Friday, July 22, 2011

Cairns Holiday: Part 1 Great Barrier Reef

After 6 months of planning, the time had finally come for our family’s visit and our trip to Cairns, Queensland.  Uri, Anabella, Chloe and I took the bus to Sydney’s airport where we met up with our niece, Maiya, our former brother in-law, Tom, and his girlfriend, LB.   It’s been a long 10 months since we left Connecticut and to have family visiting was so exciting!  From Sydney we took the plane up to the northeastern part of Queensland for a holiday in the tropics.  We stayed together in a three bedroom apartment at the Coral Sands Resort in Trinity Beach which was a 20 minute drive from the city of Cairns. 
Our first big adventure: the Great Barrier Reef
It was a sunny, but cool day.  The temperature was about 23 degrees Celsius and the water temperature was about the same.  The boat ride out was uneventful up until the last 10 minutes when Chloe got sick.  I tried getting her downstairs and outside before “it” happened, but we didn’t make it.  The poor girl went green right before my eyes so quickly. 

The boat docked out at a large pontoon where they offered snorkelling, scuba-diving and boat and helicopter rides.  Unfortunately, the week before Anabella fractured her elbow and was in a plaster cast so no swimming for her.  While Uri took the girls out on the semi-submergible boat, Maiya, Tom, LB and I went snorkelling.  Maiya and I decided to stay close to each other.  It was so much fun to swim with her.  She and I got so excited over seeing the large colourful fish in the most brilliant colours - turquoise, green, blue and black with silvery blue dots.  We also saw beautiful coral – pinks, yellows and purple. It was all that I imagined it to be.  The coral went on forever – layers and layers of it – some reaching within inches of the surface. 
When Uri and the girls got back from their boat ride, I suited Chloe up in her snorkelling gear to have a go at it.  She was quite nervous about going in the water as it was deep.  We tried several times to coax her in then decided to have lunch together on the sundeck.  Uri and Maiya went in after lunch and after awhile Chloe joined them too.  I stayed with Anabella in the afternoon because at this point she was feeling upset about not getting to go in.  We watched Finding Nemo on the boat while the snorkelling continued. 

Of all the places I want to go and the things I want to see while here in Australia the Great Barrier Reef was at the top of my lsit. It really was an amazing experience.   I am happy to check it off my list.  We may have to make another trip up since Anabella had to sit this one out.   
A few interesting facts about the Great Barrier Reef:
·         One of the seven wonders of the natural world
·         It is larger than the Great Wall of China
·         It’s the only living thing on earth visible from space
·         The reef stretches over 3,000 km (1,800 miles) along the Queensland coastline
·         It’s the world’s largest collection of corals (in fact, more than 400 different kinds of coral) and over 1,500 species of tropical fish live in and around the reef.

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