Day 93-96: Cairns, Australia

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February 28th 2010
Published: February 28th 2010
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Day 93-96: Sunday, February 28th, 2010 to Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010.
Cairns, Australia.

Flew from Wellington to Cairns on Saturday, February 27th. Nothing to report for that flight (that I can remember at least.) I then just chilled and relaxed at my hotel, the Mango Lagoon & Resort for these days. Wandered down to the beach at Palm Cove a couple of times but due to the extreme heat, humidity and stinger (jellyfish) nets, decided to swim in the comfort of the resorts pools. The only thing to really "blog" about is on the morning of Sunday, February 28th:

I woke up this morning around 8 am and, being the Internet addict that I am, immediately logged onto Facebook. I had a message from my friend Dusty in Germany (hi Dusty!) and she was asking if I was okay due to the earthquake in Chili. I was confused... maybe Dusty didn't know where I was. I started to reply back that I was fine, that I was in Australia when, for giggles, I googled Chili earthquake and found out that there were tsunami concerns for many places, including Eastern Australia which is where Cairns is. That got the blood pumping very quickly. I searched thru a few more sights and one site said that waves were expected to hit Eastern Austraia around 8:40 am- it was then about 8:20 am- this was starting to feel like a "24 Episode", I'm surprised I didn't hear the ominous ticking seconds music. Another site had a map that showed which areas of East Coast should keep an eye out, and Cairns was in the "no threat' section. Whew! To be completely sure, I got dressed and went over to reception where they confirmed that all was well. And they pointed out an added bonus, if the officials were wrong and it did hit here, I was on the 2nd floor- yea! Seriously, there was nothing to be worried about.

I then lounged around for a few more hours and then decided to go to the beach. It's a five minute walk thru a residential area that's called Palm Cove. Not a bad walk, even if you can't really breathe. It is very hot and very humid here. I'm equating it to when you first open the dishwasher after it has just finished and you get hit with the hot, humid air. It seriously is like that, but with no break. Even after 5 minutes, I'm drenched by the time I get to the waterfront. It's an unusual feeling (for me at least) to be drenched in sweat, but not breathing hard- doesn't feel right. I browse a few shops and see if any place in the neighborhood is going to be showing the American vs. Canadian Olympic hockey game tomorrow morning (it'll be on at 9 am here). Doesn't look like anyone is, so I'll be cheering alone in my room. I walk over to the beach to cool off and between the blast of warm air that greets me, and the fact that you are only supposed to swim in a large, netted off enclosure (that's supposed to keep the jellyfish out), I quickly lost interest. I tried to take a picture but the lens on my camera kept fogging over. I finally did a quick wipe off and snapped a shot immediately afterwards, so I was able to get one shot at least. Very pretty. I grabbed a couple bottles of water and headed back to the hotel.

Since I'm writing this out of order, I'll fill you in on my hotel. I'm staying at the Mango Lagoon and Resort and have a 1 bedroom suite. So, I have a large kitchen/living room/dining room area, a bedroom and a spacious bath. Very nice! Go Orbitz! I lounge around in the nice air conditioning for a bit and then decide to hit one of the three pools. I don't know if it's just because it's salt water, but you're extra buoyant in the pools- yea! Lazy swimming! I lounge on a chair for a while and watch the birds- none that I recognize, all fascinating. I then decide to head back to my suite (oo la la) and make dinner. I had gone to a grocery store yesterday and picked up a steak and some noodles- couldn't wait! Sorry ladies, what I'm about to say is sexist, but I feel that cooking a steak is a man's job. But that's mainly because every time I do it I burn it. I'll take it out, decide it's too rare, put it back in and next thing you know it's charcoal. So, there's some foreshadowing for you.

I take a quick shower and go into the kitchen where I'm greeted with a line of ants who found my lunch plate that I had decided to leave and clean later. So, I clean that up and destroy their little lives, and move on to dinner. I slap some olive oil on the steak, put it under the burner and get some water boiling for the noodles. Flip the steak over, dump the noodles in the water and notice that there is smoke coming from under the noodle pot. That burner has something on it so I turn it off and move the noodles to another burner. A minute later, the smoke is really bad and I realize that I have continued my streak of screwing up steaks by forgetting to turn the oven fan on. So, I get the now VERY smoky steak out of the VERY smokey oven and open all windows and try to air out the place before the alarm goes off. I even put a dining room chair under the smoke alarm in anticipation of it going off in any moment so that I can beat the crap out of it faster. I get the smoke under control and cut into the steak- yup, still red on the inside. I hate broiling steak. So, I turn the broiler back on (this time with a fan) and pop it back in the oven. I stir the noodles and notice weird little spiders on the counter- almost look crab like. I wonder if that is what I had cleaned up earlier and these were the older brothers. I go to move the still open noodle bag and notice they are all over the bag. Not just all over, all inside. These are definitely not what I cleaned up earlier, they are a whole new surprise and have been waiting patiently in the bag, knowing someday their freedom would come. I fill the sink with water and toss the entire bag into the sink so that they all die and don't crawl all over my trash can. I turn off the burner and look into the noodle pot, yup, many little black creatures were harmed in the making of my dinner. I dump that into the sink as well, kill all the ones on the counter... and remember my steak. Miraculously it wasn't burnt! I pulled it out just in time, but I was (and still am) 100% not hungry. I let it cool down and then threw it away. As I was cleaning up the now disaster scene, I see the line of ants is back. WTF?! I follow them out my front door, into the hallway, and see that they are coming from the neighbors. Lovely. Nothing I can do about that tonight so I make sure the kitchen is as clean as I can get it w/o having cleaning supplies, move the trash can to a location I hope the ants won't find by morning, and decide that I have to blog about my weird, weird day. So, now I have. I'm going to go take another shower now because I swear I can feel things crawling on me. No doubt I'll have very interesting dreams tonight.

So, that was Sunday. Like I said, the rest of the time I just swam in the pool and read. Nice and relaxing.

On March 3rd, I left the resort and headed into Cairns and checked into the Cairns Colonial Club Resort to begin the Contiki trip. For that night, I had 2 roommates: Emily from Canada and Corey from Maine. Emily ran in and back out pretty quickly because she had just finished a 5 day scuba trip and was going out to a farewell dinner with her fellow scubaers (it's a word!) so didn't get a chance to get to know her that night. Corey and I hung out and had some laughs by the pool. Unfortunately she's doing a 3 day Contiki trip with a different group, so not sure if we'll run into each other again or not.

Additional photos below
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28th February 2010

Word to the wise...
Where there is humidity... there are bugs. Lots and Lots of bugs. Flying bugs. Flying roaches. mmmmmmmm! California - one. Florida - zero! Here's hoping you'll have a better day tomorrow!!! XOXOX
28th February 2010

Today is better thus far, but really wishing I hadn't bought the poppy seed bagels. Eating one is kind of freaking me out- I keep double checking to make sure they're seeds! :) xo!
1st March 2010

You cooked dinner for 1000 insects?
Don't sweat. Ants and spiders are attracted to sweat.
2nd March 2010

you poor thing
I bet you really missed Pepper! He could have prepared your steak, killed the spiders and vanished those pesky ants and still made your steak to perfection.
2nd March 2010

You're a lucky woman Edna!!

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