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Published: January 5th 2009
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Well we’re slowly coming to the end of our Australian adventure with only 6 days until we fly back to Kuala Lumpur for a second stint in Asia. Hope you all had a good xmas and new year and here’s an update of what we got up to over the festive season.
After Hervey Bay we headed up the coast again to Agnes Water and the Town of 1770 named after the year Captain Cook landed in the area. The bus took about 4hrs and we all wore our xmas hats to get into the spirit of things. When we arrived at the hostel we met the Canadians from our tour of Fraser Island and they invited us to their candle lighting ceremony to celebrate Hanukah. It was a good way for us to get to know some people ready for xmas and also learn a bit about the Jewish religion. On Christmas Eve we spent the morning at the beach, which was big and sandy with beautiful scenery. The sea was nice and warm but still nice and refreshing after lying in the sun. We did see some jellyfish though which was a bit off-putting so we only went in the sea when completely necessary. In the afternoon we headed back to the hostel to go on a Scooteroo tour. We had to wear trousers and closed toe shoes which wasn’t very pleasant when we were waiting around in the sun. At 3.30pm we were picked up and taken to Scooteroo HQ where there were loads of little chopper bikes for us to choose from. It cost $50 each but ended up being well worth it. We thought we’d just be going on a quite ride but what actually happened was this:
After choosing our bikes (Nick had black with red flames and I had blue with blue flames) we all got in to a line and one at a time rode off to the end of the drive. I must admit I was a bit nervous at first because it was a foot and hand brake, but once I got used to it I was fine. By 4pm we were on the road. For about 10km we were going quite slowly while everyone got used to the bikes. We went looking for kangaroos and seemed to see them everywhere which was cool. One even jumped out in front of us and nearly got hit by a car which was a little scary because the kangaroo was so big! After an hour or so we were told we could go faster and start overtaking people if we wanted to. So we all sped off trying to go faster than each other. For some reason mine seemed to go a lot faster than everyone else’s so I sped to the front waving at Nick as I passed him. At about 5.30pm we stopped at the side of the road to stretch our legs and see a big group of about 30kangaroos grazing in someone’s garden. After that Nick kept the camera out and got some action shots of us riding the bikes which was cool; although he didn’t seem to concentrate on the road when he was taking a picture. There was one really big hill we went over which gave an amazing view down over 1770. At about 6pm we stopped at a pub for a beer and some wedges which we took down to the beach and watched the sunset sitting on the rocks. It was beautiful but really weird being able to see the sunset on the east coast. Just before the sun had completely gone we headed back on the bikes at full speed. It was a really nice way to spend Christmas Eve as you’d never get to do it in England! That evening we were asked to strip chickens for xmas dinner the next day for a free beer. We volunteered and it really got us into the festive spirit; although I’m sure my chicken was still alive as it jumped out of the bag and fell on the floor and I got covered in chicken fat!
On Christmas Day I kindly woke everyone up with some jingling of bells and xmas songs after putting their stockings at the end of their beds. I don’t think they were all too happy about it though as it was 7am! But everyone got up and put their xmas hats on and went downstairs for breakfast and presents. We’d all paid $15 for food all day and our first meal was fresh fruit which made for a healthy start to a usually unhealthy day. Once we were all there we started opening our secret santa presents. I got a blowup beach ball, koala teddy, kangaroo pencil, nail varnish, sweets, bracelet and chocolate coins. Nick got a bracelet, boomerang bottle opener, croc shot glass, keyring, sweets, Harry Potter glasses and wand and some chocolate coins. He looked so funny with his glasses and elf hat on. To celebrate xmas morning we popped open a bottle of (cheap) champagne to have with our breakfast before everyone started ringing home. For some reason loads of people started dressing up as pirates so we put some stick on tattoos on and joined in. At about 11am a group of us headed down to the beach as it was a stunning day. One of the boys wore a santa suit down which was hilarious as he got chased into the sea by some little kids. The sea was nice but the waves were a lot bigger and a couple of people got jellyfish stings! After about an hour we walked back to have a nice ice cold beer! Then I managed to get roped into a game of who can get dressed the fastest. We were all given a santa suit which we all had to dress up in as fast as possible. To be fair I was pretty slow but that’s only because my suit had never been worn before so the legs were stuck together! Nick and Lianna then joined in the limbo competition although they weren’t very good at it! While that was going on a shaving foam fight broke out and after that a water fight. It started off with just water pistols and water bombs but soon turned into an all out war with hoses and buckets as well! It was such good fun and cooled us all right down as it was 36˚c! At 2pm lunch was served and there was so much food. We were given half a plate full of ham and chicken, 2 buns, stuffing, pasta salad, other salady bits and a cold beer. In the afternoon we were all so full that half of us had a nap and the other half lay on the sofas watching films. At about 6pm we took over a couple of tables and pulled our $2 crackers and party poppers. Believe it or not one girl had never seen a party popper before so was a bit frightened when we started! The crackers were terrible with about half having hats, the same jokes and no gifts, but it was just funny. Although we’d bought 2 crates of beer and a bottle of vodka we still spent $2 per glass on the homemade punch which was delicious and pretty alcoholic. Dinner was the same as lunch apart from we were given presents instead of beers which I thought was really nice of them. We spent the rest of our evening playing drinking games before heading to bed.
Boxing Day was a very lazy day which mainly consisted of watching films and discussing the previous night. We’d agreed to go and meet Lianna’s friend Nicki in Cairns so at 8pm we got a small shuttle bus which took us 30mins away from 1770 to the middle of nowhere. Literally we were stood at the side of the road with no street lights or bus shelter. We got on the bus hoping to have two seats each as it was a 21hr trip; but as usual no such luck and we had to pair up which made the entire journey so uncomfortable.
We finally arrived in Cairns at 6pm and it was unbelievably humid even though it was raining. When we got to our hostel Nicki was already there so we sat and had a much needed beer before showering ready for dinner. On our second day in Cairns it was raining again so Nick and I headed into the shopping centre in town to get some last minute bits for New Years Eve. On our way back to the hostel we saw a stall set up advertising a New Year party so we went over to have a look and ended up booking 5 tickets. It’s called the Cairns Party Bus and is basically a pub crawl but you get on a bus to go to each pub. It cost $55 each but we got loads of free food vouchers, discount vouchers for bars and free entry cards. We all so got dinner on New Years, entry to 4 bars and a club and free pizza in the fourth bar. The only problem was the tickets said there was a dress code which made us worry as we’d been planning to dress up as Fame in bright 80’s clothing.
The next day was really sunny so we spent the day in the pool playing ball games and doing some synchronised jumping which was so funny. There were only a couple of sun-beds around the pool though so we ended up lying on the side of the pool which was pretty uncomfortable. In the afternoon we found some poker chips in reception so had a game between 4 of us and yes I did end up winning! In the evening we decided to use our vouchers and go out for a free meal and some beers. I only wanted to go to a couple of places but I think we managed to get around 5, never spending more than $2 a jug in each place because of our vouchers. In the last pub it was $10 entry but we were given 5 free drinks of our choice which meant for once I didn’t have to drink beer. Nick also found 8 drink cards on the floor and bought a round of tequila shots so we all ended up dancing on the tables! It was such a funny night but boy did we feel it the next day which happened to be New Years Eve!
We didn’t do much during the day on New Years Eve apart from sort our outfits out and the girls spent ages doing their nails and make-up. Nick looked absolutely brilliant in a fluorescent green tank top and yellow girl’s shorts with a pink arm band and green headband! All of the girls wore black leggings with bright coloured shorts over the top and white t-shirts with bright headbands and armbands. By 5.30pm we were all ready and headed into town as the Part Bus started at 6pm. When we stepped out of the minibus we were stared at by everyone else straight away, I don’t think they’re used to people dressing up for New Years over here as we were the only ones! We were a bit worried about getting into the first pub but they were fine with our outfits which was good. The bar was covered in helium balloons and as always someone started sucking balloons which made everyone else start; it was funny though. We also tied a whole bunch of them to the back of one guy’s trousers which was hilarious because they kept hitting him in the head and he didn’t realise why for ages! In the forth pub they invited people up on the stage with things to celebrate and all of our friends chucked us up there saying we were engaged. Well we didn’t know what we were letting ourselves in for and it ended up being a sex positions game! (sorry grandparents! Perhaps you should skip the next couple of lines) So the man would shout something on the microphone and you’d have to do it. Well Nick and I actually ended up winning after doing various positions including a vertical 69… yes Nick actually picked me up in the air and held me upside down! All I can say is it’s a good job I’ve lost weight because it would have been embarrassing if he’d dropped me on my head! Our prizes were a white water rafting day and a day sailing on the Great Barrier Reef! The only problem being they were prizes for 1 so if we both wanted to do them we’d have to pay about $100 per trip which we just can’t afford; so we’ve given them to other people. After that we were happy when the pizza came round and we ended up eating 8 slices each! Oops! At midnight we watched the fireworks down at the lagoon but it wasn’t a very happy New Year being away from everyone.
The next day was a really nice one again so we chilled out by the pool and as Nicki and I were lying on the sun-beds we thought it had started raining, I looked down to see the water was an orangey colour which we thought was really weird. Well the boy with us looked up and saw loads of birds in the tree above us….yep we were getting pissed on! Lovely! Later that day Spence, an officer in the army we’d been travelling with, told us that one of his boys had been killed in Afghanistan and as commanding officer her had to ring the parents. We were all really shocked and it was really sad, I mean as if it wasn’t bad enough he’d been killed his parents were being told at 7am on New Years Day! So in memory of him we all decided to have a really good night and once again the shots and jugs came out. Well at midnight Nick decided it would be a really good idea to get naked and go in the pool! So all the other boys followed and then the girls started going in (although they kept their clothes on). It was actually really funny and the night guard was really good about it; I think it helped take Spence’s mind of the day’s events for sure.
We then rented a car between 5 of us and drove to Cape Tribulation 2½hrs up the coast. The drive was absolutely stunning with tropical scenery similar to Asia and loads of sandy beaches. We arrived at 3.15pm just in time to go on the Jungle Surfing Adventure at 3.30pm. Basically you were out in to a harness and swung on a zip line through the jungle. We were all given a different name on our hats, I was Yoda and Nick was Rambo which was quite funny. I really enjoyed the jungle surfing but the group was quite big so there was a lot of waiting around. There were so many big spiders up at Cape Tribulation which scared a couple of the girls. We even had one in the room and the two boys were too scared to catch it and throw it out so I ended up doing it! We had to drive back early the next day because Lianna was flying out to Singapore. We had the car for another day so we drove back up the coast for an hour to a fruit winery we’d spotted. We were given 7 wines and 8 ports to try which the owner went through with us one by one telling us all about the fruit it was made from and which foods it would be best with. We ended up buying a Mango wine and Purple Mangosteen port.
We’re now on our last couple of days in Cairns before we head down the coast to visit a friend in Surfers Paradise before we fly out. Hope everything’s going well at home and we’ll fill you on more of our antics shortly.
Love us both xxx
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