Thanks again for bearing with me while I was out enjoying life in the Outback. Now that I have returned and I’m back on Texas time, I’m ready to share with you all of our adventures! I want to start with a few general observations and fun tidbits. Each day this week I’ll tell you about each of the excursions that we went on. (There’s so much to share; too much for just one post!) So, for your reading pleasure, a few general observations on life Down Under:
1. The loooong flight is worth it. We spent a week in Cairns (pronounced “cans”), which is a 2 hour flight from Brisbane. Getting to Brisbane from Dallas took us 15 hours. Our return flight (which had a layover in LA) took 12 hours.
No matter how you slice it, it takes forever to get from the US to Australia. BUT both of our long ass flight were bearable. Qantas does everything they can to make you comfortable by constantly serving water, tea, and coffee. They also have a variety of snacks and two meals were served. (We were even given mango ice cream.) You can watch movies and check the flight’s progress on the touchscreen at your seat. Not to mention the free-flowing pillows, blankets, and eye shades. I wore my compression socks on both long flights. While sitting on a plane that long isn’t as fun as say, sitting on the beach, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting.
2. Jet lag sucks. We arrived in Cairns around 10 in the morning, so we technically could have been out and about all day. Unfortunately, we’d been awake since about 3 am Australia time. We walked around the Esplanade and trekked to the mall, but by the early afternoon, we were spent. Stephen and I fell asleep until about 10 pm when we woke up ready for dinner. I tried to fight the jet lag, I knew I shouldn’t have napped, but my sleepiness was too strong. I suck at fighting jet lag.
3. Aussie hospitality trumps all. I had never heard of Aussie hospitality, but apparently it’s a thing like southern hospitality, only way nicer. Every single person we encountered was exceedingly friendly and helpful. Strangers will just chat you up wherever and whenever. I even saw the Aussie equivalent of a TSA agent joking with passengers getting their bags sniffed by the bomb dog. (You don’t see that in the US.) The atmosphere all around Cairns is very welcoming. Traveling in other countries can sometimes be off-putting because not everyone is nice like that. Australians are as nice as they come.
4. Life in Cairns is pricey! I knew that the little excursions we went on would be costly and we budgeted for that. I was, however, surprised to see how expensive the food was. On average, Stephen and I spent $100 on dinner every night. A cheap entrée is $20, less than $12 is unheard of. Even lunch cost in the $50 range. Luckily for those living in Cairns, minimum wage is $21 an hour. Unluckily for us, we don’t make that much money.
5. Even in the cold and the rain, Australia is gorgeous. Nearly every day that we were there, the temperature was around 70 (which is cold for Cairns this time of year) and rainy (which is also a little abnormal there this time of year). Nevertheless, I saw so many beautiful locations, marveled at unbelievable skies, and enjoyed almost every minute of my time there. I love where I live, but Dallas has nothing on Cairns in terms of beauty.
Tomorrow I’ll be back to tell you about our trip through Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation, and Mossman Gorge!*