A Funny Thing Happened When I Arrived in Cairns!

In June and July of 2016, I took an epic trip to Sydney, Australia, Bali and Komodo National Park in Indonesia, then I finished with a fantastic voyage on the Spirit of Freedom, a great dive boat experience in the Great Barrier Reef! But…I had to get from Komodo to the Great Barrier Reef….

Garuda, Bali, Cairns, Fin

The harbour lights at Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.

Taking up where I left off, I had a most wonderful trip to Komodo National Park, and if you missed those blogs and photographs, I highly recommend you take a look at them! After disembarking in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, most of the dive group and I made our way to the airport to catch a flight to Bali on the airline Garuda. Garuda Airlines is named after the great, mythical bird who served as the mount for the Hindu deity Vishnu. The airline was much nicer than I expected it to be. In fact, at the airport we were ushered into the VIP lounge and served coffee and delicacies. The china was particularly beautiful with its gold markings. (It was British…yes, I looked!)

Garuda, Bali, Cairns, Fin

VIP service with Garuda Airlines!

Garuda, Bali, Cairns, Fin


The flight was calm and uneventful, and at the Bali airport I walked from the domestic terminal to the international to catch my Malaysia Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur to connect to another Malaysia Airlines flight to Sydney to catch a Qantas flight to Cairns. Yes, a very long trip in a very large area of the planet. And to top it off, I thought my flight to Cairns was on the same day as my flight to Sydney. No such luck. It was for the next day. I’d already been traveling for 24 hours, and I needed to find a hotel near the airport.

Don’t ask me  why, I have no earthly idea why, but I booked a cheapie hotel close to the airport. Why I didn’t return to the wonderful Stamford Sydney Airport is beyond me. I thought, oh save some money and stay at a smaller hotel. It was smaller, all right!

It looked okay on the internet. I can only say: do not stay at the Airport Hotel Sydney. It looked a lot better in photos than it did in person. The area was a bit sketchy, it seemed like, and the hotel even more so. There is a single door leading into a lobby which does not deserve to be called a lobby since it is so small and dingy. The guy who checked me in informed me that an American immigration officer told him “Americans are jerks” and he proceeded to tell me not to complain. I wasn’t complaining, just expressing a concern about my luggage because there was no lift in the hotel. He put me on the ground floor, and the first room he gave me was already occupied. Awkward! Seriously, not a good place. I went to bed, and got up hours and hours before my flight so I could go to the Qantas Business Class Lounge to shower and dress. Ah, Qantas has lovely lounges!

I relaxed in the lounge until time to head to Cairns which is in Queensland. My dive boat to the Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom, would leave from there. I checked into the fabulous Shangri-La Hotel at the Marina in Cairns. Ahhh. Luxury! Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

Garuda, Bali, Cairns, Fin

Ah…the Shangri-La!

Garuda, Bali, Cairns, Fin

The Shangri La was beautiful, and between the marina and the esplanade. It was heaven to sink into the comfy bed and flip on CNN! (I’m a diehard CNN fan, especially Anderson Cooper 360 and Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room and Erin Burnett Out Front…you get the idea!) I got out my computer and put a status on my Facebook page, that I was in Cairns, finally! The next thing I know, I receive a message from my good friend Fin! Fin Out of Water is also a blogger, check out her Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/finoutofwater/?fref=ts. I met Fin on a Ray of Hope Expedition last year in the Yucatan. She is from New Zealand, a dive instructor and marine biologist.) So Fin, from Auckland, NZ, says she too is in Cairns! We were both so excited and made plans for dinner the next night! Talk about a funny thing…what are the odds that Tam from Dallas, Texas and Fin from NZ would be in Cairns, Australia at the same time?? Oh, how wonderful it was to see her! She is just one of the most wonderful people on the planet. So awesome to see you, Fin! It’s just funny…and serendipitous! Don’t you think so?

Garuda, Bali, Cairns, Fin

I was so thrilled to meet up with Fin!






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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life!
Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (4)

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  1. barbara free says:

    What an adventure you are having, and I’m so glad you were able to meet up with your friend…….what are the odds!! This has got to be the ultimate adventure for anyone, and you have been such a good sport when things don’t go just right. A good attitude goes a long way. I think you will have to start your own “Adventure Library” for the rest of us to admire and to encourage us to go out and create our own adventures. I feel like I am living through you, and I LOVE it. SOOO much fun.
    Continue to explore,

    • Tam Warner says:

      Adventure Library? Isn’t that what my blog is, or is there something I’m missing? Thanks for following me! I appreciate your comments so much, they encourage and validate me!

  2. Elnora Cameron says:

    So great to see you and Fin together. I miss her!

    • Tam Warner says:

      Wasn’t Yucatan the most wonderful trip! What a fabulous group of people! Annie and I are headed to Antarctica together in January, then I’m with Andrea again in February!

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