Off to the Tropical North

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Trying to sleep in a 32 bed dorm on a Friday night is a futile attempt. I went to bed at 10:30 and thankfully managed to get some sleep before the boozing masses returned. After 3am it was a nightmare! Everyone making loads of noise, more snorers than ever and after 5am, constant mobile phone alarms! The people were so comatose that they couldn't hear their own alarms and they would go off every 3 minutes until someone else in the room got up and put a stop to it.

I had enough by 8 and decided to head to the train station. I wouldn't get any more sleep so why torture myself. Checked in my luggage at the airport and settled in to read my book for a couple of hours before boarding. Brisbane airport isn't too bad by the way.

The flight to Cairns was perfect! After the last Jetstar (good, cheap airline. Recommend) flight to Brisbane I had been prepared for a bumpy ride. I needn't have worried as it was smooth sailing all the way and one of the smoothest landings I have ever had! Didn't even feel us touch down. 15th flight so far, 48 hours in total, 28,800km's. Shame they don't all count for air miles!

Reclaimed my bags and was instantly aware of the humidity again. My hair which had been straight the last few days is now curly again! Wish it would make it's mind up but I refuse to get it cut!

Took the airport shuttle into town and set off in search of somewhere to stay. Ended up in Cairns Caravellas on the Esplanade. 16 bed dorm with no air con for $15/night, cheapest so far in Aus.

That sorted I set out to acquaint myself with the town. First impressions, it's a bit like Darwin only 2-3 times bigger. Still no bloody Burger King, sorry Hungry Jacks! What is it with the places up top in Aus and no BK? Second impression, I was a minority again. Being English usually means I was by far the majority tourist wise, although it was a closely fought contest with the Swedes in Brisbane, but here it is Japanese by a mile!

Not backpackers either but package tourists. Cairns is undeniably a tourist destination. Walking around in the evening is like being at a Mediteranean beach town. All the streets are lined with restaurants with people trying to coax you inside. But it is so weird walking down a street in Australia where all the shop signs are in Japanese first followed by small English underneath! Shops wise apparently all Japanese want opals, didgeridoos and cuddly koalas. I can't really understand why it is such a draw for so many Japanese? Sure there's the Barrier Reef, but from what I've seen most Japanese can't swim! Honestly, you watch Bondi Rescue on TV and it's always Japanese who think they will be able to surf when they don't know how to swim!

Anyway, back to Cairns. The one major sight other than the Barrier Reef is the lagoon on the Esplanade and it's closed! Totally empty and being refurbished. What the hell else am I going to do here?

The hostel seems quite nice to be honest. It's quite busy, has a reasonable sized pool and you can bring your own alcohol. Not that I've been drinking since leaving Darwin but it's nice to know I don't have to pay the extortionate price in the bar.

One major plus is the free meal at the Woolshed pub every evening. Tiny but free nonetheless and I will be eating there everyday without fail. May even stay for a few drinks there some time as it's got a quite notorious reputation around Aus.

Feeling tired after travelling, amazing that even a 2.5 hour flight tires you out, I sat around watching TV and chatting to a Korean guy for a while. I quite like it here, more so than Brisbane anyway, and will begin looking for work on Monday.
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