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Published: August 8th 2007
We were up early in Medan and after saying our sad goodbyes to Una, we were back at the craziness that is Medan International Airport. After more negotiations over bag weights (Despite a major repack the previous night) with Air Asia; more excess baggage charges were handed over and we soon arrived back in Kuala Lumpar.
From there we made straight for the city centre and after a bite to eat we caught a bus to Singapore. After arriving at what we thought was the Singapore Border we hopped off and took our luggage only to figure out we were simply at the village preceding the border. Cue panicked running with our rucksacks back to our bus. Our driver thought the whole thing was very funny. When we reached the actual border we allied ourselves to a Singapore man who knew what he was at. After the two borders we arrived back in rainy Singapore and spent the night in the same hostel. The next day we grabbed the subway out to the airport and started the next leg of our journey to Oz. We first flew to Darwin for an hour or so stopover in the very early hours
of the morning before continuing onto Cairns. We arrived early in the morning local time. We had brought a couple of bottles of Rice wine (with a rather large scorpion floating in each as gifts in Laos) but decided that we best declare them to the legendary Australian Border control. We also declared our hiking boots which seemed to have half the island of Sumatra stuck to the bottom of them.
To say the airport customs is tight would be an understatement. We left an hour later (The only ones from our flight still in the airport) with 4 very clean hiking boots, a freshly cleaned mosquito net and 4 satchels and our rice wine confiscated. A little lighter for our trouble (Thankfully not in the wallet) we got a taxi into Cairns central. We were finally in Australia after seeing 4 countries in a day and a half.
The first person we met in our hostel was a Canadian called Pat who we instantly got along with. Our hostel was basic but great fun. Unsurprisingly after a quick sweep of the city's esplanade and some grub we ended up heading out to our soon to become local
nightclub "Gilligans". After a great night we headed back to our hostel situated on the opposite side of the road to Gilligans. This proximity proved to be a very positive and not so positive thing in the coming weeks.
We slept most of the next day to make up for two very long days travelling. When we did get up we sniffed out a pub to watch the Liverpool versus Manchester United game. The pub was the Woolshed and the result was a disaster. To add insult to injury we had seated ourselves beside a couple of Mancunians. To say they took pleasure in the result would be an understatement (Interestingly these lads have appeared again in Australia although under friendlier terms). Quickly withdrawing from the Woolshed we headed to Gilligans (Now our Cairns local). We bumped into an Israeli lad Eran who we have also had a few very bizarre encounters with since.
The next day we decided to get ourselves down to the lagoon (Huge swimming pool in Cairns city). As a result of the vast numbers of deadly jellyfish in the seas surrounding Northern Queensland the local authorities have built giant pools along the water
to swim in. After getting plenty of sun to get the "Irish tan" underway we headed to a travel agents to arrange the next leg of our trip. We booked bus tickets for the next day and then headed to (where else) Gilligans for a quiet pint with Pat. Bizarrely Sunday night seems to be Lesbian Rugby players night at Gilligans so after watching the dancefloor very briefly we made for the hostel at a respectable hour.
Next Stop Port Douglas...
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