It was time to get out of Dodge (AKA: Cairns). I say that my choice for adventure is staying close to the Earth. I have no interest in jump out of things or off things (I jokingly say that they barely let me out of New Zealand because I hadn’t jumped off of anything) but in general, I do love me water activities. And I love rafting. If it was available in New Zealand, I did it. Unfortunately, Australia is a very dry country and there are few places to do it, but one is outside of Cairns on the Tully River. They do have transport from Cairns, but to save time on a bus and just to visit somewhere new, I took my first trip on the big red dog down to Mission Beach and left from there to go rafting for a full day. I purposely arranged the trip on Wednesday, November 5, 2008. Can anyone guess why this day was important in Australia? The answer is: it isn’t. But it was still November 4th in the US, election day and I didn’t want to be anywhere near a TV that day because I knew I would never leave. I wanted to be fully distracted that day and a full day of rafting was the best distraction for the area. The trip was pretty awesome. I ended up in a raft with a family from France who were on holiday because years ago the mother did her big OE in Australia and wanted to bring her kids back. They actually own a ski chalet in the South of France, so now I have a reason to visit! The guide in our raft was Australian but had on a Maori bone carving necklace so I knew he had spent some time in New Zealand and we talked about that and rafting in California a lot. I have done more rafting overseas then in my own country. I really need to get out more.
There are a few rafting companies on the Tully, but I chose the one I went with because they were owned by the same company I went to Cape Tribulation with and because of that, I got 10% off my rafting trip. Discount! I also saved a little money by leaving from Mission Beach then in Cairns, but I paid for my bus ticket anyway, so that evened out.
I stayed at Absolute Backpackers in Mission Beach and was the only hostel in all of Australia that I stayed extra time in because I liked it so much (and also because I was in no rush to leave). The place was awesome. I got a double room for about 5 days and it was great. It smelled a little funny, but my nose is really weird anyway, so I blame myself. Huge lounge with tv and videos, Huge kitchen that never seemed crowded. Places to eat inside and out and a fabulous pool area I spent many a day at. It is also the hostel closest to the town supermarket so you could walk their at leisure and not need to count on anyone for a ride. It was also walking distance to the beach and stinger net for swimming, A couple of days, including November 6th, I walked into the main part of town and used the computers because they were slightly cheaper then the hostel and splurged on an hour of internet time.
Moral: A great alternative to Cairns in either a pre or post mentality. A great place to do nothing!