1 . Singapore
Usually I think that cities as Singapore, Hong-Kong, Shanghai are very similar, futuristic, full of cosmic cars, skyscrapers and need only for filming action.
I had never be ore in any of them.
So. Now we are in Singapore. And I mistake.
Singapore- city and the country full of green parks, big tropical trees and light grey architecture. It’s looks like more modern then future.
It’s clean, quiet and without heavy traffic. We stop smoke, because it’s forbidden take any cigarettes from abroad. We didn’t take chewing gum and knives because penalties are crazy. But really, there are no rules in aerosols and no strict custom. Nobody knows exactly but no one want pay tickets 300-1500 USD.
Our hotel is one of the best in Asia. MARINE Bay Sands. It has tree high buildings connected on the top by strange cover. Construction looks like Japanese ritual gates and have to different views – on city and on ocean. I prefer city view.
Amount of people living together in one moment in hotel enormous. You can enter to room only by elevator which will move only by room key.
The main attraction is swimming pool on the roof in this strange construction. Thus is something as additional independent area on the top. It has few restaurants, onsens with hot water and sea view, sundeck, gym. But the best thing is swimming pool. It’s ended at its 57 floor by nothing. It’d mean there is no any fence in pool and water drops dawn from the high of 57 elevation. In reality, when you approach to edge you see that there are two stages little bit lower. But the view! You swim on the altitude of skyscrapers without any glass or fence, with sky full of clouds and lightning’s over the head! It’s incredible and impossible!
From our room we see downtown, Bay and part of old fashion colonial rich districts. All this mix with big green park areas.
Just under our window is newly constructed building of Art Science Museum. It has shape of lotus flower. Each petal has personal exposition. Rain water collected in the center of flower and serves the building. It was built in 2011 by Canadian architecture.
We took the dinner in traditional local restaurant on Boat Queue. Every dish is overpriced. I never saw price for 1 oyster as 18,80 Singapore dollar. It was delicious and expensive dinner.
In the early morning the pool was even better – there were not a lot of people, it was quiet, the water was still. Then we took breakfast for Gargantuan and went to the Zoo.
The main attraction in the Zoo, as for me, are few families of orangutans. They are from two different places – from Sumatraand Yava island. At one moment she became pull him by hair, trying keep him away from food plate. Staff person cry at she and she stopped. I asked what happens. And the man explain me that orangutans perfectly understand English!
It was another very interesting place – huge round glass pool for polar bears. But they slept. We waited for half on hour. He still sleepy. So we went to Santosa island for visiting of aquarium.
There were a lot of people there. I can say it was great. I was pinned by groups of rare seahorses different types. During my numerous diving I was lucky to see seahorse only once.
That was all. We need to go to airport for the last part of trip to Australia. Our last flight. To Darwin.
This trip was SO good because we have unique guide and support team, Jerry and Hedge, and also because we have excellent team – couple from Canada -Lorraine and Rod, couple from England – Colin and Shirley and Greg from Brisbane.
Early morning. Wide streets, easy plan of the city. Gennadiy walked for ocean swim. He was astonished when two policeman drop their motorbikes and rants watch him. He didn’t know yet, that all area aroundDarwin is full of crocodiles. And they like human flesh. They are everywhere – in Ocean, in lakes, in rivers. InDarwin there is only one place, where it’s possible to swim. This place is strictly protected by stone wall and still nets against crocodiles.
Late afternoon we met Jerry, our guide, and saw the motorbikes. Awful! They are on the second floor of parking. We will need ride dawn two floors and then make steep ascend to the street. No ideas how to do this!
Hedge is our support team. He will be the last. He will take our staff, petrol and all necessary for the trip.
I am waiting for next day.
3. Northern Territory and Kakadu park
So. Start wasn’t mine. I fall dawn twice in garage. Second time just near the exit on the slope. Motorbike up on my leg. It’s hurts me. Third time after exit on the street. Our group was shocked. Don’t worry! With me it’s all time the same!
Then we get out from Darwin. The roads are wide and half empty. Average speed 100 km per hour.
There is nothing interesting around. Bush, rivers.
After 60 km we turned left on gravel road to Adelaide river. Here guides gave meat to crocodiles and they jump up to 3-4 m to catch it.
We also feed them. The main one is 100 years old, lazy, fat, 6 m long, with wide belly. He at first watched meat from the water. Then he came to the bank and after quick attack catch his piece. Then he frozen on the bank. He’s head is may be 70 centimeters wide. Prehistorically monster.
This first day was 350 km. We get to Kakadu national park into simple but nice hotel. From the beggining of the park big mounds appears.
In Australia live 300 types of termites from 2300 types in the world. Mounds are the biggest in the world. They are different forms and very beautiful. First most common were like cosmos rockers on the start- big oval with strong ribs around. Next ones are oriented North South and flat with triangles on the top. Another, like figures from wet sand. All are different and all are beautiful.
Yellow River in Kakadu Park famous for its ecosystem. It’s full of birds, insects, animals. We had sunrise cruise. I never saw such amount and variance of birds! They didn’t afraid of us. But groups of gooses, huge white Eagles, long neck cormorants. I don’t know all their names.
And of course crocodiles. Here they are everywhere. In misty water they are invisible. Sometime only two amber eyes are above the surface. But they are. Motionless wait for their prey.
Really, it’s perfect excursion!
At evening we follow to Ubirru. It’s an aboriginal territories. On the rocks there are pictures. So, they are bad quality. Even more- I can say that there is no rock painting in this area. There is just beautiful place completely spoiled with guide aborigine. His annoyed long stories about all his relatives are like nightmare. It’s impossible to listen. I think that this part is obligatory for tourists companies and part of tourist license. But sunset on the rocks was incredible.
By the way back Hedge saw two big kangaroos.
OK. Our next point of destination is Katherine gorge. We need to escape from Kakadu and get to Steward Highway. This road cut the country from North to South.
We started in the morning. Nature around is really beautiful. Mounds are everywhere. Different sizes and forms. As far as we move they became smaller and completely escape afterAlice Springs.
It’s only 270 kmto Katherine. Here we live in city in huge hotel – motel complex.
We have time only for two lakes by boat.
Just near the peer big trees are overloaded with hundreds of flying foxes. They are rest foots up and heads dawn, furry bodies and beautiful leather wings.
Two wallabies eat the grass under the tries. They are don’t afraid of us. And I approach them less then one meter.
Then it was cruise. FirstLakeis with crocodiles nests on the sandy banks and huge vertical walls. They have all differences of orange in afternoon light.
Second Lake is not so wide. Boat moved slowly and didn’t get to the end. I swam between to lakes in small fresh pond.
And then in first Lake it was special dinner boat with delicious food. Boat moved along the lake very slow. Sky changed its colors, foxes one by one flight somewhere inside the gorge. Jerry said they like some kind of flowers and will eat them at night.
It was one of the most beautiful evenings I ever had.
It’s became completely dark when we disembarked . Herds of wallabies waited for us. 10 meters aside people stayed and watched something. It was python at least 3,5 meters long! His belly empty. He was not in hurry. Just moved slow. I touched his tail and he swift from me. Amazing!
Till Katherine there were wallabies near the road and on the road just before the motorbikers. We had been in the car this evening.
4. Great day. Tennant Creek.
Today we have big long day. 700 km on Stuart Highway.
This is main and principal road from North to South of Australia. It cut it directly. And I thought that it will be wide. No. It has two strips only. One per each direction. The are not a lot of cars. There are sometime long vehicles. They have name Road Train and can be 60m long! I saw160 km/hwhen overtake some of this cars!
Now we are more or less suitable with motorbikes. We have group from different countries. There are couple from Canada, couple from England, Australian doctor. and we are all leaded by Jerry.
Canadians both are very professional in motorbikes. They are always first. They are very active and sportive people.
Couple fromEngland are seniors. They had been before boat racers and during last 20 years travel by motorbike. They get to China from England together through Iran, Uzbekistan, had been in Lhasa and India. Great! Now they are both on one motorbike. She is like mushroom glued to driver. They are also very fast and ahead of group withCanada. They are incredible!
Australian doctor like the golden middle between us – sometimes ahead, sometimes with us.
And we are together like second group in the tail.
Firs days leading part waited for us, but now we are comfortable with 120-130km/h. I am personally comfortable even with 140-150.
There are many died kangaroo on the road. Big vultures eat rests of them. They are not fast when flight from their bloody dinner.
Our first stop was in hot springs. It’s paradise with crystal clear water! For bikers it’s double paradise!
Our next stop was in Pink Panther pub by the way. Thus point us typical place just on the way in no where. There is huge pink Panther with beer bottle before entrance. There are dozens of small interesting details everywhere – iron parts if something, old carriage with bear toy, small zoo with different pythons and cages with birds. There is even small local museum of trains! It consists of tiny house, sign and few parts of train just laying open-air. Great place!!!!
It was another pub or bar by the way. Also decorated with everything which was possible found in desert. So, this bar has helicopter, light traffic regulator, car numbers and even flip flop with bra like design elements!
I cannot say that 700km impossible to do. It’s possible. You receive nick name Iron arse in our country after 500km. So, now we all have iron arse!
My legs are hurts and fingers vibrant. After first day with numerous falling my legs still not in normal moving. But I hole in few days I can walk normally again.
We just ducked to bed for fast sleep.
5. To Alice Springs and King Canyon.
Next day was full again.
First we saw aboriginal cultural center. Aaaaaaa! No comments…. May be we Need to do this….
Tennant Creek is wide city. May be big one, if there is nothing more around hundred of kilometers.
Mounds are rare. Cars also.
We didn’t see animals. Only dead ones.
Wind is quiet strong. It’s blow suddenly and push me aside. Our Bluetooth’s have max distance1,2 km. We have conference all together. But if Ivan lost himself more then in1,5 km, all disconnected.
We crosses dry creeks, and dry savanna. At day time temperature rises to 36 degrees C.
Our first stop at UFO bar. This bars are part of Australian culture. They all are different, people in desert obviously stay there to relax, fulfill the tank, take glass of beer. You can drink one glass of beer per hour, as I understand, when you drive the car.
Decoration of UFO is not expensive but very individual.
Next bar was founded in 1932. Nothing very special. But we saw here a lot of aborigines. So. They are not pleasant people, drunked, dirty and with awful bed smell. We had been all around the world and at first time saw such unpleasant people. May be they have soft and tender soul but I doubt.
50 km before Alice Springs knob with gasoline show me that my tank is empty. Main group with Jerry ahead. We reduce the speed. Closest gasoline station was 20 kmbefore AC. I noted that Jerry fill tanks on every station. Even after 100 kmof riding.
In Alice Springs we lived 15 min from the central Street. There was restaurant with very delicious food. This is completely for me unexpected. Food in Australia is so delicious!!! Our tour became motor gourmand tour!
Our free day in Alice Springs was not really free. First we did ballooning very early. It was only process. Really, it was not interesting nature around - mountains were far away, animals absent, sunrise was quite ordinary. This is first thing I really can said was waist a money.
We had been tiered, sleep only few hours, so at day time get only to Gorge Chasm and not follow spectacular road direction King Canyon. I think it was our big mistake. Jerry proposed this option to us but we all refused. Stupid….
In the evening we occasionally find local festival. Strange filling - I am in honor when I see dirty fat drunked locals. Many of them have cars and their disables are on modern electric carts.
We cannot get to Kings Canyon by the inner roads. They are beautiful but impassible for us.
So from morning we are again onStuart Highway. We need to do 500 km.
Nature around became more arid. No Mounds. No dead animals, no settlements. This is desert with small dry bushes.
On small stops trees are cowered with different birds. Big pale rose Kakadu turn his head watching us!
And then we follow aside the ridge. Our lodge2 kmafter turn to Canyon. King Canyon Lodge. Just between the stones. It was digged special place for hotel to hide it and not spoil panorama! Comfortable bungalows with tracks of dingoes and snails on the sand near balcony.
There is a loop trail around bungalows. I think here is best place to see sunset- great view and no people.
We met Dingo. She was shy and run away. But not very fast. Somewhere near the restaurant there is a den. But locals said that Dingo can be aggressive if we approach to them.
Tomorrow is the mental middle of the trip. We will be near the most sacred place inAustralia. We will be near Uluru mountain.
6. Uluru. Coober Pedy.
This day mast be more or less easy.
At first we came to Kings Canyon for Rim Loop. This is 6km spectacular way. It’s not very difficult but we stop after each 50 meters. Slopes have so much different types of pictures! And there are strange formations like domes of Hindu temples. All in beautiful chaos.
We tiered little bit. It became hot. Jerry and Hedge prepare for us huge lunch. And of course, when we start our short riding, like 300km, we were completely relaxed and sleepy. All was stopped at once – strong wind from the desert wanted push us of the road. More then 300 km with awful wind we struggle on the road.
Uluru appears suddenly. Dark violet color.
We harry for sunset. Monolith change its color from violet to orange, red, terracota and then became brown. Full moon gave cold light. Jerry and Hedge prepare vine with strawberry and Australian cheese. I am sure – this is gastronomic tour!!!
We are died in the beds. We will go to Kata Tjute next morning. Very early.
So. This morning we are alone, without Jerry. And of course, at first missed exit from the hotel, then cannot put gasoline into the tanks. Ok. We little bit late for sunrise.
Kata Tjute is also monolithic mountain. But it’s consist of huge solid rocks which locals named domes. Mountain is sacred. It’s 8 kmtrekking around and between domes. Trekking closed when temperature rises more then 36. I think it’s happens every day after 12 pm.
This is very panoramic trek. Uf….
This lazy day was spent on helicopter scenic flight. It must be above both mountains Uluru and Kata Tjute. But we did only first part. It’s strictly forbidden flight around Uluru and above the top. Because it’s sacred mountain. Helicopter was small, egg-shaped and transparent . Price can kill anyone – 150 AUD per 15 min.
In this small city (village, settlement?), I found the supermarket. Our first from the beginning of trip. The I bought coffee, because my already finished.
Next day very very early we start our longest part of trip – 750 km to Coober Pedy.
It was not so difficult as I expected. Stuart Highway is strait as arrow, completely empty. We overtake maximum 10 cars and meet not more than 15 cars during the day. Approaching to South Australia were stopped by police. They stopped all cars and asked drivers blow into tube.
There was desert around us. We started at 7:15. It very cold till 10 a. m. Strange, but all day in desert was not as hot as it was by the way to Uluru.
At 5:15 p. m. We entered to Coober Pedy . All surface was covered by small pyramids – excavated from opal mines terrain. This place is number one in opal world. City is very depressive, with mines everywhere, ruins of technique and broken cars. Any good house. Streets made only for possibility get in and out. I hate this city.
We lived in underground charming hotel with view on all Coober Pedy. All main apartments, hotels and even churches situated underground. There are two reasons – first : its impossible hot. Second – from the very first days pioneers of opal miners dig the holes and live there. Then they married and made their dens wider and with numerous rooms. They worked in their underground apartments trying to find opal stream. Hard work.
Jerry and Hedge pick up us to underground Serbian church. Its like gem in the desert.
Opals are beautiful stones. Black and grey are rare and are expensive. They have inner flushes of red, emerald and blue fires. At local shop I didn’t find any beautiful thing. Such a lot of efforts and nothing at the end.
But there was another interesting thing – big tas of small stones from mine, rests. And I found there milky Opals and few pieces of real one))
7. Old track Oodnadatta.
This is very old road. Now completely abandon, flooded during rain season. We are on the track. It’s gravel and not so bad. Just need stand up on motorbike when it’s need.
Our first day is only 200 kmto Oodnadatta. Around is desert, few cars be the way. Few old cars aside. That’s all. Even no carnivores of animals.
There was Dingo fence. This is Australian Great Wall – approximately 6000m of wire fence, which protect South part of Australia against dingoes.
For overnight we stayed in Pink Roadhouse – next Australian masterpiece . Everything is pink here. And, of course, numerous small fanny details. Here is also old pink car. Our motel is in outback of Roadhouse. It’s more than elementary. But I really like it.
The worst problem which I see during the trip were flies. They are So annoyed! They are everywhere and anytime. But Jerry said, that last year there were hundred times more of them. They even cannot stop for a lunch!
Night was cold. I found additional cover.
At morning we waked up very early. This is great day -420 kmoff-road. It’s so cold that I put on another thermo.
First 200km flees quickly. We stopped near old Bridge. English build railway road in 18 century. But Australians destroyed it 35 years before. Why? Nobody knows.
Two big kangaroo jumped just from bikes. One was red kangaroo, another simple grey.
Then we stopped for petrol and lunch in Williams Creek. Dozens of pink parrots Galah flight from one tree to another. Don’t be a Galah, said Australians. I proposed them cereal with rasines, coconuts, ext. They watchers me but didn’t approached.
As usual, near single bar (HOTEL, motel, petrol, ext) small museum. There are different strange things there. Military rocket, crashed space rocket, piece off stream engine ext. And galahs everywhere. We had a lunch here, but not in restaurant. Jerry and Hedge as usual served us meat, chess and vegetables.
Next 210 km were more challenge – the road had a lot of sand, gravel, holes.
Main attraction of this part was hot spring with real thermal water. It’s small, with wooden area, just in bush. I stay there 15 min and didn’t want escape.
By the way there are more Springs but we have no time at all.
We also passed nearLakeEeyre. It’s on altitude – 20m. Is the hottest spot inAustralia. It’s famous for birds during flooding. But flooding happens there once in 100 years. So, after flooding is dry slowly, became dry, solid and salt. It’s so firm, that bolid trainings held here (this strange cars which can drive with unorganized high speed).
The last point was Mutonia sculpture park. There are dog, old bus, robot, constructions and two airplanes, glued together by wins and putted vertical on their noses. I hope to ride between this metal giants. But all was surrounded by wire fences.
It was evening time. And snakes start to move around. First was green long one. Greg cannot stop and crashed her (as he said after), but she was alive. I crashed her also, because saw her at last moment. Ivan said she was alive and still moved on the road!
Next one stand like cobra. I stopped and run to look at her closely. Yes. It was young cobra and she tried to withdraw in to the grass. She was glossy, grey with black on the head.
The road near Maree became better.
Marree is another completely abandon point in Australia outback. Add usual, it’s has one main street, one additional, one hotel – motel, petrol station, population of 10,or may be 20 persons. And museum. Here this is old railway station with single locomotives. And nothing around! Only desert!
Our dinner was great in Maree, but I never saw such a poor and arrogant breakfast! It says just milk, cereal and toasts!
Next250 kmto Blinman we made on sealed and unsealed roads. The were emy everywhere. Fathers with big groups of chickens. Once they crossed the road before bikes and faster stopped to kick the bike!! Dozens of galas like crowns are on the trees. And hundreds of killed by cars kangaroos and emys. We didn’t see alive kangaroo today. Only dead ones.
By the way we stopped for lunch in historical site Farina.Australiais not rich on history building. Every house in this outback is national heritage. Every ruin is valuable. So, this four destroyed buildings have signed and protected by law. They stay as usual in nowhere. There are some iron tools around. Nice decoration for movie. In campground not far away with had a lunch. Greg made hole in his tire. Hedge repair it very professional.
Last40 kmto Blinman is unsealed curved mountain road. It’s very beautiful! Grass and pines appears, air became cooler.
Blinman is typical English mountain village. And we met here people on old vintage cars. They have something like festival.
It’s charming place. I am hungry. And the portion was not So big as it was in another places.
Night will be cold.
8. Kangaroo Day in Wilpena Ponds.
Early in the morning we hiked to the hills. All bushes and grass full of grasshoppers. Step by step and they jump in all directions.
It’s not cold.
First Hill. And wire fence. We cross it. And now understand that all big stones not far away are Kangaroos . They looked at us and slowly move. Some of them continue eat grass, some jump forward. Big emyes in panic run away. When they see wire fence they didn’t stop. First – head between wires and then – big fat body. The same do Kangaroos .
Rabbits with white bottoms afraid of us much more then other animals.
We crossed the hills. Some Kangaroos didn’t hear us and allowed approach closer then20 meters.
Two Eagles in the sky have the fight – one of them catches rabbit and another tried to take it. Rabbit flight, was dropped, catch, dropped, catch. Eagles flight away.
Breakfast in this charming place arrogant again. Nothing to eat at all. I think this is traditional Australian breakfast in outback. All delivered by planes or road trains. All have huge price. Nothing grow on this territory.
Our tour around Wilpena starts. First by sealed road, dream of motorbiker, up and down, with turns and without cars. Then we turned to unsealed road into gorges. Nature around is extraordinary. It’s impossible beautiful. Sometimes we see emyes and Kangaroos. It’s again up and down. Everywhere campgrounds but there were only few cars there.
We stopped for lunch in nowhere. Just only one house near airstrip and here was delicious food.
Our way back was the same road plus Jerry’s hidden gem – Yellowfooted striped jumped mountain wallabies. Rare and shy. They don’t afraid us. One come very close, continuing eat flowers.
We followed Jerry inside the gorge. Here was surprise – big paddle for filming and photo session. As for me, I was happy and fully covered with dirty water! Even my boots are wet now!
It was 4pm and we need to hurry
9. Wind. Barossa Valley. Ocean.
Morning was windy. We made small walking in the hills. Everywhere kangaroos and wallabies. Eat the grass. And three emus in sunrise.
Breakfast in this hotel was again impassible poor. Arrogant.
We had to do 4 80 kmtoday. All by sealed road. Stormy wind began to swept us from the road from the first moment. Wind was very strong. There were no cars, only up and down road with unlimited turns. I hope that when we withdrew from Wilpena wind will be less. By no. It became worth. I concentrated completely on the road and on my efforts keep the bike on the road. Sometime its seems to me that I will fell. Drizzle starts. It was cold. 12 degrees.
After 300km I understand that completely frozen. But not only I am. Jerry stopped, we all drank hot chocolate, put on additional cloth. Much better.
Now we ride between fields with wheat and yellow flowers. Wind was the same hurricane strength.
Barossa Valley appears suddenly. It was not special Valley. No. But between green hills there were vineyards. There were all in excellent condition. But still without new leavs. Hills, Estates, vineyards. Rich, beautiful region.
We entered to Lindoh Hill – motel and estate with private vineyard. Everybody here have their own vineyards, name of vine, estate. Huge rose garden surround territory. Red parrots cry on the trees. Galahs flight in big crowds.
In estate there is excellent collection on porcelain. WhenElizabeth, Last Queen of GB visited Barossa she stayed here, in this estate.
In the morning, on sunrise, I made a walk around. Kangaroos eat flowers between vineyard rows and fresh wheat. Each square centimeter of this land was overworked by people. All looks like in the pictures of ideal vineyards. I need return back for breakfast and early start.
Breakfast in Lindoh Hill was so huge, that it was impossible to eat all. But I tried.
Then we start. Very soon Jerry got us to curved excellent road fairy beauty. I think famous Adelaide Hills are here. We turned, flight up and down between old eucalyptus, green lawns, blue lakes and endless cattle’s of sheep.Paradisefor bikers. We had been slowly then others because leak of practice.
Small stop to Old Cars museum. I never saw such a brilliant and big collection! Four or five angars are filled with all types of cars, including motorbikes, speedy raising cars and special cars.
Our lunch was near river on big lawn full of birds – gulls, pelicans and ducks. They all asked for food. Shameless pelicans even tried to steal food from the table. It was BBQ area and Hedge with Jerry made for us sausages.
Approximately at 4 pm we rich the ocean. We crossed Australia!
Our motel is 10 min walk from the center, on the hill with Lake view. We are speechless.
The ocean is also not far away. In the morning we make a small walk. City slept. No people, no cars. Few rabbits and crowns. Windy, little Drizzle, little sun. Typically ocean weather.
We have last surprise from Jerry – Halls Gap. We will go again into continental part ofAustralia
11. GOR. 19.09.1919.
Great Ocean Road.
It was started to build at 19th of September 1919.
We are finishing our trip 19th of September, but 2014. Just 5 years and it will be anniversary trip).
First attraction is 12 Apostles. We are lucky. Still no rain . But it will be. And it’s too cold.
12 Apostles is Unique place. In sunrise especially.
And then Jerry took us to very special park. It’s in the mountains and little bit aside from ocean. This is big eucalyptus forest.
First two koalas just sit on a branch beneath the road. One eat the liaves, another slept deep.
Then we drove by the road. Big fat koalas, like a toys were everywhere. Little bit attention and it can be seen that forest full of them! They are motionless. Only one changed his location. It was surprise for everyone.
And again. We returned through forest and curved road to ocean.
I never saw such a big amount of beautiful excellent houses near the ocean. They are maximum two stored, with walls made from glass, big open terrace. They all are hidden in the hills along the road.
ApolloBayis rich lazy city with full ocean view. We made there our last lunch. Near the shore. Great big chicken was eaten in two minutes.
The last adventure of this day was our entrance toMelbourne. We get to autobahn. As close we get to city the more cars were on the road. City with its skyscrapers appears. We get to big long futuristic bridge. And it was impossible cool! We were first time in our life in such a stream of cars, entering big city, mostly look likes entering into NY. Happiness!!!!
Of course, on the first turn inMelbournewe lose Jerry and start to find him on neighbors streets. And we found him!
Jerry and Hedge reserved for all of us restaurant in the dock area. Glass wonder with delicious food as usual.
It was a dream. All this adventure. It was miracle that we did it. It was endless fill of joy and endless fill of sad that all is finished. We did it in beautiful charmingAustraliawith people who do their best to show us their country. We did it with other guests who were real team and help us in this challenge for us trip.
12. Great G. Port Douglas.
Cairns is big city with wide streets, hotels with pools near ocean, numerous tourists. It’s the gate to Great G.
I don’t like this city and don’t want stay here. Actually prices for hotels here are crazy.
I found Thala Beach Lodge. Not cheap one but on private semi peninsular, with private Bay and private rainforest. Bungalows here are hidden in the forest.
It’s only 60km fromCairns. But taxi there as usual for crazy price. Better rent a car or ask for transfer.
We had been only morning visitors on the 3 kmlong Beach. Completely wild.
There are numerous birds everywhere and even wallabies. Sea Eagle nested on telegraph. His young cry for food. We saw how one of the parent bring him big fish. Amazing.
Temperature of the ocean can be higher. It’s not more then 23. So so for swimming. Awful for diving in wet suit.
System for diving is unusual for us. First we had been taken to boat from Cairnswith other may be 60 persons. And 15 persons of staff. Snorks, certified divers, introduction divers. All together. Then All divided. But still groups of 20 persons. All is quickly. Briefing, pick up equipment, check equipment. Only 4 toilets. No changing rooms. No place for put on something somewhere.
And very cold water in short 5 mm wet suits. It’s so cold!!!!
Napoleon’s are everywhere. Nice corrals.
Escape from the water, Shivering from cold, so how change the cloth and then lunch. And second dive.
After we need to change the boat. First one will go back toCairnswith those who paid for one day. We will stay overnight on another boat. Bigger. Without seasickness. Hope.
We have big cabin with 3 windows in front part.
Here another equipment, all new, the same system – you take what you need and go diving. People are calculated very attentive each time.
We cannot dive easy with new equipment. We asked two times for additional weights, and not only we are.
We missed night dive. Ivan had strong headache.
At morning it was calm. We found turtle. As stuff told us, here is only one turtle. We fond it on depth2 m.
Then boat change location. We are on Norman reef. There are 3 boats here. And they move clockwise once or twice a day. That’s all.
So we change dislocation. Again it were numerous mazes from corals. There are not a lot of fish here, no morays, small triggerfish, no nudibranches. Few stingrays, few sharks.
I didn’t go to night dive. Stuff feed fish by special food. Just through it into the water. And light this part. Water boiled with huge fishes. Mostly there are giant soldiers, Tunas, sharks.
For those who don’t want dive there is an opportunity – take a place on board, from which we jump into the water. This board will sink into the water.
I did like this. Incredible! All fishes just near my nose. I even can touch them! And shark also!
It was amazing!
But cold as usual.