Friday, January 1, 2010

Last Week in Oz!

Week 7!!!!
Ok so it's true...I am actually back home safe in Michigan and writing my last blog...but things were too crazy to update prior till now so here it is!
I left Perth to take a 7 day bus tour up north to Exmouth! Coral bay and Exmouth are both cities along the western coast that are close to the Ningaloo reef, which is like the west coast version of the Great Barrier reef. We set out at 8am that day, stopping to visit the pinnacle dessert (they use to be a forest of trees but are now rock formations) as well as went sand boarding which is like snowboarding on a sand dune. There were 17 people on our bus, mostly backpackers from Europe and Asia. We had people from Ireland, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, China, and of course, the good ol' USA! (represented by moi, of course!) Yeah for new friends!

This was one of my favorite days! We went to Kalberri National Park were we decended 150meters down into the Z-bend gorge! We went hiking around 9am and it was already almost 100 degrees! I got to sport my "fly net hat" which is super stylish...most people are jealous they couldn't wear one (thanks host family!) But seriously...the flies get REALLY bad...and you pretty much are like eating the net was a must.
I also went ABSELING! OMG sooo great! Its like propelling yourself off a cliff...backwards! It was soo exhilarating! Then we hiked to a near by this sweet valley...and went for a swim! I seriously felt like I was in a movie. It was gorgeous! Next we went to nature's window, which is this "rock window" that over looks this deep valley with a river below.
Then it was onward to Shell of two beaches in the world made entirely of shells! Crazy huh! So pretty! And we made our final stop at Monkey mia, where we watched the sunset and spent the night on the beach....all in all a fantastic day!

We got up early to see the dolphin feeding at 8am! I got picked from the crowd to feed a fish to the mommy dolphin...I know...VIP status :) Later some pelicans came on the beach to rock out with us. That was fun. Apparely the staff here feeds the pelicans as well, otherwise they try and steal the fish from the dolphins during the feeding show!
We stopped and had a look at stromatolites at Hamelin Pool. These little guys were once blue green algea/cyanobacteria, that overtime became trapped in shallow water as a layered, fossilized structure. They were around about 3.5 billion years ago, producing major amounts of oxygen for our atmosphere that eventually allowed conditions for more complex life to posper. Or at least thats the evolutionist perspective on it all. We finished the day at a hostel in Coral Bay...Ningaloo Reef tomorrow!

The time is flying by...but this is what the trip is all about! I decided to take a boat day tour where you go snorkeling out in the ocean and get to swim with Manta Rays. Snorkeling is AMAZING! The colors of the fish and the reef are sooo bright and vibrant! My favorite part though was swiming with the Manta Rays...they look like sting rays...but they aren't dangerous and they are about 3 times as big! It was pretty intense actually...they had a plane overhead that found the rays and then they slpit us into groups of ten and "droped" us off the boat at two different sites and then we just chased after them! They are pretty quick swimmer actually! I felt like I was one of those tornado chasers! wicked cool....

We went up to stop up North! Today it reached 48 degrees ceclius...guess how much that is in fahrenheit? 118!!!! Lucky we were in the water the whole day! Our tour guide took us to a sweet beach where we went snorkeling for about an hour. I LOVED it here. It was actually better than coarl bay I thought because I saw a turtle! Turtle Turtle! (This was actually my nickname for the trip...because apparently I'm kinda But also since we snorkled from the beach, versus off of a boat, the coral was alot closer to the top of the water, so you could literally swim right over it! You have to be careful though...coral is sharp! And if you touch dies! I actually grazed my knee on some accidentally...and it gave me a nice cut! ouch! After snorkeling we headed back to our campsite to lounge by the pool for the afternoon. Some of our other friends had gone skuba diving, and one guy went fishing and caught a Spanish Makeral that was as big as him! Dinner was good that night :) We had cooked fish and Italian spagetti...cooked by REAL Italians! We also drove to a lighthouse and saw an AMAZING sunset :) oh la la!

Wednesday and Thursday...
These final days were spent mostly in a tour was alot of driving back to Perth! But we did some fun games to pass the time. My favorite was blindfolded Karoake! (The name alone sounds great right?) You go up to the front of the bus, pick a song on your iPod, grab the mic, and sing blind folded. Only YOU can hear the song! (I not only did it first, but I also was the only one brave enough to actually go blindfolded! I preformed Taylor Swift, "You belong with me", because I naturally karoake to that song whenever I hear no biggie there. I also did an encore act of Aaron Carter's "Aaron's Party/come get it". I was rapping all up in thur! Were people impressed? I think so. Later that night we stayed at a farm stay and I preformed my own authored rap, as well as taught the gang how to "star spin". All in all Ray~Ray was making her mark! We did do some fun things like stop in this other country called Hutt River Province and went to a cool animal rescue park where we got to feed camels, emus, kangeroos and hang out with snakes! We arrived home thursday night, exchanged contact info, and all decided that we just HAD to meet up the following night to hangout in Perth :)

AAAAHHHHH Two days until I leave! We all went out for diner and drinks friday night, but the best choice I made was on Saturday. One of my friends I met from Switzerland offered to be my tour guide and take me to Rottnest Island. Its similar to Mackinaw Island in the sense that you have to take a ferry to get there, and no cars are allowed. It was magical :) I ended up running into a guy my family knew and he let us hangout on his boat...which was HUGE btw :) We hired bikes and biked around the whole Island! Its about 10kilometers, so not too bad! There are lots of different beaches along the way and lighthouse, so you can stop and snorkel, or swim, or boat, or really whatever you want. They also have these animals called Quokkas! They are the size of a squirrl, but can hop like kangeroos. They are super cute! But it was a great last day because my host family threw me a going away dinner that night, and I got to pack all my suitcases at 11pm...finishing up at 3:30am! (opps) and leaving for the airport at 4am! Lucky for me...even though my bags were overweight I just smiled real pretty and the guy let me check 'em! Gosh I love being a girl. My flights back were pretty terribly long, but I met cool people, and even got access to a VIP red carpet club that I randomly won, and got to hangout at this sweet lounge with free food, wireless, drink, and movies w/ big comfy chairs, where people said "Welcome to the red carpet club, Miss Gonsior,". That's right.... VIP yeahh boiii! So all in all....if you asked me what I would give this experience on a scale of 1 to 10...I would say 25. Easily. Its good to be back...but I do miss Oz. Someday I will return :) until then...Gosh it's cold!!!!


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