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My Journey Round The World

My Journey Round The World

279 days on the road…

Cairns – Kuranda


Cairns… I’m so glad I didn’t go to Darwin, Cairns¬†was already so hot! I experienced again couchsurfing and again this was a great experience! Sally, a 75 years old dynamic american woman who immigrated¬†from New York to Cairns¬†24 years ago, picked me up from the bus station and brought me to Caravonica, where she live, at the border of the rainforest! She gave me some tips on what to do around and the next day I took the scenic railwaywww.ksr.com.aufrom Cairns to Kuranda – www.kuranda.org/ - and came back via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway - www.skyrail.com.au/. Quite an expensive¬†journey but it was impressive to experience the rainforest this way. As usual, always very well organised between audio-commentary, nice little shops and restaurants in the village, as well as short walks, stop-over on the Skyrail to Red Peak and Barron Falls Station to encounter the rainforest even more closely and learn about this World Heritage listed.

On the evening Sally invites me to join her to go to the Cairns little theatrewww.cairnslittletheatre.com - Maelle & David, I though of you :) Рwhere she played from time to time since more than 20 years, to see the last performance of a romantic comedy by Bernard Slade: Same Time, Next Year, a man and a woman, both married who are meeting during 25 years same time each year!

Beeing in Cairns, I couldn’t miss going one more time diving on¬†the Great Barrier Reef! Especialy after the visibility I had on the Whitsunday Islands. Hopefully this time was better! I went on a tour with Poseidon – www.poseidon-cruises.com.au/ – which¬†have a big turn over! Nothing compare to our previous quite sailing trip! -¬†to the Agincourt outer reef. Unfortunately as I forgot my diving licence – yes, yes, yes… :( – I wasn’t able to dive with the certified diver – longer & deeper dive ; anyway 3 dives in a row of 30 min each where more than enough for me - but still I’ve finaly seen the fishes as in the aquarium… Sorry guys, I don’t have any pictures there… Only wonderful memories…

Sally also brought me for a nice Sunday walk on Cairns jetty as well as on the last evening to her favorite game: lawn bowls, which remind me a lot of our french p√©tanque… :)


Airlie Beach- Playa Airlie


Airlie Beach, back to the jeep for 2 last nights before heading to Cairns. I finally decided not to go to Darwin which would have been a really long drive & too hot for me Рwhich Marianne & Jérémie confirmed! Рand separated from Gerhard who head back to Brisbane.
Breakfast in front of the ocean while waiting for my bus: 10 hours trip, pretty expensive journey and bus not as confortable as in South America, as expected…
Anyway, I made it and remembered how much I like to just travel by bus! This might seems silly but I¬†really do! You’re just seating, watching the landscape, thinking about everything and anything: all the travel I did, the people I met, what’s going to happen next… Still, 10 hours are pretty long, especialy with no food service, just a stop at a petrol station for 30 min, far away from nice lunch in Argentina or Chile! – don’t worry Gregoire I planned ahead & had food with me ;) – Just before Cairns, a french girl ended up sitting next to me and we had a nice chat about Australia… Pity I didn’t¬†manage to see her again in town, too busy with my couchsurfing experience!

Whitsunday Islands National Park/ Parque Nacional Islas Whitsunday


So here we are… The Great Barrier Reef… THE thing I couldn’t miss in Australia! One of the best spot in the world for diving! My dear diving friends in Boulogne-sur-Mer: Baptiste, Lulu, Renaud… would have hate me!
As Gerhard is also a diver, we decided for a cruise on a sailing boat offering the first dive for free. What a good idea!
Kiana is a 16,4m lenght boat with maximum 14 passengers on board offering a 3 days-2 nights cruise around the Whitsundays Islands: food, snorkeling & diving gears, bushwalk tour included. 3 days sailing was a nice experience especially as the weather was pretty good – even if some people in the group were sea-seek! – however not good enough to go to the outer reef, as the crew told us. We were only 11: 5 German – 2 from Rostock! - 1 Austrian, 2 Norvegien and 3 French as well as 3 crew member: 2 English and only 1 Australian, the skipper!
First stop at one of the most photographed spot in Australia on the Whitsunday Islands National Park: Tongue Bay and
Whitehaven Beach – as beautifull as on a postcard! In the evening we even saw a dolphin coming around the boat, little reward as it was too cloudy to see the stars :)
Second day, first dive. After 5 years I was a bit anxious to dive again, especially without my usual diving buddies… But as my diving experiences were only in Boulogne-sur-Mer, Holland, Normandy¬†and Brittany… It couldn’t be worst conditions than that?!? You’ll think diving here would be easier than anywhere else, however, even in such a warm country, and especially in this area, you have to wear a full-length¬†suit while swimming, snorkeling or diving! Stingers may be present in these waters and anyway, water isn’ that warm when you stay long inside! So first dive at the Luncheon Bay close to the Hook Island… Well, well, well… After 39mn up to nearly 10 meters deep I was feeling like in Boulogne on a clear day! Visibility was pretty bad ! End of rainy season, cyclone last month, who knows what… Quite disappointed, not really what I – or my diving partners were expecting… Ok, I did see beautiful tropical fishes such as: clown fish, Red-linned Triggerfish, Blue Parrot fish, Blue Puller… But still, Nausicaa’s tropical lagoonwww.nausicaa.frtank is better and I most enjoyed snorkeling in the afternoon where we’ve even seen 2 turtles and more beautiful colored fishes: Convict Surgeon, Damsel-fish, Scarlet-breasted Maori Wrasse… In the evening, we’ve seen big Trevally fishes all around the boat that most of people took as sharks and that the skipper happily¬†helps to feed by lighting the smaller fishes! Cloud disappeared and we could see some shooting stars :)
The next day I decided not to dive again and only went for snorkeling with J√©r√©mie & Marianne. Anyway, it seems¬†that the¬†visibility wasn’t better!

2010-05-03-05_Australia_KianaTrip 2

On the way to Cairns


Back from the Whitsunday sailing trip… No comments yet… On my way to Cairns, 10 hours bus which might not be as confortable as South America.

Great Barrier Reef…Gran Barrera de Corales

Here we are! Tomorrow I’m leaving for 3 days boat trip on the Great Barrier Reef… Diving, snorkeling, walking on the Whitsunday Islands… Can’t wait to see that!!! Hope my camera will survive the trip…

Feedback NZ

20010-03-nz best

NZ… Lot of people say it’s an amazing country… With Ariane, it took us some times to believe it but after spending a bit¬†more than a month there, I agree ;)

Kiwisas they like to be called - are really really friendly Рnot the same as warm Argentinean & Chilean Рbut still much better than Europe! Here I especialy have in mind Dave and his family who hosted us in Wellington and the couchsurfers I staid with: the Dumble family, Sincowho is Dutch leaving in NZ for ages now! - and Anna.

Landscapes are breathtaking! Changing all the time… So, as for the weather: “if you don’t like it wait a minute” -¬†as Sinco told me – I’ll say: If you don’t like the landscape, move forward! Incredible to have so much diversity in such a¬†little space… I guess that is why NZ is so amazing!¬†However, it still a tiny little country in the middle of the ocean! Tiny little country with tiny little cities and what I¬†found so unbelievable are the public toilets! – No joke! - Everywhere you go they are clean, with toilet paper & soap, really evrywhere. This is really something that amaze me! Pity we don’t have the same in Europe! Only bad thing was internet connexion…¬†So difficult to find and really expensive!

Anyway, I’ll definitely recommand a visit there for anyone who love nature & adventure :) Travelling with a van was really¬†conveniente, easy and fun – especialy with the one we had :)

Feedback Chile

2010-02-chili best

Better later than never… Little feedback about Chile where I unfortunately didn’t stay long enough and where I wish to go back!

Even regarding the sad earthquake event – where I’ve never been so scared of my entire life! - Chile stay one of my best¬†memory and I’ll come back for sure.

Not only the landscape – which I didn’t see much! – is amazing but people too! From the Don Baldo crew where I spent 4 days,¬†cruising for free with Anna & Laia on the Routa Cordillera to the friendly bus driver from Valparaiso to Santiago as well as¬†the lady to whom I gave my last postcard to post – no mailbox as the airport was upside-down.¬†I’ll never forget:

  • Juan Carlos who picked me up in the middle of nowhere as I missed the bus stop to Puerto Varas and¬†arrived in Frutilla!
  • Carlos who kindly hosted me at his place on the Parque National Puyehue where I was desperate to find¬†a place for the night! I’ll definitely come back to enjoy the hot water natural pool while watching the stars :)
  • Victor-Hugoone of the bus drivers from Osorno to Valparaiso during the terrible earthquake – that I was so glad to meet¬†again and¬†spend some time with in Valparaiso the next day. Pity I missed the chance to go back to Santiago with him!
  • The Couchsurfer¬†ambassador who make sure that all travellers he could find on the website where safe! Thanks to him Cesar - a peruvian guy¬†leaving in Santiago – kindly hosted me before I could get on my flight for NZ from the devastated airport.

I also keep in mind my nice meeting with franco-chilian couple Regis & Veronica I met at Entre LagosI hope to see you in Europe this year! - as well as Felipe which I was really glad to help with my spare change at the airport. Thanks for the postcard Felipe!

Who said that Chilean people aren’t friendly? It seems it’s the reputation they have and that I also heard from time to¬†time… NO WAY! I’ll never met so friendly people as well as their Argentinean¬†neighbour ¬†:)¬†I look forward to beeing back soon…

Brampton Island – Isla Brampton


Brampton Island Resort… Cyclone Ului was here too! The jetty is completly upside down so we arrived by boat from Mackay and finished¬†walking at low tide to the island.

A real bed – ok still shared – with fresh bedsheets, and a private bathroom are highly¬†appreciated after more than 10 days in the jeep :) ¬†Good diner at the restaurant – a bit expensive though – and amazing breakfast included. I feel like at the Club Med :) ¬†Pity I missed the sailing activitie and I was the only one for the yoga class. However, I could enjoy the salt water pool,¬†laying on the beach for a while, the Brampton Peak walk as well as the 8,4 km loop Island Circuit.¬†It was amasing to walk with million of blue tiger butterflies flying all around, sometimes scary when hearing moving all around and seeing lezards and spiders above my head, but funny to come across a kangoroo in a middle of his diner :) Nice to have the feeling¬†to be alone on earth… As there was hardly anyone on the loop. I was even scared when I’ve seen a guy arriving jogging!

However, when I’ll be rich, this isn’t a heavenly island I’ll buy but a cosy house with a fireplace perched on a¬†mountain in the middle of the forest with a great view on a lake :)

Now back to the continant and to the jeep direction Airlie Beach and Cairns for some snorkeling and diving! But before that last night at Cape Hillsborough, it’s on the way :)


Cape Hillsborough National Park- Parque Nacional Cabo Hillsborough


Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort a quiet beachfront holiday… where the wildlife provide the entertainment! Indeed!!!

The perfect place to have a rest :) Great camping place in front of the beach where you hear the waves when falling asleep¬†or waking up depending of the tide. Great for sunset and even better for sunrise with the kangaroos on the beach,¬†swimmingpool where you can really swimm, little shop with everything you need, internet access, and all others normal¬†facilities for a camping such as: kitchen, laundry, bbq, TV & games room… Close to walks tracks.

While Gerhard was taking car of his car, I’ve spend a wonderfull day, waking up with the sun and the kangaroos, walking along¬†the beach, having a good swimm while waiting for the laundry, going for a walk with nice lookout on the coast, going¬†back for a swimm with goggles found at the shop, before diner and internet evening.¬†We liked it so much that we stayed one more night! This is also where we met a friendly Australian couple who told us about¬†a special offer running until end of April at Mackay Tourist Office, to go for a trip on the Brampton Island…¬†

Eungella National Park- Parque Nacional Eungella


After the adventurous Fraser Island, we stopped in my first National Park: Eungella, close to Broken River, located in the¬†subtropical rainforest. -¬†And it’s where my camera stopped working… :( I guess the last 7 months intensive use and¬†humidity didn’t help! -¬†This part of Australia is recognised as the world’s most reliable place location for observing platypuses in the wild.¬†Unfortunately it wasn’t the right timing and we didn’t see any… However we’ve seen plenty of turtles and a water snake!

Again information is very well spread with good leaflets: great! walk mackay highlands, giving you advices about the¬†different day or night walks as well as safety advices!¬†No wonder why Australians always seems to be so relax, taking life easy & a bit crazy. Everywhere you go you have¬†information about how dangerous things are… I don’t remember to have seen so much warning in Europe…¬†Bad luck, after the cyclone Ului (http://www.news.com.au/national/cyclone-ului-re-intensifies-to-category-3-crosses-coast-at-130am-sunday/story-e6frfkvr-1225843308177)¬†last month most of the tracks were closed. As usual there was a caf√© with snacks and good cakes¬†where we found the address for our next camping site.