When reading back my last blog post, I noticed I didn't write too much on Brisbane the city itself. To be honest, with only having two days there and having a cough that meant I spoke like Barry White, I didn't get to explore as much as I would have liked. But from what I saw, Brisbane was a city that had lots to offer. Its shopping centre was huge and varied, there were heaps of parks and gardens, and its set on a river with bars and restaurants dotted along, all combining to give the city a more laid back, big town feel. It definitely felt more liveable than Sydney, yet not quite as 'hip' as Melbourne. I bloody miss Melbourne.
Fast forward a couple of days and I was in a tiny town called Mooloolaba, a place with quite possibly the most addictive name to say once you've cracked how to pronounce it (moo-loo-la-baah). After our first night it was time to get up early and cross over the road to the bus stop, where a gaudy yellow and green bus with Steven Irwin's unmistakable face on it was there to pick us up. It was time to go to Australia Zoo, and crikey, what a day I had. The zoo has always been run by the Irwin family, with it currently owned by his wife, and the influence of Crocodile Hunter can be felt everywhere you go. Each member of staff had that same Irwin-esque enthusiasm for wildlife, and if maybe a little cheesy, it was a good laugh. The zoo was also the most hands on zoo I've been to, as I was able to feed and pet kangaroos, cuddle koalas, and feed elephants. We went to the croc show as well, which was fascinating. Note to self though; don't get killed by a crocodile, as it looks the most excruciating death imaginable. There was also a wildlife hospital there, where a lot of the patients are wild animals having been hit by cars. It was sad seeing a tiny koala in an intensive care unit, but it's a nice touch that such a place exists for those cuddly creatures.
From cuddly creatures to creepy critters, our hostel was a zoo in its own right. Since we had almost a week to fill before our Fraser Island trip, the travel agent (who I will moan about in a bit) recommended we stay in Mooloolaba Backpackers Resort for a couple of nights. On first glance it seemed your run of the mill, 'you get what you pay for' kind of hostel. I don't remember agreeing to paying for Australia's biggest cockroach infestation though. There were hundreds of the things. It didn't help that the hostel was an absolute maze to navigate around either. Just making it to your bedroom felt like you were taking part in a game of Takeshi's Castle, where instead of the high pitched screaming of a terrified Japanese girl, you had me, and instead of a masked man jumping out at each door, I had a cockroach the size of an Aunt Bessies roast potato.
Desperate to evade the roaches, me, Alex and a couple of the guys off our floor decided to head to the sports bar to catch the Liverpool game. One of those guys was called Mark; a 40 or so year old East Londoner with tattoos all over his arms. He just so happened to support West Ham as well, and spent the whole game, much to the shock of those around us, screaming at the screen.
"You faaaackin' mug!"
"Ref use your fackin' eyes son".
I was relieved for it to be 0-0 in the end, as a Liverpool win might have meant I'd be writing this blog from the confines of Mooloolaba General Hospital.
Now, lets have a moan about the travel agent who booked our trip. After Mooloolaba, we had booked to travel up to Noosa, a journey that takes about 30-45 minutes. She'd booked us to board a coach taking us all the way back down to Brisbane, where we were to wait there for 1.5 hours, then head all the way back up to Noosa. That's a 30-45 minute journey that took nearly 7 hours. It's like going from Liverpool to Manchester but deciding to go for a one hour stop in Cardiff first. Mental. Alex joked that we basically went all the way from Mooloolaba to Brisbane for a KFC. That two piece banquet was bleeding tasty though.
We finally arrived in Noosa and took the free shuttle to our hostel. With having a chest infection and not being able to drink, I was hoping for a couple of nights rest bite. Oh how wrong I was. Within seconds, the driver screamed,
"WHO WANTS TO PARTY TONIGHT?!.....I SAID WHO WANTS TO PARTY TONIGHT?!". Oh dear, I thought. He wasn't finished either.
"You guys picked the best night to stay at Nomads Hostel. There's a wet t-shirt competition, wet jocks competition for the guys, a sex positions game, $3 spirits, 6 glasses of wine for $5, and beers at $4". I might have imagined this bit but I'm pretty sure he also said,
"And for those of you with a chest infection and on Amoxycillin for 10 days, there's a gun in the back if you ever feel the need to top yourself throughout the night". Believe it or not though, I had a good night. My roommates were all super nice people. There was Harriet who shared my rather obscene obsession for Eggheads and Pointless, Andy and Gavin from Warrington and Birmingham, Megan from Wales, and some more but I can't remember their names (it was a 16 bed dorm I suppose). The bar was full too, and it was quite surreal being stone cold sober seeing the inebriated goings on of a hostel nightclub.
Today me and Alex went to Noosa's Main Beach, where I wrote this blog and he went surfing. Noosa seems very affluent. The hills surrounding the beach are stacked with million dollar mansions, and the streets are lined with expensive boutiques and pricey restaurants.
On a slightly more downmarket note, tonight I'm having pasta and tinned tuna for dinner, then its back to the bar again most probably. Everyone will no doubt be taking advantage of the numerous drinks and games on offer. I'll be on the Tixylix.