My parents arrived a couple of days before Christmas, and we have been insanely busy since. We flew to Brisbane to spend Christmas in hot and sweaty Queensland with some of my Australian friends. And we drove all the way to Brisbane, about 2000km in… 4 days. Insane.
En route, we were the witnesses to a giant endangered turtle laying its 58 eggs in a sand dune. I had tears in my eyes as we followed its slow, yet steady progress to the sea. The marine biologist on-site believes they will be extinct within the next 20 years.
We also visited a ‘desert island’ under tropical rains: white sand, luxuriant rainforest, and beautiful grey sky…
After passing the Tropic of Capricorn in our air-conditioned car, we soldiered on to Cairns, via many Seafood restaurants, petrol stations and the best burger in the world (complete with beetroot and pineapple)
Today I had a wonderful day: snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. Words cannot describe what I saw, and my SLR camera was not going under water, but the images of the reef shark, sting ray, and multicoloured fish I swam with are stored in my memory. I am in awe at nature and its beauty. And yes, I have offset my Carbon emissions due to flying to get to this fragile eco-system.
The next few weeks are set to be equally amazing: we are flying to Alice Springs, then traveling to Darwin to visit an Aboriginal community. This remote place is only accessible on a light aircraft, and we need a permit to enter the sacred Aboriginal land. I am really grateful to Lyne, who is escorting us there. Hopefully I will find out more about manual therapy in indegenous Australia on this occasion.
But my Australian adventures don’t stop there!!! I am then flying to Perth (oh dear, that’s a lot of Carbon) to do a road trip (yep, more Carbon emissions) with my buddy Lauren (student exchange when we were teenagers) on the West Coast. There, will do a lot more snorkelling, surfing and meeting Aboriginal locals.
I can hardly contain my excitement, so much to do, so little time.
I won’t wish you all a very merry Christmas, since I did not get much Internet connection as of late, but I am more than happy to wish you a fantastic New Year.
Have a good party and enjoy 2009!