Out to the reef
This was on the way out...before I puked.
Its bin a while...
The last month has been pretty busy...and a bit routine.
Its getting a bit colder here. But I still think its warmer than Vancouver. You will probably only have one or two months of better weather than us. We have all gotten a cold at one point in the last month. Dan is a little sick rite now, but its not to serious.
Work is pretty much the same story. The guys have all been working lots to save up for our trip we took to Cairns last weekend. Tom had a steady job through the temp. company at a packing warehouse. It was tough work for him, and now he is looking for something different, but he still can go back there if he wants. Neil is still full time at Rebel Sport, he loves it. And Dan is still at his advertising agency. I have still been at home. I volunteer at the church every wednesday for a university ministry thing. Its real fun, and I get to drive the youth van every week. I have seriously missed driving, so its a bonus. Also I have been working at the cafe
Smiles all round
We all had heaps of fun after the dive
across the street on weekends. We have all at one point worked at this cafe. The owner is a real nice guy and doesn't mind helping us out with some work. It seemed like he was going to get me to work a few more days a week, but I don't think thats going to follow through. Also, I don't want to commit to working every weekend. In the next couple of weeks I will start to look for another job maybe 3 or 4 days a week.
There have been 2 birthdays in the last month. Luis' was on April 29, and he took us all to the centerpoint tower, its the tallest building in Sydney and has one of those rotating restaurants on top (same thing as the one in Van). It was real cool, there was 2 different restaurants up top, we went to the buffet (obviously the better choice for us). Neils Bithday was on May 7, we just took it easy at home again. We have found lately that sometimes for a whole week we are all so busy, and never get to sit down together, so we all enjoy it when we can.
I found nemo
If you look close, you'll see him
Church here is still awesome. They are doing something called 'six hot weekends' where we get different speakers from around the world come and do a sermon. Two weekends ago we had Ruth Graham (daughter of Billy Graham) and another guy. Yesterday we had a guy from Sweeden. They definitally keep it interesting here. In 6 weeks they have this thing called 'hillsong conference'. Its a conference that is held in the biggest indoor stadium in Sydney (same size as GM place) they get a bunch of speakers from around the world, and aparently they get people from 100 different countries around the world commin to this thing. The whole confrence is a week long and it sells out...should be pretty good. We still have about a dozen guys over every other Tuesday to hang out. Its good fun. And we all usually hang out every weekend. The other week, they all went out for kareokee (I was sick, and didn't go).
Dan is for sure leaving in about 7 weeks time. He has already bought his ticket home and will be going to briercrest. Time flys so quick, we have been here for a full 5 months
already!! He is excited for school, but he is also leaving the dream lifestyle behind, so obviously its a bit hard for him. We have a guy who is interested in comming and living with us after Dan leaves.
Things around the house are good. We are getting our whole bathroom renovated this week, it has a bit of mould in it, and it was leaking to the bottom floor. It will be nice once its all done. Alot of the people that used to live in the other apartments (there are 6 all together) have moved out, so we have all new neighbors. We also recently negotiated our rent down a fair bit, so its a nice break.
Now to the good stuff...Cairns. We had so much fun, it was a perfect vacation (short and totally packed). We like it short so we can stay in a nicer place, so instead of staying in a hostel room with 6 other guys and girls, we get a decent hotel room, and can live a little better for a shorter amount of time. We flew up on Wednesday night. We flew vigin again, we like the airline (reason why
Our first set of aussi wheels
will follow), and also we get points for flying with them, so after flying to melborne and back, and cairns and back we have almost enough for a free flight. It was about a 3 hour flight to Cairns. When we got there it was raining. Cairns is a tropical place, the humidity there rite now is about 75%. So the when it rains its hot rain wich is pretty cool, different from vancouver at least. We stayed at a place called the Reef Palms hotel, we had 2 twin beds and one queen. We also had a full kitchen. We went to bed rite aways the first day. We scheduled our scuba dive trip for the next day. It was with a company called Tusa dive, they are a smaller company with a smaller boat, this is nice because they only take out 25 people at a time, compared to some boats that take 80-100. Tusa also had access to more sections of coral than most other companies, and since there is less people you will get more attention from the staff. So they have alot to choose from every morning when they go out. They picked us up
Beach, Rainforest, thick fog...beautiful
at 7:20 from our hotel, and drove us to the docks. We left the docks at about 8:00. Its about an hour and a half drive to the outer reef from the docks. Since the boat was smaller, and it wasn't the greatest weather, the ride was pretty rough. During the ride we got briefed on scuba diving. None of us have ever scuba dived before, so you can choose to do an into dive and you don't have to have any certification. Most of the people that go can either snorkel, or if they are a certified diver, they just do their own thing. So it was about a half hour crash course on scuba diving, sign your life away, and then your good to go. Nearing the end of the boat ride, there were about half a dozen people at the back of the boat puking...including me! I knew I shouldn't have eaten breakfast. But after I got it all up, I felt like a million bucks. The first reef we went to was called Saxon Reef. We went snorkeling first. Then the four of us got our gear on and went diving. It was good because it
was just the four of us with one of the staff. Diving was soo cool. We thought snokeling was awesome, but diving was so much better. It takes a while to get used to the breathing, and equalizing your ears, but after that, its all good. We saw a lot of cool stuff in the water, schools of fish, all sorts of different stuff, I would tell you more, but I don't know what it is called, there were also sharks (we didn't see them) but they are the harmless kind. Also there are clams that are about 100 years old, they were so cool, you could stick your hand in them and its like velvet inside. Underwater was definitally amazing. After our first dive (they were about 30 mins long) we went back up for lunch on the boat, and then moved to a different reef called Hastings reef and did it all over again. Hastings reef was even better than the first one, and we got to stay under water for a bit longer. It all depends on how much air you use, Tom and I had the most efficient air consumption. The reef was so cool, one
of the coolest things I have ever done. I am considering getting certified so when I go on other holidays I can dive. By the end of the day, we were all pretty tired, so we didn't do much else.
The next day (friday) we all slept in a bit and made a nice breakfast. We didn't really know what we wanted to do (other than the reef there isn't much to do in Cairns). So we got into the hotel lobby and they have one of those walls full of different brochures of stuff. We were looking through it...something particular caught our eye. It went like this:
Rent a car - $25 day
Under 25 - NO PROBLEM
No credit - NO PROBLEM
That pretty much had our name written all over it. Its the only car rental company in Cairns that would rent a car to 19 year olds. So half hour later, after signing a very sketchy insurance deal, were were sitting in a 90s manual Ford Laser sport edition! Its the equivelent of a Ford escort back home. They gave us a free map, and said that the maps edges were the boundaries...in other words,
This was the river in the valley...it was awesome
don't drive off the map, or your in trouble. So took off up north on the coast highway, It was soo beautiful, the nothern beaches were massive and soo long. And there were lots of cool little port towns along the way. We drove about 3 hours north (to the top of the map) and then started to head west into the rainforest. It was so awesome, the rainforest is so cool, it was really humid. We ended up finding this dirt mountain road. We really wanted to see some wild animals, we were driving up and this massive wild hog darted in front of us. It was sweet. We went up for a while, then found a beaten down trail, parked the car, and went for out own self guided tour! It was a little risky, we didn't know exactly where we were, and what kind of snakes, spiders, or whatever else lives out there. Eventually we made it back home, in one day we went all the way north, and then as far north west as we could. That night we went out for a mexican dinner, wich was great, but it took about an hour for our food. After we walked around the city at night and went to a pretty cool club called Gilligans...and to finish off the day, we got pulled over on the way home for a 'random' breath test. We didn't really know where we were going in the dark, so we probably looked a bit sketchy on the road, but obviously we passed with flying colours. What road trip would be complete without any cops?
On saturday we went to the town again in the morning to see all the shops and stuff. Then we took off again down south this time. We went to the very bottom of the map, and then started heading west again. The tropical country side was so nice, way different than what I have ever seen before. There were alot of sugar cane farms, as well as bananas. The mountains here are way smaller but are so thick with rainforest trees, and waterfalls. There were alot of lookouts and scenic routs and stuff. As we were driving we came to this small pulloff with an old beaten trail, it had signs for some sort of lookout, we took the trail and it turned into a 2.5 km hike down the side of a rainforest mountain. At the bottom there was a fairly large river and a mountain up the other side. It was raining and we were all sweating from the hike, it was almost like breathing water from the air. We went for a swim in the river, swam across some current to the middle of the river. It was so amazing, were were in this massive river inbetween two rainforest mountans, in the warm rain. Another one of the coolest things I've ever seen/done. It was truely wild. Oh, and just a sidenote...our flight home from Cairns-Sydney was scheduled to leave in about 4 hours, and we were a few hundread kms away, having the time of our lives swimming in some river in the middle of nowhere. It all adds to the excitement. After a while we hiked back up and continued on. We saw some more countryside, some awesome waterfalls, and lakes. Then came the most dangerous/curveyest road I have ever been on. It was on the way back home, it was dark, and raining, and we saw those sings that say 'curves...next 19 kms' and it was soo curvey you seriously couldn't go faster than 40 kmph. It was also only one lane, and we had about 2 hours untill takeoff. I didn't think they were allowed to make roads that bad. It was pretty nerve wracking, but Dan did a great job driving it (it was by luck his turn to drive). We arrived back in Cairns about half hour before our flight was supposed to leave. We were all soaking wet, hungry, and we still had to return our rental car and then take a cab to the airport. It was going to be tight, but we did end up just making it. We got to the airport, virgin was waiting for us (they are the only domestic airline that you don't necessairily have to check in half hour before flight), and within about 10 minutes we were taking off. It was close, but who likes waiting in airports anyways?
We all had an awesome trip, it was short and packed....and wild. And we all got some good driving time in. I hope you enjoy some of the pics, but even those don't do it justice.
Hopefully before dan leaves we will do one more trip...we'll have to see if we can get enough money together. If we do one before Dan leaves it will be the australian outback, wich would be very exciting...time will tell.
I think thats it for now...email me or leave a message/comment here if you want. Hope all is well.
Tot: 2.418s; Tpl: 0.085s; cc: 9; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0442s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb