March 27th 2007
As I was reminded by Mum yesterday it has been a wee while since I updated my journal so I thought I should do it before we go to New Zealand. I’m not a very happy Sam at the moment I’m sat here absolutely covered in bed bug bites. Now I know that I am notorious for exaggerating everything but this time I’m really not (I’ve attached photographic evidence). They literally go from my feet right up my legs and on my back – and they are so unbelievably itchy but I’m trying to be very good and not scratch. I’m off to the doctor this afternoon who will hopefully be able to give me something to take away the itch (maybe a sedative!!). I will try and distract myself from the discomfort long enough to tell you all what we’ve been doing since I last wrote an entry.
When we arrived at Airlie Beach last Sunday we checked into our hostel room which was very smelly and damp (Anyone thinking of coming out do not stay in Magnum’s hostel on Airlie Beach I think that's where I got bitten by the bed bugs) but it was very cheap so all good. We then spent the rest of the day at the lagoon which was nice – there are a lot of lagoons up North because there are too many jellyfish in the ocean so it’s risky to swim. That night we went out in Airlie Beach with our very cute little Swedish roommate Linda. We went to the hostel bar for some Sangria and Linda told us all about the skydive she’d done. She’s absolutely persuaded me that it’s amazing so I’m going to do one in New Zealand. We then went to another hostel bar up the road called Beaches and randomly bumped into a lad called Liam who was in our apartment for one night in Byron Bay – it was a bit embarrassing though as he remembered me and Lor and we couldn’t for the life of us remember his name!! We ended the night with a Beef and Cheese pie from the pie shop which was as horrible as it sounds.
On Monday we spent the day down by the lagoon again with little Linda. We also saw a girl that we’d shared a room with in Surfer’s Paradise Leanne from Canada so she chilled out with us for a bit too. Monday night was spent just chilling ready for our big sailing adventure on Tuesday. Tuesday morning we got up early to check out and then bought some provisions for the boat. We were told the port was a quick 15 minute walk from where we were staying but we were being very hot and lazy and so got a taxi instead – disgraceful I know. At the port we met our group for the boat there were 27 of us altogether and the boat we were on was tiny! In our group everyone was really nice but we got on especially well with 3 girls Natalie, Ellen and Holly from Southampton who were really funny. There were also 3 lads from Oakham on the boat, it’s such a small world. The boat was a maxi sailing boat called the Condor – when we booked I’d requested the most stable boat they had so I didn’t get sea sick. The Skipper thought it was hilarious when I told him this as the boat is often at a 40 degree angle when it’s sailing. There were only 3 members of crew so we all had to help out. Laura and I went on the grinder which you had to pedal really fast so the sail went up properly it was really hard work, but I think we were a little bit faster than the boys next to us. The first afternoon on the boat we went snorkeling at the blue lagoon and saw some absolutely massive fish – the water was really clear and we had an underwater camera I've put a few of the underwater shots in the album. To do the snorkeling we had to put on extremely attractive stinger suits – I felt a bit like a superhero they were absolutely hilarious!! After we'd been snorkelling we had to sail to a lagoon where we would spend the night. Unfortunately there was a big storm between us and the lagoon. We sailed through the storm which was a bit scary at the time but we all got to wear lovely yellow macs like real fisherman which were a bit smelly but kept us dry. We dropped anchor (loving the sailing terminology!!) in the lagoon and the crew cooked us a gorgeous tea - we were really impressed with the food they were the best meals we've had since we were at John and Adriennes (although there's were the best meals overall). As you can imagine I was the first up for seconds at every mealtime. After tea everyone cracked open their goon and we played drinking games on deck. Luckily because we learnt so many drinking games on Fraser I knew most of them so looked really clever especially on the aeroplane game which had annoyed me no end on Fraser. The facilities on the boat were very basic and I really felt like I was roughing it. We slept in an open plan cabin with bunkbed/hammocks for all of us and the toilets were tiny and a bit disgusting. The only shower we had was a little hose you could only use for a minute maximum over the toilet!! That night everyone struggled to sleep because one of the lads Tom had the loudest snore imaginable, but organised Sam had brought her ear plugs so I was fine.
The next morning we were woken up at 6.30am for breakfast - I woke up a bit late so most of the food had gone but I still got a cup of tea which was brilliant because I've really missed them out here. We sailed from the lagoon to Whitehaven beach which was absolutely stunning it's by far the most beautiful beach we've seen. We all donned our sexy stinger suits again to pose for a few pics and then did some much needed sunbathing. After a couple of hours at Whitehaven we went to Luncheon Bay for more snorkelling, unfortunately though I'd started feeling a bit sea sick so didn't go, I didn't think putting my stinky stinger suit back on would help. Next stop was a sand island in the middle of the sea which was right near an exclusive beach resort where rooms are about $3500 a night. We tried celeb spotting for a bit but it was too far away so Natalie instead convinced herself that Justin Timberlake had definitely been on the beach where we were so we were probably sharing the same sand. We got back on the boat for dinner which was a barbeque - delicious. Everyone started the drinking games again except for me, I still felt a bit sick so didn't think it was a good idea. But me, lor and the Southampton girls had fun playing hide and seek - very difficult on a small boat!
Thursday morning after a very early start we sailed back to Airlie Beach. We arrived back at about 11.30am and while Laura did some sleeping I spent the day at the lagoon with Nat, Ellen and Holly. That night our boat had a reserved table at Beaches bar and it was brilliant because apart from about 4 people everyone from our boat turned up including the skipper. Little Linda came out with us and a couple of guys from our hostel room - but they had to take her home early because she was hammered. Lor and I spent the night dancing away to some really cheesy tunes, and we've arranged a reunion night in Southampton with the girls when I get back. We ended the night at Moroccos a club/karaoke bar, we put our names down for a song but unfortunately (those who've heard me sing would probably say fortunately) by the time they got round to us we'd all wimped out.
On Friday morning Laura and I were severley regretting the night before because we had to catch the coach up to Cairns at 9.30am and it was a 10 hour journey. To say we felt a little bit fragile would be an understatement. On Friday night when we arrived we went straight to bed because we were shattered. On Saturday we spent the day walking round Cairns and did a bit of shopping in Target (It's alot like Primark Tammy you'd love it!) by then my bed bug bites had erupted so I spent the afternoon washing all my clothes and disinfecting my bag-such fun. We were in the bar that night just chilling out when we saw Leanne the canadian girl again - we have now seen her in every place we've been to since Surfer's Paradise - so we had a glass of wine with her. Sunday morning we had to be up and out by 7.20am as we were going on a two day tour to Cape Tribulation. We went to a place called Monmouth Gorge which is in the rainforest and swam in the river which was absolutely freezing . Our tour guide Shane who was an absolute legend gave us loads of info on the different plants and the ecological system - most of which I've completely forgotten now. We then went on a ferry cruise down the Daintree river, Laura and I both tried and failed to play the didgeridoo before we got on. It's alot harder than it looks. On the cruise we saw a huge crocodile about 5m long, but it wasn't scary because it just lay there and did nothing. I have my suspicions that it might have been fake! That night we stayed in PK's Jungle Village in Cape Tribulation, the dorm room was OK but the kitchen was disgusting really dirty. The place would probably be brilliant in high season but it was really quiet and a bit boring. We were glad to come back to civilisation yesterday.
After a day spent chilling at the lagoon today we're flying to Auckland tomorrow morning. I'm really excited but really sad to leave Australia I've had an amazing five weeks - but I can't believe how quick it's gone. Love you all lots and lots.Bourne and Sheffield girlies keep emailing.Happy Easter to all of you - eat lots of eggs for me.Samxxxx