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Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Dec 23, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's been some ungodly amount of time, but I'm back in the tropics! And boy did I forget how hot and humid it is here, the second I step off the plane I appear to be covered in sweat. But then that could have been from the journey itself. See Virgin Blue is a mixed bag. The attendants were cool and on every announcement, they always added a little joke which I appreciated. However, this was all undermined when the pilot came in to land then fluffed it completely and had to pull backup for another pop at the cherry! So a rather worrying start to my East Coast trip.

Cairns itself is the biggest outpost town in North Queensland and is very touristy. Its a small and relaxed place though and has a lovely beach walk capped off with a lagoon where people spend their days lazing in the sun. My first night there I got down to the famous 'Woolshed' for a free meal and some bevvies. Obviously as it was free, I knew it wasn't going to be great but I warn you, unless you like eating rabbit droppings sautéed in cat piss, I would stay away from here. The party itself is a bit crap as I found myself surrounded by little 18 year old English girls covered in 10cm of make-up and very little else! On second thoughts....

The next day I decided to take a day trip on the fabled 'Scenic Railway' to a town called Kuranda in the Atherton Tablelands. The train was quite cool and fashioned in a retro type way and the track snaked its way up mountains affording great views of the coast and the rainforest. However, the town itself is basically just a load of tourist shops and I found myself sitting around by the river for a good few hours waiting for the train to take me back. It doesn't help that I'm not really into shopping, but it was a bit of a let down.

Obviously in Cairns, the main attraction is diving out on the Great Barrier Reef. I dutifully signed up and hit the ocean for a day trip. The ride out to the reef is pretty damn rough as it has to cross into the pacific, so much so that people on the boat were throwing up much to my amusement. The diving was pretty good as the weather was perfect and we had really good visibility in the water. The reef was as colourful as you would imagine and I got to see all sorts of fishes, my favourites being the giant clams and pineapple sea cucumbers. All in all, a good trip that matched my expectations.

After all of the strenuous activities, I spent the rest of my time chilling in the hostel. It was a cool little place although the staff were about as friendly as a group of KKK members at the MOBO awards. On Wednesday, we were treated to a BBQ where we got to taste Kangaroo (pretty nice, kind of like steak) and Crocodile (also quite nice, like a sea chicken). We were also taught the didgeridoo and it's safe to say I wont be rocking the music world with my didge tunes anytime soon. And on a final bombshell, I actually met some North Americans that I liked!

My final night in Cairns meant, of course, a final carve up. Me, the Americans, and a Spanish chick all hit the town and played drinking games for a good few hours. We then got coerced into some dodgy club where a man wearing nothing but a thong and a whole lot of coconut oil started harassing us with free drinks. We duly obliged, then got out of there quick sharp and took refuge in the one truly dependable place in the world - an Irish pub.
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