Some other observations:
– the weather has been, for me, absolutely perfect. The locals seem to think its rather cold, especially at night though. Mid 70’s days, and just a bit chilly at night. Perfect!
– it’s bloody expensive here. Meals, especially, have been higher than expected. Some of this I suspect is the normal boost due to being in somewhat of a tourist area, but mainly it’s due to the front Aussie dollar. Unfortunately here on the island, there aren’t many cheaper options, unless I want to add water to something prepackaged.
– a hammock is the perfect place to spend the afternoon. Or morning. Or whenever.
Tomorrow we all head back to the mainland. Kim is back tomreef HQ, and hopefully the liveaboard so they can get their dives in. I hop a bus north to cairns to start that leg of the trip.
Today finds us in our first full day on Magnetic Island. I showed up sometime around lunch yesterday, while Kim and the rest of her class were here a bit earlier. After a short wait, I was checked into my bungalow, which is a perfect little space. It’s pretty no frills (except for air conditioning) but is secure, dry, clean, and even has a little fridge, as well as power to recharge the various gadgets. Other than that, it’s more or less a mattress on a little raised platform. Perfect for this area, really!
Plenty of wildlife around – notably at least 3 kookaburra, as well as other birds that I can’t recall the names of at this point.
The most pleasant surprise of this leg of the journey has been that Kim and I have been able to cross paths some, even getting to hang out with her and her classmates last night out on the beach. That was when the crazy guy who owns this place came rolling up looking for us to show us the snake he had just picked up from a local — a “common death adder”. That qualifies in my book as one of the more interesting show-and-tells I’ve ever experienced!
Tomorrow we all head back to the mainland, where we finally part ways for a bit. I begin the trek to Cairns, and Kim is back at Reef HQ. Also, sadly, Saturday’s planned dive on the SS Yongala was blown out. Still, it was a pleasant ride south to Ayr.
Needless to say, we turned in early on Friday! Spending 24? Hours or so in airplanes and airports tKs a toll, so after a short adventure to acquire iPad sims, it felt really good to hit the bed last night. Unfortunately for me, I had planned a pretty early AM start for Saturday. The plan was for me to meet up with Darrel, one of the other spouses tagging along, and make the drive down to Ayr and dive the wreck of the SS Yongala. Sadly, it was not meant to be. After making the hour drive, we arrived at the dive shop which was suspiciously quiet. We sat down to chow on a find McD’s breakfast, and one of the dive shop guys walked out to deliver the bad news — cancelled dives due to high winds. Oh well, our fault for not calling to confirm. Still, i got to see some more of the countryside. (Summary: LOTS of sugarcane…).
Coming back, we decided to visit Reef HQ which is where “the wives” are doing their classwork. We even managed to run into them at lunchtime, which was a nice treat. Darrel and I stuck out for other lunch options, finally settling on some sort of place with an odd us type Tex-Mex, which doesn’t really explain the mismatch of American decor. (Hollywood blvd. Sign?)
Made a detour back to The telstra store to troubleshoot the iPad sims (success!) and I’m thinking it will be another early evening for me.
Somewhere over the pacific, we’re sitting in row 32 on a Boeing 777on our way to Sydney. It’s around 1:30 am Sydney time, which I think means we’ve been up and running for about 26 hours at this point. The screen in the setback claims that there another 4 and a half hours left in this leg, then we have a couple more after that on the leg to Townsville.
But this is how adventures start! Kim and Travis off on out great tour of Down Under, 2011.
Much progress yesterday and today! These guys are doing a real nice job…
(Pics behind the Cut…)