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.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Architecture & Design
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Miyajima Island, Shinto and Buddhism, Japan, Gateway to a Holy Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Moscow, Kremlin, Red Square, Russia, Moscow River
Moscow, Russia

The Supreme Fortress of Russia

There were many kremlins built, over time, in the vastness of the country of the tsars. None stands out, as monumental as that of the capital Moscow, a historic center of despotism and arrogance that, from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin, for better or worse, dictated Russia's destiny.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Gothic couple

Matarraña to Alcanar, Spain (España)

A Medieval Spain

Traveling through the lands of Aragon and Valencia, we come across towers and detached battlements of houses that fill the slopes. Mile after kilometer, these visions prove to be as anachronistic as they are fascinating.

combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

Hundreds of kilometers north of Swakopmund, many more of Swakopmund's iconic dunes Sossuvlei, Damaraland is home to deserts interspersed with hills of reddish rock, the highest mountain and ancient rock art of the young nation. the settlers South Africans they named this region after the Damara, one of the Namibian ethnic groups. Only these and other inhabitants prove that it remains on Earth.
Early morning on the lake

Nantou, Taiwan

In the Heart of the Other China

Nantou is Taiwan's only province isolated from the Pacific Ocean. Those who discover the mountainous heart of this region today tend to agree with the Portuguese navigators who named Taiwan Formosa.

ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Aswan, Egypt, Nile River meets Black Africa, Elephantine Island
Aswan, Egypt

Where the Nile Welcomes the Black Africa

1200km upstream of its delta, the Nile is no longer navigable. The last of the great Egyptian cities marks the fusion between Arab and Nubian territory. Since its origins in Lake Victoria, the river has given life to countless African peoples with dark complexions.
Bather rescue in Boucan Canot, Reunion Island
Reunion Island

The Bathing Melodrama of Reunion

Not all tropical coastlines are pleasurable and refreshing retreats. Beaten by violent surf, undermined by treacherous currents and, worse, the scene of the most frequent shark attacks on the face of the Earth, that of the Reunion Island he fails to grant his bathers the peace and delight they crave from him.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Monteverde, Costa Rica, Quakers, Bosque Nuboso Biological Reserve, hikers
Monteverde, Costa Rica

The Ecological Refuge the Quakers Bequeathed the World

Disillusioned with the US military propensity, a group of 44 Quakers migrated to Costa Rica, the nation that had abolished the army. Farmers, cattle raisers, became conservationists. They made possible one of the most revered natural strongholds in Central America.
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.
travelers contemplate, monte fitz roy, argentina
Natural Parks
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
New Orleans Louisiana, First Line
UNESCO World Heritage
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

The Muse of the Great American South

New Orleans stands out from conservative US backgrounds as the defender of all rights, talents and irreverence. Once French, forever Frenchified, the city of jazz inspires new contagious rhythms, the fusion of ethnicities, cultures, styles and flavors.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Montezuma and Malpais, Costa Rica's best beaches, Catarata
Montezuma, Costa Rica

Back to the Tropical Arms of Montezuma

It's been 18 years since we were dazzled by this one of Costa Rica's blessed coastlines. Just two months ago, we found him again. As cozy as we had known it.
Passage, Tanna, Vanuatu to the West, Meet the Natives
Tanna, Vanuatu

From where Vanuatu Conquered the Western World

The TV show “Meet the Native” took Tanna's tribal representatives to visit Britain and the USA Visiting their island, we realized why nothing excited them more than returning home.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Weddings in Jaffa, Israel,
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

Tel Aviv is famous for the most intense night in the Middle East. But, if its youngsters are having fun until exhaustion in the clubs along the Mediterranean, it is more and more in the nearby Old Jaffa that they tie the knot.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Everglades National Park, Florida, United States, flight over the Everglades canals
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA

Florida's Great Weedy River

Anyone who flies over the south of the 27th state is amazed by the green, smooth and soggy vastness that contrasts with the surrounding oceanic tones. This unique U.S. marsh-prairie ecosystem is home to a prolific fauna dominated by 200 of Florida's 1.25 million alligators.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.