October - November 2017
  • Day23

    Back to Detroit

    November 19, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 32 °F

    Back to reality...and to my first taste of Michigan winter. Brrrr! Made it back with only 1 small addition to the bags and I believe that I used every single thing I packed at one time or another. I tend to be a "what if" packer, so proud of that! Even the band aids came in handy between scrapes from tidal wave adventures and banging my heel against the dive ladder (the name of my little dive group was the one sock brigade, as all but 1 had a scrape of some sort that we were trying to keep the fins from aggravating).

    Hope folks had fun following my travel blog experiment! Signing off until the next adventure.
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  • Day22

    Blue Mountains, Australia

    November 18, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 61 °F

    The 2nd half of today's day trip was a trip to Scenic World, in the Blue Mountains. Unfortunately, they were more like the misty, wet mountains for us, as it poured for a good chunk of the day and visibility was nil. Still an interesting trip, though...enjoyed the walk through the Jameson Rain Forest and trying to get a peek at the Three Sisters (no go). Also enjoyed the brief ride on the world's steepest train. We came back to Circular Quay (pronounced "key") via ferry which gave some great views of the Opera House and city from the water.

    Now working on the final pack for the trip back to the States tomorrow morning. Australia, I feel I barely got to say "hi". I'll be back!
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  • Day22

    Doonside, Australia

    November 18, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 70 °F

    I decided to do a day trip to Featherdale Wildlife Park and the Blue Mountains on my last day in Australia. My tour picked me up at my hotel just before 8 AM and we were off to see the animals at the park. So many critters to see...and some to pet, including a number of small red kangaroos who were able to come in and out of their enclosure. So, so cool! Work crew - the selfies are for you...upgraded from the stuffed variety. Couldn't work in the big hat or knife, though.

    If you buy me a cider, I'll tell you the somewhat embarrassing story of my mythical Cassowary sighting in the wild in the Kuranda rainforest. Maybe 2 ciders.
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  • Day21

    Sydney, Australia

    November 17, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    Spent some time wandering around Circular Quay here in Sydney before heading back to the hotel for an early night. The harbor is hopping, with ferries, shuttles, party boats and the odd cruise liner all coming through as I watched the day ease into night. The opera house is an impressive architectural feat...if I had more time (and evening attire!), I'd love to catch a performance there. Maybe next time, as I plan to come back to more thoroughly explore Australia! I promised Meg, my lovely new Kuranda shopkeeper friend that I would.Read more

  • Day20

    Cairns City, Australia

    November 16, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 75 °F

    Cairns lights up at night...literally. Explored the Esplanade, Promenade and Lagoon area by the harbor after my Kuranda adventures. Such a cool area, with laser light displays, colored lighting and the music of the night...aka bats. Yep...lots of BIG fruit bats! So cool!! Unfortunately, it's our last night here before we head to Sydney...and home for Alexis and Amy. I'll be in Sydney for 1.5 days before heading home.Read more

  • Day20

    Kuranda, Australia

    November 16, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

    After my cool skyrail trip up to the rainforest, had fun exploring Kuranda. Loved all of the Australian arts and met one of my favorite Aussies there. Meg is about 75, runs a cute little shop in town and is retired from a career in Finance, not an easy feat for a woman in her generation. She has a son and 2 lovely grandchildren in Vancouver, which just goes to show that it really is a small world. We had a great chat and, when I told her I wanted to come back to spend more time in Australia, she gave me a beautiful red stone from the area to encourage me to return. Meg, I want to come back just to visit you!Read more

    ROBBMAC CAMBBOR

    How did I miss this one! Way to go on the challenge!!! -ROBBMAC

    11/22/17Reply
     
  • Day20

    Smithfield, Australia

    November 16, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 86 °F

    Today was so interesting! Decided to head to the rainforest while the girls went to find their bucket list critters (koala for Alexis and crocodile for Amy).

    Hopped on the Skyrail to ride up to Kuranda and the Kuranda Scenic Railroad back down to Cairns. The rainforest is fascinating - such lush vegetation and variation. I picked the right time to go, as I was in between the morning and afternoon rushes...and got my own private glass bottom sky car as a result.Read more

  • Day19

    Thatford Reef, Great Barrier Reef Day 2

    November 15, 2017 ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

    Day 2 on the reef started at 6:45...up and at the wetsuits! Today was calmer, which was especially nice for our snorkelers (Amy and Alexis). We got to see a sea turtle on the surface...and our lucky snorkelers saw a shark. So jealous! Sadly, no sharks for the divers, but it's hard to have a bad dive on the GBR. Our last dive spot was Canyons - home of tall coral towers and ravines. So much fun threading the needle in some of them! 2 dives today, then back to Cairns for more land adventures. Goodbye GBR...I'll be back! 🐠🦀🐟🐡🐢❤️Read more

    Cheryl Rawlings

    Was that flotsam or jetsam?

    11/17/17Reply
    Cheryl Rawlings

    Nemo!

    11/17/17Reply
    Cheryl Rawlings

    Haha...that's what I just wrote on the other pic...lol

    11/17/17Reply
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  • Day18

    Thatford Reef, Great Barrier Reef Day 1

    November 14, 2017 ⋅ ⛅ 82 °F

    We boarded the Rum Runner, a 20m motor sailing schooner, in Cairns on Tuesday morning (7 AM!) for 2 days out on the reef. That mean 6 dives, including a night dive...more diving in such a short time frame than this adventurer has ever done...and how I felt it after dive 4 on day 1. The space on the ship was cozy, we'll say...but not at capacity, which was helpful. The crew was fantastic and really made it a terrific trip...I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Shout out to Soaps, Sabrina, Hannah, Jase and Masa!

    The reef lived up to expectations, although I'd hoped for calmer waters for better visibility. I was awed at the size and complexity of the coral colonies and the vibrant life in, on and around them. We could see some of the effects of coral bleaching, unfortunately...not unexpected but I'd hoped not to see evidence of reef damage close up. So hard to pick out 10 photos that give a flavor for the trip. So, I'm doing day 1 and day 2 posts to give myself more leeway. Trip adventures must be shared!
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    Cheryl Rawlings

    What an incredible journey...thank you so much for sharing...looking forward to seeing day 2! And the rest of all your pics

    11/17/17Reply
     
  • Day17

    Christchurch, New Zealand

    November 13, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 46 °F

    Today was pretty much a travel and plan day...getting ready to head out on the boat tomorrow morning and making some last minute travel arrangement changes for the trip back (rather than spend a layover night in Melbourne, decided to change my flight to spend an extra night in Sydney...which let me fit in a cool day trip to the Blue Mountains). <Insert excited face here>. I did get a spectacular view of the Southern Alps on the way to Australia...check it out!Read more

    Cheryl Rawlings

    I'm so excited for your dive trip!

    11/13/17Reply