Monday, December 25, 2006

Letters from Australia

After more than 30 hours of travelling, Robert and I finally made it to Australia (via Korea) for Mark and Sophie's wedding.
Oh, and they lost our luggage. Well, lost isn't the right word - basically our luggage didn't make it from Sydney to Adelaide. I was beginning to think it was groundhog day, as this sort of thing has happened to us four times now. But considering we flew from London to South Korea, South Korea to Sydney, and Sydney to Adelaide - it's pretty good going that our luggage made it at all. Which it did. At 11.30pm the day we arrived in Adelaide and were in the middle of a deep jet-lack induced sleep.

Still, this time we were prepared - there are only so many times your luggage gets lost without it teaching you a valuable lesson: Pack a spare change of clothes, about two sets of undies, and a selection of those mini-cosmetics that are not going to get confiscated when you go through security in your hand luggage. Oh, and I packed my dress, shoes and handbag for the wedding too, thanks to that little voice in my head when I was packing back in London which told me something like this may happen. Some may call it a first rank symptom of schizophrenia, I call it good old intuition.
The wedding was beautiful, and lovely - held on a wine farm, complete with sheep, barns, and lots of blue skies. The bride looked stunning in a floor-length white Armani, and Mark looked pretty handsome too in his white tie. Oh, and Robert was a first-rate MC :-)
Yesterday we flew from Adelaide to Cairns, and had a car meet us to bring us here to the Thala Beach Lodge in Port Douglas. The driver warned us of all the dangers that awaited us in a jolly sort of way: Salt water crocodiles, lethal jellyfish making the sea un-swimmable at this time of the year, spiders, snakes, sharks etc. So much to look forward to I thought, trying very hard not to vomit due to the winding roads causing motion sickness I've had since I was a kid.
When we arrived at the lodge, we were informed that this is indeed jellyfish season and that we need to stay out of the sea. No swimming at all, not even romantic walks in the waves. This isn't a problem as neither Robert nor I are big sea swimming people, and prefer to walk on the beach and swim in bodies of water that do not contain things with large teeth or electric tentacles. We were told that when we go and do our snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef later this week, that divers go out earlier in the day to check the area is in fact jellyfish free. We also wear full body suits - just in case. Looking forward to that, and plan on getting a disposable underwater camera.
Tonight we are attending the Aboriginal cultural evening - then there's Hartley's crocodile experience "Feed the crocks!", plus the coconut plantation visit, bird watching, and of course copious amounts of beer drinking pool-side. It's a tough job - but I think I have what it takes.

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