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Journals from James Cook University, Australia

2009-09-06 The Endless Possibilities

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Lookout from Alexandra Range - Daintree National Park

These last couple of weeks have been very busy for me. This week is the half-way mark in the semester and I feel like I still have so much that I want to do. I had my first big assignment and test last week and comparatively, the school here is easier and less time consuming than Linfield, which is nice because it gives me more time to travel on the weekends. This last weekend was especially fun because my 5 friends and I rented a car and drove north to Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation and Port Douglas. It was the first time that we were all able to travel together without the constraints of a bus schedule. None of us have classes on Fridays, so we were able to leave early on Friday morning and spend the entire weekend camping in various locations and doing whatever we wanted. Mossman Gorge was very beautiful, as was Daintree. We were fortunate enough to meet a local who allowed us to camp on his land for the night. Ive realised that the people here seem much more friendly and hospitable than back home. It was quite a surreal experience camping in the middle of a national park next to the Daintree River which is not swum in by anyone (locals included) because of the crocodile population. The following day we spent most of our time in the car driving to Cape Tribulation. However, once we arrived we were able to relax on the private beach and enjoy our time away from the lodge and school. Our last day was definitely the best. We drove south to Port Douglas, where we arrived at the infamous markets. We spent several hours exploring and taste-testing local foods before we went to the beach for the remainder of the day. For anyone who is planning on travelling to Queensland, I highly recommend visiting Port Douglas. It has a very welcoming vibe and although it is touristy, it is not overwhelming like Cairns can be at times. The beach seemed never-ending and the water was very blue. Unfortunately, we did have an incident with a jellyfish, but nothing too serious. It was nice to be able to come home on Sunday evening to a warm shower and a comfortable bed, but I would have loved to continue our trip north and explore more of what tropical Australia has to offer. Luckily I still have 3 more months!

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