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Published: November 14th 2009
As my time in Cairns comes to a close, I thought it time to update you one last time about the happenings here in Far North Queensland.
My work in Port Douglas came to a rather abrupt end after about 3 and a half weeks. The school holidays came to an end and there was no longer such high demand for housekeeping staff, so that was that. Thankfully I had kept up my Baskin Robbins duties, and the week I finished in Port Douglas, on of the Baskins girls left, so I could increase my hours once again. I also resumed my working for accommodation at the hostel, and was quickly promoted to the position of head of housekeeping - with the added bonus of getting 2 days off a week, with accommodation fully paid for...sweet as (...as the Aussies would say)!
The work in Port finished just before my birthday, which left me free to do as I pleased...My birthday was a quiet and understated one. The day before it, I treated myself to a day out on the Great Barrier Reef and had a wonderful day snorkelling and relaxing on the beach at a beautiful little island
called Green Island. I took a little time to explore and walk a lap of the island before getting picked up and taken back to the boat for a chilled out but fun sail home, with the added entertainment of the crew attempting to serve wine and nibbles as the boat rocked on the waves - there was one extra big wave that caused cheese and crackers to be strewn accross the deck, but other than that they did a great job!
I spent my actual birthday trapsing about Cairns with a friend who had fractured his hand...long story, which I wont go into. Sounds like a bad day, but it was spent in good company. I declined the invites of many acquaintances to go out for drinks that night and instead did what I preferred...sat in with some good friends and watched films until silly hours of the morning :o)
Another trip of note was our day out Cableskiing. The basic concept is that there is a draglift type set up that goes around a lake and you hold on to a rope that pulls you round. You can ski, wakeboard or kneeboard and there are jumps
and rails, but I was just glad to manage a couple of laps without falling. Heaps of fun, but after four hours I was well and truely knackered. The next morning I felt like I'd been in a car crash, and it took my arms a week to recover! Worth it though.
Since my birthday many of the good friends I met here have left for Darwin in search of work, or have gone home, and a many more are due to leave at the end of this week. So, I decided it was time for me to move on too, before the wet season really sets in and I really get stuck in Cairns. In the small hours of next Friday morning I depart Cairns and begin the long journey (33 hours) to Alice Springs. It will be wierd to leave Cairns, as it has almost come to feel like home (if a little warmer...), but it will be a welcome change to be back on the road again and I am getting excited about seeing some new places and fresh faces. After Alice I will begin a week long trip which will take me around the Red
Centre (including Ayers Rock, or Uluru as it is known by the natives), then on to Coober Pedy (the underground town), the Flinders Ranges and finally to Adelaide. I hope to find some farm/vineyard work there and hopefully put in some time towards getting my second year visa.
Before leaving Cairns I had one final trip to get done - the Tablelands. I booked a trip reccommended to me by a friend I met in Byron Bay, and it was the best reccommendation I've had. On day one I saw some more beautiful rainforest, spotted some cool wildlife and swam in really pretty (but bloody freezing) waterfalls including Millaa Millaa...think Peter Andre and Herbal Essences, both his video and the advert were apparently shot there.
I stayed overnight at the beautiful On The Wallaby Lodge. There was no TV, which was a refreshing change and made for a real "get away from it all" feeling. The lodge was really homely, the staff were lovely and friendly, the resident dogs were super cute and I wanted to stay forever! We spent the evening drinking tea and playing Jenga, then were early to bed to prepare for a more active
Day two began early - up at 6.30 for some Platypus spotting before breakfast. Then mountain biking in the morning through the Rainforest/Farmland landscape (its amazing how quickly the scenery changes up there). After a packed lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (a cunning ploy not to spend money on lunch when there was an all you can eat at breakfast included in the price of the tour, haha!) we went Canoeing on Lake Tineroo, where we saw wildlife galore...birds, lizards, tree kangaroos (mother and baby...cute!) and a poor little kingfisher with a broken wing, who we rescued and christened Kingie. Finally, we decorated ourselves with red ochre, before heading back to the lodge for tea, biscuits and a hot shower and met the bus for the drive home. I'd only been out of Cairns for 2 days, but I returned feeling so refreshed, it felt like I had been away for a week! Best trip yet :o)
So that's me and my adventures in and around Cairns pretty much at an end. I'm planning a barbeque at the lagoon tomorrow with all the friends I've met in Cairns, then I'm just working and preparing
for the next stage of my journey, although I may squeeze in a final trip to the Great Barrier Reef before I go (courtesy of the hostel, seeing as I've done so much work for them).
Wow, long post...but it has been a while. Next post will probably be equally long and from Adelaide in a couple of weeks.
P.S. Photos coming soon
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