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Published: January 8th 2011
in the rain
It's been a while since I last wrote anything, which must be bad news for the millions of avid readers of my blogs. However, it's been great for me, as I've been having a fantastic time over the last few weeks.
The main thing that's been happening is that I've been getting wet. A lot. Now this isn't just the usual spilling beer over myself (although that might also have happened on occasion), this is many gallons of the stuff falling from the sky. You may notice from these photos that there has been one common factor to my time in Oz. I've only had 4 days without rain since 1st December.
You will surely have seen the news about flooding in Queensland, but it's not just Queensland. It's everywhere I go. I've heard it said that central Australia is a desert. It isn't. It's no more a desert than Manchester or Sheffield.
Uluru, Kata-Tjuta and Kings Canyon are interesting geological sites, packed with cultural significance from thousands of years of Aboriginal history. When the sun was out, the temperature got up to over 40C. It was excellent camping out at night in a swag (an Aussie word
in the rain
for a hard-to-roll sleeping bag) under the stars, seeing the Milky Way - at least until it started raining and we had to run for cover at 3am!
Cairns is a great backpacker spot - accommodation, food and drink are all relatively cheap (by overpriced Australian standards), so the nightlife is always lively. At Gilligans (a legendary hostel/bar/nightclub/pool complex of enormous proportions), my room was right above the bar and was shaking to the bass from the speakers until 5am on Friday and Saturday nights! I was only told this the next day, having fallen asleep some hours earlier. It takes more than 120dB to wake me up after a few beers.
I took a one-day tour of the Whitsunday Islands, which for me was more than enough. The only advantage of taking a 3-day trip is sleeping on a boat, which by all accounts is less comfortable than sleeping on a night bus in East London.
Fraser Island, with its 800,000 years of accumulating sands, topped with various types of woodland and rainforest, doesn't sound that interesting, but believe me it is. There are several freshwater lakes you can swim in, which is the ideal way
On the way from Hervey Bay to Rainbow Beach, in the rain
to break up walks in the rain without the risk of ever getting dry.
Spent New Years Eve in Brisbane. No idea why everyone goes to Sydney for 10 minutes of fireworks (Perhaps the 2,000 other backpackers I met who went there could enlighten me? Oh wait, now I get it, it was a massive party and I wasn't invited. The fireworks were a distraction as everyone knew they would put me off from going. Very clever)
Went to the Gold Coast for the Summafieldayze festival, with David Guetta (who wasn't on top form), Armand van Helden (along with A-Trak - jointly responsible for the only song ever played in Aussie bars and clubs - Barbara Streisand) and the excellent Armin van Buuren.
Now back in Brisbane (where, guess what, it's pouring down). Apparently there are zoos and koala sanctuaries worth visiting here, so I'm going on the XXXX Brewery Tour instead, followed by a football match; as close as the Aussies get to real football, the Brisbane Roar (who I've always supported as they're top of the league). Come on you Roar (or whatever they sing over here).
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