Michaelmas Cay, Australia

Miles from Christmas (Part XNUMX)

in the sun
Passengers relax on their way to Michaelmas Cay.
International Shipping
Flags of countries with passengers on board wave in the wind.
Top end
One of the small peninsulas of Michaelmas Cay, a sandy islet lost in the Pacific Ocean that birds use as a base for rest and nesting.
Galvinic crowd
Birds of various species share the meager sandbar of Michaelmas Cay, which is semi-protected by Australian maritime authorities.
Birds flutter against the wind over little Michaelmas Cay, a sand island lost in the Great Barrier Reef.
amphibious photos
Ocean Spirit's Asian passengers photograph themselves on a flawless summer day off Cairns, in the Australian state of Queensland.
christmas friends
Australian friends photograph themselves in Tropical Christmas mode.
of boat
A crew member of the Ocean Pacific catamaran brings delayed passengers on board.
Australian Pacific
A perfect Christmas day, spent in the translucent waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The balcony
Casal takes a look at the marine activities of the other passengers, from the deck of the Ocean Spirit.
underwater cinema
Submersible passengers observe underwater life around Michaelmas Cay.
blue fauna
Fish investigate the unexpected presence of the small submarine in the service of the catamaran Ocean Spirit.
Saves Christmas Lives
Crew member of the Ocean Spirit catamaran at the water's edge, wearing a slightly Christmas outfit.
Snorkeler swims towards the shallow land of Michaelmas Cay.
of sentry
Ocean Spirit catamaran crew watch passengers in the water.
bird vacations
Oriental vacationer abandons his landing on the beach, shared with dark terns.
In Australia, we live the most uncharacteristic of the 24th of December. We set sail for the Coral Sea and disembark on an idyllic islet that we share with orange-billed terns and other birds.

The end of the year is approaching and the ever-stormy North East Australian monsoon season begins.

Amidst tropical showers and a blazing sun, Cairns remains hyperactive, served by a battalion of young men aussies, Europeans and other parts of the world who flock to the Queensland Top End, attracted by the possibility of combining income with little or no taxes with undisputed entertainment.

Strategically parked teenage pedestrians hand out flyers from guest houses and bars that foist wild parties.

They also suggest a panoply of inexpensive radical activities – of which free fall jumps stand out –, the most likely reason why we see so many teenagers with limbs in plaster when we walk the streets. But they also offer us more peaceful walks around the city's land and sea surroundings.

Catamaran crew, Michaelmas Cay-Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Ocean Spirit catamaran crew watch passengers in the water.

"no worries mate”. The insecure employee at the Tourism information desk repeats the national expression ozzie-porreirista but doesn't explain it to us any further.

Every reef, island or cay it proves a potential snorkeling or diving tour. Undecided by the profusion of more compartmentalized leaflets and brochures, customers swarm and leave the employee in trouble.

We had already explored a substantial part of the Great Dividing Range tropical jungle and we counted on devoting ourselves, however, to the exotic plateau of the Atherton Tablelands. But this Christmas Eve, the day remained as sunny as it had dawned.

Far from the cosiness of home or the festive company of families, we decided to treat ourselves to a day of pure delight off North Queensland, in an unlikely corner of the Great Barrier Reef.

Boarding towards the Great Barrier Reef

It's just after nine when we arrive at Cairns dock and board the Ocean Spirit, an impressive and welcoming catamaran. The expected passengers arrive a little later on board and the vessel sets sail for the east. We noticed that they hold us with the honor of a small Portuguese flag, side by side with the Spanish, Japanese and several others.

Flags, Michaelmas Cay-Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Flags of countries with passengers on board wave in the wind.

We settle on the hammock deck already packed with laid-back vacationers and soak up the sun, hot wind, iodine and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean.

Other vessels had set sail simultaneously for Trinity Bay and different parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

In the Sun, Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Passengers relax on their way to Michaelmas Cay.

The biggest barrier to the face of the Earth. Or rather, submerged in it

An insignificant segment of an ecosystem that stretches 2.600 km off the coast of Queensland and occupies an area so vast that it can be detected from space and is appreciated with relative clarity from the 11.000 meters that airplanes normally fly awaited us. commercials.

That natural structure is made up of billions of coral polyps. These, in turn, form around 2900 individual reefs to which 900 islands are added, many of them sandy.

Having almost navigated the 20 km route and having heard an endless environmentalist briefing, we were about to dock at Michaelmas Cay, a sand island only slightly elevated from the water that sheltered undergrowth permanently fertilized by the flocks of birds that colonized it and surrounded by abundant reefs. coral.

Guest, Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Oriental vacationer abandons his landing on the beach, shared with dark terns.

The Short Invasion of the Ilhéu das Gaivinas

The islet is part of a larger area declared a national park by the Queensland authorities. It was kept under the protection of a rope fence that delimited the tiny area of ​​beach that we could enjoy.

Ocean Spirit crews rush to overflow passengers. On land, we settled side by side with countless orange-billed terns tousled by the wind and with the shrill and strangely aromatic nuclei of other seabirds.

Orange-billed Terns, Michaelmas Cay-Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Birds of various species share the meager Michaelmas Cay sandbar, which is semi-protected by the Australian maritime authorities.

The Inevitable Diving and Snorkeling

“Dive guys, come on,” warns Craig, a semi-equipped crew member with a heavy northern Australian accent. “Snorkeling ones are next!”

Snorkeler, Michaelmas Cay-Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Snorkeler swims towards the shallow land of Michaelmas Cay.

We don Lycra suits, join the second group and enjoy gliding among lush brain corals, frenzied shoals of barracudas and other fish that are less fast and stealthy but, to compensate, far more colorful.

Fish, Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Fish investigate the unexpected presence of the small submarine in the service of the catamaran Ocean Spirit.

We are not drunk on rum nor do we hallucinate but we long for the sight of the transforming sirens that once drove sailors mad.

Probably intimidated by human invasion, not one of the sea cows that inhabit the bottom of those seas deigned to appear.

On the way back to the beach, we split into shifts and get into a mini-submersible.

that way something julienne and investigated over and over again by intrigued fish, we continue to explore the shallow depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Until the time for the next shift approaches and we have to return to the surface.

Passengers in Submersible, Michaelmas Cay-Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Submersible passengers observe underwater life around Michaelmas Cay.

Some younger and irreverent passengers are getting ready to rebel and return to snorkeling without the proper attire, in an area different from the one traveled before.

Bandu, an austere Malaysian-looking crew helper, is ready to contain them. “Friends, you seriously want to do this?

You weren't aware of the briefing, right? So we didn't tell you that this sea is full of stingers (sea wasps). So far, we haven't detected much but they could get here with the current at any time.

Saves Christmas Lives, Michaelmas Cay-Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Crew member of the Ocean Spirit catamaran at the water's edge, wearing a slightly Christmas outfit.

If they get caught with one, they will be in big trouble. To return to the choirs, you really have to wear the lycra and, please, stay in the area we indicated a moment ago.”

We had participated in two underwater incursions. The first, long, largely countercurrent and laboriously self-moving, left us exhausted.

We decided to return to the beach and the surroundings of the dividing rope. We went back to charging batteries in the sun, now in the company of dozens of dark terns that used the suspended wire as a landing.

The Almost Forgotten Christmas Celebration

A couple of Australian friends next door had been doing the same for some time. Eager for more fun, they get up and move to the water.

Photos, Michaelmas Cay-Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Ocean Spirit's Asian passengers photograph themselves on a flawless summer day off Cairns, in the Australian state of Queensland.

There, with the turquoise ocean palette as a background, tanned and only in a bathing suit, they put on Christmas caps and practice creative poses while a third aussie photographs them.

“Ah!!! You can come to me at will with stories of snow, fireplaces, reindeer and goblins! exclaims one of them effusively. "Tell us if there's a better Christmas than ours there."

Christmas Duo, Michaelmas Cay-Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Australian friends photograph themselves in Tropical Christmas mode.

At that precise moment, far away from family, tradition and sweets but caressed by the tropical heat, we felt enchanted by the gentle unwinding of the Pacific over the island and the obligation to agree.


Cruise the Maldives, among Islands and Atolls

Brought from Fiji to sail in the Maldives, Princess Yasawa has adapted well to new seas. As a rule, a day or two of itinerary is enough for the genuineness and delight of life on board to surface.
Sydney, Australia

From the Exile of Criminals to an Exemplary City

The first of the Australian colonies was built by exiled inmates. Today, Sydney's Aussies boast former convicts of their family tree and pride themselves on the cosmopolitan prosperity of the megalopolis they inhabit.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Atherton Tableland, Australia

Miles Away from Christmas (part XNUMX)

On December 25th, we explored the high, bucolic yet tropical interior of North Queensland. We ignore the whereabouts of most of the inhabitants and find the absolute absence of the Christmas season strange.
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Discovering tassie, Part 1 - Hobart, Australia

Australia's Backdoor

Hobart, the capital of Tasmania and the southernmost of Australia, was colonized by thousands of convicts from England. Unsurprisingly, its population maintains a strong admiration for marginal ways of life.
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Luderitz, Namibia
Architecture & Design
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Iguana in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Yucatan, Mexico

The Sidereal Murphy's Law That Doomed the Dinosaurs

Scientists studying the crater caused by a meteorite impact 66 million years ago have come to a sweeping conclusion: it happened exactly over a section of the 13% of the Earth's surface susceptible to such devastation. It is a threshold zone on the Mexican Yucatan peninsula that a whim of the evolution of species allowed us to visit.
Barrancas del Cobre, Chihuahua, Rarámuri woman
Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Horseshoe Bend
Navajo nation, USA

The Navajo Nation Lands

From Kayenta to Page, passing through Marble Canyon, we explore the southern Colorado Plateau. Dramatic and desert, the scenery of this indigenous domain, cut out in Arizona, reveals itself to be splendid.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
Natural Parks
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Gangtok House, Sikkim, India
UNESCO World Heritage
Gangtok, India

An Hillside Life

Gangtok it is the capital of Sikkim, an ancient kingdom in the Himalayas section of the Silk Road, which became an Indian province in 1975. The city is balanced on a slope, facing Kanchenjunga, the third highest elevation in the world that many natives believe shelters a paradise valley of Immortality. Their steep and strenuous Buddhist existence aims, there, or elsewhere, to achieve it.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Newar celebration, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Erika Mother

The Philippine Road Lords

With the end of World War II, the Filipinos transformed thousands of abandoned American jeeps and created the national transportation system. Today, the exuberant jeepneys are for the curves.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Fluvial coming and going
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.