YOU GUYS- The Great Barrier Reef. Add that to the list of places you must see before you die. Remember how I said surfing was the coolest water sport I’ve ever done? I lied. Even though snorkeling takes much less coordination and athleticism, it was so incredibly beautiful and surreal. I still cannot believe that I get to live this life. I flew to the city of Cairns in Queensland on Thursday night after work and had my first experience in a hostel. Luckily, I was placed in a 6 bed dorm with two of my roommates from Sydney. Little did I know, that the other three beds were filled with two guys from Germany and one from Ireland. It wasn’t the most comfortable situation, but every traveling student has to stay in a hostel at least one time. It will make for a good story one day.
Even though it’s technically winter in Australia, the weather in Cairns felt like summer. It was in the 80s for most of the weekend and left our skin tan and our spirits high. Friday was spent on Fitzroy private island hiking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, and even doing a little bit of gymnastics. Saturday was an all day excursion out to the Great Barrier Reef, about two and a half hours off the coast to snorkel. Fun fact for that day: I saw the whole cast of Finding Nemo, including Crush, Squirt, and Bruce the Shark. I nearly drown my roommate trying to get out of the water when I saw Bruce. Clearly was not mentally prepared for that one.
The catamaran ride home was a rough one. I made a quick appearance at the front of the boat where the waves were splashing up and over the bow and through the nets. I then made the mistake of walking down into the cabin which led to some major sea sickness. I spent the remainder of my ride passed out on some scuba air tanks. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Since sky diving got cancelled on Sunday morning due to the rain, we had a short-lived pity party but went on a spontaneous hike through the rainforest. There were enough spiders to recreate the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but when I did pay attention to the scenery, it was breath-taking. I’m sure Tarzan would approve.
I guess since I feel like traveling 13,262 miles, or should I say 21,343 kilometers, in 4 weeks isn’t enough- I’m leaving for Christchurch, New Zealand tonight. I have two friends from back home interning over there and I am thrilled to join them to check out the country. I’ve spent 26 hours in the air thus far and I’m not about to stop now.
Don’t you think for a second that I wasn’t going to add a gelato picture. I went to a new place called “N2”- they home-make the gelato right in front of you with liquid nitrogen. The employees have to wear safety goggles and lab coats. I can’t make this stuff up folks. And yes, that is a syringe of chocolate.
Sierra Kreft is a student at North Dakota State University and is blogging from her summer abroad with the Sydney Internship Program Summer in Sydney, Australia.