) and head out to the coral off shore!” Wrong, again. It takes over 2 hours to reach the Reef by boat. I always assumed that when people said that the coral was dying from people walking on it that you could literally walk to it. I did learn the hard way how difficult it is to not hit the coral when you are fighting the waves.
- Assumption #3: Hostels are scary and dirty and straight out of a horror flick. I was at least wrong in an Australian hostel; I can’t speak for the rest of the world’ hostels. Our room was much warmer than our icebox of a home in Sydney and our showers were much larger (but sadly I can’t work a shower so I burned my scalp and ended up washing my hair in the sink). There were tons of couches and a pool, and we were right in the heart of Cairns.
- Assumption #4: Jumping into a net off of a boat will cause me no bodily harm. Sadly, I was wrong again (I’m super bad at this). Jumping off a boat onto a huge net may or may not dislocate your pinky toe and cause your whole foot to swell and bruise. Luckily by the second and third day it hurts less and less and you can freak out your housemates who want to rush you to the ER. The funniest part was that the crew wrapped my toe to the next one using electrical tape because they were out of medical tape.
- Assumption #5: I can climb up on top of a rock without sliding back 20 feet into the freezing water and taking out a Canadian girl on her 18th birthday. Please just imagine this. I’m pretty bruised up, but we had a good laugh after I apologized profusely.
- Assumption #6: Australian gelato is pretty good. Soooooooo wrong. I had Mars Bar (which is a Milky Way here) gelato down the street from my hostel and I’m still considering a flight back to get some more. Thankfully Gelato Messina (another fabulous gelato place) has two locations in Sydney. I really need to find a good one back in the states (any suggestions?) because it’s so good it rivals Blue Bell in deliciousness (heresy, I know).
- Assumption #7: Hearing a sub-par country-pop band play at a pub on a Saturday night will be downright depressing. No matter how bad the band was, Delaney, Courtney, and I jammed out to the songs and knew every word. It was a great reminder of home to see everyone singing and dancing along to the music (although no one two-stepped or did any swing dancing).
- Assumption #8: Finishing a good book right before a fancy Italian meal is a good idea. No. Bad. I was a complete wreck for about 10 minutes before Mrs. Street knocked over her beer on the table and we began to laugh uncontrollably. (Read We Were Liars right now. It’s so good and you won’t regret it.)
- Assumption #9: Hostel roommates will be creepy serial killers. We actually lived with two sweet (and gorgeous) girls that had just graduated from Uni in Manchester, England. However, hostel next door neighbors might wake you and your roommates up at 4:00 AM having a bit too much fun (if you know what I’m saying). This creates heaps of laughter the next day, once everyone can fall back asleep.
- Assumption #10: Sitting in the middle seat both ways will be dreadful. Luckily, the couple on the way back begged me for the middle seat. Who could say no to that?
Overall, it was a great weekend full of walking, snorkeling, climbing, swimming, eating, and enjoying the beautiful Great Barrier Reef as well as the rainforest. Sadly, scientists believe that by the time I will be back to visit the Reef again it will probably be gone! We were lucky to experience the reef and the rain forests of Australia while the still exist and we have so fabulous memories to look back on! Check out my pictures on Facebook of this awesome experience!
When you can’t smile underwater, you might as well act like a diva.
But first, lemme take an underwater selfie.
I touched the butt.