6 am and the alarm clock rang, quick change and breakfast as had to be at the bus stop for 6.40am. We had a two hour coach journey to get to Tully where White Water Rafting is based. We stopped off for a tea or coffee at the Raging Thunder café, It also gave those the opportunity to hire correct footwear if they didn't have sturdy shoes. From here we had a further 20 minute journey to get to the start of the Tully River, here we were given our life jackets and helmets, along with the paddle that would steer the raft in the right way. (Well hopefully would.)We had 7 in our raft (including ourselves) the rest we knew from Fraser and the Whitsunday's - Drew, Nikki, Erin, Paula and Danni. Felt more reassured doing the Tully with people you knew. We got acquainted with our instructor Alan, an Aussie who was originally from Tasmania. Very pleasant and seemed knowledgeable of the river we were about to ride, , My heart was racing as we hit our first rapid - thank goodness it was only a small one, didn't last long as we were soon about to hit into grade 4 rapids. We were told the rapids go from 1-6 and 5 is extreme, 6 = death lol so 4 was pretty tough, luckily we didn't tip the boat over. Alan made us get into one of the rapids in order for us to practice how to protect yourself if you did happen to fall in. this was legs up arms out, if you dragged your legs it was more likely for you to hurt yourself. So best action is to float down. We went through many rapids, some with names we cant remember, When the river was calm we were able to jump out and swim. It was boiling so getting in the water really cooled us off. We must have been on the Tully for around 2 and ½ hours before we were able to stop for lunch. Pretty decent stuff they put on for us but we didn't stay there for long so was stuffed just as we got back into the rafts. Oh yeah we also saw some turtles that went crazy when a small piece of sausage was chucked towards them. After lunch we had about another 2 hours on the river, this time the rapids were a lot calmer than earlier, still fun but you felt more at easeJ We came to one small waterfall and Alan made us all sit right at the front of the raft in order to make the raft flip over…as you can imagine I personally was S**ting myself.. But when he did it, it was so much fun, you push past all these helmets to resurface - He did explain that it might feel like your under water for ages but you will come to the top. After this tipping over our instructor seemed intent on making it happen again at any given opportunity!! Crazy man. At one stage he made Paula sit at the front of the raft so she could get into the rapids and then did this thing where he made you stand at the front of the rapid to test your balance, whilst we made the raft spin. All of this was highly amusing. We stopped briefly for people to jump from some rocks into the water. Adam showed off and did a back flip in. Just before the end of our ride we had to go through 6 grade 4 rapids!!! Oh what joy one was called shark tooth, something with flip in it and the maze. We survived them all, that was until the maze, Drew went and fell out the boat just at the beginning I think it was, this caused too much weight on one side of the boat and before we knew it we were all in the water. We heard that we'd fallen in at the worst possible point. Adam said that he was holding onto the raft and managed to get to a safe point, whereas from what I can remember got dragged under the raft down stream, I felt like id passed two rafts as after what seemed like a lifetime under water resurfaced under the raft - you have a tiny space for air, but the raft was moving so I had to grab the outside - all I heard after was HOLD ONTO THE RAFT - DO NOT LET GO - (the further you fell down stream the more likely you'd hurt yourself probably hitting the rocks or something) it was extremely hard trying to hold on as the current from the rapid was dragging you down. Somehow I managed to get myself wedged between two rocks before a man rescued me., trying to hold up my pants at the same time as I almost lost those!! Everyone on our raft had to be rescued. Apparently this hadn't happened before. From this episode we got back to our raft and back to shore which felt great. The entire time on the rapids I felt had been ruined from this one point, up till then we were all loving it. Just a shame it happened. Think our instructor might have had a slap on the wrist as he should have had more control but we feel it was not his fault at all it was the weight difference that made us flip. Ar well its all over now and we braved the Tully river!!! We would recommend it to anyone - Just make sure you hold on!!!
Australia day or as I keep saying by mistake 'America Day' yes wrong country!! We decided that we'd spend the day at the lagoon with Erin, Paula, Drew and Nikki and have our own BBQ.
Bring forth the rain, sat on the bench getting soaked, we looked for shelter then after some time the clouds cleared and the sun started to shine. We played some games of cards with Australian tattoos on our bodies, to show our respect to Australians. Not 100% of the meaning behind the day itself but I guess its pretty explanatory when you look it upJ
The day was pretty simple to be honest, just like any other day, some people were dressed a little OTT!! Late afternoon we decided to go our separate ways for showers before meeting for a Bon Voyage drink as all those were leaving to go home or continue travels elsewhere. Adam and I unfortunately were stuck in Cairns for another week…whoopee umm not. Two weeks in Cairns is far too long.
Nothing much to say about the rest of our time in Cairns - we changed hostels on the 27th Jan to go to the serpent - changed rooms due to the ants running up and down the side wall near the window!! We'd spend our days wandering around the town or in the swimming pool. That is until the 30th Jan - yes Nathans 21st. Happy bday bro lol. We went diving in the great barrier reef.
We left the reef terminal around 8.30am and began a rocky journey to the reef…sickness tablets and all and didn't even feel it working, felt rotten! Get us to sea! We had a great crew that were really hospitable and always talking to you, making sure you were ok. At around half 9 am we got given a briefing of how to breathe underwater with the tanks. Remember to equalise - this action takes the form of squeezing your nose and blowing so that your ears popJ
We arrived at our first diving spot, the tanks were so heavy but once in water was ok, we had to go slowly under the water holding onto bars and making sure we were ok before actually going for a swim. The current of the sea kept bringing you into the boat so you'd bang you head or face, so was a little off putting and getting the grasp of breathing was hard that I went back up before going back down. Adam was at ease when in the ocean, whereas I stuck to the instructor. We saw many fish it was unreal, however very cloudy so sometimes hard to see anything. The second dive was about another 15 mins away and this spot was far better, the current wasn't strong so you could actually swim without being taken away. Also it felt easier to breath and when we did our final dive I actually swam by myself in the ocean, it felt great, strange though how you were in like another world all under the ocean. We saw a stingray but no sharks or turtlesL our instructor actually got us to sit on the bottom of the sea where this mahousive clam was, must have been around 5ft big and we got to touch it! It got to around 3.30pm and we made our way back arriving at the terminal at 5pm so a great day. You must go to the barrier!!
The next few days we did nothing spectacular, just waiting to leave, in fact we had nothing to do that we bought a 24hr internet access to make the time go quicker lol Fiji come quickly!!!