Saturday, April 16, 2005

Yes, we CAIRNS!

Two days ago Karen Gerstenzang, Papa Gerstenzang, and little Jenny GErstenzang flew out from Sydney airport (the same airport the parent troopers had just flown into days earlier) and headed to a place called Cairns (pronounced CANS). If you would like to pull out a map of australia, which i know you have all looked at numerous times because you miss me so much and want to know exactly how far away i am from you, Cairns is north of Sydney, up in the right corner of Australia. Now, depending on how detailed your map is, about a half a mm up from Cairns (on the map, of course, not in real size) is a place called Port Douglas- a much cuter place than Cairns. That is where we are staying.

The first whole day in Port Douglas we set out early to go to the Great Barrier REef, about an hour and 45 minute boat ride to the three different places we were going to see. On the way i took a crash course in scuba diving so i would be able to reach greater depths once we got there. Tight body suits, embarrassing spit-filled goggles, and a really heavy tank on my back, and i was ready to go down under- the water. Unfortunately, my body wasn't on board with my mind. Shortly after getting in the water, and trying to equalize my ears according to the pressure, my instructor made me go back up and informed me that i had a nose- bleed. Cool, and predictable. Me of all people, would start bleeding perfusely in shark infested waters. Way to go.

In an effort not to misinform my readers, the great barrier reef is located in warm waters, thus the sharks that are there are not the dangerous ones, and there aren't that many sharks to speak of anyway. HOwever, he did think it was something to be checked out. I waited that round out of the water, and instead watched as one by one, snorklers abandoned the reef, chased out by blue bottle jellyfish(baby man of wars.) One man got stung on his lip, another lady her face (the rest of the body except for a few spots on the face and ankles were covered in protective gear.) Of course, Karen recieved a quite nasty sting on her foot which she described (the same way she described child birth) as "Slightly uncomfortable. If i'm not distracted, i know something is going on down there. But if i'm in a conversation, i kind of forget all about it." Needless to say, Jenny and Karen's pain-o-meters are not scaled the same way. Also needless to say, my father spent the rest of the time on board, in the air-conditioned cabin with his book. Much credit is given to him for getting in the water at all, and for being such a trooper about the whole thing.
The second place we went in the water I, (very proudly might i add) braved the jellyfish and jumped in. NO nose bleeds for me (i took my nose ring out). I saw some baracudas, an eel, a bunch of fun fish and some sting rays. The thirds stop they wanted to charge me 42 more dollars to do another dive- WHAT? I instead jumped off the top of the boat (not in protest, they were letting you do this) and snorkeled around with mom. What a blast.

After a nice long rest last night, we awoke this morning and had another grand day. Mom and I went to the Wildlife Habitat about 10 minutes away. They had places that exhibited the Grasslands, the Rainforest, and the Wetlands (i think those are the three of them but i will check up on that.) We saw crocodiles (fresh and salt water- the salt water are the ones that eat you). We saw tons of birds, lots of parrots that thoroughly enjoyed kamikazee diving for my head. What can i say, i smell good!

The highlights, i would have to say, is when i got to pet kangaroos and feed them out of my hand. One grabbed my fingers so tight that it almost broke the skin (he didn't want me to move the food away from his mouth until he was finished- i can understand that.) Some were as small as Madison, and others as big as my mom( which isn't that much bigger than madison, but a little taller). Some had little Joey's in their pouches and some looked really strong. I will put up some pictures when i get back home.

The second highlight- equally as exciting as the kangaroo, is the petting of the koala. Now, make sure you don't say koala bear. IT's ok in the states, because we are all equally ignorant over there. But to be sure, the koala is not a bear. It is a koala. And it eats eucalyptus leaves which are not at all nutritious. IT is like us eating very oily celery all day- the kind of celery mcdonalds would market. You would feel hungry and ill and grumpy all day. This is why they sleep for 18 hours and eat for 4, and basically think about eating or sleeping for the other 2.

Perhaps this little post will get some of those people off my back that are upset i am not updating you with the small activities of my life. But i love it when you nag, especially if you have a sexy gall bladder. More will be posted, and i can't wait to hear your comments and any news from afar. Enjoy your weekend! Love, Jenny (PS, safe travels to all who are coming over to my side of the world! Yay for culture shock!)

2 Comments:

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Gianna said...

I'd like to point out the part Jenny missed about her trip to Cairns...while she was gone, me (Gianna) and Ashley missed her terribly and had nothing to do but drink beer, play pool, and get sick. And now we're both sick.

But when she returned, the lovely parents Gerstenzang took us out for the best food in the world and shared embarrassing stories from Jenny's childhood. And Erin, a few good ones about you came out as well.

Do other people read these or just you Jenny? It's mighty late at night and as usual, I can't sleep. I LOVE YOU JENNYFISH.

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger Mom said...

What a blast reading about our trip to the Great Barrier Reef! In fact, the whole trip was amazing! And Australia, tho far away, was like being home in many ways. Peter says I speak Australian pretty well which is to say I am comfortable almost anywhere. Jenny has some amazing friends and we were make to feel so included. Thank you!

 

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