Well, since the last post, Dave, Tomas and I have made our way to the northernmost territory of Australia, Queensland. But don't let the word "north" fool you -- down here, it's positively tropical. The three of us have had a perpetual sweat-sheen for the entire duration of our stay thus far... and it is WONDERFUL. It's a most welcome change to the "temperate" climes of New Zealand, or even our weekend in Sydney.
We landed in Cairns on Monday, and have since done rainforest trekking, swimming in pristine waterfalls, and of course, the majestic Great Barrier Reef. The Reef has been a goal of mine since the tender age of nine, when my father dragged me off to snorkel in Belize... it was so astounding, that once I learned there was an EVEN BIGGER reef to be experienced, I vowed to see it. And now I have! It was stunning, and a loooong post in and of itself. All I'll say in the meantime is that we all tried our hands at scuba diving... and it was incredible. Also very scary, alien, and immensely claustrophobic, but that's a part of the challenge. We went down to about 12 metres and saw the most amazing things. With luck, we will get to do it again soon.
Since Cairns, we took an overnight bus to the Whitsunday Islands, where we will soon be departing on a 3-day 3-night cruise in the somewhat lesser-travelled extension of the reef. After that, we're flying to Melbourne for some much-needed urban relief. (God bless nature and everything, but I could really use a mochaccino!!!) ;-)
Anyhow, I'm thinking of all of you, and big thanks on the comments -- miss you all tons! :-)