Australia – conquering land, air, and sea. Part II

This is the second installation to a three part series. Please see the first part if you haven’t.

Day 4: Arlie Beach -> Cardwell, Cairns

Woke up bright and early to get ready for another long drive to Cairns.

As we left quite early in the morning, we managed to reach Cairns just before sunset.

After settling in at our AirBnB, we decided to go the night market just 10 mins drive away.

Hop, Skip, Swim, and Jump

After walking around, we decided to treat ourselves to a good meal, since there is only so much junk food we can take. We wanted to share a few entrees as none of us were brave enough to eat a whole piece of the more ‘exotic’ offerings. Wanting a more ‘wholesome(?)’ experience, we ordered Oysters, Seafood platter, and Hop Skip Swim and Jump, which was a platter of Kangaroo, Crocodile, Barramundi, and Emu meat.

For those of you who hasn’t tried these meat before, here’s a break down of the tastes (if I remembered correctly):

Kangaroo – unseasoned beef.

Crocodile – texture of chicken, but the taste of pork

Emu – texture of beef, taste of chicken

Seafood Platter

Day 5: Cairns

We were out early this morning as we were going to dive the Great Barrier Reef! This has been a dream of mine ever since I got my diving license. Of course, the dive was amazing with hardly any currents.

To be totally honest, I’ve done my research (as usual), and was freaking out as I realized it was Jellyfish season. Getting stung would totally suck as it would have f**ked up the rest of the trip.

Nonetheless, I kept this all at the back of my head and just go with it. We decided to dive with ProDive Cairns as recommended by a friend of mine.

The experience was totally different. I was certainly not expecting a dive boat with air-con and carpet flooring! Talk about lux!

So there is something I have to admit. I got totally seasick in between the first and second dive. I vomited so much and felt so queasy after, that I wanted to skip the second dive. But my man, he managed to persuade me into going for it anyway, and I’m glad he did.

 

Triggerfish

Stingray

Hawksbill Turtle

My man and one of our mates

Hellow there!

New Gull Coco mask that my dad got me

 

On the second dive, I had some difficulty clearing my mask. Not sure if it is because I had a new mask on, and wasn’t used to a low volume mask. I did the usual, flooding the mask and all, but the water in the mask just wouldn’t clear. I started to look for my man with my flooded mask, to try to ascend and clear it manually. Who knew, my man was busy taking photos of got knows what.

After swimming towards him (yes, with the water clogged mask), I dragged him up with me. We weren’t too deep (I hope), about 8m, so I just ascended as quickly as I can before finally clearing the damn water, and descending again. I didn’t really dare to clear my mask after, if it fogs, it fogs, which kinda hindered the experience.

By the third dive, I have put so much spit and anti-fogging solution that I didn’t have to clear it once!

After going back to land, we decided that we shall eat in that night to save some money. Eating out ain’t cheap in Aussieland man. So we found our way to Woolworths and bought a bunch of groceries.

The guys cook, the girl watch

Menu for the night: Pollo e Funghi Pomodoro della pasta (trying to sound fancy saying chicken and mushroom pasta in tomato), KFC,and grilled sausages

We had an early night as we had a 23 hours drive back to Cairns which all 3 drivers were dreading.

Day 6: Cairns -> Townsville, Campaspe, Coorada, Miles

The drivers all agreed to take a 6 hour rotation each and to take a different route from how we got to Cairns from Gold Coast. We were almost driving non-stop before our first stop at Townsville for lunch. Breakfast was just the leftovers from last night’s dinner (we had waaaay too much food. Note to self: 1 packet of pasta can cook more than 4 person’s share).

 

 

It was almost non-stop driving when we hit some Savanna-esque scenery. There were giant ant hills everywhere. It was quite a sight to behold, but don’t the farmers think it might be a problem? Anyway, half way through the journey, we had to make a stop as we saw camels!

 

 

Soon, it was night and we had to make a stop for dinner. As there was no towns anywhere near, we decided to just eat at a truckstop that serves microwaved food. To be fair, the food served was really quite good, but the price is what you will get at a cafe here in Singapore. Maybe the lack of civilization nearby is what drove the price up. It was also at this truckstop, that we found out that the new president of the US is now Donald Trump, which led to quite a heated conversation among the truckers.

After a food and toilet break, we were back on the road, and I was soon sleepy due to food coma. Suddenly, I felt the road getting bumpy and had to wake up. That was around 11PM already, and realised that we had went off-road!

I thought my man had taken a wrong turn, as throughout the journey from Gold Coast to Cairns, it had been the smooth roads of the expressway. I was certainly not expecting to go off-road. Thank God we had decided to rent an SUV or I would have no idea how we would have made it through the rough terrain. I then proceed to triple check the GPS, and indeed, we were on the right track! Being super paranoid, a million scenarios raced through my mind, including scenes from ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘Hills have Eyes’. I couldn’t wait to get off this road, but to my dismay, it was over 121km! I was truly thankful that my man had experience driving off-road. So people, if you decide to go on the same route as I did, be prepared.

From the other pictures, you guys should have known that we have an Indian friend, and it was also this friend that started making fun of the scenarios playing in my head, by saying that he might be the first to get murdered. Just when things cannot get any bumpier (pun intended), we found that we have only a half tank of gas left.

Thank heavens for Eco-mode for this vehicle, as I wouldn’t have want to guess what would happen if the gas tank went dry in this place. There was no cell signal as well (despite having wifi), so I couldn’t send my dad back home my location (I was really freakn’ out ok?). Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep at all until I was back unto smooth roads, with my eyes darting between the blackness outside, the counting down of kilometers on the GPS, and the gas tank.

 

 

By the time we got back on the main road, it was dawn. I don’t usually see the sunrise (not a morning person), so seeing the sunrise here, it was truly motivational.

The relief when we finally found a town with a petrol station!

 

Freezing morning in Miles

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for the 3rd installment!

Signing off~

 

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