Day one of our adventure. It really began yesterday at 5am at the Novotel Resort in Cairns when our breakfast arrived in our room. We ate with bleary eyes and were ready to meet our airport bus in the lobby by 6am. Funny how its always harder to pack the pack the second time! Cairns airport was humid and warm and very multicultural with people flying to different parts of the world as well as northen Queensland. Our plane boarded at 8 and we walked out on the tarmac to the entrance. It was a reasonable size with two seats either side of the aisle. The departure from Cairns was steep with a wide arc over the ocean which was beautiful. As we continued up north we could see coral and just amazing sea colours. It was really beautiful.
2 hours later we landed on Horn Island just off the tip of Queensland. The airport is about the size of an average house and was crammed full of people heading in all different directions. Our luggage arrived on a trailer that was parked in between everyone and we located all our bags ( thankfully :) ) Within about 15 minutes, there were just a handful of people remaining. Two pilots were wandering around. One looked about 15 and is rumoured to bite her nails during final descent and landing. The other an older gentleman with grey hair....I was praying for him, he looked like he knew how to fly the pencil looking thing waiting on the tarmac for us!!
We stood under the wing of the aircraft to recieve the pre flight briefing. The same old tired looking life jacket was explained but I must say I did take notice as we would now be flying just over the ocean. The we boarded, all 8 of us, 4 seats on either side of the plane, and the pilot. It was comforting to be able to see the pilot but not so when an alarm went off during the flight and I saw him pressing a variety of flashing things to quieten the alarm, somethings I think its best not to know about! Anyway, we took off and the flight was really spectacular. We were all quiet and gazed out the window during the hour long flight from Horn to Yorke Island. It was cloudy at times but when the clouds parted, the scenery was beautiful.
The landing here on Yorke had a few more speed bumps that I like due to the high winds but we arrived safely and was met by Robyn in her ute ( the resident RAN - Remote Area Nurse) She drove us around the island pointing out the 2 shops and the school and then dropped us at our home to be for 3 weeks. The verandah out front faces the sea that is visible through the palm trees and the first thing I noticed when we entered was the post in the middle of the lounge room, just like home. It is very comforting! The windows are all glass louvres to maximise the sea breezes but the air conditioners in each room work well too. Ben, Amy and I unpacked bags and settled in and Rob got to work in the clinic with Robyn straight away.
Ben, Amy and I had a walk along the beach as the tide was heading out. It is really lovely and the water like glass. There is quite a lot of debris along the high tide mark, general rubbish and well as building materials. Its a stark contrast, the amazing beauty on one side, and the destruction on the other. Its not present along all the beaches though as we discovered later on. The shells here are so pretty and very different to what we are used to finding at Bribie.
After a walk we were all tired after an early start and excitement of all the new things. The hot water was sadly not, so we had cold showers until Rob discovered the gas bottle was not connected. The internet was also not happening so hopefully it will be fixed today so I can send this! A lovely dinner of prawns, caught just off the reef and off to bed. The phone woke Rob and I twice in the night and he was called into the clinic for a couple of minor issues. Its pretty full on for an island whose population is supposedly 100 to 200 people!
OK, day 1 down...will report in tomorrow about day 2
Love Rob, Jo, Ben & Amy