The only way to truly experience a country as a backpacker, is to meet some locals. The locals will take you to the most intimate secret spots imaginable. They will go out of their way to share their beautiful country with you. When I am at home, and I come across travellers, it is my favourite thing to show them how beautiful Cape Town is. Karma comes back to you.
Two of our weekends here have been mind blowing, purely because of a local boy that Hayley and I have befriended. He has been spoiling us rotten.
Lets back up a bit to Easter Weekend, a long weekend. Our new friend Lex, took us to his family friends’ holiday house in a place called Russel Heads. Its about a 30 minute drive from Cairns to a secluded little spot on the river edge where the boats are launched. We hopped on a boat with our new friend Lex, his dad and their family friends (who own the house we were headed to in Russel Heads). We cruised down the river to this little community that is only accessible by boat. There are maybe 30 houses in total in this community. Most locals could only dream of getting invited to go there. It is beautiful. The community is located on a sandbank between the sea and the river. Upon arrival, we were treated to champagne and strawberries (a real luxury as a grubby backpacker), wine and snacks. We took the boat along the river, then out to sea and around to the beach on the other side. The sea was super rough and we all got soaked by the crashing waves, but once we passed that, we anchored the boat in a calm little cove and swam to shore like little stranded sailors. From the beach, there is a path to a fresh spring that finds its way down from the mountain. We clambered our way up the stream and swam in this natural pond and chilled under a little waterfall, all with a drink in hand of course. Lets just say, it was a glorious day.
The weekend after Easter Weekend, Lex upped his game even more so, by taking us on an even more insane adventure. Not as secluded, but a must do when in Australia, The Great Barrier Reef.
Lex works for a company that does boat tours out to the Reef, so he managed to pop us on a day trip too. We felt like VIP’s the whole day. I got to drive the huge boat while chatting away to the Skipper. We went on a helicopter ride, did a dive intro course (although unfortunately my one ear is generally a bit funny, and when I went down, it just started burning up, so I had to come up again). I need to get it checked out by professional because I am still dying to do my open water dive course. On our day of spoils, we also got a huge buffet lunch, went snorkelling, and by far the funniest part of it all was the under water scooters. They are called scuba-doo’s. Man oh man they made us laugh. Best day ever, oh and I must add, that it was a day of freebies. All we paid for was the boat ride out and back. Everything else was gratis. AMAZING. Thanks Lex for the best day.