The Great Barrier Reef & White Water Rafting!

   Image  Hey friends! I tried putting in a picture so we will see if it works. So figured I would start writing about this past week before I started to forget about everything. In this post I will talk about Wednesday the 30th of January through today which is Wednesday the 6th of February. I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by here and as of tomorrow, I will have been here for a month already. It’s crazy.

     So last Wednesday I remember that I was kind of grumpy. I picked up all of my paperwork for our trip to the Great Barrier Reef and then worked out for a while, trying to clear my head. After the gym, I headed over to my Australian Literature class where I was presenting with my friend Charlie. We had to read a book called My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin and then basically lead a book discussion on it. After our professor finished lecturing, she let us watch the movie before our group discussion. She lectured for longer then she was planning on, so Charlie and I only had to talk for like 30 minutes instead of an hour. We certainly didn’t mind! The next day we found out that we got a 90% on our presentation and we were really excited about it. After our class, my friend Hillary and I got dinner like we do each Wednesday and we stayed late at the bra (which is short for the brasserie the name of our cafeteria) talking, when some of the other girls came up. Apparently Lia’s mom bought and mailed us a ton of American food, so we met up with some of our Australian friends and started eating. It was delicious! We had lucky charms, captain crunch, peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, tootsie pops, ramen noodle soup, butterfingers, and frosted animal crackers. I called mom after I got home and was complaining about feeling sick…I wonder why hehe

     Thursday I was running around like crazy because we were leaving for the GBR that night! I went to the gym early that morning, came home took a shower, started my laundry, grabbed lunch, switched my laundry, went to the convenience store called the Night Owl to pick up some snacks for our trip, came back, folded my laundry, printed off papers for school, packed, went to class, and finally got on the shuttle for the airport. It was a bit of a hectic day, but still very exciting. My friend Dane and I got a shuttle at 6:30 that evening but our friends were already there because they flew out in the morning. The shuttle driver was really nice and we had the whole van to ourselves. Once we got to the airport security was really weird. They didn’t make me take off my jacket or shoes, we didn’t have to take out liquids, or show, any form of ID or boarding passes. Security was like rushing us through as Dane and I were trying to do the typical “unpacking” haha. We wandered around for a while because our flight was delayed because of the flooding from the cyclone. Some of the runways were closed, so the flights were taking longer than expected to land. When they announced that they were boarding, there was just a mob of people standing around, no order at all. When we went to board they didn’t even ask for ID at the gate. Seriously I could have put any name on my boarding pass and they would have had no idea. It kind of weirded me out. It was about a two hour flight to Cairns and then we picked up the shuttle to the hostel, where we arrived about 12:30 am. We hung out with our friends for a little and then went to bed. That situation was really weird too because Dane and I were accidentally booked in separate rooms which was a bummer. I went to my room and was a little freaked out because everyone was asleep, the room was pitch black, and I didn’t really know what to do. Some guy in bright lime green underwear got out of bed and said that’s the free bunk just take the stuff off of it. I quickly got into bed but couldn’t sleep because we had to get up at 6 and it was already like 2 and I was just felt really uncomfortable. As there were 7 strangers asleep in this room and it was really loud because the bar is open until 5 am.

     Before we went to bed, Dane and I realized that our schedule got messed up with the other girls and it said that we were rafting on Friday and scuba diving on Saturday. The girls had it the other way around, so we had to wake up at 6 and call the company to see if we could get our trips switched. Fortunately we got our trips switched, so we walked to McDonald’s for breakfast, while we waited for the girls to get up. Then we walked to the marina to go to the GBR. On the boat there were about 90 people and we started off by getting our flippers/mask and filling out forms. Then we went to an orientation for scuba diving, until we arrived at the reef at 10. Once we got there, we went snorkeling and it was so pretty and so much fun. The water was more salty than the water at home and I literally just floated around with my face in the water. About an hour later, I got out of the water and got in line for lunch. As soon as they started serving it, they called my group for scuba diving,so I didn’t get a chance to eat yet. We got weight belts put on us and our oxygen tank vests. Once we got in the water, we had to practice breathing, clearing our masks of water, and taking our mouth pieces out and putting them back in. After we “passed the test” we got to go under and explore with our guide. It was so cool and we got to see Nemo! Apparently the deepest we went was 12 meters which is equivalent to 40 feet. It was kind of scary at first but still really cool. Unfortunately I have pressure problems with my ears and left one hurt a lot. It still feels kinda funny, so I might go to the clinic tomorrow just to have it checked out. Then we came back up and I ate a ton. We laid out of the top of the boat for a while and then went snorkeling at the second site. It was even prettier than the first sight, but we put noodles under our stomachs because the water was choppier and it made it much easier to swim and float. On the way back they had unlimited wine, cheese, crackers, and played live music. It was very relaxing. Once back at the hostel, Dane and I went swimming in the pool for a while and later we all met up for dinner.

     The next day we got up early and got picked up by the bus at 6:40 in the morning. We went to their building in town to pick up all our equipment and water shoes. Then we drove almost two hours into the rainforest to go white water rafting. We arrived at a little bar where our small group of 24 people switched buses and drove to the extreme rafting site. We got all prepared and fortunately our group of 6 got our own raft. It was so much fun and we rafted for like 2 hours before stopping for a BBQ lunch then did another 2 hours. It was class 4 rapids which is the highest they are allowed to do now because insurance companies don’t allow class 5 rapids anymore. Since it was extreme white water rafting they let us do extra little things too. For example we jumped off rocks into the river twice. I think he said they were like 5 meters high. We also jumped off a big tree that had fallen across the river and was hanging above the water.That jump felt even higher because you had to walk up the tree which was probably at like a 45 degree angle to the water before you jumped. We also got out of the boat and floated down the river through the rapids, which was a lot of fun but definitely like getting hit in the face with like 10 waves in a row and you don’t know when to breathe haha. The last thing we got to do was slide down a small waterfall. It wasn’t very high probably like 6 feet, but it pulled you down really deep and you had to try and equalize your ears underwater. The life vest pulled you up pretty quickly so you were only under for like 5 or 6 seconds. I was really scared but it was so much fun and I wish I could have done it again. On the way home, we stopped the restaurant/bar for an hour and bought our pictures because there was such a big group of us to split the price. Then the bus got us home about 6 that evening. On Sunday morning we picked up the shuttle at 9 because our flight was at 11 and we had to go home. We all crashed in our rooms as soon as we got home exhausted from barely getting any sleep.   

     Monday wasn’t very exciting, I just hung out in my room catching up on sleep and talking to people for a while preparing for my busy Tuesday of classes. I was excited because my online textbook arrived so I can get started on my class and will have something to do if I get bored haha. I also got a letter from grandma and grandpa which was exciting. I attended my first TBT class which is total body toning and I really liked it. That evening I just did homework and a lot of reading before school in the morning.

     On Tuesday I went to my bio lecture, bio tutorial, met with my bio professor about the missed lecture from last week. She also agreed to proctor my mid-term and final for my online class which was really helpful. I also went to my ethics tutorial which was as boring as ever, except this girl kept trying to argue with me and it was getting really annoying. Fortunately I got a 100 on my weekly quiz, so I can’t complain too much. I was very excited because I got a package from mommy too. I got mail two days in a row! I went to my favorite Zumba class but we didn’t have our teacher which was a disappointment. Apparently the spinning teacher was out sick, so my Zumba teacher filled in for the spinning class, and a different Zumba teacher came to teach my class and I didn’t really like her. Oh well. After dinner that night Kathleen, Alisha, Amy, and I watched the Perks of Being a Wallflower which I had never seen before and it was so good. I definitely recommend it for those who haven’t seen it.

    Today, Wednesday the 6th, I enjoyed sleeping in and then went to the weekly BBQ which was hosted by the animal welfare club, so the wildlife sanctuary brought snakes, owls, and porcupine like animals. I signed up to go on a hike next Saturday of Mt Warning, which is apparently really pretty. I also met with my literature professor because I want to get started on my essay sooner than later and she gave me a ton of helpful information. She wrote out like a whole outline for me including a thesis statement! Then I had a delicious all day breakfast meal and here I am back in my room writing now. I have to leave for my literature class in like 10 minutes and then will probably come home and start looking at my government homework. Hopefully your week has been as fun and exciting as mine. I look forward to hearing from you all. Lots of love from me!


2 thoughts on “The Great Barrier Reef & White Water Rafting!

  1. Lisa Wallis

    Hi Kaitlin, What a wonderful journal you’re writing-what a neat bunch of times you are having-especially the food escapades, but the views of the GBR are what you will remember a year from now! Your picture in this entry turned out just great -sometimes the images are upside down but yours was upright.

    I have to admit that our pleasures here are a bit more subdued……however, I did enjoy a lovely walk with friends yesterday-4 miles and since I am in PT for “weak ankles” and have made a lot of progress, it was extra special good. We walked around a lake and the sky was blue and the sun was shining (it was 35 degrees but it warmed up to 55-practically a sauna!)

    Charlie had his annual check up yesterday-his teeth need cleaning, so he’s going back tomorrow………poor little guy. He gets some sleepy gas to get his teeth cleaned. He’ll be glad when Friday has arrived! -the day after!

    With Love to you Kaitlin, Auntie L.

    1. kaitlinbonner Post author

      Awh good I’m glad to hear that the picture worked out and that you are having a nice February. I’m sorry to hear that your ankle has been giving you problems, I certainly know what that is like. The walk around the lake does sound very nice. We have a gorgeous lake here on campus and in town and I do like walking around it as well. Poor charlie needing gas to get his teeth cleaned, and I thought I could be difficult haha. Fortunately the dentist doesn’t cause me too much grief and I enjoy the end result of very clean teeth. Off to my first cell biology lab. Love you!


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