At the ceremony all of the monks were all there along with the translator and they started it out by telling us that for the ceremony to be effective, we had to believe it will be effective. They said that even though Buddhists believe that you should never have blind faith and you should only believe what has been proven to you, for this ceremony to work you have to actually think that it will work to let your brain accept that it will work.
My immediate impression of the zoo was quite favorable. It didn’t look like your typical zoo. Nothing with in it looked like a cage. The animal enclosures were huge and all looked very natural. The workers at the zoo were all wearing the signature Steve Irwin outfit – khaki shorts and a khaki top.
I was really hoping I would be able to leave Australia without ever having to experience bed bugs, but no. The reception lady did say “I don’t think it is bed bugs” but as of now I am pretty sure they were. I noticed a line of red bites on my shin that definitely looked like them.
Maybe they’ve had problems in the past with a couple of the patrons, but the signs and attitudes made me feel less valued and almost as if they were treating us like children. Maybe I am being overly-sensitive, but I didn’t like it. Some of the signs were friendly little reminders, but some were downright rude.
Fraser Island is an incredible place for many reasons. First of all, it is the largest all-sand island in the world. The ‘all sand’ part is what makes it so incredible. Most islands have something underneath the sand, like rock or dirt. This island truly is just sand. If you were to dig straight down, the sand would go down to 600 meters below sea level.
Airlie beach was an incredibly beautiful town, even though it was a big touris/spring break partying kind of place. I stayed at a hostel called ‘Beaches’ which apparently was just another huge never-ending party hostel.
And now I’ll tell you the most amazing part of Cairns. Every morning and every night at sunrise and sunset, thousands and thousands of bats fill the sky. I am not exaggerating about the number. There are literally thousands of them. They fill up the sky, and for a few minutes all you can see or hear are bats.
The guide was just getting his bearings after that near miss and was asking me if I was OK. He didn’t realize we were short one man. I shouted “He fell in!”
Green Island was nice, but it was a complete tourist-trap. Most people who go there will spend some time on the beaches or at the beach bar or gift shops, and they might take a ocean-plane or a helicopter ride… the REALLY rich will stay there overnight in a swanky resort for 500 dollars a night. This is where I would have to stay if I missed the final speedboat trip back to our sailboat.
Our next stop was at a giant termite mound. Giant may be an understatement! The mount in the picture below is dead now, but it is thought to be over 200 years old. I’m next to it for scale. And if you were wondering, I’m 5’9.