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Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Zealand :: Taupo

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Great time in Taupo. Well, any day that I jump 15,000 feet (and live) is a great day. Skydiving is highly addictive! If I had more funds, I would not hesitate to make this a regular past time.

IMG_9831“Are you nervous?” – tandem guy

“Can we do flips in the air?” – me

“She’s not nervous.” – video-guy

Woosh! I thought I’d be nervous at the last second – but I surprised myself. Of course, being tandem was a huge part of that! I eagerly gave him the thumbs up and we rolled out of the plane…the ground rushing towards us was definitely a different view than I get from the plane!
Taupo seemed to be a pretty popular stop for outdoor sport-loving tourists. It was the perfect pit stop on our way to Tongariro National Park for our hike.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Australia :: Magnetic Island

After exploring the Great Barrier Reef and a couple of briefs stops in Port Douglas and Cairns, I contemplated my next step – look for ride down the East coast (no shortage of backpackers in Cairns), flip the thumb (but locals peppered me with stories of disappearing travellers), or hopping on the bus (lack of freedom). I ended up going for the latter – I had no interest in hanging around Cairns and figured I’d meet people along the way!
IMG_8370As expected, the bus was full of excited backpackers. Just like my amused findings in supermarkets, I enjoyed hearing the scattered lingo from the English and Irish travellers.

“Erin, let’s hop off - I could really go for a lolly”. – L

…I thought she meant a lollipop.

This ice cream was more interesting back then (sigh, how belated are these posts!). Magnum ice cream was launched last year in Canada – but it was new to me then! Even more interesting, is that Breyers is called Streets in Australia (and, as I later discovered, Walls in London and Langnese in Germany)

We hopped on and off for awhile, had a couple of pit stops (Although I’m really glad they still labelled them -  Mangoes is definitely up for interpretation).

Townsville was a wonderful change from Cairns. I didn't care for the crazy-backpacker-ridden town, and the locals were tired of travellers. Townsville was friendly, the locals were open, and I was in good company. L & I walked around in the burning heat (searing, really), stopping for dinner at a Thai place on Flinders. I was ecstatic to finally try the Yabby that C & D from Melbourne told me about. Deee-lish! IMG_8385
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