Where We Went: Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
Craziest Thing We Did: Night dive with white tipped reef sharks. Other fish have learned to hunt by flashlight so you get to see some action. Also hid our lights and got to play with phosphorescence.
This was taken off the back of the boat, right where we got in and out of the water. See the shark?
Best Thing We Did: Stay on a live aboard and SCUBA, SCUBA, SCUBA. Chelsea got to have an up close encounter with a sea turtle and we both saw tons of cool fish, etc. at the Great Barrier Reef.
Tastiest Thing We Did: The food on the live aboard was all amazing!
Coolest thing we Learned: Adam got his Advanced Open Water PADI certification so he went on a deep dive, navigation dive, boat entry, night dive and others.
Biggest Surprise: The insane amount of beautiful coral and unique types of sea life. (See Cairns post!)
Mystery Solved: Coral bleaching (where the algae aka color leaves the coral) does not happen from sunscreen or people touching it, global warming aka ocean temps rising are the cause.
-Met so many great friends on the live aboard from counties around the globe - Sweden, Finland, Australia, Germany, US, and many more.
-Each dive was better than the last, we had so much fun on all 8 dives!
-We spent Christmas and the day after with a few friends we met on the live aboard!
None of these pictures are ours, but here is some of the stuff we saw:
Where We Went: Great Ocean Road (Port Campbell and Lorne)
First Moment Here: We grabbed a rental car in Melbourne and headed out to the end of the road (Port Campbell) to work our way back along the coast.
Funniest Thing We Did: Chelsea came so close to getting pooped on by a bird that the splatter from it hitting the sidewalk sprayed her jeans.
Craziest Thing We Did: Drive some windy roads that made PCH look like nothin’.
Best Thing We Did: Sunset at the twelve apostles. The “golden hour” as they call it, makes the scenery amazing.
Tastiest Thing We Did: Grocery shopped a lot to save money and didn’t drink for a few weeks…boring but cheap!
Coolest thing we Learned: The history of the Great Ocean Road which was founded during WWI for recreation has a ton of cool stories to go along with it, from shipwrecks to helicopter rescues!
Biggest Surprise: Our Best Western, nothing fancy, cost $215 per night.
Mystery Solved: The FLIES that are EVERYWHERE come from the desert to the coast for cooler air and are after your ears, nose, eyes and mouth for moisture. So annoying.
-Glad to get back on the road after a few weeks in Sale but will miss poodle Pepsi
-Loved having a rental car and being on our own schedule
-Adam has been diligently working through Rosetta Stone learning a ton of Spanish
Where We Went: Sale + Phillip Island
Funniest Thing That Happened: The ranger at the koala conservation center about had a heart attack when the Chinese tourist started shaking the eucalyptus branches right next to the Koala. Lots of screaming, yelling and scolding as well as repeating, over and over, “THERE’S A SIGN, there’s a PICTURE on the sign!” in response to their apologies for disturbing the wildlife.
Best Thing We Did: Our day trip to Phillip Island was full of wildlife spotting. We saw kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, penguins, a rabbit and wombats crossing the road, a baby on the mama’s back. No photography at the penguin parade means the photo below is not mine!
Tastiest Thing We Did: Lots of paleo dinners. Steak and brussels sprouts, chicken and roasted veggies, bun-less hamburgers and salmon salads...all the low cal staples!
Coolest thing we Learned: Baby koalas are born weighing half a GRAM! Also, a ton about penguins. Their back is blue so they blend into the water from birds of prey and their bellies are white so they look like “light” to seals below but when crossing the beach they really stand out. So, they congregate off shore, head to the beach then run in and out of the water, not joking 20 times, before they get up the courage to cross the beach. They do this every night, you’d think they’d get used to it.
Biggest Surprise: Sitting at an Italian restaurant looking out over the Tasman sea in 80* weather…listening to Christmas music!
Since there is no photography at the penguin parade, they suggest downloading a few photos.
Where We Went: Melbourne + Sale
First Moment Here: So far, arriving in Australia has been the hardest country to navigate, ironically, since it’s the first place we’ve been where they speak English. It was harder to get a SIM card up and running with data, harder to find the uber (and they only had uber black at the airport) and harder to find a place that was open to eat at. One of the cruelest parts of our first day in Australia were the number of Vietnamese, Thai and India restaurants to choose from (even called Vietnamese Street Food) and the fact that our hotel staff all spoke some Asian language, then our friends took us out for dinner right near Chinatown. Could have fooled us!
Funniest Thing We Did: Buy one of every veggie at the grocery store! So excited to have brussels sprouts, salad and all the other goodies!
Craziest Thing We Did: Drive on the left side of the road, it’s harder than it seems with everything reversed.
Best Thing We Did: Dinner with friends we met on the Great Wall of China followed by Pisco Sours at the basement level Peruvian cocktail bar that is a big secret, super hard to locate and enter.
Tastiest Thing We Did: Our housesit (Bill and Sue) made a tasty lamb dinner then for dessert, an Aussie (or maybe New Zealand) dish called Pavlova. The closest thing we have is merengue but this has a crispy outside and is filled with whipped cream and fruit. Yum!
Dumbest Thing We Did: Take a $100 uber from the airport. None of the 1/2 priced Uber X were at the airport so Uber Black it was.
Coolest thing we Learned: All of the amazing, different words Aussies use. Dingo (no joke) and lollies are just a few! Here are a few other translations.
Pond = billabong
Bathroom = toiley
Garbage = rubbish
French Press = plunger
Drunk = pissed
Biggest Surprise: Kangaroo meat at the grocery store.