"Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
I landed in Cairns around 1AM and I was scheduled for another tour that would pick me up at 6:30 so I was planning on staying in the airport until then but the Cairns airport is small and they close for a couple of hours during the night so I had to go to a hostel. At 6:30 the bus for Raging Thunder white water rafting picked me up outside of the hostel. We were driven to the main office where forty of us signed the waivers and hopped on a different bus that would take us to the river where we would go rafting. Now when I signed up for this adventure the name of the tour was "Extreme White Water Rafting," I thought all white water rafting was extreme and didn't think twice about it, but no I was wrong. After about an hour and a half drive we dropped the twenty people who were not doing the extreme version off and the rest of us headed to the river. We were divided into four different rafts and given all the equipment including a warm shirt (remember it is winter here), helmets, life jackets and paddles. There were six of us in my raft including our guide, we were all backpackers by ourselves, the others were from Germany, England, Japan, and The Netherlands. When we first got in the raft we were all sitting in the middle when the tour guide saw us he said "this is the extreme version, you are not babies we sit on the edges" and so the trip began. The very first rapid we went down was a grade four, our raft made it through without any trouble but in the raft right behind us two of the girls fell out right away and right after they got back in the raft, the whole raft tipped over and everyone in the raft was in the water. The four rafts stuck together the whole time and during the trip it was everyone's responsibility to watch for people who fell into the water, we would then all work together to get that person back into a raft as quickly as possible. Throughout the trip we made a couple stops to go cliff jumping, it's always amazing how the cliff doesn't look so big until you are about to jump off. We also had a couple opportunities to swim through the rapids, we would get off of the rafts on the side of the river and jump into the current that would take us through the rapid, we had to float on our backs with our feet in front of us to act as a shield incase there were rocks in front of us. Halfway through we stopped on the river bank and ate a barbecue lunch. Right after lunch we approached a waterfall, in order to go down it all five of us on the raft squeezed to the very front and the guide was in the back, we went down backwards and all I remember after that was the raft and the guide coming towards us, it was so much fun! We all worked to get each other back in the raft and were on our way. This was probably one of May favorite activities so far because it lasted for so long, we left at 6:30 in the morning and I did not return to my hostel until 7 at night. On Tuesday I spent the day exploring Cairns. The weather was not very good so it prohibited me from doing many activities, I took a walk along the beach, but because of the jelly fish and crocodiles we are not allowed to swim along the shore. I have one more final back in Perth then I set sail (literally) on my final adventure. I will be spending three days and nights on a sail boat in the Whitsundays, the very southern part of The Great Barrier Reef, where I will be spending my days snorkeling and scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. Then I begin the long journey home.