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Cairns and diving in the Great Barrier Reef

sunny 30 °C

After landing in Cairns, we got picked up and stayed in the Serpent hostel, which was very nice. It had a swimming pool and the rooms were painted in bright and cheery colours. It was a little bit out of town and there wasn't too many places to get food around there. We had no choice but get Subway sandwiches for dinner that day.

The next day we took hostel's shuttle to town. Cairns doesn't have a great beach as it is surrounded by marsh land. There was a great big swimming pool right by the sea compensating for it all. We walked around the town, but everything was closed as all the shops only open at 12 o'clock. We then got back to the hostel and spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool. I was reading the book by Sophie Kinsella 'The confessions of a shopaholic'. For dinner, we got some fish from the fishmonger nearby, and grilled it outside, it was lovely. Life couldn't get any better!

Next day, we were picked up by the diving company - Ocean Quest. We were on the boat that were carrying day divers. We did one dive with them and then transferred to the boat where we were spending a night. The boat was very nice, but the diving wasn't going that well. We were given briefings and then we would have dive by ourselfs without a dive master/instructor - rather unsual for us and I did not feel comfortable at all. I was also using too much weight, so I couldn't even catch up to a turtle that Robert spotted :) We also saw a shark that we are still arguing over about how big it was.

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I skipped a night dive that day as well. Robert of course was the first one to jump in. The funniest thing was once people were coming out from the water. Some huge travalis and sharks were swimming around them. They were totally oblivious to it as it was so dark around them.

Next day, I decided to pay extra and went diving with the instructor and Robert joined a couple that we met on the boat. I could relax more and started to really enjoy it and even started noticing the coral colours. :) That day I wrote down some divings tips for myself. Number 1 - Stop kicking and waving my arms around so much - it uses up all my air :))

Overall the diving was good - but not OMG fantastic as you might expect from the Great Barrier Reef. This was partly due to the conditions - there were strong currents but we had expected it to be better.

In the evening we got picked up by the boat and went back to Cairns. We stayed in the hostel in the city this time as the one where we were staying before didn't have a shuttle bus early enough as we were catching a bus to Harvey Bay. The room was so tiny and had the tiniest window into a long hall. But I didn't care as I was so tired from the diving.

Posted by Laima 04:03 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking

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