Brisbane, Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Noosa...
Trip Start Nov 23, 2006
16Trip End May 29, 2007
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Later we looked into renting a Van, it seemed a good option, we'd have wheel's and a place to stay, therefore saving on travel and living costs!! It was a winner, (www.wickedcampers.com.au) we managed to use our British charm to haggle the woman down by $200, which is a lot! We pick our van up tomorrow, the 8th (my birthday) and we're gonna travel down to Byron Bay before travelling back up towards Fraser Island. It's gonna be our home for the next 5 weeks, we don't know what it looks like yet, they all have individual artwork on them, we just hope its not pink, it'll probably be a teletubbie bus!!
Today we went to the 'fake' beach in Brisbane, its not on the coast, so there is a man made beach. It was really hot today, and we played about in the water, higlight of the day has to be when a seagull shat on josh's towel and on his back. I told him its good luck, he didnt belive me.
We've got our van! (see pics) and we've travled down to Byron Bay, it was a hour and a half journey and we arrived late in the afternoon. We found a campsite, unpacked our deck chairs and started my Birthday celebrations. After a few bevies in the we walked into town and hopped from bar to bar. After a lot more drinks and drinking games we stumbled over to a club called 'Cheeky Monkey's' Where we had to get our drivers licence's out to prove to these girls that we were infact English, because Dan was trying to speak the Queens english to impress the ladies, but they though he was talking with some dodgy foriegn accent. After the Club we headed over to a convienence store to cure some late night munchies. It turned out that the store had banging music!!! probably better than in the club so we stayed in the store for about 30 mins, just dancing about. The guy working at the store said.."What are you doing?" But we ignored him and carried on, eventually we got bored, payed for our food and left. Afterwards the store kerk said "If you guys just wanna come here and hangout, your more than welcome to bring a couple of chairs and have a few drinks outside" I think we made a good impression.
Since then we've recoverd from our hangovers, only to have new ones this morning. Yesterday (10th) we rented out a body board and went to the beach. The waves were perfect, not huge, but big enough to give dan a bleeding nose on his first outing! They're still much bigger than in England! The weather out here is super hot, almost too hot we cant spend long in the sun without retreating to the shade for water and more suncream. Dan has been given so many nicknames on our travels but he's now called '3rd Degree Burns' due to his sun-burn! We went out again last night and had a few games of 'Harbour' before we left. It was my go...the ship came into the harbour and brought 'pizza toppings'. Dan sighed, as he didnt like the subject, we went round, nothing out of the ordinary...Cheese, Tomato, Dan said ham. Then it went round again, Dan struggled, nothing came out until he said... 'Tomato Bread'??!?! We all fell about laughing, this was after a few, so we'll let him off.
Later that night we returned to the convenience store to throw some shapes and buy a bottle of water. The guy who works in the store loves us!!
Sheila (our van) Is running well, she gets bloddy hot during the day and its like entering a sauna when we want to go to bed, luckily it cools down at night time, but at about 8am we're all up coz we're cooking inside the Van!!
We're going to the beach again today, but we're gonna leave it till much later when the sun is lower and less deadly!! We'll rent out a bodyboard again, although I want to Surf!!! I just need to convince Dan and Josh!!
Oh, Matt Soil, Benny A, Reina is a brilliant keeper!!! 2-1 lads, sorry but its about time you let us win one!!!
Hello everyone! Sorry for the lack of activty on the travelpod over the last week or so, we've been having too much fun!! We drove up to Surfers Paradise from Byron Bay on Tuesday the 13th, on the Wednesday we went on a huge bar crawl, we were'nt planning on doing one until Dan and I were approached by a long haired Australian called Craig. A rep for the bar crawl company, he's obviously done his sale's talk a thousand times, and it showed. Dan and I didnt need much convinvincing, and before we knew it we were holding 3 tickets. He could of sold us 6 if he wanted to, he was that good a salesman! I miss Craig.
The Night of the bar crawl was a messy one, we were encouraged to drink, drink, drink. The single guys and girls were given green stickers, while the taken few were given red stickers. Now you should know that Josh has been 'seeing' a nice little danish lady called...urm, er..Danish Lady (I can't remember her name?!) So when Josh was given a green sticker, Dan and I both saw what was coming. And sure enough, Danish Lady walked in with a red sticker!! Dan and I laughed into our pints, hoping that danish could'nt see us, while Josh went a shade of red. It was a cringeing moment! At the begining of the night we were randomly given name tags, Dan's was Hugh Hefner, mine was Donkey B*llocks (classy) and Joshs' was Hogan. Josh lost his, and when one of the organiser's spotted his name tag was missing, he came over to our table to write him a new one. Dan and I suggested he was called 'Twat'...the organiser agreed. During the night there were loads of drinking games, and we hit about 7 different bars and 2 night clubs, it was a heavy night!
The night after we had a chilled night and a couple of days ago, Dan and I vistited 'Ripley's Believe it or Not?' Museum. It was a good laugh with loads of weird stuff inside, we saw wax models of the worlds tallest and the worlds fattest man, there were also these booths where you could see yourself morf into frankenstien or a warewolf. Really weird place, but quite entertaining.
Yesterday we visited Dreamworld, which is a theme park, twinned with a water park called Whitewater World. Dan and I ran about like little kids while Josh sat, waiting by the exit of each 'scary' ride like a patient mother, holding our belongings and taking pictures. There were some really cool rides including The Wave Ride (see vid) and a ride called the Terror Tower, its when a car that fits about 20 people is proppelled at about 160kmph on a track, and then it drives vertically until it reaches 38 storeys high! Then the car falls backwards back to where it started! One of the best rides was called Nightmares, it was a large tent that you entered in groups of 6 holding on to the persons shoulders infront of you. Inside it was pitch black, with stobe lights, mirrors and cages everywhere. It was a disorienting maze with actors dressed as scary people around every corner. I was bullied into going first in line, but I stepped up and rembered everything I had learnt from Ghostbusters. As we were walking through, a fat woman covered in fake blood ran at our group out of nowhere, she scared the life out of all of us, especially the woman behind Dan, who's hand's clenched Dan's shoulders extremely hard, forcing Dan to swear at the fat scary lady.
Later we crossed over to the waterpark, again there was loads of cool rides. But we had the most fun playning a mature game of 'Tag' around the Nickelodean area. Dan was 'it' for the majority of the time, as Josh and I toyed and teased our predator, we were careful of small children playing with the pipes and spraying water, but i'm not going to lie to you, there were casualties. No, we didnt hurt anyone but we got some strange looks from parents, as we were hidding round corners in the kids play area. After a few chases and some lucky escape's Dan had finally come to the end of his tether. Like a Lion, he spotted his prey in the distance. Running like a Gazelle, Josh dodged and dived past playing kids. The chase was on, Dan was right on his heels, he had a choice to make. Run around the huge orange slide, or take a risky short cut by jumping over it. He made the wrong choice, his foot slipped on the slide and fell head over heels, crashing down on his stomach infront of hundreds of kids and watching parents. Josh and I could hardly contain our laughter!! Luckily no one was hurt. Except Dan.
We had a two day pass to the themeparks and our second day was much better! In the morning we went to the waterpark and we must have gone on about 15 rides in about an hour. Then we found a slide which was a pitch black and you go down on a rubber ring. You could go down in two's or individually. Dan and I went down, but we decided to go backwards while the lifeguard wasnt watching, it was so much better, and actually quite scary, Dan giggled like a little girl the whole way down, it was well funny! Later in the day we headed over to Dreamworld Themepark. Josh and I payed $5 to go on the Flowrider. (see video) We stood and watched while loads of these local kids and blokes went on and made it look easy. So we thought we'd give it a go. It was so hard!! You had to put pressure on the board in certain places, it was all about weight distrabution, which explained why a fat women in our group was bloody briliant at it!! Most of our attemps lasted about 5 seconds, we'd ride the wave, then get lauched back to where we started! Josh and I struggled, but gradually got to grips with it just as our half hour session was over.
Having rode most of the rides on our first vistit to Dreamworld, there was only a couple of rides Dan and I had'nt been on. But we'd saved the best to last!! We went on a ride called The Claw, which is bassically the biggest swing in the world, that was awesome! But the ride imaginatively named the 'Giant Drop', for obvious reasons, was our favourtite. I dont like height's at the best of times, but I've jumped of cliffs in the past and I'm facing my fears. I was pretty nervous as I sat on the ride, especially as there was a delay in the que for a 'test run'. It was one of the moments when I thought, "Why have I got myself into this?" The chairs take you up 120 metres high, and trust me that is a longway up! When we were being lifted to the top you could'nt look up, and it seemed like we were going up for ages! Finally we were at the top, and the view was amazing, it was a clear day and we could see the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise sticking out of the trees in the distance. Meanwhile I was talking to myself to prepare myself for the drop. "We're gonna drop any second, mmmm, that tree down there looks nice, oh there's Josh with the camera, he look's like an ant from here" We must have been up there for about a minute, that's not an exaggeration either, we had no idea of when it was going to drop, its random, sometimes it drops quickly, others you're up there for what seems like a lifetime! Then we dropped...It was brilliant!!, Dan and I loved it, we fell 120 metres in 5 seconds! We were buzzing afterwards, the adrenalin was pumping!
To calm down after the Giant drop, we went to the Zoo area and saw Crocodiles, fed Kangaroos and watched Koala's doss about. There was also a repitle area where we saw loads of ugly snakes, which most can be found in the woods around Austrailia.
On the way to Noosa we stopped off at a quality pub callled the Emmotogah. It was class!We each had a beer and a huge meal for lunch, it was the best pub we've been to so far!
Noosa is a really rich area of Australia where most people who live there have their own private jetti and nice yacth to match. We found ourselves a really good campsite right on the beach and soon settled in. Other than surfing there's not that much to do in Noosa apart from walking through the forest and up by the coast. Unfortuantly the weather was really wet, and we managed to get absolutly soaked while walking by the cliffs. We could see the rain cloud coming our way, over the sea but there was nothing we could do about it! We ended up looking like drowned rat's!. The coastal walk was'nt spoiled by the weather though, the views of the sea and the beach were amazing and our walk throught the rainforest was a good laugh. We kept looking out for Koalas in the tree's instead of looking where we should be going. I tripped a few times! The rain actually made the rainforest walk better, the smell from the eucalyptus was really powerfull and there were'nt any snakes about so I was happy about that. After the walk we went to the carpark and saw a giant lizard, called a 'Goanna' It was massive! We'd been looking out for wildlife the entire walk, and there was more in the carpark! It was just chillin out on the grass looking for food, it scared a few people.
After the walk we were really bored and had nothing to do as it was pissing down with rain, so we went to the cinema and saw 'The Good Shepard', which was not very good. Knowhere in Austrailia sells sweet popcorn??! They need to sort that out!! The nightlife in Noosa is pretty subdued, and it was still raining, so we went to the cinema...again, yes twice in one day! This time we saw Ghost Rider, which was even worse than the Good Shepard. Brilliant.
To get to Fraser Island we drove to Hervey Bay, which is actually a bit of a pikey town. It's just a place to stop off, and there's nothing to do, its full of retirerees aswell. We booked our 4x4 tour of Fraser Island as soon as we got there, and we had one day to kill before our trip started. So we went to a driving range, I'm crap a golf, Dan's good and Josh impressed me with his golf swing. I got better as the day went on, we had loads of balls and we were smashing them for about an hour and a half. After that we were stuck for things to do! So we chilled by the pool at our campsite and stayed there till we were wrinkly. Later in the evening we rented out a tennis court by the beach and had a few games. Dan was handy with his racket and I eventually got back into the swing of things, Josh was either really good or amazingly bad, we all had a good laugh and got our first bit of real excersise in a long time!
With the Fraser Island tours, you go into groups of 9, you get a 4x4 (we got a pink one) three tents, some camping gear and you stay for 2 nights and 3 days on the island. You don't go with a guide, so there's much more freedom, everyone takes turns with the driving and we just follow a written itinery and visit all the best spots. Before we got off the mainland, our Jeep brokedown and we missed our ferry! So it was'nt a good start! But luckily there was a ferry within the hour, so our mechanic had time to come out and replace our accelerator cable. It took about 30 minutes to get to Fraser Island and our first stop was Lake Wabby. The island is actually pretty big, much bigger than I thought, its the largest sand island in the world, apparently theres more sand on Fraser island than in the Sahara. Anyway... me and the lads were in the back of the Jeep as we drove to Lake Wabby, it was a bumpy ride, as there are no tarmac roads and its tough terrain when driving through the island. When we got there, we parked up and had to walk for miles through the forest and over the sand dunes. It was boiling hot!! We were all sweating like pigs, the walk through the forest wasnt fun either!! Every five steps there was a rustle in the bushes, by a lizard or an unidetified creepy crawly, luckily no snakes, but there were some huge spiders, with the biggest webs I have ever seen!!
I'll contiune writting tomorrow as Im really hungry and i've written quite a bit. I hope everyones doing well back home in sunny England. Ells x x
Right, I'm back where was I? Oh yeah...We were walking to Lake Wabby. When we got there it was well worth the walk, its a large lake in the middle of these sand dunes, while one side is completely surrounded by forest. It's a fresh water lake so there was nothing dangerous lurking in the water, meaning we were free to swm about. We stayed there for about 2 hours, swimming about and running down the sand dunes. The only annoying thing about Frasier Island is the giant flies that bite you!! There were quite a few of these about and I got a good video of Josh struggling to shrug them off! After lake wabby we drove to another part of the Island where we set up camp for the night.
In our group we had 2 Germans. In typical efficient German style they put up their tent in seconds and said, "Team Germany has finished" meanwhile we were still working out where the door was!! Once the tents were up we had a game of football on the beach until dinner was ready! We had a big BBQ as the sun was setting it was really cool.
Later that night we were joined by 2 other groups of 9 and the drinks started to flow. Before we got to the Island we had stocked up with boxes of wine and crates of beer, so we were well equipt. A couple of members of the other group had a few too many, and were passed out by 9pm. Us lads were taking it steady but we were well on our way!. As more drinks were consumed, the more we got to know our group. Dominic (1 of the Germans) was particulary funny, as he was obsessed by David Hassleoff. So we spent most of the night laughing at his Hoff impressions, laughing at him singing Hoff 'Hit' songs and watching him tell everyone not to 'Hassle the Hoff!!' The night ended with most people passing out in their tents.
The next day we were up at the crack of dawn. It was not an easy task as everyone had a steaming hangover. Our first stop on the Island was a place called Indian Head, Its just a giant cliff where you can walk up and look down into the sea and take in the view. It was a about a half hour journey up the beach and we got there at around 7o'clock. The view from up the top was beautiful and cleared everyones head-aches. From the top you could look down and watch the sealife down below. Everyone was on the look out for Sharks, but only a select few got to see some. Josh and I were lucky enough to see some Sharks aswell as loads of Rays, a Turtle getting bashed in the waves, but the highlight had to be the Dolphins! There were 3 dolphins swimming and jumping out of the water in the distance, it was really cool. We saw so much stuff from up on the cliff, it was unbelivable, we were very lucky! On our way down we came face to face with a Dingo. Dingo's are wild dogs that roam the island looking for food. Some of them can be quite agressive, fortunatly the Dingo we saw was harmless and more like a domestic dog than a wild one.
All natured out, we walked along the beach towards the Champaigne Pools. The Champaigne pools, are pools created by rocks that were used to catch fish by the Aboriginies. They're called "Champaigne" pools as when the sea water comes crashing over the rocks into the pool the water fizzes, like Champaigne. Like Lake Wabby we were able to swim in the pools. Your not really aloud to swim in the beach at Frasier Isalnd as its so shark infested! So it was nice to have a swim about and muck about in the pools. Me Josh and Dan were playing about like kids again, fighting, throwing sand at eachother while the rest of the group chilled. They eventually joined in when they realised how much fun we were having!
After another long drive on the beach we drove to a Shipwreck and took a few pictures, then we headed to set up camp at a new spot. We had another game of football on the beach and we taught the Germans a footballing lesson. The drinks started to flow again and we started a big game of 'Ship came into the Harbour' Dominic the Hoff loving German was particulary bad at it, for example for 'Male Hollywood Actors', he said... 'Meg Ryan' and for 'Venomous Austrailian animals' he said...'An Emu' is was a really funny night and we filmed Dominic ranting about Hasslehoff (see vids) a Dingo came over to our camp area and when we asked Dominic what the Hoff would do in this situation, he said 'Catch it' so he took off his shirt and chased after it.
The next morning we were up early again, Josh was mad at himself as he'd zipped himself up into his sleeping bag during the night and woke up boiling hot, dripping with sweat. It was our last day on the island and I really wanted to drive the Jeep, luckily no-one else wanted too so I got to drive it for the whole day!! Driving along the beach at 80kmph was loads of fun, although those in the back got to feel every bump! Driving through the rainforest was much more fun though! It was alot more tricky, really bumpy and deep sandy roads made turning a challenge. It think I worried a coulple of people in the back as I was going quite fast! When I asked if everyone was alright? Dominic said in his funny German accent... "Im dying!" I had it all under control though and we eventually arrived safetly at Lake McKenzie. Lake McKenzie was by far the best place we'd seen on the island. As we were there early we had the whole place to ourselves. Like lake Wabby it was a fresh water lake and we could swim about in the crystal clear water. The sand was so fine and so white it hurt your eyes to look at it. The lake was huge and it was in the middle of the forest. We had the whole day there so we, played some more football, dived about in the water, had some Germany VS England Piggy-Back fights. We won the fights and the Germans were so embarresed they said they could'nt face going home! Later in the day David (the other German) who knew loads about the Island was our very own guide for the Island as he'd been there before. At Lake Mckenzie he asked me if I wanted swim across the lake, he said "it wasnt far" I accepted his challenge as he promised to save me if i could'nt make it! David was quite a fit bloke and a much better swimmer than me but even he was struggling!! The lake was massive, much bigger than it looked!! After 10 minuets swimming, I looked back and thought I must be half way across!? I was about a quarter of the way across and completly knakered! I pressed on, and changed from front crawl to the trusty back stroke and regained my strenght. When we finally reached the other side of the lake, I crawled onto the sand and kissed the dry land! I looked back and everyone looked tiny in the distance! I though David had swam across the Lake before, so I was shocked to hear him say "Thats alot further than it looks!" We walked back round to the other side!
When we got back to base on the mainland, we had our first shower in 3 days!! And we ate like kings at an all you can eat chinese buffet, as we hadnt eaten all day!! Being away from civilisation we missed the Carling cup final, but we read all about it on the internet. Later that night we had a few drinks with our group and chatted away. We all had a good nights sleep that night as we were soo tired, but we had to up wearly because we had a long journey ahead of us!!
Airlie Beach (Whitsundays)
Yesterday (the 27th) we left Hervey Bay at 8am and set off for a long journey to Airlie Beach. It was a proper road trip, all the way up the 'Bruce Highway' on the east coast. With our stereo and Ipod in the car we set off. About 8 albums later we stopped off in Rockhampton, we thought about stayin there but when we got out we realised there were loads of weirdos about, and a few hillbillies. So we had some lunch and continued drivng. Josh kept Dan and I amused as he kept falling asleep then banging his head waking himself up. I was driving, while Dan was reading me bits of triva from an Australian Zoo magazine. 8 hours into our journey, we'd seen about 3 dead Kangaroos on the road, about 6 cars and about 20 lorries, but no Koalas! The roads are so quite in Australia, almost too quite!! The roads are long, flat and straight and are surrouned by beautiful landscape of loads of nothingness. We stopped off at Mackay and thought about stopping for the night, but we drove on and headed towards Airlie Beach. Josh took the driving seat and we drove into the darkness. With the Ipod nearley dead, we finally arrived at Airlie beach!! First impression's are very good, it looks much more lively and the harbour looks quality! There are 74 Islands at Whitsundays and we'll be booking a trip soon!!
See ya! Ells x x
Sailing on the Boomerang (Whitsundays)
We booked a sailing trip on a maxi race boat called the Boomerang. The deal included 2 days and 2 nights, food and snorkeling, all we had to bring was booze. We got off to a bad start as we'd had a heavy night the night before and we were late for the boat. I had the mother of all hangovers and we were running down to the marina while it was ridiculously hot. Knackered and sweaty we were pleased to find we hadn't missed the boat, in fact they hadn't even started to board yet so there was no cause for alarm. There was a total of 15 guests on the boat including 3 crew members.
Once we set sail our first stop was just off Hook Island, to go snokeling. There are loads of jellyfish and other life threatening stingers in the sea at this time of year so everyone has to wear stingers suits. We all kitted up and Dan and I had a good laugh at Josh's expense as his 'skin tight' suit was hanging off him and it looked like he was wearing a black pair of pyjamas. The banter had started. So me Dan and the 2 legged spider jumped in the water and swam about the coral. The snorkeling was on a par with Koh Phi Phi, if not better, there was some amazing coral, stuff I've never ever seen before and some beautiful fish.
After the snorkeling it was dinner time, the food on-board was really good, much better than what we cook in our van! We scoffed our steak and mash potatoes and then the bladder of Goon came out. (box of wine) There were 5 Irish, 3 Swiss, 1 German and 6 English (including us) on board and we started a friendly card game called 'Shit Head' The Irish were not familiar with the game and they were struggling, they started to take their anger out on this poor fat Swiss guy who eventually came know as 'The Swiss'. Feeling a little sorry for the guy I started to stick up for our neutral friend and started giving the Irish some stick. Eventually one of the Irish guys lost, and to his dismay he was called Shit Head for the rest of the night! Next were the drinking games... 'Ship came into the Harbour' was altered to 'Boomerang came into the Harbour' (Genius) The bitter Irish were typically hostile to the English calling us oppressors of the Irish people, shit like that. They eventually snapped out of it and some more friendly banter started to fly across the boat as the night went on.
The next morning we all had hangovers again, but we were soon refreshed by the sea breeze. Our first stop of the morning was Whitehaven beach. Supposed to be one of the nicest beaches in the world, Whitehaven beach is a popular destination, but completely protected, they can fine you a minimum of $12000 for taking sand from the beach! Whitehaven was a lovely beach, the sand was the finest we've seen on our travels and it was as white as sand gets. Although I don't think it beats Long Beach, Ko Phi, Phi, but its a definite close second. We stayed there for over and hour, playing football against the Irish and swimming in the sea. Evey time Josh put on his Pyjamas, I mean Stinger Suit, we started to tease one another, Josh having a go at my voluptuous bottom and Dans long arms. Josh having legs the size of arms eventually came know as the 4 armed man. So fat arse, long arms and 4 arms swam about whitehaven and then boarded the boomerang for lunch.
After an awesome lunch we went and did some more snorkelling around Hook Island, the snorkeling was amazing, we saw a couple of huge fish, don't know what they were called but they were massive!! 'The Swiss' was following us around underwater and he had all the grace of a drowning rhino, splashing about, diving and hitting us with his feet, arms and generally scaring everything away. We went to another snorkeling site afterwards, but it wasnt as good as before, however when we got out and boarded the boat we spotted 3 dolphins hunting for bait fish and swimming about, it was really cool, and we were very lucky to see them. Later that eveing the boat moored at a nice spot just off the Hayman Island. The sunset was amzing and brought a tear to Josh's eye, no, not really but it was beautiful. Having spent the day getting to know the rest of our group our sencond and final night abord the Boomerang was by far the best night, in fact it was one of the best nights so far!
It started off steady, with the english contingent orchestrating the drinking games, then some more drinking games were introduced, including the Number game...Bare with me, it's fairly difficult to explain... The Number Game is where everyone takes turns to count, easy, 1, 2 ,3 ,4 and so on. However certain rules apply to certain numbers, for example, for the number 4, you have to make the cricket '4' signal with your hands rather than say 'four', same goes for number 6, and number 13 is invisible, meaning knowone says 'thirteen', instead they skip it and say 14. Get it so far? Anyway, once someone slips up they have to introduce a new rule, such as stand up for number 3 or make a chicken noise for number 5. One rule was if you slipped up, you had to down some of your drink, go to the end of the boat and shout 'I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!' We played this game for a while, getting more and more drunk as the game became more and more complicated, soon enough we were stuggling to get past 5 or 6. The funniest part of the game was when Dan lost and then had to come up with his own rule. His rule was for the number 1, instead of saying 'one' you had to say...'ooohh Sausage' .So Dan started the game off and said... 'one' Everyone pissed themselves laughing, meanwhile Dan got up, went to the end of the boat and shouted 'I'M A STUPID TWAT!!' It was hilarious.
During the night there were loads of rules that meant downing your drink as punishment for breaking them including, only left hand drinking and no pointing or swearing. Later on some Aussie bird and her long haired bloke friend came over to our boat, this bird had an attitude and she was ordering us about and came across as an annoying bitch. Wrong move. We picked her up on every right handed slurp of her drink, every time she pointed, and every time she swore, everyone chanted DOWN IT!, DOWN IT! She was smashed within 30 mins. Meanwhile the boat from which the girl came from was trying to chant something towards our boat, but they were outclassed and outsung by the Boomerang and soon enough we were the boat to be on. Everyone else was quiet. As the night went on we stayed up chatting into the early hours of the morning and we finished the crews emergency supply of drink. The Irish were a good laugh and turned out to be good lads and worthy competitors in the drinking games and good sports with the banter, especially when it came to my Irish impressions, "My name's Shaun O'Driscoll" went down well. Later in the night in a drunken stupor, Dan Josh and I had a freestyle rap contest, which eventually drew a crowd until we ran out of words ryhme with 'boat' and 'sea'.
Having left Airlie beach shorlty after we sailed into the harbour we arrived in townsville at around 6pm. As with most aussie city's they're fairly dead on a monday night, we found a campsite, had some food and watched some 24 on our DVD player.
The following day we went into town and Dan and I booked some diving trips. We need a total of 6 dives under our belt before we can do a wreck dive, so we booked to reef dives and the wreck dive. During the day we went to the cinema and watched, 'The Illusionist', which was pretty decent. In the evening we needed to get an early nigh as we were diving the next day, but it was not to be. Townsville is very far up north, and further up north you go, the hotter and more humid it gets. So with 3 of us sleeping in a tin can it was impossible to get to sleep, and there were a few mid night battles between me and this mozquito that wouldnt stop flying past my ear making that 'iiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee' sound, doing my head in!!
Today (tuesday) Dan and I went on our dive which i'll tell you about later. I hope everyone one is keeping well. All the best, Ells x
Our first dive was on Magnetic Island, a small island about 20 minutes away from Townsville, having not dived since January Dan and I were a little nervous about getting back into it, but all fears were washed away as soon as we entered the sea. There wasn't much to see, mainly just coral, most of it dead, and there were very few fish. The guide who took us was really excited about all of it, calling the dive amazing. Dan and I were disappointed as we've seen more in sea life in the swimming pool let alone snorkeling. A bit dejected we were starting to think that all this diving stuff was just overrated, and that you can see enough if you go snorkeling in the right places. But the dive the next day was meant to be much better, and we weren't disappointed.
We were picked up at 6.30 in the morning and were on the boat by 7am. The dive was going to be around 28 metres deep; we'd only gone to a measly 8 metres at Magnetic bay so we were much more nervous on the boat to the Yongala wreck site. The S.S. Yongala was a huge steamship that sank in a cyclone in 1911 and remained undiscovered for almost 50 years. The wreck now lies on its starboard side in 14-28 metres of water and at 109m long it is the largest and most intact, historic shipwreck in Australian waters. She sank just 12 nautical miles off the coast of Cape Bowling Green in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park with the loss of all 122 passengers, no life rafts were found indicate the loss of the Yongala was sudden and tragic. Now enough of the history lesson, back to me and Dan shitting our pants. Anyway, we were nervous, but we had a long time to shake it off as it was a 3 and half hour boat trip into the middle of the ocean.
When we got there we were straight in! Under the surface of the water it was scary at first, as the size of the fish shocked me, and I know it shocked Dan because later he told me he thought they were all sharks! The visibility underwater was perfect, apparently one of the best days they'd seen in a long, long time, so we had 15 to 20 metres visibility. After about 5metres down, you could make out the shape of the ship below, but I was distracted by the sheer number of fish, there were fish absolutely everywhere, thousands of them!! The Yongala wreck is part of the Australian Nation Park, therefore its protected, meaning you can't touch it and fisherman can't fish anywhere near it. So that means loads of fish!! I couldn't believe it, there were schools of fish bigger than the one we caught in Phi Phi, there were clown fish (Nemo), huge Napoleon fish, every fish you could think of, it was there, it was like a giant underwater city. At 25 meters down I saw a huge fish swim up to this group of little fish, open up it's mouth and gills as wide as it could, then all the little ones cleaned him inside and out. We were told they are called cleaning stations and there was a few of them dotted around. Later on our second dive we spotted a Bull Shark about 2 metres long, just cruising along, then within a flash of its fin, it was off like a bullet, the speed at which a shark travels is unbelievable and to be honest... Shit scary!!
The highlight of the day had to be when a giant green turtle was chomping on some coral and then it swam directly underneath me, meaning I could stroke and pat its shell as we were swimming about. Dan had to get a bit of the action and darted across to touch the huge shell. Turtles are so cool!! He didn't seem to bother either. The wreck it's self took a back seat as the fish and coral was so distracting, however it was still amazing, and mostly intact, we could still see the name of the ship, the masts, the engine room, a steel bath tub, loads, it was one of the best experiences I've ever had, and we were so lucky with the visibility, I just want to go down again!!
Hello friends, family, fans, we're in Cairns now it's the furthest up north we're going, it's also the place where we drop off Sheila, our Van. Cairns is a lively place, it very hot, almost too hot, but its humid so its makes for uncomfortable sleeping in the van!! Being very tropical up here, it also rains a lot, meaning we get very, very wet. On our first weekend in Cairns we hit the town, first stop was the casino, I got lucky, went in with $40, came out with $90, the other too were a little shy and just lost a tenner each. We hit most the bars on the main stretch and ended up in some bar/club called The Woolshed, it was alright, we ended up dancing on the tables, getting very drunk and generally having a wicked night! The next day (Saturday) we were very hung-over and we ventured into town to visit the local shopping centre, we didn't buy anything coz we've got no money; (my winnings were spent on booze). Instead we went to the usual place to go when we are very bored...the cinema. We watched Hot Fuzz, which was brilliant "by the power of grey skull!" very funny movie, if a little silly. In the evening we were out on the town again. As the night before we visited the Casino again, this time Josh was on a mission and we headed straight to the roulette table. I lost miserably. Gambling is a mugs game. However Josh was feeling lucky, he put down a massive 50 bucks and started to place his chips. He slowly started to make his money and eventually had 90 bucks in chips, and put some more down, he lost 20 and had 70 left. I turned to Josh and said "All on red?" He thought about it, then turned to Dan and said "Shall I?" In the true spirit of peer pressure Dan said "Go on... do it! Don't be a pussy" Josh had a lucky feeling and placed his entire pile of chips down, there was and eerie silence around the table, the lads held there breath. The ball was rolling, the roulette was spinning, and Josh was sweating. The ball started to slow, it rattled about, red, black, red, black and then it landed. The table was silent...apart from us three as we jumped for joy, Josh collected his winnings and said "He who dares Rodders, he who dares" So with 140 bucks in Josh's sky rocket we headed for the bars and got in a few rounds of beer, supported with some celebratory shots of Tequila. We staggered back to the campsite at about 4 in the morning after walking for what seemed like days along the road trying to hail a taxi with no luck at all.
Sunday, the day of rest, hung-over again we were up by 9 as you cant stay in the van for too long while the sun's up otherwise you fry. We went into town again and had a decent lunch followed by another trip to the Cinema. It's just the best thing to do when you're hung-over, as you're in the dark, with air-con, sipping on a huge cup of Sprite! This time we watched 'Man of the Year', which was ok, enjoyable but nothing spectacular.
Monday. We decided to take Sheila on her last outing up in the mountains, somewhere where she could enjoy the open roads and savour her last moments with us. We went in search of the natural waterfalls dotted around Cairnes, I drove while Josh and Dan navigated, the trip up the mountains wasn't fun to drive but the views were spectacular! The roads were so windey, constantly having to make sharp turns left and right, we stopped halfway up the top and took a picture of the view. It's so green up here, much greener than anywhere else; it reminds you of England a little bit. We eventually found the first waterfall on our list, Milla Milla falls
Tonight ( Tues 13th) we're treating ourselves to our first steak dinner in Australia, so we're looking forward to it! Tomorrow we drop off Sheila and I've promissed myself I won't cry. On Thursday we fly to Melbourne to stay with John and Blake, the Aussie lads we met in Thailand, so its gonna be non-stop party when we get there as these lads know how to have a laugh! Hope all is well in the shire. x x
Hello people, it's been a few days since I last wrote on here and lots happened. First of all the steaks we had were amazing, absolutely huge!! We were given daggers to eat them with. Second of all there has been some bad news...we had to say goodbye to Sheila, our van. It was an emotional send off and she will be greatly missed. However we were slightly relieved to see the back of her as the 3 of us had just about had enough of sweating ourselves to sleep and waking up in a puddle each morning. Cairns was just too hot!! So here we are in Melbourne!! We got a 3-hour flight down from Cairns, just in time to miss the torrential downpour of rain. One of the lads we are staying with, John, picked us up from the airport and drove us around the city, giving us a scenic tour of his old house in the process. Melbourne is vastly different from any other place we've been in Australia, its got loads of character, everyone's well into their music round here and there loads of cool bars, trendy cafes, and places to eat. Arriving late in the evening we stayed up chatting until about 2am and then went to bed. The Aussie lads place is above a Café, which Johns Dad owns and runs. Their place is just one giant open space, a bathroom at one end and a kitchen/living room at the other. In between is John and Blake's "rooms" which are cordoned off by office style partitions. There's no carpets, no paint on the walls but it's a cool place, a students dream.
On the Friday night (16th) Blake took us out to a pub called Perseverance, as there was a birthday party. It was a good night we met some of his friends and got very drunk. While staggering home we passed loads of street performers, including an entire band. Josh and I stopped and danced in the street for about ten minuets and then carried on home. During the daytime, we've wondered round town, seen the sights and sampled some of Australia's finest fish'n'chips at St Kilda. Saturday night was a superb night, John and Blakey invited about ten of their mates round for pre-drinks and the games began. Organised by us, we had a huge game of 'Ring of Fire' and the Aussie lads we struggling with rules like 'no pointing' and 'only left handed drinking'. By the time we left the flat to go into town everyone was wasted. The rest of the night was a blur to me, many drinks followed, and there was some more dancing in the street. The night ended with John and I having an arse spanking competition. It's a long story, but John won, and I woke up with a very sore bottom. That morning, all very hung over, John walked into the living room to find Dan and I dancing to Eminem, John joined in the dancing, got really excited, and said, "This is Awesome!!! lets have some beers" ...It was 10 in the morning.
Last night (Sunday 18th) we went over to Blake's mum and dads house and had a BBQ, which was very tasty indeed! There was loads of food and Blakes parents were really nice, his Dad was very funny and insisted on giving us a history lesson on Michael Hutchinson and Inxs. The Aussie boys have got more drunken madness planned for us during the week, starting tonight. I can't upload any photos in the crappy Internet place so I'll upload loads when we get to Sydney. All the best, Ells x
Hello again, we're safely in Sydney at the moment but first I'll tell you about the rest of the stuff we got up to in Melbourne. On the Monday (19th March) it was dollar pot night at a hole of a place in the city centre (pots are gay little half pints served everywhere in Auz) but you could buy jugs for 4 dollars. On our way to the bar, Blakey decided that he fancied a particular ten foot statue, so he climbed up, grabbed the female statues leg, took down his trousers and started humping it. At this point its only 8pm.
Blakey gave us some money for our taxi, but before we got our ride home, John had to show us the river. The river runs right through the city and skyscrapers and other huge buildings overlook it. John, being the most crazy drunk in the world decided he was gonna jump in the river. I looked down and counted 8 Jellyfish in a 3 metre radius, I began trying to talk him out of it, but he was already down to his boxers, geeing himself up, as he looked over the edge, Dan the drunken zombie sprang to life and pushed John straight in! He immediately climbed out, burn free, but absolutely freezing. He wouldn't shut up at about how momentous it was and how none of his mates have ever done it!! I wouldn't have done it.
Tuesday was a day of rest.
Wednesday, Booze cruise night.
The booze cruise was organised by the science department of the Melbourne University, so you'd expect there would be loads of geeks in lab coats, we couldn't have been more wrong. The event was fancy dress, there was no particular theme, but we were due to go to a party on the Friday dressed as something beginning with 'M' so we were dressed as Marines, Dan wanted to go dressed as Mel B, but we talked him out of it. We looked pretty cool, we had dog tags, camo paint on our arms and face, and most importantly toy guns!!!. The boat was packed, it had about 600 people onboard and it was a free bar!! We partied hard, making several missions back and forth to the bar. We neutralized the finger food, and we danced through the night, but we were soon a man down when John had to abort the drinking and commence Operation Spewalot. We had loads of fun dressed as marines and everyone wanted to have ago on our guns, our toy guns that is, not my muscular arms. The boat cruised for about 3 hours around the city, through the bay, around the harbour, the irony of it was that the cruise was probably our most cultural experience of Melbourne, we saw loads through the windows! Later in the night, the after party was held on the quayside at a place called Fix. Blake joined up with us as he had to be at another function and missed the cruise. The after party was just as lively as the cruise, except there was no free bar. Later in the night Dan made the drunken mistake of setting up a tab!! John took full advantage and ordered some more beers. After the after party we waited to get a taxi home, at this point we've all lost our guns, John lost his sunglasses, I've gained a builders hard hat and 2 really cool toy handguns!! But John wasn't with us, he'd been caught red handed during Operating Spewalot and was chucked out, fortunatly he didn't have to clear the mess!
Me, Josh, Dan, Blakey, some random bloke, and a bird Blakey was taking home were waiting for a taxi. When a taxi arrived, Blake shoved me, Dan, the random bloke, and his bird into the taxi and said that they will be behind shortly. When we arrived home John was nowhere to be seen, so all we could do was sit and wait for the others to come home. Half an hour later, Josh whistles from outside, so I go down to let him in. He tells me that he lost Blake on his way here, apparently while the Taxi was stopped at some lights, he just got out and ran away. Josh paid for the taxi and went to look for him, but he couldn't find him. So Josh made his own way home. Us boys went to sleep while Blake's catch was fast asleep on the sofa. At about 6am I was rudely awaken by John, Blake and some random girls, we think was dressed as a pirate, either that or she was actually a one eyed homeless woman with a limp and a hook for a hand. John was throwing stuff at me and Josh, while this crazy woman was slapping our backs telling us to wake up. In the morning there was lots of explaining to do. No one knew who the mystery pirate was, or where she'd gone, John revealed that he had stumbled onto the train tracks and didn't know how he got home. Blake still doesn't know what he did for 2 hours after he ran from the taxi. Blake didn't even realise that the girl he'd told to wait for him was asleep in the living room. It was a mental night and we paid for it the next day.
Thursday, the second day of rest. We drove down the great ocean road, saw the sights and stayed at a 'haunted' summer house about 5 hours away near the coast. See Josh's travelpod for a funny story.
Friday, fancy dress and the naked mile.
It was Friday night, we'd spent the day driving up the coast, and we were in a mad rush to make this 21st Birthday party on time. Fortunately we were equip with new weapons that Blake had bought for us during the day. We arrived at the party just as the Birthday girl was making a speech. What we didn't realize was that it was a cheesy American style birthday where loads of people make speeches and tell stories and talk crap. We were thinking "It's a 21st, not a wedding!! Cut the crap and get the party started!!" Eventually they shut up and 'Operation Drunk Koala' was a go! There was more free beer and delicious finger food handed out by staff at the party so we settled in and a had a good laugh. Unfortunately the DJ was terrible and needed to be taken out, unfortunately our guns were not real, but if they had been I would have seriously considered giving him one in the knee.
After saying an emotional goodbye to the guys in Melbourne we caught a flight down to Sydney and headed to Manly, a quieter beach district of Sydney which is a short ferry journey away from the city centre. When we arrived we checked into a hostel, the hostle was a complete dump, it stank, the matressess were wet, and on my bed there was some graffiti, and this is no joke it said " Ells is gonna get it tonight (even if he's a lightweight)" so naturally I was quite scared and slept with one eye open that night.
Then next day we moved to a better hostel, which had hot water. During the day we went to the beach, which is really nice and the surf was quality. Our new hostel rented out free bodyboards so we took full advantage. The waves were so powerfull it was difficult to get out to the sea where its a bit calmer, where you catch the huge waves, we were knakered after about 15 minuets, when we got out it felt as thought we'd been in a boxing match. I took a beating from the waves, to the ear, the back and in the face it was'nt nice, I aslo nearly spewed up my lunch. So instead we settled for a game of heads and V's that went on for ages until dan started to sulk as he could'nt get out of goal, so he stopped trying.
Today (26th March) we have traveled over to Bondi beach, the hostel we are staying at is much better than the ones in Manly, and the beach looks amazing. Plus the hostel lets us rent out surf boards for free!! So we're going surfing in the next couple of hours!! I hope everyone is safe and sound in England, miss you guys!! Ells x
So we spent 10 days in Sydney and absolutley loved it!! Sydney is a fantastic city, and the beaches (Manly and Bondi) are really cool. We spent most of our time in bondi, going to the beach, surfing and bodyboarding. At night we mostly went into the city, but we had one eventfull night in Bondi. We were joined by two lads we met at our Hostel, Sam and Harvey, and we played card games and drinking games and then made our way to the busiest place on a tuesday night, the Bondi Hotel. When we got there we were all pretty 'tipsy' and as the place livened up and the dance floor filled, we were up on our feet and having a good time. So I was with Sam just chatting and dancing about, as you do, when in the corner of my eye I see 1 Arab guy tell his mate to shove into me. So he does, and nearly knocks the drink out of my hand, so I place my drink down and ask the guy what his problem is...then the two guys both start shoving me and getting very arsey...so I push back. Then one of the guy's throws his drink over me (Whiskey and Coke if I remember rightly) and comes for me. In self defence I throw a decent punch, the next thing I know the other Arab guy throws his glass in my face. The bouncers come rushing in, grab the two guys and escort me to a private room. By this time i've noticed that I have blood pooring down my face and down my chest. The bouncers were really good, told me the saw what happend and helped me clear up my war wounds. I have one deep cut above my right eye and one cut across my nose, fortunalty I didnt need stitches.
We spent other nights out in Kingscross, the seedy, but very lively part of Sydney. One night out near Sydney Harbour we visted a bar called Minus 5, a bar totally made of ice! We were given coat's and gloves on entry and one free drink. Even the glass in which the drinks came in were made of ice! The bar was really expensive and it had a 30$ entry fee, so we decided to pretend it was Hervey's Birthday. In the que for the bar we started singing happy birthday, but when it came to "Happy Birthday dear Hervey", Josh said Howard instead, and from that point onward he was know as Howard, even by Sam the guy he was travelling with.
During the daytime apart from surfing, we wondered about in the city. One day, while walking along Pitt Street (busy shopping street) we stood and watched some street entertainers. There was this one Japanese guy who was doing 'keepy ups' with a football. He was the best guy ive ever seen, better than Ronaldiniho. I'm not joking, see for yourself. I recorded it!!
Staying in Bondi for quite a while we saw some faces come and go in our hostel, and we also had some sleepless nights due to inconsiderate people!! One night in particular I think I got an hours sleep. At our hostel there was this crazy, mad, lunatic Canadian girl named Sarah. She had been stalking me for quite a while, calling me Ellie! (Which I hate) and pestering me to go down the beach. Anyway as we had just fallen to sleep, the nutter storms in our room, climbs up onto my top bunk and starts nattering away. This really pissed me off, so I asked what the hell she was doing?! She said she wanted to snuggle and tell eachother stories!! I was having none of it! Apart from being extremely grumpy from being woken up, I was annoyed at the fact she was talking really loud, waking everyone up in our room of 12. So I said if she wasnt going to get off my bed I was going to throw her off. She did'nt budge, so I picked her up and dropped her off the edge, she landed on her feet and then tried to get in my bed again!! So this time I was using my feet to try and stop her getting in!! Eventually a swedish girl in our dorm piped up and said " For goodness sake girl, your just making a fool of yourself now!" So Sarah got angry and stormed out, fruitcake. About an hour after the fruitloop had left, a bloke came in with a filthy girl. They jumped on his bed and started snogging really loudly!! So all we could hear was slurp, slurp, especially Dan who was right next to them, and Josh who was directly below. After 30 minutes of constant snogging, Dan spoke up and said "Slurp, slurp, slurp, thats all I can hear!!" After another 15 minuets of kissing I shouted " Lady and the Tamp kiss quieter than you!!!" By this time, everyone in the room either has a pillow over their head, or is listening to their ipod. So the dirty couple begin to heat things up a bit and start shagging. Dan, who has a front row seat jump out of his bed, making a huge noise says, " Inconsiderate F*ckers!!!" and storms out. However, Dan's outburst fails to stop them, and Josh's bed begins to creek, faster and faster, until Josh cracks and shouts "SHUT THE F*CK UP!!!" So they did, thankfully!!
Just as we think we can finally get some sleep, two guys in the room are having what can only be described as a snorring competiton, they were so loud!!!! This went on for ages, almost till sunrise. At 7am, all was quiet, I was just getting to sleep when two girls (Including the dirty slut) decide they want to play with bubble wrap!! So for another hour all we could hear was POP! POP! It was a nightmare!! We were shattered the next day!!
Where I stayed