Hey, I havent been able to get on the internet in a while and have a proper catch up with my blog.
I went snorkeling and sailing around the Whitsunday islands with Ocean Rafting adventures- brilliant fun. Me and sarah got the bus in the morn and went to the pier. We were given wetsuits (sting suits so we dont get stung by jellyfish). The guy took one look at me and instead of giving me a blue and black one, which everyone has, he rummaged in a box and gave me a black and red one and said 'you can be spiderwomen'. LOL. I stood out so much it was embarassing!
The driver of our raft boat was Jase, and our guide was Will, who was a nutter. He was from New Zealand, about 40yrs old though he didnt look it, and was pretty flirty with me and sarah lol. Kept saying 'do you want me to take pictures of you with your bikinis on?' all day long lol. I was like 'no Ive got some pics of me in a bikini, dont need more...He was a good guide though, told loads of stories about the different islands, like the Mole Islands, and told us about the different old sailing boats. I loved our boat- its the fastest boat to travel round the whitsundays on, which is why it does day trips. Jase said the best seats are on the side of the boat- hang on for dear life and if you fall he wont f***ing notice and you'l have a long swim. He was pretty funny, I sat on the side all the time and sarah sat in one of the seats with the others.
The day we went was the clearest and calmest for 3 years, and the sea was so flat it looked like a mirror of the sky, so wierd as we went over it. We stopped off at two different islands for snorkeling and it was brill- it was actually better than when we went at the great barrier reef- the coral was more colourful and the fish were the same but there were more of them, large schools of them. No sea turles this time though (was so lucky last time!).
One time we snorkeled, Will threw loads of fish food all around me next to the boat, and I was covered in fish- got nipped at a couple of times lol. They were awesome. I stroked and patted fat Albert (huge maori wrasse fish, very friendly). He would go between my legs and hover next to me. Sarah stroked him too. We saw a potato cod too, also pretty big. No sharks, much to Wills dissapointment as he loves them! He said my red and black suit would attract sharks more than the blue and black ones!
Then we did what everyone does at the Whitsundays- go to Whitehaven beach, stunning white beach! We spent hours there, had lunch on the beach, went for a walk on the mainland to a lookout point, and waded through the shallow water looking at all the sting rays swimming about. There was one point though, when me and sarah came bk to shore and said we'd just seen a stingray, when Will got some of the american guys from our group to come in and corral it up to the shore to get a good look at it. I didnt like that- he'd been talking about how none of the fish etc would hurt you as long as long as you dont corner or threaten them, and then he did that. The stingray whizzed about, panicking, and then suddenly shot between my legs! Not too impressed about that, making it panic.
When we left whitehaven, another raft boat went in front of us and created some waves which made sitting on the side way more fun! Jase swerved like crazy and turned the music up :-) When we got bk we were drenched!
We walked from the harbour to the lagoon and had a nap. We love the airlie beach lagoon! Woke up about an hour later, wandered bk to the hostel and finished our pizza from the day before. Went out to Magnums bar, we hadnt sat there too long when two mental ozzie guys joined us. They were massive guys- muscley and mega tall. One of them kept thumping the table and I thought he was going to break it! We had a game of thumb wars and he nearly broke my hand! They were hilarious guys, live in airlie. Hung out with them for a bit then me and sarah left- we had a very early bus the next day again! Lots of early starts for us!
When I got bk to my room I noticed my sleeping bag liner wasnt there- charlotte said the cleaning lady had come and took the linen, she must have bunched it up and taken my liner! So I had nothing to sleep in and reception was shut. The next morning I got reception to check laundry with me but we couldnt find it. They were really useless actually, couldnt find the keys etc and the guy actually said to me he couldnt be bothered to look as it was too early in the morn. After an hour I gave up, couldnt afford to buy another one.....so I nicked a sheet off the bed!! Charlotte encouraged me lol, gave me her room keys so I could go bk and get one before we jumped on the OZ experience bus.
Our OZ us driver this time was Buck, short guy, good fun. Played wierd music though, and played it quietly too. Tut tut. He gave us permanent markers to write our names on the windows where we sat, to help us get to know each others names and keep our seats. We played some games on the bus- one of them was when he played a wierd song and it was musical chairs- you had to get up and sit next to someone you hadnt met yet, and talk until the song played again. Good way to meet everyone! We met Paddy and lindsey, Irish, and we had a lot of swedish and danish people on the bus. And charlotte, whos with OZ experience too, was on our bus.
It was a 700km drive, eleven hours! And I mostly just slept- leather seats were so comfy, and coach was only half full so I lay across two seats. We had a few stops and brought junk food. We watched a DVD- Fools Gold, filmed in the Whitsundays! Good film. The journey went pretty fast actually. Buck got us to form teams of four for our stay at Kroombit ranch where we were heading- this trip it s unique- most people dont go far from the east coast, on the other side of the mountains- 80 percent of oz people live by the coast and 20 percent on the other side of the mountains, inland near the outback. So we get to see how the other 20 percent live :-) The ranch we were going to has alot of goats, so our group name had to be to do with goats- I said we should be Capricorn and the name stuck. Buck said nobody had had that name before. He didnt understand for ages what the name capricorn had to do with goats lol.
We went through rockhampton, and passed over the Tropic of Capricorn! This means no more humid weather anymore- its hot and dry here, no more proper rainforest- eucalptus trees and scrubland. Everyone on the bus cheered cus theyve moaned about the humidity- me and sarah didnt, were going to miss it!! I loved the humidity, I prefer it to hot and dry like it was at Kroombit.
We eventually got there around 6pm, had stew and then a proper roast dinner in the barn. Awesome meal, missed having a roast!! We had some coke from Al's bar- for some reason me and claire are craving coke all the time, no idea why.
They have a pet Cockatoo and a ginger kitten there, which we fussed for a bit, though the kitten kept trying to nick sarahs food and she had to keep lifting her off the table.
In the evening there was a beach party them LOL, at a ranch?! We all had a go at whip cracking, loads of fun watching people. Got some good cracks out of them, some people managed it too. I'd done it before so nothing new to me. Our first OZ driver in cairns, Muddy, had let me crack his whip one time, told me we got to do it at Kroombit. Said he'd whip me if I hit the floor with it lol, and I didnt! Anyhow, at Kroombit we had to wear goggles which I thought was quite funny.
W went to bed late and were up at 5am. Beautiful dawn! Most people didnt get up on time so one of the cowboys got his motorbike to backfire right outside their door! Hilarious, thought they were being shot at LOL. Got them up quick.
I was the first person for breakfast and the cockatoo sat next to me eating his brekkie too lol, then wandered off when other people arrived. Me and sarah chose to do the shotgun shooting in the morn- I was very calm and steady apparently, the guy said I was close to all the targets but didnt get any of them- only one person out of the group got a target. Sarah shot too fast, like a mean apparently, he said! The shotgun was awesome, I thought it might hurt my shoulder but it didnt at all. Couple of the girls hurt theirs though.
Next was roping, and again- I had done this before, so no problem and didnt need a lesson. It was pretty cool. Then we were given a surprise task...to rope, rflip &hold down, brand, then drag a GOAT into a pen LOL. Not really branding though, pretending to cus theyre all branded anyway. It was absolutely hilarous watching all the groups- in our group I was roper, charlotte was the one to flip the goat and pin him down, a swedish girl did the branding, and sarah had to drag the goat by the horns out the pen! It was so much fun, especially when our goat was at least twice the size of the others and had attitude- he dug all his hooves in when sarah had to drag him! Our time was good though and we were second, got penalty points as the swedish girl held the pretend brander too far down the handle.
At the end the cowboys called us into the pen, we thought it was for a group photo- and he asked us to all stand in a circle and hold hands. He shut the gate, and took out an eleven thouusand volt cattle proder!
Then it got really fun..he spun a bottle in the middle of the circle, and the two people that it pointed to had to unclasp hands and hold each pin of the cattle prod. He then zapped it, and the electric shot passed around the circle. If one person let go they would get most of the shock. None of us let go, and we all got a good shock lol. He then said we could do a smaller circle if some people didnt want to carry on, though the smaller it was the higher the shock is. Loads of people backed out, and then it was just me, sarah, a guy and two girls ( was about 25 before the first time!!). The shock was massive, went right up your arms! Then he said does anyone want to be shocked on their own? I volunteered, as did two swedish girls- we all had to be zapped in a different place, one went on the arm, one on the but, and he zapped my leg! It wasnt actually much of a shock, I think he might hav turned it down or something! Was fun though, thought it was going to really hurt!
We werent allowed to tell any OZ experience people who were heading to Kroombit about this part of the trip with cattle prod, to keep it a surprise :-) Nobody had told us which was cool.
We then got driven bk towards the ranch and dropped off on a path- the guy said if we walked for about 45mins uphill we would get to the top and there was an awesome lookout point of the area. We walked and saw loads of wild cockatoos. We all got to a fork in the path and I wanted to go left, everyone went right but sarah, paddy and lindsey followed me. The others had to double bk and follow us later when they came to a dead end. It was a knackering walk in the sun for a while then uphill under the trees. We got to a flat part with a good view- couldve been better. Everyone was knackered and went back down after a short while- then I spotted a small whit arrow sign pounting upwards through some rocks. I called to the others but they all wanted to go down. I said I didnt think we were at the top, sarah though i might be right but headed down. I said I'd catch up, and headed upwards again. I went over some rocks for a bit and then came to the most amazing lookout point ever- I got to stand on huge boulders, above all the trees, and see everywhere. I saw the mountains and the flat expanses. There was a sign saying 'youve reached the top! lol. I could hear the coolest sound- like a loud windchime that echoed on and on. It was coming from some birds, which i foubnd out later are called Pied Butcherbirds- large black and white birds, their sound is suited to the outback! It was so cool, I stayed for about 45 mins then climbed down by a different route and got bk to the ranch. Everyone was having drinks in the barn when I got bk and told them they hadnt actually gone to the top!! Bless them, they were knackered anyway.
We got bk on our coach with Buck and watched another DVD- Vantage point, I love this film it was wicked. We played more games- guess the celebrity, write the lyrics of the song when its paused. Made time go so fast.
Got to Hervey Bay at 5pm, and checked into Beaches hostel, tried to use internet then and couldnt. That was on saturday 21st. We packed for the hext day- me and sarah had booked a three day, two night camping trip and self 4X4 drive around Fraser Island! We had a meal in beaches bar with paddy and lindsey, and sara, another girl from the OZ bus who we hadnt spoke to much before. We were all going to fraser island the next day with different companies.
Next blog- I'l write about out eventful camping trip on fraser island........ ;-)