October 27, 2009

The Great Barrier Reef - Part 2

Rise and Shine!

It's time to head on down to "Lady Musgrave Cruises" for a day at the "Great Barrier Reef"!

However, even though I called in advance regarding weather conditions and the certainty of being able to cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef today, and confirming the same yesterday.....there will be no cruise to the Reef today. Due to weather conditions. Rats! They have however guaranteed that we will sail tomorrow. Hmmmm, we are leaving tomorrow. Now this is where flexibility in plans plays a big factor in your travels. See, today is now Tuesday May 12, and Sharon and I had planned to leave 1770 on Wednesday so that we would have all day Thursday to prepare for our flights on Friday.

But we have to see the Great Barrier Reef! We didn't come all this way not to snorkel in those beautiful blue waters and see the coral and marine life that lies beneath, now did we?

So it is agreed that we stay one more night. We also decided that we did not want to stay at the Sandcastle 1770 for the next two nights. We wanted a little more adventure in our accommodations than just your average hotel room on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the pool with views of cockatoo's flying from tree to tree.
Yes, we want more!

So we cancelled our reservation for tonight and drove down the road and booked a little cabin in a woodland setting for the next two nights at a place called "Captain Cook Holiday Village" .
How cool is this! After we settled in it's decided to take the little walk from our cabin right down to the beach and try to enjoy what little sun there was today.
After a few hours of having the beach completely to ourselves we decide to head on back to the cabin and get ready for dinner. Where shall we dine tonight? Well since we had so much fun last night at the Saltwater Cafe, we head on over there to see what tonight's menu will be for dinner.
Seems it is Curry Night!
After ordering our meal and enjoying another great bottle of Australian wine we take a look through Sharon's book "1,000 places to visit before you die" and know that we have made the right decision to stay one more night and make sure we see the "Great Barrier Reef"!
If you would like to see more pictures of our day just click here "Where's Debbie" and then click on the album "Great Barrier Reef Part 2"

October 19, 2009

The Great Barrier Reef - Part 1

Sharon and I had such a great time Saturday (May 9) with Helen exploring Byron Bay and being able to see so many beautiful sights. The Cape Byron Lighthouse, the Coastal Rain forest, the most Easterly Point of the Australian Mainland are certainly sites we will never forget.

But today (May 11) we are headed to a place that most people dream about seeing. One of the world's seven natural wonders, and we are going to drive there! The Great Barrier Reef!

We start our 7 hour drive to the north at 7 am in the morning, but not without first stopping at Australia's version of Starbuck's, Zarraffe's Coffee. I have become a big fan of their White Chocolate Mocha over the last two weeks and there is no way I was starting this long drive without one!

Our first stop is 3 hours later in a little town called "Gympie". We found a great little cafe where I had a latte along with an apple strudel and Sharon had an English fruit cake with a cappuccino.

As we continued to drive north we came across a little place selling opal's. So how excited are we to be able to shop for some genuine Australian opal's. Seri of Wind Song Opals in Gunalda QLD was an absolute sweetheart, helping us to decide on just the right stone. I ended up with 2 rough cut opals and a beautiful sodalite bracelet and matching earrings.

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the Australian road signs that we saw along the way. You know these warning signs had us keeping an eye out for a Kangaroo that might just jump out in front of us or see a Koala munching on some eucalyptus!

We finally make it to our destination, the Town of 1770.

1770 is a small (very small) seaside village which was the second landing of Lt. James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour in May 1770! This is where we will be staying before heading to Lady Musgrave Island to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef!

After we check into our hotel, "Sandcastles 1770" (which is really in Agnes Waters) we decide to check out where we will be boarding our boat to head out to the Great Barrier Reef in the morning. We stopped in at "Lady Musgrave Cruises" and found out that we need to be here bright and early in the morning because the boat will leave at 7:30am!

Well it's time for some dinner. Now of course Helen had recommended this great spot with outdoor dining overlooking Bustard Bay, so guess where we had dinner? That's right, "Saltwater Cafe & Pizzaria". This was the perfect place on the waterfront with an open air bar and dim lighting.

It's been a long day and I need some wine! So Sharon headed up to the counter to order us a glass of wine while I was taking some pictures. She was informed that she had to go to the counter to the left and order it there. By now I've joined her and no one is here. But there is this sign that reads "Ring the Bell". Sharon did just that and who shows up but Anna, the girl from the counter to the right who told her to go to the counter to the left!

But we can't order a glass of wine. What!! Good news.....we can only order a bottle of wine. I love this place! It seems that they only have a license to sell the wine, not serve it. We decide on a $19.95 AUD bottle of Crouchen Riesling, an Australian wine (of course) from Brown Bros. Winery in Milawa.

We then claim our spot at one of the candle lit tables and settle in with our wine and then it dawns on us that this place does not have any menus. How do we know what we want? Well it seems that the menu is posted every night on a chalk board. Tonight is "Pizza" night.

So pizza and wine it is! Since we couldn't make up our minds, we ordered a pizza that was half Banks and half Endeavour.

A toast to good friends, pizza, a bottle of wine, and the adventure we are about to experience tomorrow....The Great Barrier Reef!
If you would like to see more pictures of our journey today just click here "Where's Debbie" and then see the album "Great Barrier Reef - Part 1"
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