So another reason to love, love, love Australia: they give you a week long study period for exams versus the two days I am used to! The benefit, lots of time to get your life together and write papers, the bad news, once you get distracted for a few hours it is easier to get distracted for all day… This was today…
Luckily I was still productive enough and got enough done before the Kris Kringle Dinner (yes… Christmas in October while it is warm out because, why not?!) that I can write a very long post reliving part of my mid-semester break (AKA: continuing my procrastination).
So I left off in my travel journal at the Great Barrier Reef. The next day was just as awesome!
I awoke Tuesday morning of my week in Cairns and got prepared for a full day trip out to the Tablelands. I was picked up in a tour van by a wonderful man named Wiley. I was the last person so I got the best seat in the house: the front seat!
I wasn’t completely sure what I would see on this tour but I knew it included some waterfalls and the beautiful Queensland countryside.
Little did I know I would see so much more!!
Beginning the journey out of Cairns we passed sugar cane fields and beautiful fields full of banana trees til we arrived at our first stop: The Boulders, a beautiful stream with beautiful, can you guess it? Boulders! There we had a morning coffee and got to know our fellow tourists, most of the trip was fellow Americans who were abroad! This was going to be a fun day!
Wiley pointed out mountains, valleys, plants, animals, and cute towns as we passed keeping us entertained and engaged throughout the journey. He reminded me so much of my dad’s best mate (yes, Aussie lingo cause I’m here!) Chris. So Chris: if you are reading this, it’s time for a career move!
Our next stop entailed a stunning 3 tiered waterfall with the last tier being used as a waterslide! It was FREEZING water but so worth the fun slippery slide!
Back into the van we went, once we were warm and dry from a walk through the jungle we arrived at the most stunning waterfall! It has been featured in many films and advertisements and for the life of me I can’t remember the name.
However I remember the way it made me feel after I got used to the freezing water and as I laid under its rough spray; just at utter peace. It was so beautiful laughing, smiling, and joking with my new friends and Wiley as we swum about and shared life together.
Our next lookout wasn’t originally on the tour, yet since we had a few extra minutes we took our old van up the mountain and looked out over the stunning countryside!
A free for all lunch stop was next! We were told we had three options, to take a hike through the rainforest, to go into a sit down meal, or to swim and enjoy another waterfall. Since I had packed my lunch (cause I’m a broke college kid) I went for the rainforest walk first. By this point in the day I was feeling a little overwhelmed with conversation and getting to know new people.
This is one thing I really love about travelling, especially alone, is getting to know new people, however, at times it gets to be a little intimidating. Because all of us travelers really wanted to engage with each other we were getting to know each other really well and having very deep conversations and I just needed some time to process. It was a beautiful 20 minute hike full of fun birds, turtles, and tree kangaroos!
After my alone time and meal I was ready to join my fellow travelers! We laid out by the waterfall in the sun until it was time to move along.
Next we went to walk around a really cool old Fig Tree! Some people weren’t impressed but I thought it was just a beautiful and stunning creation!
Afterwards was platypus spotting where we saw our friend Polly (that is what me and the German named her…)!
Our last stop for the day was a lake that filled in an inactive volcanic crater! This was definitely one of the most beautiful stops of the day. A marvelous way to end the day! I befriended a family who let me kayak a little, I swam with my new friends and Wiley, and just laughed and enjoyed life!
The Tablelands tour is definitely worth time when you head to Cairns!!
After my day out and about I came back, cooked a yummy meal and went for my fastest 6 mile run in ages! It was the perfect way to end a wonderful day!
Okay, now that it is 8pm I reckon (another popular Aussie word) I should get back to writing my African Studies paper! Happy Wanderlust Wednesday!