Newsletter 5: More Diving, and Lava Tubes in the Bush
September 22, 1999

Hi everyone! Welcome back to your next installment of my wonderful
life!:-) Things have been kind of crazy over here lately because
surprise, surprise, I've had a lot of work to do! I've had several
papers, labs, and other things due the past couple of weeks, so I've
been busy working on everything. But, now I am finished with all of my
works and just waiting for spring break to come!

A couple of weekend ago, my friends and I decided to go diving again
because we were all excited about finally being certified! Again it was
a beautiful and awesome experience, with the exception of one little
mishap. My regualtor decided that seven minutes into the dive would be
a good time for it to fall apart. Okay, so that was a little scary, but
all worked out well and I could continue the dive with no problems. It
was really cool because we got to be down there all by ourselves with no
instructor or anything! It was beautiful! And although we almost got
lost once, we did make it back with mo problems. We were lucky again to
have such a beautiful day.

Then the big trip for this time is that several of my friends and I took
a trip up to see the lava tubes this weekend. It was fun, but an
interesting experience to say the least. To start off with, we rented a
car and my friend Alodie was 21 so she drove and we had no problems even
though they do drive on the other side of the road than we are used to.
The road was an interesting experience. We were on a dirt road for 5
1/2 hours, half of it in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, the outback
of Australia! It was insane! There was so much wildlife out and
kangaroos just aren't the smartest of animals and greatly enjoy jumping
in front of cars. We found out later that apparently the light blinds
them so they don't know where they are going and are incapable of
jumping backwards. On the way, we passed all of 2 towns consisting of 2
houses each. Yes, we were in the middle of nowhere. Everywhere you
looked you could see....well, picture what you think of when you see
pictures of the African savannah....that's all you could see for miles
around! Finally 8 hours later we arrived at the lava tubes in time to
crash. Which was a good things because we had to be up early the next
morning for our tour. It was a really cool experience. The tubes were
formed by lava running down a dry river bed and cooling and the hot lava
running out of the middle. So, they were kind of like caves, but really
pretty to look at and with cooler colors! So, that was my trip. We
camped out there and left the next day, finding an alternate route with
paved roads on our way back to Townsville.

Now, I'm just sitting here looking forward to spring break, which is
next week. Unfortunatly I have a class field trip for my marine biology
class to get though before I can go, but it will be fun. I get to leave
on Sunday. I'm really excited because my parents are coming out to
visit and we will be traveling to Syndey and Adelaide for several days,
and then it's back here for a tour of my campus, and then they leave
again to go off on their own. It will be good to see them though.

Okay, well that's it for now, so not to worry, you will hear from me in
another 2 weeks telling you all about my break!:-)

Love, Michelle