Boulder Jumping and Cruising

Trip Start Jun 07, 2010
Trip End Jun 23, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, June 10, 2010

We decided to be brave and get a car to drive to Crystal Cascades.  Did you know that in Australia they drive on the other side of the street?  Not only does that affect driving, but also walking down the sidewalk.  If you meet someone coming down the street in America, you move to the right side of the sidewalk.  Here, you move to the left.  So there we were, driving for the first time on the left side of the road.  We didn't get off to a very good start.  We couldn't even figure out how to turn the car on!  Bruce, a hotel worker, had to tell us where to put the key.  He had to tell us how to make the car go forward and backward.  Bruce said, "This is going to be fun," and laughed at us as we pulled away.  Good thing he didn't know we still had the emergency brake on and wouldn't realize it for miles! At one point, Mrs. Swearingen veered to the right side of the road, but fortunately it was on a quiet street, and nobody got hurt! On the way back, Ms. Thompson drove.  She also had troubles staying on the left side of the road.  As we traveled down the road, Mrs. Swearingen suddenly realized we were on the wrong side of the street!  A quick correction, and we were back on track. 

Crystal Cascades is off the beaten path, but after a couple turn-arounds, we arrived.  It was beautiful!  Picture in your mind lush trees and plants, and add to it vines, gorgeous butterflies, rippling streams, and cascading waterfalls.  As we walked along a paved path, lined on one side with jungle and the other with a babbling brook, we met a lace monitor, then two!  We were very intrigued.  Suddenly they started fighting and the bigger one chased the other away! As we walked, we had to avoid the stinging trees!  If we touched one, it would really hurt.  They have large leaves with spines along the edge that will prick anyone who touches them.  On our way down from the top waterfall, we spent time walking around on the boulders, or large rocks, that were in the river.  Ms. Thompson found a sheltered bit of water with fish eggs in it!

In the evening, we took a sunset cruise on a boat to see mangroves, or low trees growing in marshes.  Although crocodiles had been spotted earlier in the day, we were not able to see any.  We were in Trinity Inlet, which empties into the ocean(see blog about mud flats). We also saw the fishing boats that people here work on, long rowing boats that people use for recreation, and sailboats. We were able to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the mountains and see the stars.  Since we are on the opposite side of the world, we see completely different stars here than we do in Oklahoma.  Our guide also told us a bit about an Aboriginal village on the other side of the mountain and about the schools here.  If you want to learn more about that, post a comment here and we'll tell you more!
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Denise Dailey on

It sounds like you are having a great time! I am teaching summer school and we are all watching your website! I would have liked to have been there when you were driving the car!!! Have fun and have a wonderful adventure!!!

Greg Maloney on

I'm glad you are safe. I think that you have probably become more comfortable by now driving on the left hand side. Do they use rouind-a bouts there like in Ireland? I found the 2 lane ones the most difficult to get used to.

Brittny Stephensen on

It sounds like you are having lots of fun! I can just see you, Sarah, trying to drive that car. It would be a very funny sight. :) I bet that the diving in the Great Barrier Reef will be beautiful. Be sure to take tons of photos.

Luci Swearingen on

Wow. How exciting! I shared your blog with Ellie. Stay safe while scuba diving.

Erin on

Sounds like ya'll are having a blast!!! Miss you and can't wait to see your pictures!!

Kevin McElroy on

I have enjoyed the pics and reading all the blogs. Continue having fun!!!
Kevin Mc

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