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Posts Tagged ‘Port Douglas’

“Where the rain forest meets the reef” was a phrase we heard often when we were on the north-eastern coast of Australia. We devoted one day to each – the rain forest and the reef.

A snorkeler’s perspective : underwater with the ocean’s surface above and the coral below.

The day after we arrived in Port Douglas we boarded the Silversonic, bound for the Outer Barrier Reef.  Cliff and I were among the snorkeling group (there were divers too) setting out to explore the coral formed just before the ocean shelf drops off into the deep. It was spectacular – with clean water, endless fish and sea creatures, and so many huge coral outcrops and boulders that we felt dwarfed in our surroundings.  It was The Great Barrier Reef  indeed. The experience was incomparable.

The next day (one year ago today) we joined a day tour heading to Daintree National Park, another World Heritage site,

A breathtaking view of Cape Tribulation.

with a full day of sightseeing ahead.  We were picked up in a small bus packed full of people with scarce room to move, on a day that was getting hotter as we headed north into the rainforest. The excursion had been booked for us in Sydney. As we hadn’t seen a brochure we weren’t sure what to expect, so Cliff and I had a day of delightful surprises.

We stopped at Mossman Gorge for a hike and later walked to a stunning view overlooking Cape Tribulation. We stopped at a nice privately owned property where our driver/guide proved he could also cook: he grilled steaks and served it along with fresh salad at a picnic area. In the afternoon we took a boat ride in crocodile country (a wild river, not a zoo – keep your arms inside the boat!) then hiked in another area of the rainforest, unsuccessfully trying to spot the huge, flightless, endangered Cassowary birds. There were other stops too. It was a very full, extraordinary, magical day.

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One year ago today I woke up early and ventured out into the town of Port Douglas. We had flown from the outback to the northeastern coast of Australia the evening before. As I drank my cappuccino in this sidewalk café I reflected on my inner journey, reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and writing in my journal. Luckily Cliff was able to find me so we could eat breakfast and explore the town.

Every mindful journey cultivates new perspectives. The obvious one is how we look at the world around us – taking in the sights, sounds, foods, and so on – gaining a physical and cultural awareness of a place we have not seen or a situation we have not been in before. This is the world we photograph and show to our family and friends when we get back home. 

At the same time, there is a journey within. Getting away from everyday obligations creates a kind of relaxation and true being of self that is sometimes hard to access during days at home with its inherent responsibilities. When we travel, we can free our mind to pay attention to the voice within and reflect on our life.

At dusk that evening we had the lovely Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas nearly to ourselves under a moonlit sky. This is the kind of dreamy scenario that inspires couples who travel together to connect their inner journeys together.

Perhaps this is our best opportunity to discover what we are satisfied with in our life and what we want to change.

 
 

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