So here we are now with my TOP 3 whale encounters. Hilariously, these have all happened either ON or around my birthday. I’m not saying that has anything to do with anything but… 🤷🏻♀️😜
#3 Held hostage by P!nk-loving whales!
I realise most of you are probably going “What the hell is she sniffing?” 😂 Allow me to explain.
Late last July, a couple of days after my birthday, I went out whale watching with Tweed Gold Coast Dive Charters (owner Dave, his wife Tammie plus there were a few Instagram friends also on board!). We left from Tweed, hit the open ocean at the Tweed Bar (basically right beside the NSW/QLD border), and headed further offshore in search of humpies.
And then we proceeded to have our MINDS BLOWN for over 3 hours.
Here we go – bucket list time!
#4 My first time swimming with the whales! (August 2019)
Did you know you can swim the whales right here in Australia? There are a few operators on both the east and west coasts that run whale swim tours, so you don’t even need to leave the country (or, in my case, state)! There are rules about how/when to enter the water or how many people are in the water at once, but if you follow the rules you can have one of the most breathtaking experiences. EVER.
Grab a cuppa – or other beverage of choice – and get comfy. This entry is longer than most of the others because it was a BIG day, spent in the stunning Banff and surrounds. I would go back in a heartbeat. ❤️
2 October 2019
Hi Banff! I love you! 😍 Can I come back, pleeeeaaase?!
Banff, AB and surrounds
We started our day early – literally in the dark! – meeting at the bus for a drive up to the Banff Gondola! We were booked for brekky at the top of Sulphur Mountain… and it was perfectly timed so our gondola ride was during sunrise! 😍
The sky had hints of pink in spots – really beautiful – and the reflections off the surrounding mountains were just magic. 💗
Once we got to the top, Kerstin (a fellow tour member 👋) and I immediately headed upstairs and outside to check out that cracking view.
Holy. Crapola. This was a brand new level of cold I hadn’t experienced yet. 🥶 Even with multiple layers (seriously, a sleeveless tee, a long sleeved shirt, a flanno, beanie, scarf, fingerless gloves etc) AND a fleece-lined jacket with faux-fur lined hood (!) we had to go back inside after about five minutes. That wind factor made ALL the difference!
(Not that it was blowing a gale or anything, but it was blowing enough to be seriously icy on my face and my poor exposed fingers holding the camera! 😬)
Having said THAT, the views were absolutely magnificent… 360° of magnificent. It was so QUIET (wind notwithstanding) – that real absence of noise. And with only Kerstin and I upstairs at that point, you’d honestly think you were completely alone in the world. Incredibly peaceful and I’m dying to do it all again. 💙
Breakfast back inside was yummy (again with the a-ma-zing breakfast views!) but I demolished mine rather quickly so I could get outside and explore. (That’s a continuing theme through this trip!) There was a snow-covered mountainside with my name on it and who was I to refuse? 😁
1 October 2019
Being in the mountains is freezing – even when it’s not winter yet! – but oh man, did I fall in love with the Rockies. 😍 I would go back in a heartbeat if I could!
Revelstoke, BC to Banff, AB
I was sharing a room/suite with the awesome Maggie – a fellow Aussie, of course! 👋 – and we woke up to amazing views of sunrise hitting the mountaintops. 😍 What. A. View.
I didn’t want to miss the light so in only my PJs – not even any socks on my feet! – I grabbed the camera and traipsed out onto the balcony to take some photos. Of course, I only lasted a few minutes then I retreated back inside – I needed some feeling back in my toes. 😅 It was like 5°C outside or something!
Those beautiful views continued from the restaurant while we had breakfast! Seriously, Canada is THE place for breakfast and lunch views.
The 2019-20 bushfire season has been nothing short of horrific for Australia.
More bushfires burning in more places at one time and in extremes we’ve never seen before.
Millions of acres of land obliterated, thousands of homes destroyed, dozens of human lives taken too soon… and over a BILLION animals dead. 😢
Below are some links for charities and services that are trying to provide some relief to the devastated areas.
If you can donate, please do. Every little bit counts and we greatly appreciate the support.