Friday, January 05, 2007

Great Barrier Reef update

Hi all - we are about to leave the idyllic Whitsundays and head to New Zealand. The Beach Club on Hamilton Island was a fabulous five star tropical paradise....starting when they met us at the airport, tagged our bags and whisked us off to our room in a golf cart past the infinity pool overlooking the Bay. Our bags were waiting there of course, as were freshly poured tropical drinks as they showed us around this beautiful place.

It was hard to leave the hotel at all these last three days but we did manage to squeeze in a snorkeling and diving tour out to the Great Barrier Reef. Yours truly was deathly ill on the 2 hour rocking and rolling over the open much so that I opted for the expensive but scenic helicopter back rather than set foot on that boat again. But once at the pontoon, I was able to do some of the most amazing snorkeling - the colors of the reef and the fish were like those pictures you see in books but don't think could possibly be real. David was able to do a guided dive and get up close and personal with several of the sea creatures - captured all on a DVD we'll be bringing home.

My trip back in the helicopter was the best way to see the reef in all it's glory - you can't believe the size of it until you see it from the air. The colors from there were even more spectacular. They felt so sorry for me that I got to sit in the copilot's seat and had an extended trip as we dropped a few others off at other islands on our way back to Hamilton Island. I brought a little white bag with me just in case but there was no need for it -- I loved every second of my personalized tour with the pilot. He flew me over Whitehaven beach, the heart reef, all of the other Whitsunday Islands and many other scenic extras. During the wait for the helicopter, I got to meet some lovely folks from Perth (Western Australia), another honeymoon couple from Boston, and a couple from Canberra. All of us were last minute helicopter bookings because of the traumatizing ride out there.

Now it's off to New Zealand for something completely different!! Wine country touring is highest on our list but we hear the sights are spectacular there as well. More later if there's an internet connection. Otherwise, talk to you all when we get home!!

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