Getting from place to place in Australia is sooo easy. We arrived in Cairns to be picked up from the airport straight away and taken to Gilligans. The first thing the driver said asked was if we had parental consent to stay there, so we knew it was going to be lively! Gilligans hostel is huggee and is 100 percent the best place to stay in Cairns. We shared a room of 8, and everyone was so friendly. We drank some goon (really cheap box wine that all backpackers drink) and went out to a place called Woolshed. Cairns reminded me of a reallly nice version of Malia a little bit. We got into this bar and there were people dancing on tables, having competitions for the best dancer where the girls ended up taking their clothes off and were dancing around in their underwear! Jenny joined in.. Jokingggg we both stayed on the floor with our clothes very much on! It was such a funny night, it's where I began to realise that there were some interesting dancers in Cairns.
The next day we decided to be productive so got up and went to a travel agent to sort out our trip completely. After a good hour and half we sorted exactly what we wanted to do and when and booked buses, scuba diving, skydiving, sailing trips etc. Our scuba dive was booked for the next day, I literally could not wait!! After some lunch in town we went back to our rooms where we met Joey, a promoter. He knocked on the door and started talking but I'd already been told about this 'party bus' from a friend so I asked him if that's what he was selling. Turns out it was and we didn't have better plans so thought we may as well go along. That's when he was like ok the great thing about tonight is it's toga night! Now I'm not the biggest lover of fancy dress as anyone in Leeds will know but with a bit of persuasion we went along with it. We were given a sheet and using Jenny's textile skills they actually didn't look too bad! It's basically a bar crawl but you get take by bus to each place. We got to the first place and everyone was keeping themselves to themselves apart from one guy who was sooo drunk he couldn't put his toga on. He kept trying to catch people in the sheet, I think the guy that sold him the ticket got in trouble.. The night turned out to be quite funny, although really expensive! Can't get over drink prices over here. There was games throughout the night, once again me and Jenny were onlookers cos I'm a granny with stuff like that. Ended up in gilligans where we saw some of the people from our room. It was already pretty late and we had to get up early for the dive but we decided it was a good idea to FaceTime people when we got back. Mum even told me to go to bed cos I looked so tired oops.
Feeling a little bit fragile we walked down to the boat on the Wednesday. I was so so so so excited! Jenny was a bit less so but skydiving was more her thing I was scared. So we all had a diving brief, they told us what to do in all different circumstances and how to clear water out your mask and air thing. Will was our instructor, he took the piss a lot but was so good and made sure Jenny was okay. It took a bit of getting used to breathing underwater but I was having more trouble with my mask. When I smile I get huge creases in my face and so the water floods in, and I smiled way too much I think I was over excited. We got half hour for the first dive, will held onto us all til he felt confident that we would be ok by ourselves, then we got to swim around a bit! I'm so annoyed I met this lady who had a really deep underwater camera and she said she would email me the photos but I forgot to give her my email!! So silly. Anyway it was amazing, sounds stupid but I can't believe the life underwater is real everything looks so fake and the fish are so bright they look computerised. Even after the dive one if the guys in the boat took me and Jenny around for a little tour and taught us how to snorkel properly. I struggle with snorkelling way more than diving; I always put my head too far underwater and end up with a mouthful of saltwater. After the first dive there was an option to go again if you payed a bit more. So I dived again while Jenny had another snorkel. The second dive was increeeediible! It was slightly shallower and the water was crystal clear. I saw a turtle so I was literally ecstatic, so that meant my mask was again filled with water. I also saw nemo, and these huge black fish that were so thin but they're eyes were massive so they were strange looking. I thought it was the best day ever and it is definitely one of them, but I hadn't jumped out a plane at this point. That evening I went out with some people from the hostel we met.. Turned into the weirdest night, we were dancing in the bar in a bit of a circle and every 5 minutes we would get a stranger coming and dancing in the middle. We had a really short German guy who ballroom danced, an old main that looked Thai, a boy with the best turnout and bendy legs ever and then some aboriginal men and women who were really going for it. I don't know why but it was so funny I couldn't stop laughing, my jaw genuinely hurt by the end of the night. Was such a good way to finish off Cairns, we were both kind of gutted to leave!!
We had to go though as the next day we were booked into a skydive at mission beach which is 2 hours south. Thinking the bus was at 10 we casually walked to the stop where I checked the bus bay, and saw that we should have actually got on at 7.30 in the morning, my mistake.. Luckily there was another bus leaving in the afternoon so we caught that one after treating our blonde moment with a full English and a muffin for later which was the size of my head. I will come back from this trip 2 stone heavier I guarantee.
We got to mission beach finallyyyy, cooked some dinner and got an early night as we had to be up at 6 for the skydive. There was a Couple from Birmingham in our room who were doing the same dive as us. We woke up to torrential rain. This was the first day me and Jenny have seen proper rain and it happened to be on the day of the skydive we were sooo gutted! The company picked us up but they couldn't guarantee we were going to jump. I was so nervous anyway so this did not help, we had to wait in the office for about 3 hours before we got harnessed up and taken to the flight. Even then the weather wasn't great so despite them starting our videos and getting us all hyped up it wasn't guaranteed that we would get to do it! We had o wait another hour at the plane area when we were given the thumbs up! The guy who was jumping with me was so good I tried not to be but he could tell I was really nervous and was very reassuring.
Up we went in the plane and looking down was terrifying. Jenny was sitting by the opening which you can't call a door as its just a bit of plastic. I kept asking if we were high enough yet but I was not even close, we still had another 10000 ft to go! When we eventually got to 14000 ft everything happened so quickly! They opened the door and Jenny tumbled out - her face was so happy! At this point I was so nervous but I didn't have time to think about it because the next thing I knew my legs were out the plane and I was free falling through clouds! It's the biggest adrenaline rush I cannot even begin to describe the feeling. It was AMAZING. The free fall lasted a minute then after that I felt the parachute go up! The scenery was incredible on the right there was miles of rainforest, then on the left, the bluest ocean, beautiful islands and you could even see the Great Barrier Reef. My partner let me steer the parachute a bit, it was just the best thing ever ever. I really didn't want to land but sadly I did. Everyone was buzzing after, and when we got our videos we all watched them together. They are so funny, my one doesn't even look like me my face is so pulled back from the wind. I've never looked so happy either! I'm so glad we got them! Can't wait for everyone to see it.
That afternoon we passed out on some sofas at the hostel I think cos it was such a high it took it out of us! In the evening we joined in with quiz night where I think it's fair to say we were both useless.
After a very busy few days we are now on a coach to airlie beach, where we have a tour round the whitsundays on Tuesday. Travelling is so weird as you seem to bump into people all the time. On our bus is the Dutch woman from the kakadu tour right at the beginning and a Scottish man, Michael from Gilligans! He's just told me that more of the Cairns people will be in Airlee tomorrow so I'm sure that will be a good night...