Vacation Part Three: Stranded in Palm Cove

This is Part Three in my four part series about my vacation this August.  You can see the other posts here:

Part One:  Great Barrier Reef

Part Two:  Port Douglas

Part Four:  Mandala Magic Retreat in Ubud


I was supposed to fly to Bali the day after my rest day in Port Douglas.  Unfortunately, the volcano erupting on the island had other plans for me.  Virgin Australia cancelled flights from Oz to Bali & I did not find out until the day of my flight–when I only had 15 minutes before my airport shuttle pick up.  So, I proceeded to the airport, to find that they couldn’t help me unless I wanted to book a flight to Bali after I was supposed to return to the States.  They were able to help me find a hotel for the night though, but it took some work.  Apparently everything in Cairns was booked for the weekend, with flights to Bali cancelled & it being the height of the holiday season anyway.  Eventually, the VA rep was able to find me a hotel room in Palm Cove, so off I went.

I guess if you’re going to be stranded somewhere, Palm Cove isn’t a bad choice 🙂  I ended up at the Grand Mecure and the receptionist upgraded my room and provided me with a bottle of wine, so that was lovely.

Lunch overlooking the ocean while waiting for my room to be ready
The beautiful Grand Mercure

Since I figured that Virgin wouldn’t be flying to Bali on Sunday, I went ahead and booked another day trip.  I still hadn’t seen the elusive platypus & was eager to.  So, off to the tablelands I went!

Excited to potentially see platypuses on my visit to a volcanic crater lake
A giant curtain fig tree
The elusive platypus…can only see his ripples. I have another picture, but even there he looks like a tiny river monster….
I kept seeing these adorable kids books & finally bought a couple
We sang show tunes so that the platypuses would not think we were predators

I had a great time on my trip, but was a little freaked out when I got home and realized that I still had no way to get to Bali for my mandala retreat.  I spent Monday on the phone with Virgin Australia customer service practically in tears as they told me that they still couldn’t get me to Bali in time for the retreat & were unsure whether they could get me to Brisbane in a week so that I could fly back to the States.  It was an altogether miserable day.

Late afternoon I was texted by Virgin Australia & they let me know to contact a different number as I could be booked on a recovery flight.  I called & immediately they booked me onto a flight to Bali for Tuesday & fixed my return flights!  Yay!!!

Join me for the next leg of my trip….Mandala Magic Retreat in Ubud


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