Published: July 19th 2009July 19th 2009
sorry its been so long i am so rubbish at keeping you updated and im lazy!
we have done loads since my last entry from brisbane so again i will try and keep it brief.
we had another 8 weeks in oz after my last blog so from brissy we carried on up the coast with the van still working which was very suprising! we hit all the lovely beach places
-Caloundra where we got lost in a maze (it was designed for kids!) and visited a ma-hoo-sive market
-moroochydore didnt do much there but the name is cool
-noosa is where all the stars have beach houses and they have a great national park that follows the coast so you can trek through and see some amazing sites
-hervey bay-from here we took a day cruise and 4 wheel drive tour around fraser island. as we were waiting on the ferry we saw dolphins and turtles swimming in the bay. fraser island is the biggest sand island in the world with no proper roads so you have to have 4 wheel drive. they have dingos there but we didnt catch sight of 1. there is a lake at the top called lake macenzie that has a high ph level in the water so is great for washing and cleaning jewellery. also there is a great ship wreck just on the shaw.the day was fab.
agnus water and the town of 1770(honestly thats what it is called)-is where captain cook 1st found oz in 1770, it would have been gorgeous if it was not raining
yepoon(cool name)- not much there but felt i had to tell you i had a wee on a big green tree frog as i didnt realise he was asleep im the loo and then had a shower with a very scary looking wolf spider that started to wriggle as the condensation hit his resting place! needles to say i changes showers mid shampoo
-airlie beach- this is were we hopped on a sailing boat around the whitsunday lslands. it was amazing the weather was not so good but that meant the sailing was brill! at 1 point the sail was actually parrallel with the sea and we were travelling at a speed of 28 knots! means nothing to me but they did say that if the wind hit 34knots it was too dangerous to sail so we were not far off! we snorkelled and went to white haven beach-beautiful- even in our stinger suits as it was scary jelly fish season.we helped with the sailing and got fed very well.
townsville- is a biggish place with not much to do apart from grab a ferry across to magnetic island which we declined to do as it was way expensive. apparently it has lots of wildlife and green ants with big bums that you lick-yes lick-and it tastes citrusy!
mission beach-a popular place to stay as it is small and hippyfied with chilled out night life and a great beach. we didnt stay due to bad weather.
cairnes- its big compared to the other places we stopped but not as big as sydney but warmer. we visited some cool water falls and rock pools on the way up to cairnes at which point the van decided to over heat! so nick twiddled a few knobs and put some water in places he shouldnt have and-bingo- tores had a new lease of life- he ran smoother then ever.
from cairnes we did a days trip around the great barrier reef. it was really good. i have to say the snorkelling was better in thai land on our last trip but-hey-its the Great Barrier Reef so its a buzz to start with. we saw all sorts of colourfull fishes and massive clams, turtles........ and loads more. it was a great day.
also while in cairnes we had a few nights on the pop, its a great night out, and drove further north to some lovely beaches and chilled out in the sun. we hadnt had great weather on the way up and new it was gonna get colder on the way back down to syndey. we drove as far north as you can before needing a 4 wheel drive- that took us to cape tribulation. this is a penisular that is a national park that is very dense with rainforest and mosquitos! but worth the trip. whilst up that way we went on a river cruise and saw some wild salt water crocs!! cool. there were about 6 of them and a baby that was on 23centimetres long. how the guide saw it in the mangroves i will never know! all in all a great time was had in cairnes.
we had to head back down to Sydney to fly to fiji so we decided to go the inland route through the bush and this way we got to visit my cousin who had just moved from sydney to a small opal mining town called lightning ridge still in the same state 7hrs north. on our way we stopped at undara national park, an area that has a lot on inactive volcanoes. we camped at a site in the scrub land and had a proper sing song around the bush fire. the next day we trekked through some lava tubes that had been formed after the last eruption thousands of years ago. it was well worth stopping for. then another few hundred miles down the long and boring straight road, after nearly getting wiped out by some massive road trains, we stopped at carnaven gorge.this is basically a big canyon surrounded by gorgeous forest that stretches about 50 miles-we walked 10 of them. we saw old aborigional art work, hidden water falls, hopped across stepping stones and climbed into big cracks70metres high. it was very good. we also saw a duck billed platipus in the distance but it was too far away to get a pic.
we finally arrived in lightning ridge 3 days later and caught up with family. this is a very small town were everyone knows everyone and all that goes on ,so ,i was shocked when i got pulled for a random breath test by the only copper in town! luckily i passed-im a good girl!!! we spent a few days here and even dug for our own opals-i say dug- more like just looked in the top soil to find tiny fragments.after a few cold nights there we had to say bye to the van as the rego had expired and we cadjed a lift back to sydney with my uncle-bless him he wasnt even going that way!
we had nicks 30th in sydney which conviently co-insided with the manly wine and food festival. the least said about that weekend the better. also whilst back in manly we drove to the blue mountains-so called due the minerals in the rocks reacting with the air to cause a blue haze-well worth a visit if you are in sydney.
on to fiji. back to dodgy food, no health and safety, bad roads and pavements and bartering! i love the culteral places. in the mainland we had our 1st taste of kava(not the bubbly stuff unfortunately) but a tradition that fijians have used for years to cure ailments and get a sense of being sort of high. its horrible! its a route veg ground up then added to water with a lot of chanting to go with it. it feels like you have had way to many throat lozengers-you know when your tongue goes knumb and you cant operate machinery!we also got conned into buying a wooden traditional statue!
fiji is made up of 333 islands so deciding which 1 or1s to visit was hard until we found out the prices! they filmed a lot of stuff here so some are not cheap. we got a good deal to spend 2 weeks on Mana island where they filmed the american series survivor (if anyone watched it they didnt actually sleep in the huts they stayed at the 5 star resort on the other side of the island-sorry to disappoint you) its a gorgeous place with great snorkelling. i saw sea horses, blue star fish and someone near me saw a reef shark-soooo glad i didnt see it. we chilled out for 2 weeks which was bliss and met some amazing people. this was probably due to the fact that on our 1st night it was cross dressing night! how funny. being that we were there 2 weeks and most people only island hop for a few days, we got to do cross dressing night 3 times! i think nick liked it too much and im suspitious that some of my clothes have mysteriously gone missing!only joking. we had such a good time and the staff were great always keeping you entertained with dancing, coconut jewellery making, visitin the local school, medicine walks, beach olympics(includung sack raced which our team rocked at) and lots of local rum drinking-not me of course! we also took ma day trip to the island where castaway with tom hanks was filmed.
so all in all a good time was had and now we have changed climates completely to the snow capped mountains of new zealand. im not gonna tell you what we have done so far i will save it for the next installment. we are missing you all and will probably be home november cos we are skint! ill keep you posted. my apologies for bad grammer and spelling as im typing fast cos we pay a lot for internet out here. please message me with any gos. happy birthday to those i have missed and enjoy our beautiful english summer-think of me ski-ing in a few days in the minus degree weather!
love lea n nick