Duke and I are on a four week Australian road trip. Wednesday we left Reno and flew to LA then connected to a flight for Brisbane, Australia. I went to High school in Brisbane and next weekend I'll be attending a reunion there. From Brisbane we caught a flight 1100 miles north to Cairns.
Cairns is tropical, warm, green, humid and on the coast. It is a jumping off point to visit the Great Barrier Reef.
We are staying at The Travelers Oasis. It is a backpackers hotel with dorms, a kitchen and a pool. But they also have private rooms. We have a wonderful double bed room with a shared bath just down the hall. We have our own veranda with two chairs to enjoy the tropical air.
Lonely Planet says that staying at Travelers Oasis will "make you feel like you have your own timber Queenslander.". That is exactly what Travelers Oasis does. A timber Queenslander is a traditional old Queensland house. It is a wood house set on stilts to catch the breeze with verandas and slatted glass windows. I spent one term in boarding school in Brisbane. The boarding school was in an old Queenslland house. Our room at Travelers Oasis reminds me of that – wood floors, ceiling fans, no screens on the windows, slatted glass windows.Here is a view of our veranda and the view from the veranda.
Staying here is absolutely perfect. The only thing missing is the mosquito nets. My boarding school had them but you don't really need them here. There have been almost no bugs. Maybe that is because of the flying foxes. We were out walking last night and saw hundreds in one of the trees downtown. You can see the flying foxes hanging upside down in the tree below.
Today we went out with Reef Experience to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. It was a bit windy and rough and I sure was glad I had taken some sea sick medicine. We went snorkeling and two different spots and saw a lot of amazing coral and colorful fish. The crew was wonderful and it was a great day. I was even able to rent a prescription mask so I could really see since you can't wear a mask and glasses. I am worn out tonight. You can see me getting a nap on the boat.
I am going to include some pictures of me in Australia as a kid in my posts. Here we are walking on the reef in 1964. In those days you were allowed to actually walk on the reef. It is a bit shocking. Now there are thousands of dollars in fines for taking anything or damaging the reef in any way.
I'll be uploading all my pictures of the trip on Flickr here. I'll add more pictures as we go along.