Saturday, 16 February 2008

Hamilton Island

Arrived in torrential rain, very hot and sticky! Managed to find a few patches of blue during the following few days. Sulphur-crested cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets in abundance. Lush palms and tropical shrubs only seen in Kew Gardens.
13.2.08 Sorry Day in Australia, when an official apology was made to the "stolen generation" of Aboriginal children, now in their 50s, who had been taken from their parents and placed with white foster parents, in the name of social engineering.
14.2,08 ,yesterday, we had a great day on the Reef, by-passed the crowds on the Fantasea trip, and opted for the much smaller boat trip, with about 30 others, which went to a much smaller, much-less-visited reef. After a 2 hour trip, landed on the reef and began snorkelling, also a group of guys went scuba=diving. Dark, leaden sky and brief thunderstorm gave way to a beautiful day, blue sky and sun. Donned anti-stinger suits and began snorkelling, but didn't see many fish, mainly stunning coral. Back to the boat for a light lunch and then we moved to a much better site. Just as well, as there were mutinous whispers from the disappointed diving team!!
This time we saw lots of fish-blue tangs, yellow butterfly fish, large groupers, blue-green-purple parrot fish, striped angel fish and shoals of smaller fish swimming against the current. Saw a large turtle gliding by. Loads of coral, hard and soft, brain coral, giant clam, and some coral had beautiful green
and blue buds on the end, like a marine garden.
Wanted to stay in the water for ages, but I could see Ian waving at me to return to boat. Not wanting to waste a moment, I continued snorkelling back to boat, and was so pleased that I did, because at that moment I saw a big ray "flying" past below me. About 3-4 foot span, with same legth spiky tail.
Set off back past some of the islands which we visited when we were here 13 years ago- Andrew 13, Laura 12, and Kate 6. Aaaarh!!!!
That evening there was an almighty torrential storm! Similar forecast and received the following day. Radio announced power and phone lines down, and declared a disaster zone. McKay, just down the road had a third of its annual rainfall in one hour(600ml)!
Great to get back to Sydney Travellodge if only for one night, a morning spent watching dragon-boat racing in the Harbour, 20 in each boat. A bit like Varsity boat racing but with prettier boats. Part of the celebrations for the Chinese New Year. Then went on to walk around the Chinese Friendship Gardens, which the Chinese community bequeathed to Sydney. Stunning gardens with lakes full of huge Koi.
Now waiting for 8 hour flight back to KL and the fantastic Mandarin Oriental Hotel, slap bang up against the Petronas Towers, remember them! Only one night but we're going to hang around a bit in the morning, before the 3 hour bus/taxi journey up to the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands where we stay for 3 nights.

For Mrs Miggins and her short attention span/busy work-life--
. went snorkelling
.rained a lot and then it didnt
.back to Sydney and saw boat race
.walked around some gardens
.fly out to KL
Can't do bullet points at speed, but at least I can spell!!

1 comment:

Billy said...

Fantastic Ma, that's what I'm talking about! :)

Looks really nice where you are. Quite nice here at the moment but very cold.

Planning on going to SA in May/June and it's going to cost me my arms and legs, so if you want to get me a birthday present (I said if!) any donations would be helpful. I've currently sold most of my stuff on Ebay to try and fund it and I'm now left with a bed, bike and guitar. Essential items.