Where the Reef meets the Rainforest

05/04

The full on travelling today has been exhausting. My body hurts, my head hurts and my eyes can’t stay awake. Arrived in Cairns about 8pm and lugged my life possessions with me. I’m staying at Gilligans (a party hostel where EVERYONE stays). I’m expecting to see lots of familiar faces here, bumping into many friends I’ve met up the East Coast. Most goodbyes have ended with, “see you at Gilligans!”

The room was loud and messy. My bed hadn’t been made. I was too tired to care. In a flash anti social Liv was knocked out, fast asleep. (Literally crashed with people pre-drinking around me, music on full blast). I didn’t even wake up to any of the drunken antics. It’s amazing how much of a light sleeper I was back at home. Two and a half months of travelling, you realise if you’re that tired, you can sleep anywhere. And I needed my sleep, as tomorrow was an early start and a big day…

06/04

Great Barrier Reef day!!! Woke up at 6am and headed down to the marina after a speedy brekki.

My day was spent with a truly amazing girl – Katie from Washington DC. It definitely felt like we had been good friends for longer than a day trip! Many laughs and selfies wearing our stinger suits with the hoods up, rocking the tadpole look.

What a day trip it was. Even though an irrational fear of open, unknown water and sharks has developed these past few years, I was surprisingly confident.

The Great Barrier Reef is such an iconic place – one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and it did not disappoint. Ok, I didn’t see any turtles. But the marine life I saw was phenomenal. I’m in fairly shallow waters, in the middle of the ocean. Rainbow fish the size of me, fluorescent coral and, oh hey there Nemo! Hey jellyfish!

Content Liv and Katie cruised on the top deck on the way back to Cairns. Good lord it was windy. So windy, Katie got blown over. It was hilarious because she made out from the fall that she was just super excited to lay down and sunbathe.

I got back to Gilligans about 5pm, dying to have a shower (so salty and dreadlocked hair). Entered my room. Lights were off. Two people were having sex. Fabulous. I left them to it and went for a run (still salty and in my bikini which was not ideal but c’est la vie).

Tonight at Gilligans it’s a girls wrestling night with jelly. Sounds hilarious.

07/04

Another 6am wake up. It’s time to venture Cape Tribulation in the Daintree (oldest rainforest on the planet). The bus driver was high on weed. He was nuts and made a few mistakes picking people up which was annoying. However, he may be the happiest, most passionate person about nature that I have ever met.

Before arriving at Cape Trib, we stopped off at Mossman Gorge. Here we had a tribal smoke ceremony, to welcome us and protect us in the sacred lands. We painted ourselves with natural, tribal paints and learnt about leaves with natural healing qualities.

Stripped off to have a dip in the creek and it was so refreshing! Mossman Gorge has the second purest water in the world and it is ok for swimming because it is clear, cold and flowing. Water must be all of these things otherwise there will probably be crocodiles. Speaking of crocs, we saw some baby ones on the boat cruise!

I can’t believe I’m in such a spectacular rainforest. There is SO much wildlife and nature. Dangerous nature at that! People die here. So many snakes, so many spiders, crocodiles, bull sharks…

I am staying here over night (how cool!?) It is wild and unique. Nowhere else on earth do two World Heritage sites meet together with such breathtaking beauty. You’ve got the Great Barrier Reef, separated from the 110 million year old Daintree rainforest by a stretch of pristine sandy beach. It is isolated and quiet. It feels ancient and surreal. It is both beautiful and scary.

08/04

I woke up at 5.30am with my new friend Grace to do yoga, watching the sunrise. Our feet are on sand. Two metres behind us is the world’s oldest rainforest and right in front of us is the sun coming up over the Great Barrier Reef. It’s raining so the clouds are dramatic. The rain is warm. Is this real life? I keep asking myself.

Yes, it is.

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