Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
Trip End Aug 16, 2006

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Our decision to stay an extra day in Ballina wasn't exactly rewarded with great weather, in the night Lynne was woken up by the sound of rain hitting the top of our cabin. It was so loud that to start with she thought that somebody was hitting the side of our cabin with a big stick. Predictably I didn't hear anything at all and slept right through, maybe I did wake up but thanks to my sparkling wine anesthetic I don't remember.

We had a quiet morning pottering around the cabin because we weren't exactly keen to embrace the relentless grey skies of Ballina. However we were forced into action when we discovered that our fridge was empty and that we didn't have anything to eat. Being slaves to our stomachs, we jumped into the car and headed into the centre of town. Woolworths was virtually deserted and so we were able to negociate the aisles with ease and quickly find some food that would keep the hunger pangs at bay for a few hours at least. We also treated ourselves to a blue cool bag to store our refrigerated items in when we were on the road (wow what a crazy, wild time I'm having as a traveller, I know how to live life on the edge!). For some reason the cashier thought that we had already purchased the bag and immediately started to pack some items into it. I tried not to catch the cashier's eye, because I had no doubt that I probably had a very guilty look on my face. I paid as quickly as possible and then Lynne carry the "hot" cool bag out of the exit, just in case it had a security tag on it, which would cause a loud alarm to go off and burly security guards to come running.

After this we decided to end our days as Britain's modern day Bonnie and Clyde, choosing instead to wander around Ballina and try to see if any shop had a set of scales that we could use. We wanted to check whether all the major sacrifices that we'd made on our diet/healthy eating campaign had made any difference to our weight. The first pharmacy didn't have any scales but they helpfully gave us directions to one around the corner that they thought kept Ballina's only set of weighing scales. We followed the directions and for the first time saw a glimpse of the sunshine since we'd been in Ballina. This was obviously a good luck omen because the next pharmacy did indeed have a set of scales. I was relieved that it wasn't one of those huge machines that announces your weight loudly to anybody within earshot. I kept Lynne on the scales for about half a hour before I was able to read the tiny writing on the dial, which tried her patience somewhat. We confirmed that the healthy eating was having the desired effect, so to celebrate we went to a nearby cafe for a massive artery clogging fry up. Just kidding we went back to the cabin and cooked some very virtuous and healthy food.

We spent the afternoon pouring over our guidebook and may, trying to work out what our itinerary was going to be before we got to Cairns. We (Lynne) just about it all figured out but when we phoned the holiday park that we were going to stay in next, we found out they wanted $140 dollars per night. This price was outrageous (on our budget anyway) so it caused us to have a bit of a rethink, it also caused us to use the holiday park's internet kiosk, which was frankly useless and very annoying to use. After much frenzied swearing and keyboard hitting (whilst keeping one eye over our shoulder, just in case any children walked into the games room and got exposed to some English words they probably hadn't heard before), we managed to find a nice hostel for tomorrow and our first couple of nights in Brisbane.

Back at the cabin I got my daily dose of culture from Neighbours and Home & Away, realising for the first time that I would have to see the same awful episodes when I returned to the UK in August. If anyone wants advance notice on any of the forthcoming plotlines, then please don't hesitate to ask, they will be provided for a small fee!
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