London too, although one of the most crowded places I’ve ever experienced, has many treasures to uncover. Undoubtedly another must-see destination if you haven’t yet joined the ranks of London tourists!
For Christmas 2014 we travelled to a different kind of ‘home’. As my dad was brought up in Zimbabwe, his three sisters remain scattered around southern Africa, with two of them based in Cape Town, South Africa. A lot of people are hesitant about spending Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. As you can image, I cannot think of a better way to spend the holiday! To swap the winter for the summer is my idea of paradise. What’s more, to be able to spend such a special time with our relatives is priceless.
Christmas Eve: we headed out to Moreton Island off the coast of Brisbane. The ‘luxury catamaran’ transfer to Tangalooma resort turned out to be a ferry full of Asians. We then proceeded to be herded around like livestock. Absolutely everything had a hidden price –the epitome of a ‘tourist-trap’. What little we managed to get out of the sand-boarding trip was fun though, granted, a face and mouth full of sand seemed inevitable but that was sort of part of the fun. We considered burying our sand boards and sneaking back later for a proper go but got distracted by the all-you-can-eat buffet. The snorkelling in the pile-up of shipwrecks off the island was absolutely incredible. We saw a couple of green turtles, all the usual suspects: parrot fish, box fish, clowns, angels etc. Melissa even spotted a golly wog/wobbegong/wolly gog wog (whatever the hell the thing was called, stupid bloody Australian names) hidden in one of the wrecks. A wobbegong is a large bottom feeding shark – they’re pretty stunning – see the photo below.
The end to the day was the ‘feeding the wild dolphins’ experience. It was quite possibly the touristiest thing I’ve ever done, perhaps in close contention with the camel ride in Morocco. A large crown on the pier (predominantly Asian) watched us strip into our bikinis and be herded down into the water in pairs. We only actually got a minute or two in the water it was ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, the actual feeding of the dolphins was fantastic but we only got one fish and weren’t allowed to touch them as apparently they don’t like it. I beg to differ; mine was rubbing up against my legs like a domestic cat and poking my hand with its nose, hoping for more fish. It was hilarious watching some of the other tourists having a go – the marine workers were having to swat away their hands, molly-coddling the hell out of everybody, of course, but you can sort of see why it was necessary!