1770 wasn't too much fun-it was raining so hard for the night we were there that we couldn't really step outside without drowning so we were just boring and had an early night.
The next day was much better, however-we visited the Kroombit cattle station for the night which is meant to be an authentic Aussie experience! We went across to a field and did some clay pidgeon shooting-out of 5 shots Sam managed to hit 3 and I had a go too-I think Sam was a bit gutted that i matched his score, but i found it quite scary and my legs were shaking when I was holding the gun-it was so noisy! Next we had a go at lasooing, which I soon gave up when I realised that I was pretty terrible. Sam, on the other hand, managed to catch a number of stationary objects such as an old tractor and a goat skull! We got into groups of 3 and had a competetion for the fastest goat branders (we didn't actually brand them but they showed us how to do it). One person either had to catch the goat, one had to 'flip it' on it's side and one person had to run and fetch the brand (that was cold). As i was the only girl i decided that I would steal the easy job of running to get the brand, and the two boys did the tricky bits! Poor Rob was chasing the goat for about half a minute until he managed to coax in into the circle and Sam didn't have to do anything as the goat did a flip and then lay down. It was quite good fun but probably not something I shall be doing again in a hurry!
When we got back we all cleaned up and then tried a bit of goat (we were only told it was 'outback food' until we'd polished it off) which was actually very tasty, then tucked into a roast dinner and had a go on the rodeo bull! This proved to be a big mistake as i fell of straight away in a rather ungraceful manner. We had an awesome room at the cattle station-it even had air con so we were very lucky!
After the cattle station we went straight to Airlie Beach, where Sam was planning to go on his sailing trip. We went out with some people from our bus on the first night which was good fun apart from the club which played terrible music and seemed to be full of pervy men who tried to grab the girls or kept trying to hold our hands while we were dancing. We checked out of our room the following day so that i could check into a dorm when Sam left. We walked to the harbour and Sam went to the pier to wait for his boat, but then when i was checking back in the hostel about an hour later he turned up at reception. He said he waited at the pier for half an hour before someone came and told him that the boat was waiting for a spare part before it could sail, even though he'd been to the boat office the night before and they'd taken his reef tax money and assured him all was well. It was through sheer luck that he managed to squeeze back into the hostel at such notice (he had the last bed in the whole place!), and he couldn't get anywhere to stay the following night (tonight) as it's Australia day today and everywhere was full up. He could have gone on another boat the next day but the service was pretty terrible and it would mean staying in airlie beach for another 4ish days. Plus the weather was still terrible so he decided just to get his money back. We went out again last night with the same group for an 'Australia eve party'-it was really good but we went home at about 1 after getting a pie-apparently some of the others didn't get home until 7am! That's after i got up!
We are now in the magnetic islands which is a compulsory stop. It's ok here-i can see that it might be quite pretty sometimes but it's cloudy, rainy and there's not really an awful lot to do here. We head up to Cairns tomorrow morning.
We've had a lot of trouble with STA recently-we've tried to change our flights so we can have more time in Darwin and applied to change them using the purpose-made form on the web. I had a reply saying that I can change my flights without any problems, but Sam's had an e-mail saying he can't, and last night some bloke at sta said that the reason he can't and i can is because the flights have been booked using different contracts, which means nothing to us, and as we are on the same flight it seems a bit petty that they won't even try to help, but the whole point of booking through sta instead of the flight operator is that you are able to change the dates. PLUS they gave us incorrect info regarding the visas so we have decided that they are a rubbish company ans no-one should ever travel with them!