The Great Barrier Reef...Green Island history and tour...

The Great Barrier Reef covers 344,400 square kilometers (132,972 square miles) in area.
The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the world's greatest treasures and is a vital aspect to the world's eco system.  Yesterday, having an opportunity to see a portion of this vast natural icon that can be seen from outer space, was rewarding and memorable.
We waiting on a curb for the boat to arrive at the pier for our 45 minute ride to Green Island.
For reasons we posted two days ago, we choose not to snorkel.  However, I can't say that had we been able to snorkel, our experience would have been a lot different.
We weren't able to get a spot in the bow for photo taking during the ride to Green Island.  We remained inside in air conditioned comfort although I was anxious to take photos outdoor photos.  Our boat, Big Cat's Reef Rocket, was modern with free wifi, restrooms, beverages and snacks.
What lies beneath the sea is undoubtedly awe inspiring.  It appeared that scuba diving would be most rewarding, as opposed to snorkeling, being able to maneuver more freely over the endless coral reefs.  Actually, we saw few people snorkeling and less scuba diving.

Snorkelers were able to purchase their snorkel gear and wetsuits from this bar inside the boat.
In all, there are 3000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays and approximately 150 inshore mangrove islands.  We visited Green Island, only one of those many islands that has been built into a tourist ready environment, enabling visitors from around the world to see this natural phenomenon.

With ocean spray on the windows I shot this photo of the massive pier at Green Island which accommodates several companies providing a variety of activities including wind surfing, scuba diving and tours on semi-submersible and glass bottom boats. 
Australia, from what we've seen thus far, is a continent highly in tune with its rich natural resources.  When a venue is created its done so with respect for those resources with the intent of ensuring as natural an experience as possible when sharing those resources with the public. 
Another of the charter boats heading to the Great Barrier Reef.  Not all boats go to Green Island with numerous other charters available for different prices and arrival times.
Green Island is no exception.  Every consideration was made over the years to develop a significant space where the visitor would feel in one with the environment.  In doing so, a little of the magic is taken away but what is left is a fair representation of what explorers may have discovered centuries ago.

The colorful views around us was only a small section of the Great Barrier Reef.
Nothing was spared in providing safety and convenience and in allowing visitors the optimum experience savoring the beauty of the island while respectfully representing the significance of the surrounding treasures only a short distance below the water's surface. 

Green Island, as we approached (through the glass).
Over and again, visitors are reminded to treat the coral reef with reverence and respect to avoid upsetting the ecosystem and habitats for thousands of creatures.

This parasailing equipment included a chair for two at a cost of  AUD $280, USD $200 per couple.  Although some of these types of activities may appeal to us, we have to pick and choose what is most important to us for the long term
Green Island has a rich history dating back to the 1770's as shown in this chart below:

"Significant Historical Dates for Green Island

Green Island has an amazing history! Even though Green Island is a very small island, it has played an important role in the history of Tropical North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef region.

When on Green Island, take some time to visit the colourful Interpretive Boardwalk. Designed in 6 languages, it showcases the island's European and Aboriginal histories as well as its outstanding natural values.
Pre 1770 Local Aboriginal tribes (Gungandji and Mandingalbay) used Green Island and its reef for fishing, hunting, and manhood initiation ceremonies.
1770Captain Cook first marked Green Island on the navigational charts and named it after the astronomer onboard, Charles Green.
1857A bech-de-mer (sea cucumber) smoking station was established on Green Island. It was operated by a fisherman called JSV Mein, and operated for several decades before closing down.
1863A ship called the ‘Antagonist’ shipwrecked on Green Island reef while carrying horses to India (14 May 1863).
  • Coconuts were planted to provide shelter, food and drink for shipwrecked sailors.
  • Grass hut accommodation was constructed for fishing and hunting parties.
1890The first organised pleasure cruises to Green Island commenced on a local coaster called ‘Zeus’.
  • Green Island was declared a Recreational Reserve under the Cairns Council.
  • The first public jetty was constructed.
1924Hayles commenced fortnightly passenger service from Cairns to Green Island.
1930Kitty & Noel Monkman, pioneers in underwater photography and videography, moved to Green Island. During WW II they acted as volunteer air observers.
1931The replacement jetty was constructed by Cairns Town Council.
1932Cairns Town Council was granted a license to remove coral from the Green Island reef flat to make lime for mainland cane fields (operated until 1945).
1934Green Island declared a Fauna Sanctuary
1936Management control of Green Island changed from Cairns Town Council to the Queensland State.
  • Green Island was declared a National Park.
  • World’s first glassbottom boat launched.
  • Research facility built (now Dept. of Primary Industry Research Laboratory).
  • Hayles was granted the first 20-year lease to develop a hotel with tourism activities
1939First groyne was built to protect the foreshore.
1942 The first hotel, Coral Cay Hotel, was constructed by Hayles.
1946Jetty was reconstructed after being destroyed by cyclone.
1954World’s first underwater observatory opened.
1958Island camping permits no longer issued.
1960Present jetty constructed.
1961Great Barrier Reef Theatre constructed.
1963Redeveloped hotel, the Green Island Reef Resort, opens.
1964Crocodile Farm opens – the first ever on an island. Renamed Marineland Melanesia in 1972
  • Queen Elizabeth II visits Green Island on her 44th birthday – as part of her tour that followed in Captain Cook’s footsteps.
  • Sandbag retaining wall built near jetty to protect resort land from erosion.
1974Green Island Reef declared a Marine National Park by the Queensland Government.
1978Seaplane access to Green Island permitted.
1981Green Island Reef zoned a Marine National Park ‘B’ with a Buffer Zone under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act (extending 500m out from edge of reef).
1982Daily fast catamaran service from Cairns commenced by Hayles Pty Ltd.
1988Dreamworld Corporation purchased Green Island Reef Resort and ferry services from Hayles Pty Ltd and renamed the company Great Adventures.
1989Green Island Reef Resort closed due to disrepair.
1991Daikyo Pty Ltd purchased the resort and ferry service on Green Island from Dreamworld Corporation
1992Redevelopment of Green Island Resort and day facilities commenced.
1993Redeveloped day facilities opened to the public.
1994The Green Island Resort luxury accommodation opened.
2001Green Island Resort desalination plant operational – producing over 55,000 litres of freshwater daily.
2005Quicksilver Connections acquires Great Adventures and Green Island Resort from Daikyo Pty Ltd
As shown in the above chart, Green Island has grown as a popular tourist attraction over the years.  From this perspective, we accept the commercialism required to make Green Island a viable location to which visitors will flock after writing good reviews all over the web. 

After disembarking the Reef Rocket, we walked along the pier heading to the boat at the end of the pier, the Big Cat, where tourists are to wait to gain access to the semi-submersible submarine and the glass bottom boat.  The pier was high above the water but we did our best to take a few photos of the colorful fish.

Blue fish!  Wow!
Did we have a great time at the Great Barrier Reef?  We had a good time, very grateful for the experience.  Who visits Queensland and doesn't see the Great Barrier Reef? 

Its never easy to take photos from above water.  We did our best, hoping to capture these colorful blue fish.  There are hundreds of identify this specific species.
Back home by 5:30 pm, with everything for dinner chopped, diced and relatively ready to cook, by 6:45 we sat down to dine, smiles on our faces for having taken the time and expense to visit the Great Barrier Reef.

The walk down the long pier to the Big Cat, a huge air conditioned boat that stays anchored for most of the day used as a lounge and rest area and loading area for glass bottomed boats and semi-submersibles.
Tomorrow and over the next several days, we'll share our photos both underwater and above water, describing the tours on both the glass bottom boat and the semi-submersible submarine and, how we spent our remaining time on Green Island.

Photo from one year ago today, August 27, 2014:
It was one year ago today that our dear new friend Liz from Bristol, England took the train to South Kensington to visit us for the day.  It couldn't have been a more wonderful day the two of us sharing girl talk at lunch and later the three of us at dinner.  At the end of the evening, we walked Liz to the train station, said our goodbyes and have stayed in touch since.  We miss and love you, Liz!  For details from that date, please click here.

We're off to the Great Barrier Reef on a perfectly sunny day...

We were shocked to see the reasonable price on this exquisite arrangement at only AUD $20, USD $14.20.  Our daughter and family had sent us a similar bouquet sent to us in Hawaii, most likely at 10 times this price.
With bad weather heading to Queensland, we were concerned we go on yet another long boat ride only to be sitting drenched in our rain jackets.  To date, we've had numerous less-than-successful boating excursions throughout the world.

On whale watching expeditions, we'd yet to see a whale within photo taking distance.  On sunset cruises, its rained such as was the case one year ago on the Seine River in Paris.

There is a wide array of both common and less common fruits and vegetables at Rusty's Market.
On other boat tours we've been disappointed with rough seas so bad we could easily have booked a ride on a roller coaster for an equal amount of rattling and commotion.  Also, we've seldom sighted the marine life we've anticipated during a boat tour, unable to take good photos as the boat rocked to and fro.

Hopefully, today's excursion to Green Island in the Great Barrier Reef will prove to be more fulfilling and less about a crazy boat ride and more about scenery that awaiting us. 

The sign is marked, "spray free, custard apples" priced at AUD $4.50, USD $3.19 per kilo (2.2 pounds)
With all the cruises we've taken with many more to come, its obvious we enjoy being on (as opposed to in) the ocean.  In our past lives, we both were avid boaters owning boats for a majority of our adult lives.

As a single mom at 29 years old I purchased my first boat which I kept docked in St. Albans Bay on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota USA. It was called the Tootsie Roll Boat due to it brown, orange and white colors. 

More traditional fruits and vegetables including corn, oranges, tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers.
Tom purchased his first boat at 29, an Alumacraft fishing boat and later purchased a ski and fishing boat, an Fisher Sweet 16, when he was around 30 years old. 

Some of the vendor's displays occupied huge areas in the market while others are as tiny as a card table.
As a result of our past experience we both generally have enjoyed being on the water and thus have booked some type of boating tour in most countries where we've been close to water.

What?  Chocolate pudding fruit?  Sounds interesting.  Priced at AUD $3.50, USD $2.48 per kilo.
As a result of the past boat tours in our world travels, our expectations are in check, hoping for a good experience.  Realizing that most of our upcoming photos of marine life in the Great Barrier Reef will be taken through glass we don't expect perfect representations of what lies below.  We'll definitely do our best to take good photos.

Another equally affordable bouquet of locally grown flowers.
This morning we awakened to a bright sunny day adding to our mutual enthusiasm to finally see one of the world's greatest treasures.  In posts over the next few days, we'll be included historic and geographical information on the Great Barrier Reef with facts nature lovers may find interesting.

Fresh flowers are scattered throughout the market, adding to a colorful visual.
Our beach bag is packed and we're set to go other than a necessary stop along the way to the pier in Cairns to purchase bottled water.  Much to our delight, we've been able to drink tap water in Trinity Beach without any intestinal problems. 

At only AUD $3, USD $2.31 each, a gorgeous bouquet could be put together for a reasonable price.
Its the container for our iced tea that we're lacking that a large bottle of plain water will provide.  Once in hand, we'll add the packets of iced tea we've been hauling  around the world with us and be set for beverages for the entire trip.

Today, we're posting the final photos of our visit to Rusty's Market and look forward to posting our photos and stories of our tour to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. 

Photo from one year ago today, August 26, 2014:

The Regency Hotel, Queen's Gate, where we stayed for two weeks while in South Kensington, London, UK was under construction.  Noise with a cluttered entrance at times didn't bother us at all.  What we found most inconvenient was their wifi policy charging huge daily fees for a poor connection.  Later in our stay, we were able to get the hotel manager to waive all of our wifi fees for the 16 nights.  For more details, please click here.

Exciting tour tomorrow...A must do in this area of Australia...Why we don't snorkel...

For those shoppers interested in having their fortune told, Rusty's Markets has it all.
As our long term readers are well aware, we try to avoid some of the typical activities that drives floods of tourists to a particular area, often waiting in long queues  ("lines" is US speak) for hours at a time.

Orchids and other flowers are for sale at reasonable prices throughout Rusty's Markets.
At times, visitors are scrambling for tickets to book dates and times that fit their short-stay schedules with the intent of getting one more attraction they've longed to see knocked off their endless "must do" list during a relatively short holiday. For most, this is the highlight of their trip.

Fresh greens appear to be a little higher priced than the grocery stores but mostly are organic.
We've observed there are many types of tourists which often include; those who are constantly busy seeing the sites, filling each day with a constant stream of activities and; others who perceive a holiday as a time to relax, unwind, read a book while occasionally visiting a point of interest.

These are the biggest fennel bulbs we've seen.
We fall somewhere in the middle of these two generalities.  Throw in the fact that we often stay in a location for months at a time, on certain days we're in the middle and on other days, totally zoned out of our surroundings living in the comfortable familiar routine we enthusiastically embrace as a part of our daily lives.

Locally grown chestnuts and walnuts.  See photo below for prices.
Over these past few months while living in Australia writing each day, on numerous occasions we've mentioned a need to tighten our belts while here to play a little "catch up" for recent huge outlays of cash for future travels.  In doing so, we've accomplished two things. 

When figuring that a kilogram is 2.2 pounds, these prices for walnuts and chestnuts is a bargain at USD $9.33 (per kilo).
One, we've been able to comfortably "catch up" and two, we haven't felt an sense of self imposed pressure to go sightseeing more than we've done thus far, visiting the equally enriching multitude of "free" things to see in this lovely area.  We haven't been disappointed at all, thoroughly relishing in all that we've seen to date.

However, one thing we've yet to do has gently nagged at us day after day knowing in our hearts and minds at some point, we'd sign up to visit...the Great Barrier Reef.

A shopper at Rusty's Markets can stop for a Thai massage while shopping.
From Cairns,  a short 25 minute drive from our house to the port, followed by a 45 minute boat ride and we'll arrive at the world's largest coral reef.  How could we not?  For tomorrow, Wednesday, we booked a half day tour of the Great Barrier Reef consisting of several activities that fully meet our preferred types of activities.

These red peppers, called Capsicums in Australia are only USD $1.08 each, a fair price.
Bear with us, dear readers, once again we'll reiterate...we don't snorkel, never plan to snorkel and spend little if any time, swimming in the ocean.  Its not our "thing." 

A few of our Facebook friends have nagged us to "give it a try." Even our grown kids, most of whom snorkel have given us a certain amount of heat that we don't engage in this activity, especially based on our world travel and exposure to some of the best coral reefs and beaches in the world.

We didn't recognize these cassava.  From online research we discovered these can be dangerous to one's health since some imported varieties contain dangerous levels of cyanide.  Read here for details.
Why don't we snorkel?  There are several reasons, important to us, that deters us from interest in this activity which include:

1.  Tom sunburns easily. Since beginning our travels, neither of us has) had a single sunburn when we've exercised great caution.  We seldom spend more than 20 minutes on each side to ensure an adequate safe dose of Vitamin D.  He can't stand the feel of sunscreen on his skin.  It makes him cringe.  Sure, he could wear a wetsuit, available for rental for reasonable fees.  He doesn't want to. 

Tom pointed out this sign. 
2.  We both have vision correction.  Tom's has a complicated correction making rental goggles unlikely to provide him with a good view without his glasses.  I have mono vision, different correction in each eye wearing contacts to see. They can't be worn in water. Neither of us would have a good experience based on this fact alone.

An whole fried fish.

3.  Photo taking:  We don't want to purchase an underwater camera at this point. As picky as I am over equipment, I'd require many accessories to have a good experience with a camera such as a "Go Pro." We haven't an inch of space for one more piece of equipment in our carry on bags.  When we noticed our kids huge bag of "Go Pro" equipment, we knew it wasn't for us.  Bottom line:  If we can't take photos its just not as much fun for us.  Plain and simple. 

When we visited Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) in the UK last year, I was  disappointed to be unable to take interior photos although we decided to visit anyway taking many photos of the exterior.  We always check every venue before booking to ensure we'll be allowed to take photos. 

We found one store that carries grass fed meat.  If we'd had room in the freezer, we'd have purchased a few items.  Instead, we buy our grass fed meat at a great little shop, Smithfield Choice Cuts
Our journey revolves around our ability to document our experiences in photos.  Although I'm certainly not a professional, I see myself as more of a photographer than any other skills I may possess. 

It would have been fun to purchase these truffles for sale at Fetish for Food but based on our remaining short period in Australia, we had to pass.
Sure, I have a lot to learn about photography and eventually will purchase and learn to use a higher quality professional camera when technology advances to make them lighter in weight.  Would a photographer visit a site where she/he wasn't allowed to take photos?  Hardly. 

These sarongs looked appealing but not room in bags and I've never been good at making these work.
4.  Health reasons:  We both have difficulty with our right shoulders.  Most people would have had surgery by now to correct them.  Instead, we've found ways with our diet and utilizing caution to keep the pain at bay. 

Kiffler potatoes, so says the sign when its actually "Kipfler."
Currently, neither of us are experiencing any pain.  This could easily change by a sudden motion.  In addition, although I no longer have back pain due to a strict anti-inflammation way of eating, my spine remains comparable to a house of cards.  Any sudden or startled motion could result in a disaster, putting a fast end to our travels.  Our insurance plan excluded any injury to my spine in our health insurance policy.  Why would we take the risk? 

Clothing racks are scattered about Rusty's Markets.
It's for these reasons we don't zip lines or participate in certain activities potentially putting our current good health at risk.  Snorkeling which I'd done years ago, can easily result in being startled and requires an amount of jumping in and out of boats, at times in countries with less precautionary measures, we opted out of snorkeling.

Rows of handmade jewelry lines a wall.
Why visit the Great Barrier Reef if we don't snorkel?  Here again, because we want to.  We'll be able to tour the Great Barrier Reef in a glass bottom boat and we hope to go on the mini submarine that will give us another perspective, all the while taking photos. 

We'll also enjoy the boat ride each way meeting people and listening to the marine biologist on board the boat.  With many more activities in the Green Island in the Great Barrier Reef area, we'll surely have a good time.  We always do.

Various vegetables for cooking Asian food.
We chose to live our lives with a sense of reality.  Who are we kidding?  We have some issues we carefully protect. Who doesn't? Ultimately, continuing on in our travels, having all of the extraordinary experiences we've had and will continue to have is more important to us than a few activities we choose not to do from time to time. 

Now, I have to get back to searching for a cruise to Antarctica to fulfill our dream of standing on an ice floe with Emperor Penguins.  Life is good whether we snorkel or not.

(Tomorrow, a new post will be uploaded with photos before we depart for the Great Barrier Reef).
Photo from one year ago today, August 25, 2014:

Tom was smiling while we relaxed while we dined in London, a restaurant we found on foot.  For more details of our lengthy walks in South Kensington, please click here.

Two weeks and counting...Preparations have begun...Another unusual item in photos...Pandan aka Fragrant Screw Pine...

Pandan leaves from the Pandan Plant are used to make these beautiful fragrant bouquets.  As quoted from the owner's written material:  "The leaves are used in Southeast Asian cooking as well in making the "flowers" which act a repellent to roaches.  In addition Pandan leaves are said to possess medicinal benefits containing tannin, glycosides and alkaloids.  The scents emitting from the flowers last a week and may be used as a freshener in cars, homes or washrooms."
Next week, we'll return to the travel agency, Flight Centre, at the Smithfield Mall where we've booked several upcoming flights with rep Helen in and out of Australia and Fiji.  At that point, we'll prepay for our baggage for these flights with both Qantas Airlines and Fiji Airways.

In order to prepay our baggage fees with tougher restrictions with Fiji Airways than Qantas, its important we don't overestimate the weight of our bags.  With our handy travel scale that also doubles for weighing ourselves, Tom first weighs himself while I note the readout and then he weighs himself again, holding the bag.

These handmade Pandan Plant bouquets were being made as we watched the gifted crafts woman, proud of her handiwork.  The smell was exquisite.
Generally, each of our checked bags weighs under 23 kilograms, 50.7 pounds, we aren't charged an additional fee.  However, we'll have to pay for our third bag carrying our shoes, my boots, and a wide variety of supplies which often weighs another 23 kilos.  For that extra bag, we're often charged an outrageous fee, varying by airline.

An instruction sheet at the Pandan table.  Interesting.
In reviewing the items in that third bag, we don't see how we can reduce its weight.   If we'd be able to replace the items elsewhere, we would.  But, many can't be found on tropical islands or at remote locations. 

What a gorgeous orchid, one amongst many offered for sale at Rusty's Markets.
This third bag contains various power cords, power adapters suitable for many countries, power strips, a portable scanner, emergency medical and dental supplies, a few month's supply of toiletries, a few bottles of vitamins, probiotics, business cards, and shoes...all of our shoes, with five pairs for each of us. 

We stopped to sniff the wide array of organic soaps scented with essential oils.  The smells were intoxicating and I was tempted to buy a few.  Tom reminded me that we'll easily spots items such as this in the open markets in Fiji.  I agreed.
Recently, I rummaged through that bag removing every last unnecessary items, any we may be able to find at a local store.  While here in abundant Australia we've been able to restock a few items we won't be able to find until we return to Australia next year.

A diner made from an older caravan/travel trailer selling Thai foods.  Tom scoured the menus wondering what-the-heck he's going to eat when we get to Thailand in about a year.
Feeling concerned about the weight of my one large bag, especially when I'd purchased a few items both here and which arrived in a shipped box from the US a few weeks, it was time to pack and weigh my bag.

Hot food must be popular when these bunches of chillies (note spelling above) are offered for sale.
Last week, I took all my clothes out of the cupboard, neatly folding them, tossing no less than 3.6 kilos, 8 pounds of old and worn items none of which are in good enough condition to donate. This pile easily compensates for the new items. 

Yesterday, I did a "trial run" on the weight of my bag, packing every single item except what I was wearing, later removing what I'd need over the next few weeks.  Tom weighed my bag and it came in at almost 20 kilos, 44 pounds.  When the time comes, I won't have any trouble rounding it out up to the allowance.

A refrigerator case of vegetarian only baked goods and meal.
Tom has yet to do his bag but he will before we head back to the travel agency at the end of next week to prepay the baggage fees.  Sure, we could do this ourselves online but Helen, the rep, has a better wifi connection and can do it more quickly.  We expect the fees to run at least AUD $800, USD $584, an amount we're prepared to pay for the five upcoming flights.

Many readers still prefer to read a "real book."
We always recall the excess weight baggage fees we paid when we had zillions of bags at the airports in Dubai, Venice and Istanbul.  Having since greatly reduced the load, we've been able to get by with only paying for the third checked bag, usually running at about AUD $343, USD $250.

Screen printed tee shirts or night shirts in longer lengths.
As we often say, "its the nature of the beast," a reality we faced long ago.  From time to time, we hear stories of world travelers managing with carry on bags only.  We admire their ability to do so.  But, most of those travelers are eventually returning to a home base where they can repack in order to continue on.

After we'd toured the main area of the under-cover market, we wandered the perimeters finding more products for sale.
Our needs aren't quite as sparse as those travelers.  When checking out my relatively small amount of clothing, all that I own, I'm pleased for having reduced it to this level.  Tom has an equal amount of clothing in his bag.

The shops continued on the street side of Rusty's Markets.
We have less clothing and bags than the average traveler on a two week holiday/vacation from what we've seen of other travelers on cruises, at hotels and at airports.  We willingly pay the extra fees understanding that its our choice to be remain well equipped, spending little time shopping in each locale for items we'd have difficulty finding.

Gerbera Daisies, a favorite from the old life.  We don't purchase flowers these days.
In the next few days we'll head to the mall to grocery shop for the second to last time and to search for a cardboard box to use for the food items we're accumulating to ship a few days before departing for Fiji.  In many cases as we travel the world we don't need to ship food items with health food grocers readily available in most countries. 

Although we don't eat fruit, we'd never seen this champagne honeydew melon in our travels.
In contacting Mario, the manager of the property we're renting, he explained that there are no health food stores in Savusavu, Vanua Levu which we further confirmed researching online.  We sent him a list of the items we use and he explained what is available and what is not. 

Mario explained that organic unrefined coconut oil is available at every shop but, ground flax meal is not.  We'll be lucky to be able to replace a bottle of vitamin C while on this remote island.

We could smell the sweet scent of these tangelos as we walked by this display.
My health club membership expired yesterday making no sense to sign up for another month.  I'll do some resistance exercises at home in the interim also planning a few walks in local parks and reserves.  Walking down and back up the long and steep driveway to the trash bins is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise in itself which we do every few days.

There are tons of bananas and other fruit available at Rusty's Markets in Cairns.
Today, we're sharing another batch of some of the remaining photos from Rusty's Markets. We're still reeling over the fulfilling experience while I continue to savor appetizer plates of the products we purchased from Fetish for Food.  Tom?  Not so much with his picky taste buds.

We plan to do a little more exploring this week as we wind down our time in Trinity Beach, sharing more photos over the next few weeks.  As always, on the day of our departure on September 7th, we'll be posting the total expenses for our three month stay in the Cairns area.

Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2014:

Our last shot of Oxford, England as we prepared to leave the area.  For more Oxford photos, please click here.