Ya, ya, I know, Canada Day was three weeks ago. Two of those I was fully enamoured with travelling around Eastern and Northern Australia with my big sis and last week I was caught in a warp – time froze and also went at the speed of light. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up here on a Friday evening only JUST writing about my first day of the second lot of holidays! I’ll keep the yammering to a minimum and focus on photos!
It all started on June 30th. I didn’t waste a moment and was OFF and away on my very first day of holidays. Kerry, the music teacher and self-appointed Kimberly Airport Shuttle, wonderfully dropped me off at 8:30 am for my flight to Brisbane and from there onto Cairns. Everything went smoothly until that point but then I had to kill time at Cairns airport for two hours while I waited exceptionally impatiently for Courtney’s flight from Sydney to land! Thank goodness for Teresa (librarian – best book recommenders one could have!) and the teen fiction books she signed out for me! There were definitely ants in my pants!!!!!! After a long drawn out hug with a few baby tears, we headed for the hostel. The rest of our evening consisted of an entertainingly grumpy shuttle driver, a free sausage and mashed potatoes dinner (questionable, at best), and a terrific Tracy booking tours for us at Gilligan’s hostel’s travel desk.
In the morning we were up bright and early to join 12 others and our tour guide, Brett, on Barefoot tours (as recommended by Sarah!) – on Canada Day! Courtney’s dash back into the hostel to get our Canada paraphernalia, courtesy of Dan, started the day off full of energy and excitement that promised a fun-filled and social day for our group!
The overcast day wasn’t ideal for the lakes and waterfalls we were scheduled to visit – and swim in – but the clouds did nothing to dampen my spirits about having Courtorama at my side!!!! First stop – Cathedral Fig Tree! A magnificent plant that starts its life by relying on the digestive tract of birds in the hopes that a seed will be pooped out in the branches of an appropriate tree. It then sends roots down through the air and into the ground to subsequently strangle its host tree until it dies leaving a hollow centre. Strange to feel sad for a tree.
Our next stop, Lake Eachum is the crater of an old volcano filled in with water. Cold water. Courtney managed it after some coaxing, but I stuck to the shores as photographer.
After lunch we headed to the most “famous” falls of the tour. Milla Milla Falls is where the Herbal Essences commercial was filmed (I don’t need to explain which one, do I?) and where some band’s music video was filmed (ya, no idea what band or what song – anyone??). I ventured into my first swim of the day – freezing – but unbelievable! We swam right to the fall and perched under the curtain to look up at the lush vegetation growing UNDERNEATH the water!!
Our group was just so awesome and we had such fun together, that Brett reserved us a table at the Wool Shed and we all agreed to meet there later for drinks and Canada Day celebrations! Courtney and I geared up with the flag as a shirt and covered ourselves in stickers in anticipation of being the only ones…and we were, for our free dinner at Gilligan’s. The chef requested we sing the anthem, so we roped the Torontonian behind the counter into joining us and we belted it out. But THEN!!!!!!!!! We arrived at The Woolshed to see….
We ran into Laurie, or Lori, or Lorie in the entryway as she commented on our decorations and invited the fellow Canadian to join our party for the evening! Audrey (French) and Jeanette (American) from our tour also got into the spirit and dressed in red! What a party! The whole bar was decked out more festively than probably any bar in Canada was. A pretty fantastic second-Canada-Day-in-a-foreign-country that was capped off by about 20 of we Canadians (Courtney and I rounded up all our new friends we met through the night) shouting out “Oh Canada” into the mike for the whole place to hear! Woooo hoooo!!! Also, we ate poutine.
So… that was day one! Just 13 more holi-days to go! I’ll try to be brief!