Heading south down the coastline, I arrived at the beautiful spot of Mission Beach, where the main attraction involved sky diving and white water rafting.
I booked a package to do both. The sky dive was supposed to be first but as the weather was bad they postponed it until after the rafting. The rafting was quality- 5 hours paddling through white water on the Tully River. However, on one grade 4 rapid (ie dangerous, Grade 5 is a waterfall, Grade 6 is Niagra Falls), I fell out of the raft. The current pulled me under the boat and as I tried to surface, I got trapped under another boat. The current was pulling down and every where I went there was a boat on my head or rocks. Pretty scary. I was under water for about 30-40 secs which may not seem a lot but is really long when a) you weren't expecting it so hadn't taken a breath and b) there seems to be no way to surface! Apparently our guide, who had been really chilled and relaxed, went white as a sheet as he realised I wasnt coming up. Luckily another current pulled me from under the obstacles and I popped up just beside him, where he was able to grab me before I was dragged further downstream and pull me. It was pretty frightening. Good job he was uber cute and his pat on my leg fully restored me
I also went in later again but luckily so did some of the others! However, all this meant I got water in my ears and the pressure was quite intense. I didn't want to risk the sky dive knowing how sensitive my ears are so had to cancel it. Definitely planning on doing it later on in my trip though.
With the sky dive cancelled I had some free time, so, with some others from my hostel, we went on a walk through the nearby rainforest. The hostel had given us a map and we were told it was about half an hour's walk away. An hour later we got to the path! The walk itself was only about 20 minutes so we decided to extend it and follow another path we spotted on the map which would take us in a big loop back to the hostel. Not a good idea! Maybe we should have spotted the big print on the map saying 'map not to scale'. Paying no attention to this we estimated that the additional walk would take about an hour and half. The path through the rainforest got a bit overgrown but was fine. There were signs of human acitivity when we got to bridges that were closed and redirected us over fallen trees to cross the stream. It did take the estimated time. Where we slipped up was calculating how long the road would take back to the hostel. On the map it looked very short! We set off and were suddenly walking up and down hills that curved and were not marked on the map. But it was the right road and it dawned on us that not to scale really meant not to scale.
Two hours we were still walking and with a sign told us there were still 4km to the hostel. One of the girls with us, who had complained for the last hour gave up and flagged down a car. Luckily there was a really nice guy inside who took us back just as the heavens opened. Some times you just have to take the risk and it works out in your favour.
Mission Beach was a stunning area, especially the beach. One night I walked alongside it just as a huge full moon rose over the water. Mesmorising! However, it was a place of ups and downs. I loved the white water rafting but it did not love me! I also wish I had got the sky dive in. Next time...