After over a week in the outback when I arrived in Cairns I just wanted to relax. So i spent a few days utilising the free wifi, sunbathing and even went to the cinema...on my own haha. I did however venture as far as a nearby island on the great barrier reef where i went on a glass bottom boat, donned a ridiculous stinger suit before being very disappointed by the lack of life i found as i snorkelled the reef and instead got my excitement from watching a croc feeding show where 10ft long crocs "jumped" out of their water to snatch a piece of chicken the feeder was dangling from a stick in front of their snouts. When the torrential downpour hit Cairns it was time for me to get on yet another bus in search of blue skies further down the coast.
I didn't stop in Townsville for very long but it was just long enough for me to locate the highest point in the town, a well known view point at the top of Castle Hill, and go for a run up it...huffing and puffing up a LOT of steps, before being rewarded with a beautiful view of the towns coastline with islands in the distance. Then I joined the numerous runners back down the hill and back to my hostel for a quick turn around before getting the ferry to Magnetic Island. No rest for the wicked and that afternoon I was on a horse riding trek through the rainforest, along the beach and then the best part...into the sea...in a stinger suit of course. We went into the sea to the point where Billy, my pony, could only just still walk on the ocean floor without resorting to full on swimming. I grabbed a chunk of maine as the waves passed over Billy almost knocking me off balance.
That night I met a lovely Swedish girl with an apparently very Swedish name, Johanna Johansen. We bonded straight away over our very typical backpacker dinners, pasta and noodles, and soon agreed to hire a car together tomorrow to explore the island properly. SHe introduced me to two other Brits and they shared with us their travel tips for the East coast and also taught me a knew card game called ass hole...which I was shocking at...
The next day Johanna and I excitedly went to the car rental place despite the hostel receptionist slating the company. We happily accepted "dusty" an ancient blue ford. Aside from the fact that every time i tried to indicate i would wipe the windscreen the car ran well and we happily spent the day driving around with terrible music blaring from the radio, tackling potholes the size of craters to get to some of the most beautiful beaches on the island, along with swimming in waterfalls and sitting on swings in playgrounds.
That night as the rest of the hostel cross dressed for free "punch" we chilled in the hammocks outside whilst being very warey of the cheeky possum that liked to try and get in our hammocks or eat our shoes..