Sunday, April 13, 2008

Adventures from the Van: Adrenaline Aussie style

Rush of water below
Raft guide holding you up so you don't leave his grip too soon

KNEES UP...KNEES UP!!!!
ONE. TWO. GO!!
HOLD YOUR BREATH NOW

Over the drop with the rest of the water
Breath caught too late.
Inhaled more than just air
Getting pushed deeper into the lava tube
Ears screaming from pressure
WHEN WILL I SURFACE?
Open eyes to search for light.
Green yellow bubbles above
Need air...Swim for it
Light getting bright white getting close now
Surface at last coughing for air
Kate laughing that my sunglasses were still on


Raging Thunder Extreme Rafting really was as extreme as the name. The day was spent getting nearly drowned, willingly of course, in a variety of ways. Getting dropped from 15ft up into a lava tube (not sure how deep) for around 10 seconds, was by far the most ridiculous experience.

A couple of days prior, we made our way up to Airlie Beach to take a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. Not taking any snorkel tours in Thailand, we decided this would be a much better experience. We took a two hour boat ride with 6 foot swells out to a section called Bait Reef. By the time we arrived at the mooring, my head was starting to feel a little light. In the water we went, hoping that would calm the unsettled feeling I was developing. It definitely did! Huge Double-Headed Parrot fish with teeth the size of our fists were chomping away on the coral. The purples, blues, and yellows were outstanding on this portion of the reef. "That was one of the highlights of my life" is what Kate said immediately upon getting back into the boat. Heading back to mainland and the swells were even larger. All I am thinking is hold it...hold it. Common sense made me run to the back of the boat near the motors to find a spot that didn't move around as much. Just in time! Returned the bucket to its spot in its original condition. Phew!

The last of our adrenaline themed activities was canopy surfing in the Daintree rainforest - "where the rainforest meets the sea" is its theme. This was pretty cool since usually the tree tops are so far overhead.



The lush farmlands also let us find the ideal location to be reincarnated as a cow.

If anyone was ever in question about which region to eat a steak from, the answer has been found. Australia. The cows here have acres and acres to roam free and eat as much grass as they want. Just think, you have to pay extra at Wild Oats and Whole foods for grass fed beef, but it appears to be the standard here. No kidding, the entire eastern coastline from Sydney to Cairns is nothing but farmland for cows or sugar cane.

Our road trip in Australia is about done now, and so is my internet card. We have driven around 1700 miles and are bummed to leaving this country after seeing only one coast. Another trip it will have to be!

Afterall, if you do everything the first time 'round, what reason would you have to go back?

2 comments:

Ann said...

Hi Kate & Phil,
Love the photos but those things you all are doing look scary--better you than me!!
Isn't Australia marvelous and I'm sure NZ will be the same. Your mom and I loved it-we'll have to share tales from '70. Doubt things have changed any!!Enjoyed lamb chops for breakfast?
It snowed here this past week but my peach tree escaped and will have fruit - yea! Love, Aunt Ann

Pete Washburn said...

Why hello Mr.& Mrs. Lucks,
I am SO jealous of you two right now. Mandy and I are getting married next April and want to do something exactly like this. I mights need some planning advice from you guys later. If you're in NZ right now and love wine, you should go to the Marlborough region...here's a link:http://www.destination.co.nz/Marlborough/wine_&_food/

Anyway, travel safe, travel smart and enjoy every moment.