We're Never Coming Back

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Day 154 - Cairns, Australia

australia Arriving in Aussie was great. 6 weeks in New Zealand was perfect - not too long to get bored, not too short to miss anything. Another week in the north island might not have gone amiss, but as it happens, we made up for it in the south island. So leaving, whilst pretty gut-wrenching to be leaving Eve, was just what we needed.

We arrived at Sydney airport and had a couple of hours to kill before our flight to Cairns in the far north, on the west coast. So Sam and I explored the tourist-tat shops, which surprisingly sold kangaroo fur beer-holders (sick), crocodile's feet (sick) and a huge selection of furry koalas (cute).

Now, Sam has been quite excited about Aussie. Because in south america, its all adventure sports. and new zealand, its all massive landscapes. But in Aussie, its all about the animals. Koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, dolphins, snakes, crocs, birds, butterflies, and emus. She's wetting herself with excitement, so I've made it my mission to make sure she handles/strokes/cuddles at least one type of everything. Including a spider (she doesn't know that one though). Since the Tasmanian Devil is endangered, this charity box will have to do for that species.

Anyway, after another 3 hours on a plane (apologies to the already delicate environment over australia for that one - there is huge ozone hole there already), we arrived at Cairns International, and our old mate Anthony was waiting at arrivals to whisk us to a hostel. Anthony is another mate who's taking advantage of our trip to come out and see us, and seeing him on the other side of the world was pretty mental.

He scooted us outside to the car park and, to our shock, has hired a Wicked van - these are camper vans which have been done up with a kitchen in the back, a triple-bed, loads of storage and 3 front seats to enjoy the view. We saw these ALL OVER new zealand, and now we had our own to bomb around in. So we chucked our stuff in, headed to a hostel 5 minutes away, and grabbed a couple of beers to catch up over.

In the morning, anthony had organised a walking tour of the town, so we grabbed our suncream (factor 15 is a minimum requirement here - its the skin-cancer capital of the world), put on our walking shoes and headed out for a tour of the city and its surroundings.

To my surprise, we found a lake with a croc in it (well spotted ant) and with a healthy dose of fear, trotted around the rest of the lake before heading home to (you guessed it) grab another couple of beers. This has to stop. I'm a budget traveller, not an 18-30s holiday rep.

The next day, we jumped in the camper van - which just so happens to be called Deluxe Samantha, which I personally think is mental - and headed north towards Cape Tribulation, a region of natural rainforest and cassowaries (whatever they are...)

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