Ang and Zo take on the world
The morning we left New Zealand, the weather looked grotty from the plane window...we had high hopes for Oz. Bad turbulence on the way over was very jerky and continually made you lose your stomach. An announcement from the pilot then dashed our hopes, informing us to the cause of the turbulence. Namely a cyclone, heading right for Cairns! We arrived. It was raining. Our main focus for Oz was more on partying. We pictured beaches by day, beaches by night, singing around log fires whilst getting merry on alcohol. So to begin the next stage of our trip we made use of the duty free deals, stocking up on alcohol for our journey down the east coast. As we left the airport the humidity hit us although luckily it wasn't cold as we were waiting 2 hours for our 5 min bus ride to our first hostel. Our spirits were raised (no pun intended) by the thought of sampling our duty free purchases that evening. After checking in, the receptionist (a rather mean and grumpy girl) saw our bags and asked "do you have any alcohol?". In our naive honesty we admitted everything. Our alcohol was confiscated. We had learnt our first true lesson of the trip. Could it get any worse!? We went to our room to dump our bags. An overwhelming stench of unwashed boys football kit hit us! The shower had no lock, or windows (!), there was a flood in the passage way to the bathroom and one of our new room mates had a rather un-human like form. He was a newt! Next day - we checked out asap! We took all our belongings, jumped on a bus into central Cairns with no room to call our own. Trekking around we finally found a cute little hostel on the Esplanade. Feeling lost, upset and rather missing New Zealand, we headed straight to a travel agents to plan our time in rainy Cairns. We left having planned our time in Cairns AND the remainder of our journey in Oz; feeling happy and excited for our Cape Tribulation adventure the following day! We felt this deserves its own blog entry. Feel free to check it out. Arriving back in Cairns after Cape Trib, we had our very first scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef. We had a delayed start to the trip, since a puffer fish had decided to enter the generator and had puffed up when he realised that he was trapped. Although we were happy sunbathing on the deck of the boat, during what happened to be the only bit of sun for the day. Scuba diving was extremely scary at first... putting all your trust in the equipment with water all around you. Before we entered the depths of the reef, we had to do two skill tests underwater: Taking the mouth piece out and putting it in again and removing water from the mask. Our fears soon disappeared when the sights of the reef were unveiled. We saw a huge clam, a sea slug (which we held) and many beautiful coloured big fish: turquoise, purple, aqua blue, yellow etc... Later when snorkeling whilst floating on the water surface, you could hear the scratching of the fish biting at the coral. Watching them swimming and eating was very therapeutic. On the return, we were fed with copious amounts of cheese and crackers, which Ange rather amusingly accidentally referred to as Queese and Quackers. We both seem to have lost the ability to form correct sentences recently: this alongside Zoe's question on the beach in Cape Trib, when walking past vinegar whilst searching for coconuts asked Ange, "why do they need vinegar for coconut bites?" Ange hesitated, but then replied "I don't know". The sun had clearly been overheating our brains! Having realised we were stranded in Cairns, due to flooding on all the roads heading south, we signed up to the ultimate party bus for Saturday night. This involved 200 people cramming on a double decker open topped bus travelling between 5 different clubs. As we left, the rain was hailing down, so we chose to be sensible and sit on the bottom deck. However, after one club and a few more drinks, it seemed a great idea to be on the top deck! As you can imagine, rainy season meant we got absolutely drenched! We all sat upstairs as it was unusually dry. The rain started and we all gasped. Angie ran downstairs assuming the others had followed since her pet hate - getting rained on when you are in dry clothes and don't want to get wet with the clothes sticking to you - meant that she avoided getting wet at this point. They had not followed and were ringing out their clothes in the next air conditioned club. Brrrrr! Leaving the second bar, we saw that the road had turned into a stream, so Zoe started a water fight, ensuring that Ange got involved! The water fight continued at the next bar, when the barman kept squirting us from his drinks hand pump! After a night of various games, we decided to get involved in what we thought was similar to 'simon says'. Next thing we knew, Ange was jumping into Zoe's arms, sitting on her knee and other various positions... We had unknowingly entered a dance off with a very rude undertone! Our competitive drive meant that we weren't going to be beaten, so we embraced the competition (against at least 30 other pairs) and ended up coming fourth :D we were congratulated over the loud speaker and awarded the title "the last remaining lesbian couple". This rather amusing connotation has now become our fake excuse when rejecting unwanted male advances! The next day, we woke up now knowing when we would be able to leave Cairns. That day we booked our flight and went to bed to wake up for our 3AM flight to Sydney, our only way of continuing our journey across Oz...