I've arrived in Cairns, Australia

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Flag of Australia  ,
Wednesday, February 8, 2006

So I've finally arrived. Picking up after LAX... I got on that flight fine, it was 12.5 hours long, and I got to sit in the absolute middle of the plane. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There were six in-flight movies and some TV channels. They served dinner, then let us sleep, then breakfast. Both meals were actually decent too. It was also entertaining trying to eat while the people in front of me reclined their chair... no space at all.

Anyways, we arrived at about 7am local time, and needed to catch our flight at 9am. Did not happen. Customs was the longest line ever, and took about 2.5 hours. Then we went through security, which wasn't bad. But we then had to recheck our checked luggage. That took another hour or so. By this time there was no way that we made our flight, so they rescheduled to 11:55am. Then we got to go to the train station, walking through this tunnel that was exposed to the outside. It was absolutely breathtaking. Palm trees, birds, flowers, all over the place, such a nice looking airport. As the pilot said "Welcome to Queensland, where today it's nice, and tomorrow's perfect".

Once we got to our train, and to the domestic terminal, went through security, and got to our gate it was only 30 minutes before our newly scheduled flight. So finally we got to take a break, and I got another local soft drink called "Solo: Lemon Squash". It tastes like a spiced up lemonade, and it's really good. I pretty much had it exclusively on every flight in Oz.

We then arrived in Cairns, and again its breathtaking, but in a literal sense too. It was about 33 degrees (). It basically looks and smells like South Carolina in the summer. Sugarcane, Palm trees, etc. But then there's mountains (huge ones) and an ocean! Well... actually it's the Coral Sea. As we flew in, we saw what looked like sandbars, which were actually parts of the reef on the surface of the water. It looked like a bunch of tiny brown islands (12+). Also, on the drive to our place, we saw this very rare palm tree, exclusive to the Cairns area. It just happened to be in seeding stage (only happens every five years), and apparently a handful of the seeds on the black market goes for upwards of $25,000 AUD!

So other than being a bit jet lagged, I'm extremely energized about being in this tropical paradise. It sure does looks like the brochures! Today will be the scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef (w00t!), so look forward to a post about that.

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