Capircorn Caves, City Hall, Free Time, and Crocs

Trip Start Jul 09, 2013
Trip End Jul 28, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, July 19, 2013

The students were excited about the "not so early" brekky time (loved the chance to sleep in). Once breakfast was done, we hopped on the coach and headed for Capircorn Caves. Once we got there, the staff at the Caves brought out a bearded dragon and a snake for the students to learn a bit more about and to pet. They had a little bit of time to try signing on to the free wifi at the gift shop, but just like Tjapukai, once so many of them tried to log on, they ended up creating a cyber traffic jam, and it made it hard to actually connect.

We had a guided tour in the caves and saw some of the formations that were made by the water and minerals as it dripped through the cracks. We ended up in Cathedral Cave which has near perfect acoustics. Vanessa, one of our delegation songbirds, was encouraged to get up in front of the group and sing. She sang Listen which I was able to record, but I think everyone will have to wait until I get home and on to better wifi service to upload. It appears that every time I try to upload any videos, it does not go through here.

After group pictures inside the cave, students were given the chance to select one of three different adventures to complete. The hardest one was called the Whales Belly which involved crawling through a hole which they called the "whale's mouth" and going through tight spaces until you crawled up and out of the whale's blow hole at the top. Rather than crawling through the space myself, I happily climbed to the blow hole and took pictures of the students as they emerged.

We had lunch at Capircorn Caves... Hot dogs, cole slaw, and a piece of chocolate cake. The thing that made the hot dog more palatable for me was the fact that they provided all sorts of toppings for you - bits of ham, cheese, grilled onions, tomato sauce, mustard, mustard seeds, and bbq sauce. Without those toppings, the dog itself was pretty bland. But I DO love their hot dog buns here. They are so much better than at home! They taste so much more fresh and void of preservatives! I could have had another hot dog JUST for the bun alone!

Once we were done with the caves, we headed into Rockhampton for our civic welcome. I was quite disappointed to learn once we got there that noone from the city council or government office was there to meet with the students. Even though the lady from the Media Relations department was a very nice person, she was not the government official we were expecting. She talked like a Media Relations person would - her comments were guarded and she answered questions in a way that was calculating and careful not to show preference to any particular side. This was so different from my experiences in England when our students met with a retired member of the House of Lords. He was very open to pose questions of the students and very honest about his responses to student questions. All in all, very disappointing. And I could sense that the students were bored with the experience as well. I think the most interesting part of that for many of them was having the chance to take a picture in the Mayor's chair.

We headed back to the resort, and the students were all so excited when they were told they would have free time to relax and enjoy the pool. Most of them at least dipped in the pool, but it was cold so most did not stay in for long. About a dozen of them ended up crowding JP in the jacuzzi, so I think that cut his hot tub time short.

After showering and changing into dry clothes, we hopped on the coach for a drive to the Koorana Crocodile Farm for dinner.
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