I have been staying in Costa Rica with an exchange program, AFS. They organize trips you can pay to go on. They have trips all over Costa Rica. I recently went to one in Tortuguero, Limon Province. These trips are great to spend time with the other exchange students and see how their experiences are going. I love hearing all of the other students stories, and it’s amazing how different each experience is even though we are all in Costa Rica to learn about the culture and study spanish.
It occurred to me the other day that I have lived in Utah for 20 years and I have never been to the Great Salt Lake. Deciding to fix this oversight- we packed for a day trip and headed out. From what I could find out from google searching, Antelope Island is a great place to venture into the water, so we gave it a shot.
I’d heard and read all sorts of nasty reviews of the Great Salt Lake, but, let’s face it folks and recollect what the Great Salt Lake is- the 2nd saltiest lake in the world (only the Dead Sea is saltier). Of course it’s going to be a barren wasteland full of bugs, bad smells, mud and a salty residue on everything…
Being warned (and warned again) of the unpleasantness our adventure would entail- this is what we found as we arrived on Antelope Island. A gorgeous view of expansive water and desert, well-kept covered picnic areas, clean sand, showers and bathrooms. Not too smelly, and a breeze keeping the bugs at bay.
One of our last beach days was spent at One Mile Beach in Anna Bay, Port Stephens. The surf was flat everywhere else, but on this beach the waves were perfect, tiny kid-style waves. We’ve seen some stormy, choppy surf on this trip, so- we all fell in love- surfing and boogie boarding until the sun went down. The boards we had were 5’5″ soft boards (borrowed from the RV rental company) and not easy to surf. The kids were all used to at least a 9′ board (what they learned on in California). I was very impressed when they were all able to surf the shorter boards.
Everyone we’ve asked for advice has recommended Byron Bay, looking at this picture you can see why. The beaches are beautiful, the town is cute, Steve O calls it “Moab of the Sea” because it’s trendy, hip, lots of funky surf shops and art galleries, dreadlocks and backpacks.
The kids are disturbed that “Australien” is spelled wrong, I keep telling them, I didn’t make it- it’s poached art, I just came across it while walking. I’m not quite sure what language spells it this way…
The water was so clear. Not as warm as Queensland but refreshingly delicious.
One of the things we love about this place is the openness with which they refer to the possible consequences of playing in a specific area, usually, but not always, having to do with water.
This giant sign is posted at the trailhead of Cedar Creek Falls in Mount Tamborine.
This guy must be illiterate, poor fella. Dude, BTW, there are eels in that water. We learned about the eel situation after we went for a swim. (Cedar Creek Falls, Mount Tamborine) Oh yes, of course we stayed to watch him jump (just to make sure he surfaced safely).
Here we all are on Lady Musgrave Island, 90 miles off the coast of Australia. The island is completely surrounded by reef and lagoon and is extraordinarily beautiful. The beach we landed on is big chunks of coral and sounded like glasses being clinked together when you walked across it. The other side of the island is where about 30 sea turtles lay their eggs every night.
We are making our way south now. We are in a town called “The Town of 1770.” This photo is from a beach day in Agnes Waters in Queensland yesterday. All is well and we are happy. (we are out of internet range so few posts for a while)
The rain let up a little today so we jumped on a ferry to Great Keppel Island to do some snorkeling. Away from the mainland and the murky crashing waves, the water calmed and underwater visibility improved.
We hiked to Monkey Beach a few beaches over from the main beach and were rewarded by having the beach almost to ourselves. Sorry neighbors- we are pretty loud. We run up and down the beach drawing pictures with sticks in the pristine sand and having sand throwing wars. The dingy here belongs to a Aussie couple who came ashore from their yacht. They live on their yacht and sail all around the world. Sounds like a dream come true, until you factor in the true nature of the open sea and the misery that is feeling seasick (experienced firsthand by most of us on the rough ferry ride today). Not all sandy beaches folks…(but still awesome I’m sure)