Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 7 (by Brandon and Kate)

Today was pretty simple; it was the first day of the trip that we actually could sleep in. We definitely took full advantage of it! There was a continental breakfast at the hostel that we were staying at that consisted of toast and cereal. After breakfast, we all went out wandering around Cairns. We all started out together, and some of us stopped here and there at small stores. For lunch we went to this Greek restaurant, which served us plenty of delicious food. We were all a little let down that we weren’t able to go to the Great Barrier Reef, but we definitely made the best of it because our travel agent is a magician and swiped us a sweet rafting gig. We were all thrilled to go on this adventure together, but two people decided to stay back.

The Raging Thunder bus came to the front step of our hostel and picked us up around 2pm. Then we were on the way to what was a perfect plan B for the cancelation of the Great Barrier Reef. After arriving at the drop point up the river, we all exited the bus and got briefed about white water rafting. Everyone was getting excited as we drove up along the riverbanks while overlooking the class 3 rapids. Next, it was time to gear up, get into smaller groups and follow the rafting guide down to the riverbanks. At this point, we weren’t all that close to each other, but after we got into the water we all assembled again. Four of us had GoPro’s strapped to our heads to film the adventure ahead of us.

The rapids started off slow and calm, until we came up to some larger more rigid ones where we had to get into bracing positions so we would not get bounced out. Fortunately there weren’t to many casualties on this journey… just kidding, only three people got bounced out of the boats. We were purposely putting ourselves into this maneuver called surfing, and this is where Sean, Louisa and Austin got splashed out. While surfing, Sara started to slip off the front of the raft. All you could see were her legs in the air, but Sean was there to save the day as he pulled her back in before she slipped completely out. There was a small pocket in the rapids where the river was calm enough for us to swim in, so we all dove off the boats into the water and floated to the next set of rapids. Following the rapids was a long and slow journey to the exit point of the river where we were given coffee, tea and water for refreshments. At this point, we all purchased the images that were taken throughout the journey and headed back to the hostel.

We ended the day by going to dinner at one of the nicest places, which was only a ten-minute walk from the hostel. It was a bittersweet moment because we knew that this amazing trip was coming to an end. As a group we all sat down, had a toast and just reminisced about all the different things that have happened on the trip. As the day came to an end, we all arrived back at the hostel and headed to our rooms to pack our bags with all of the fancy souvenirs. We leave the property at 4am sharp local time then arrive at the airport to head back to the arctic, which is also known as New Hampshire.

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