8th July 2007
Last night was STILL cold, despite the fact i was wearing shorts, tracksuit bottoms, 3 pairs of socks (including football socks folded over twice!) a vest, long sleeve t shirt, and 2 fleeces ASWELL as my sleeping bag and towel over that! I even put a woolly hat on at one point but it fell off during the night. So managed to get slightly more sleep but not great. Flight at 1pm into Cairns so we're now GMT+9. Its a bit warmer here around 24degrees. Checked in at 'Castaways' reception and also bought a Backpackers VIP card which cost $37 which saves us money on hostels, not only in Australia but other countries we're going to as well. Then got on the free shuttle bus into town where we got dropped off at 'The Woolshed' where backpackers can get a free meal from 4 small options. Perfect size for me and what a bargain!
9th July 2007
Today has been an utter bank rinser. Went to Qantas to find that all the flights from Rio De Janeiro to the UK are fully booked on the date i was meant to be coming home. So my only other options were to fly home on the day i wanted - 17th September although it would involve flying from Rio to Santiago to Madrid to London Heathrow to Manchester - OR - add on the same flights as Jenny and got to Peru with her. Both would cost me the same price and so i thought i may as well go to Peru and get home on the 26th September instead. It cost me $223 (approx 100 pounds) which im not too chuffed about especially as i wasnt bothered about Peru and I'll be getting home later which means more money expenditure for food, accommodation etc. So i got a bit upset and panicky all over again over this whole money issue. Had a walk along the Esplanade and then came back to the hostel where we bought our Greyhound bus ticket to Sydney for $312 (150pounds) a Great Barrier Reef day tour for $119 (60pounds) and also our East Coast package which includes Airlie Beach, Fraser Island and the Whitsundays for $400 and something. So yep spent loads today but at least its all sorted with prior booking. We had our free meal at the Woolshed then back to the hostel and bed - we are gonna be such lightweights when we get home as we've hardly drunk anything since being away these past couple of months!
10th July 2007
Today we just got up and spent the whole day lay in the sun by the lagoon at the beach front, it was lovely and warm and the grassy parts were full of people enjoying the rays. Not done much else, came back and packed our bags to leave for Airlie Beach tomorrow. Then went up to the kitchen area as on a Tuesday night there is a free wine and cheese night so we had that (wine was revolting cheap stuff!) Although there was more than just cheese and wine - assortment of fruit, watermelon (my new found favourite!) grapes etc. Celery, carrot sticks, crackers and dips. So not bad for a freebie! Then to bed as our Barrier Reef Tour leaves at 7.30am tomorrow morning.
11th July 2007
Today we were up for our lift down to the harbour for 7.30am. Got on our Ocean Free boat, i think there was about 25-30 people on it in total. Took about an hour and a half to get out to the reef. Jenny paid an extra $70 to do an scuba dive (obviously i didn't because of the financial situation!) Free muffins tea/coffee on arrival to the boat which i thought was a result. We bought an underwater camera to hopefully get some good photos of the coral and fish etc. Arrived at the reef and anchored, i got in and snorkelled for about an hour. The first thing i saw underwater was a flippin shark! A white tip reef shark (google it people!) so i of course cacked it straight away haha. But i was brave and carried on although i kept screaming to myself every now and then! hehe. But although im not a big fan of the sea, it wasnt scary at all. Then we got in the attached speed boat and went to Green Island, not far from where we anchored. Had an hour and a half on the beach just chilling in the sun, then back out for another half hour of snorkelling, amazing experience, but gutted we didnt get to see a turtle. But at least we saw a shark! They served lunch - pasta, bread, chicken, salad etc was nice and in the afternoon they served cheese, crackers, fruit, cake and wine! But didnt have much as the sea was fairly rough and i didnt want to see my food repeat! 2 young girls were sick but apart from that the day was brilliant!