Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Friday 11th March

Last nights coach trip was the worst I've ever experienced. Pretty much a sleepless night on a coach sat bolt upright. Thank goodness it was our last greyhound journey of Australia! We arrived at Sydney bus station around 10 am We decided to try and find a hostel we were recommended called 'Base'. The weather was overcast and we were walking around Sydney for about an hour before we found it. We were all pretty fed up and just wanted a hostel bed to collapse on. We arrived at Base and we were told that there were no rooms available until Sunday. So instead our only other option was a place called Sydney Backpackers. Now I advise you all to stay clear of this hostel.. It's situated down a side ally off George street and it was the worst hostel I've experienced so far. We got to our 16 bed dorm (yes 16!) and opened the door to an absolute tip of a room. clothes everywhere, the rooms clearly never got cleaned and it took us about half an hour to find a bed that wasn't being used! We dumped our bags and decided to go explore the city a bit more.
We found ourselves walking to a place called Darling harbor. It was pretty nice, but would have looked a lot nicer if the sun was shining! We went to the supermarket and bought some kangaroo mince then bumped into one of the guys we met in Thailand! We had a chat for a while, then went back to our hostel to cook dinner. We found ourselves glued to the tv for most of the night as the Japan Earthquake had just hit.

Thursday 10th March

Today we had to check out of our little cabin before 9am which was a bit of a struggle. We booked our coach to sydney for 12:20 am. So we spent a lot of the day just enjoying the sun waiting for dinner. Me and Lewis decided to go for one last surf which was good fun. Dinner soon came around and we didn't have to pay for it because they thought we were part of another group! saying that, we managed to get away without paying for 4 days worth of meals and surfboard hire! It was a big shame after dinner because 2 whole coachloads of people arrived at the surf camp the night we were leaving so we missed out on a good night there! We got a lift to the bus stop from one of the surf instructors there and our Greyhound bus was about half an hour late! When it finally pulled up it was packed full of sleeping people. So we had to all split up and sit next to strangers who were angry as we woke them up by sitting next to them.

Wednesday 9th March

Today was another day of surfing in the sun, which I cant complain about one bit! There's not a lot else to do in spot x but surf or just lounge around on the beach all day. I envy the surfer's life!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Tuesday 8th March

I woke up this morning a very warm boy, thanks to the new duvet! We got up and missed the morning surf. So we had lunch and then went out for a surf until 3pm. We then decided to go play 'kangaroo golf' We got on the mini bus and drove to the local golf course. It was $5 for club rental and a bucket of balls. It was such a laugh hitting them about and trying to aim for thew holes. We soon ran out of balls and headed back to camp. The three of us then sat on the beach with a paddle pop for a while then had dinner. After the dinner, we decided to share a box of goon, and had a good night playing drinking games with the rest of the camp.

Monday 7th March

Woke up this morning freezing cold because my duvet smelt vile when I went to go to bed last night so I threw it on the floor and just slept in my sleeping bag liner. The weather still wasn't great outside.. We got up and had breakfast which was also a huge portion. We then put our boardies and rashies, and went for a morning surf. I've never surfed before in my life and we decided not to bother with lessons and just do the 'Lewis Jones crash course on surfing' Turned out to be a good course as I was catching waves and standing up within minutes! We were out in the surf for a good 2 hours before we got bored and decided to come in for some lunch ( unlimited sandwiches .. can't go wrong!) By this time all the clouds had disappeared and all we had for the rest of the day was baking hot sunshine! We went back out for an evening surf then came back in for dinner. After dinner there was a massive game of musical chairs involving the whole surf camp which was a laugh.Then I went back to fresh bedding! What a day!

Sunday 6th March

We got up this morning around 9 am and had breakfast. Finally we had some Sun!! Typical.. the day we were leaving Byron, we get nice weather.. Me and Lewis decided to walk to the beach and get some photographs of Byron bay Beach as we hadn't taken many photos due to bad weather! We then caught our bus out to a very small town called Woolgoolga. The bus driver wouldn't let me on the bus with a 'singlet' on (vest) so I had to open my bag up and put a t shirt on before I could get on! The trip was around 2 hours and would you believe it, as we arrived.. It started raining! From Woolgoolga, we got a shuttle bus to Spot X. Spot X is a surf camp right next to the beach. We paid 80 dollars for 2 nights accommodation and breakfast, lunch and dinner vouchers. We stayed in a cabin, which was a nice change from a hostel. We met the other people in our cabin and then Lewis and Tom went for a surf. Your supposed to pay around 15 dollars for surfboard hire, But for the whole duration of our stay at Spot x we just took the surfboards without paying and so saved us a small fortune! After the surf sesh, the three of us and our other room mated had dinner, which was amazing! such huge portions and it was an ENGLISH ROAST! which i've missed a lot! After dinner we all had a game of killer pool with our new roomies and then one of the surf instructors joined it. In the end I won (of course) and we decided to go to bed as we had to be up early to catch the morning surf.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Saturday 5th March

We woke up today and the weather was still horrible. We left to go get lunch and dinner for later and as soon as we left the hostel, it started to chuck it down! We had to shelter under a tree for 15 mins because it was hitting so hard! We had another walk through town then decided it was best to stay indoors at the hostel as it just rained all day! Me and Lewis decided to go out at night, but ended up coming back early as the queues were all huge and we were too tired and also had to leave for Spot X the next morning.

Friday 4th March

We woke up and decided to walk to the most easterly point in Australia! The walk was really long and the weather was still rubbish! we thought we had got there but turned a corner and saw that it was still miles and miles away so decided to sit on the bench nearby and just enjoy the views of 'near the most easterly point in Aus' On the way back we decided to walk back via the beach, which was about 10 times faster than the way we had come! After we got off the beach we went into a few shops and then went to get dinner and another box of goon. We got back and cooked our dinner then had a few cups of wine in our room. We got chatting to some of the people from the room nextdoor and we all went out into town together. We went to a few bars together then headed back to our hostel around 2am.

Thursday 3rd March

We had to be up and ready to catch our Greyhound bus to Byron Bay at 11.20 this morning. The journey was around 2-3 hours long which wasn't too bad. We arrived in Byron and we hadn't booked any hostel, so we wondered around for ages looking for one with spaces. We were walking for ages in the humid heat which was horrible. Not what you want after a 3 hour coach drive! We finally arrived at a hostel which was right next to the beach which was good! We got settled in our room and went out to get some lunch. We took our lunch down to the beach and sat on the rocks and watched some hippy woman on drugs beat up an abbo, which was a bit of entertainment. We walked to the shops and bought dinner for later and spent the rest of the evening in the hostel as the weather was horrible today.

Wednesday 2nd March

Me and Lew got up really early today and went to an internet cafe to catch up with all our mates. We walked back and had breakfast, then We headed down to the beach for a big chunk of the day. We then got back and I decided to sort my rucksack out and have a nap. When I woke up we decided to go check out this huge sky tower in the center of the city. We got to the top just as it got dark which was a shame as it would have been nice to have got up there as the sun was setting. Still, the views were amazing! You could see how big the city actually was and how it comes to a halt as it hits the beach! It was impressive, but we preferred the skypark in Singapore by far. We stayed up there for nearly an hour just relaxing and enjoying the views. We then went to get dinner and had an early one as we had to catch our bus to Byron Bay the next day.

Tuesday 1st March

Today we went down to the city to see what it was like. It's quite a nice city. I like how its such a built up area with skyscrapers, but it goes right up to the beach. It's quite a contrast, the packed city meets the empty beach. After having a good look around the city, we decided to spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach. We took the rugby ball again and Lewis and Tom went in the sea. I stayed on the beach and watched kite surfers which was good. In the evening we went to the shop and bought a 6 pac of tinnies and sat on the river bank and watched the sun set ( that's the life ey!!)
We walked to the shops to get dinner and came across a crazy golf course. We thought "why not" and had a round. It was a good laugh and pretty close too ! But of course I won! We then walked back and cooked dinner and played table tennis again which was also a good laugh.

Monday 28th February

We had to get up pretty early today, as we had to catch our greyhound bus at 11am. We had the best breakfast so far on our travels, thanks to Louise. She dropped us at the bus station and we said goodbye to everyone. It took around 2 hours to get to Surfers Paradise. We checked in at a hostel which was actually quite a nice one! We took a rugby ball and went down to the beach for the remainder of the evening. I'm not quite sure why they call it surfers paradise, because the waves were no way near close to being appropriate for surfing. Tom and Lewis went to the shops to get dinner, while I stayed at the hostel and watched this huge, fast spider run riot in the hostel. It was so funny to watch all the girls jumping up and dropping their drinks and laptops in fright! I went back to the dorm and spoke to the other two lads in our room, then the other 2 tunrned up and we had dinner (back to kangaroo meat) and played a bit of table tennis then went to bed.

Happy Birthday Dad :)

Sunday 27th February

We all got up pretty late and not feeling 100%. Bec had work at 1pm so Amy dropped Me, Tom and Lewis off in the main city of Brisbane. We walked to a place called Southbank which is the place where the lagoon is. It wasn't open though because of the destruction caused by the recent flooding.
We wondered around for a while reading about the floods etc and got approached by a news reporter for channel 7 and a camera man. They wanted a brief interview with me. I didn't have a clue about the flooding at all, but they insisted I gave my thoughts on what had happened.. I don't think they used my interview in the final cut though! We spent a lot of the day sat by the river people watching, which is really enjoyable in Brisbane as there is a lot of nutters there! We decided to buy Jess and Bec's parents a bottle of wine, flowers and a card to say thankyou for letting us stay with them and for feeding us, but more importantly letting us wash our horrible travellers clothes in their washing machine! We then went back to the Treby house. We Then all got ready to go out again to a place called 'the fox' where they did steaks for something stupid like $2 !! Me, Lew, Tom, Sam, Amy and Bec got dropped off in town. Turns out they stopped doing $2 steaks just before we arrived which was a shame. We then ended up going to Mcdonalds instead. We also decided to go back to Bec's house, rather than go out to a bar. So we headed back to the house and just spent the rest of the evening at the Treby's which was nice.

Saturday 26th February

We were woken up by Amy and Sam at 7.30 (waayyy to early!) Sam had to go to work today, so missed out on the waterpark. Jess had to fly back to her work today so we got ready to leave at 8ish and said goodbye to Jess. So Me,Lew,Tom,Bec and Amy drove to wet n' wild water park. We had to put up with the girls singing in the car for around 40 minutes until we arrived. It was a really nice day and it was a Saturday, so as you can imagine, the water park was packed! it was a brilliant day though! The main slide was closed today which was a shame, but we did all the other slides in the park which was good! We left around half 4 ish and drove back to Bec's house. We were all shattered from riding all those slides so just crashed on their sofas for a good hour or so. Louise (Bec & Jess's Mum) made us the best cheese ham and tomato toasties ever which woke us up a bit!
We then decided to go out into town again tonight, so we packed some clothes together and went to Amy's house. We bought another box of goon and some dinner to cook at Amy's house. We spent the majority of the night waiting for a maxi taxi to come and collect us from Amy's house to take us into town. We were waiting on her drive for nearly an hour! It finally arrived and we went into Brisbane town. We got to the bar/club and decided to ring up one of the travellers we had met in Airlie beach (Jonatan) He was also staying in Brisbane and wanted to meet up with us all. He arrived at the bar shortly after us and we all had a great night. We went back to Amy's around 3 am and decided to watch Harry Potter for a while then we all decided it was time to go to bed as it was starting to get light outside!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Friday 25th February

Had one last delicious breakfast, then headed off to catch our greyhound bus to Brisbane. We arrived in Brisbane around 11.40pm and I went to a payphone to ring Bec (one of the 2 sisters we met in Airlie beach) I gave her terrible directions as to where we were, but after a while Bec and her sister Jess found us and picked us up and took the three of us to their house.We had a Tour of the Treby Residence, Then Jess treated us hungry travelers to an Aussie Barbecue. We then all Went to a nearby shopping center, so Lewis could buy a new camera. When we arrived back we Met the rest of the family who were all really welcoming and said we could stay a few nights which was really nice of them. They even did our washing for us!!! We gave Jess a game of tennis and their friends (Sam & Amy) turned up. We Then all sat outside and had dinner together and then we all decided to go out. We drank our leftover goon, and headed out to a place called the Royal Mail. It wasn't the best (Don't be offended when you read this girls! haha) But we still had a brilliant time and it was a good laugh! We left around half 1 and walked all the way back to the house and sat around their fire in the garden for a while then went to bed, as we had to be up early tomorrow to go to 'wet n' wild' water park!

Thursday 24th February

Today we went for another amazing breakfast nextdoor to our hostel. After breakfast, Lewis and myself decided to go book the fishing boat for 3 hours at 1pm. We walked back and me and Tom decided to chill in the hostel, while Lewis went for another surf attempt. 1pm arrived. The guy gave us a packet of shrimps, 3 rods and brief instructions on how to drive the boat. We started off driving over to a bank and trying our luck there, which resulted in lewis teasing the smallest fish in the world into a bucket using a bit of bait... Technically it counted as "catching a fish" so Lew was winning 1-0-0. I managed to get my line completely tangled after a cast and so after a few angry rants, we headed back to get my rig sorted. We then headed out to a bridge and decided to cast out our bait under the bridge (mainly because it was raining) As I threw the anchor out, the sun came out and it was baking hot. Then my luck started to change. Withing minutes I caught 2 fish! Something wish nasty looking teeth and a puffer fish! after my success, we had to go back as our three hours were up. But we had a lot of fun driving the boat back to the jetty! We got back and decided to all go to the beach for the remainder of the evening. We then all decided to go for a food shop. I suggested we watched the sunset on the jetty, which was pretty amazing, untill out of nowhere, a huge raincould came and nearly drowned us...

Wednesday 23rd February

We got up early today, because today we were going to visit AUSTRALIA ZOO! We went to the cafe nextdoor for a free breakfast (part of the hostel deal) which was really nice. Best breakfast so far on our travels! We walked to the nearest bus stop and waited for the over the top yellow coach roll up with a huge photo of Steve Irwin on the side. We climbed aboard and sat in our seats covered in Australian animals and headed off to the zoo which is around 2 hours from Noosa. To pass the time of the journey, the coach was equipped with several screens playing episodes from 'The crocodile hunter' It was actually quite fun. We arrived at the zoo around 9.30 am and it was almost empty! We walked around and saw a few crocs etc then made our way to the photobooth where you can hold a Koala and a Croc for 30 dollars. We thought "why not, your only here once" so went for it. Everyone was complaining the Koala stank, but I didn't actually think it smelt that bad! (probably because I smelt worse) It also decided to relieve itself on Tom's T shirt. We then went to the "Crocoseum" which is a big arena where they preform live croc shows. Was a bit of a let down to be hounest, so we were glad that we didn't have to pay to watch it! Would have been a lot better if Steve Irwin was there I'm sure! We then went to the kangaroo park where we bought some 'roo feed' for $2, which turned out to be the best $2 I've ever spent! The kangaroo's just bounded over to us and we were swamped with them all eating food out of our hands! I decided that after feeding them, I wanted to keep one, put a saddle on it and just ride it around back in the UK .. (don't think I will be allowed though .. ) We explored the rest of the zoo and fed elephants etc. One of the highlights of the day was this bird, who we nicknamed Marcus, chasing overweight children trying to peck them. We were crying with laughter at the mums and dads trying to shoo it away while it tried to attack their kids!
We left the Zoo at 4.30 and returned back to Noosa to sort out dinner. Overall, I actually quite enjoyed the zoo today. I'm not normally a 'zoo person' I think the fact I havn't visited a zoo in so long made it a bit more enjoyable, but the fact it was the legendary Steve Irwins zoo made it a must see! It was like a massive shrine to the guy though, which was a little bit creepy, but still.. you have to go to this zoo if you are in the area.

Tuesday 22nd February

We got up early and checked out of Pippies hostel. We then had a fairly long bus drive to Noosa. We had perfect weather for Fraser Island, but the day we left it poured down.. which was lucky! We arrived in Noosa around midday We checked into a hostel called Noosa backpackers resort which was a nice hostel. Lewis rented out a surfboard and me and Tom decided to walk to town to check it out. Although I've never been to Miami, Noosa kind of reminds me of what Miami looks like (in photos) It's quite a posh, well kept area. We had a look in the shops and then met up with Lewis on the beach. We got a free shuttle bus back to our hostel and Tom fell asleep. So me and Lewis decided to go find the local supermarket. We were walking along the riverside and noticed a sign for hiring fishing boats/rods & bait for only $70! The place was shut, but we decided to take a mental note of the place and come back tomorrow to check it out. Turns out that the supermarket is miles and miles away, so we had a long walk to do over the next couple of days!

Monday 21st February

Today we got up at our own leisure and strolled down to the beach to catch some rays. Lewis hired out a bodyboard and caught a few waves, while me and tom stayed on the beach. After a while, it got so hot outside we both decided to join Lew in the sea. After going to the beach, we headed back to our hostel and got in the pool for an hour or so. We then headed to an internet cafe, where I spent a good amount of time updating this blog. While we were in there, a storm came in and so we stayed in the internet cafe for a bit longer than expected. We were planning on going sandboarding in the afternoon and watch the sunset... thats the tropics for you !

Sunday 20th February

This morning we had our breakfast around 8ish and our first stop was the famous Maheno ship wreck This was an old WWII ship that was being towed to Japan for scrappage but it crashed on Fraser island and has been washed up on the shore ever since. The tide was in when we went to see it, so we couldn't get inside and have a close look. Lewis, who's camera was broken decided to just roll around in the sea and he then lost his sunglasses he bought from Thailand.. (Not the best luck over the past 2 days!) We then returned to the fresh water spring that we visited the previous day. We decided to swim up the stream and go for a bit of an explore. We then dried off and had a game of cricket on the beach, which I do believe I won! We then went for lunch at a little cafe. After our brief stop for lunch, we visited another stream, but this was a teatree oil stream (like the lake from the other day) we went for a swim in the stream and then it was time to leave Fraser island. on the drive back, we spotted wild dolphins jumping out the water right next to where we were going to catch our ferry back! We stopped and tried to lure them over to us, but I think they just got scared and swam away. We headed back to rainbow beach and went to the supermarket to buy our dinner for the night. After dinner there were a few bets being placed on games of Uno by Lew and Tom.. This resulted in both stripping naked, walking through a room full of people watching a film and jumping in the swimming pool.. and they were sober! We were all pretty shattered from all the swimming over the last few days, so decided to have an early night.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Saturday 19th February

Woke up this morning in a boiling hot tent, so there was definitely no lie in today! We all had breakfast together and set off to another lake. This lake was an orangy brown colour, because it was full of teatree oil. It was really good for you skin and hair apparently. We all had a morning swim and there were baby turtles everywhere at first, before we all jumped in and scared them away. We managed to push Lewis down to the bottom of the lake to see how deep it was and he surfaced having churned the bottom up, which created the most vile smell so we decided to all get out. Our second stop was another Sandblow. It wasn't as good as the lake Wabbi sand blow because we couldn't walk on it (you wouldn't want to as the sand temp was around 40-50 degrees) and it was difficult to see as there were a lot of trees in the way. But it was still huge and really impressive.
We went back to camp and had lunch, then we set off to a place called the Champagne Pools, which is the only area on Fraser Island that you can swim in the sea, well little sea pools, as the rest of the sea is so dangerous. Lewis stood in a tiny pool and managed to fall over and break his camera, where as Tom took full advantage and went off snapping photos left right and center. It was a nice place, but quite busy. We then went to Indians head which is a huge cliff face which gives you the most amazing views of the whole island. This was definitely my highlight of today. From the top you can spot stingrays in the sea and turtles, it was great. We walked back down to the 4x4 jeep and then shot off along the beach to another fresh water spring that runs into the sea. This was absolutely freezing! and as we were all still a bit tired from today, we dunked ourselves under and it woke us up straight away! We spent a bit of time here and then decided to call it a day and head back to the campsite and cook dinner and get straight back on the goon. We sat around the campfire again, and decided to walk to the beach and lie there and watch the stars (bit cheesy) pretty much everyone fell asleep on the beach for a while. Then we headed back to our tents.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Friday 18th February

We got up really early and packed our daysacks, as we couldn't take our huge rucksacks with us. We then had to check over our 4x4's and check there was no damage. It was baking hot and we just wanted to hit the road. We finally got going after an hour or so and got the ferry to Fraser Island! As none of us were 21 yet, we couldn't drive the 4x4.. but we still had an awesome time being thrown around the jeep when we hit all the dips and bumps in the road and sand. Fraser island is the biggest sand island in the world, and so there were long durations of time where we were just driving along the beach. Our first stop was one of the biggest, if not biggest fresh water lake in the world.. or Australia I can't remember. But the lake was amazing. I remember doing a handstand and taking a big gulp of water down, and it literally tasted of Evian! The clouds came in unfortunately which didn't make the lake look as blue. But we played a bit of vollyball with the other lads on the trip and got to know them. Our next stop was a lake called lake Wabbi. Now this lake was my favourite. We all had to walk through a rainforest for around 40 mintutes, but you come to a huge clearing which was a massive sandblow, like a mini desert in the middle of the rainforest, which was amazing! I've never seen anything like it before in my life. there was a massive sand slope which was very steep and at the bottom was a lake full with turtles and catfish. We sprinted down the sand slope and jumped straight in the lake. It was brilliant. We then all headed back and arrived at our camp around 5 pm. It was the only campsite on Fraser Island that allowes you to make a campfire, as it is Aborigionie territory. The only rules were that you couldn't whistle, and you were not allowed to spit in the campfire.. Our group did a barbeque (had enough burgers to feed the whole camp!) We then opened up the goon and had a good night around the campfire. I somehow ended up waking up next to my tent with 3 dingo's sniffing at my feet. I was so drunk, I didn't realise that they were dangerous, wild animals and not just your average dog.. But still I'm still alive to tell the tale.

Thursday 17th February

Had another Long journey today from Agnes Water to Rainbow beach. We arrived around 12ish and hooray, the sun had decided to follow us for once rather than the rain! We checked into a hostel called Pippies which was pretty nice. 4 bed dorms so was perfect for us three. We went for a stroll and checked out the place and ended up booking a 3 day 2 night 4x4 self drive on Frazer Island. We went back to the hostel and watched a few boring videos on how to stay alive on Fraser island and how to defend yourself against the dreaded dingos. Then we got put into a group with two Irish girls (Martina and Trish) and a German woman. They were all really nice and a good laugh! We all went for a food shop together to get our supplies for the three days we would spend on Fraser island. Me and Lewis decided to buy a box of goon between us aswell. We then headed back to Pippies and met a few others that were in the other groups that were joining us on the trip. We decided to go to bed early, as we had to be up early the next morning.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wednesday 16th February

All woke up with a goon hangover (bit different to the usual hangover) and went down to reception and booked 'scooteroo'. I saw the leaflet and thought it looked amazing so we went for it and booked it. We all lounged around untill 3pm, except for Lew who went to the beach for a swim. Once we got picked up we were taken to scooteroo HQ where we got kitted out with flame leather jackets and a helmet, also covered in flames. (not real flames .. that would just be dangerous..) We even got fake tattoos to complete the 'badass biker look'. We then chose our ride for the evening and all three of us decided to get on the more advanced choppers with the high handlebars. We really looked the part! We had a long ride on the roads to get used to the bikes and then we ended up all cruising as a pack through Agnes Water town to the quieter roads to spot some kangaroos. It didn't take long before we spotted them! Before this, for me, I never really felt like I was in Australia but once I saw the roos while cruising down an empty road with red sand everywhere I definitely knew I was in Aus. Me, Tom and Lew then had a little race along all the roads which involved a lot of big overtakes. We found ourselves overtaking 5 or 6 bikes at a time. It was amazing! We all rode to the only pub in 1770 which sits just across the road from the Sea. We had a bikers snack of wedges with sour creme and sweet chilli sauce and sat on the rocks and watched the sun set over the sea. It was unreal. Our sunset seeing was cut short though, as the lead biker guy said "we have to go, theres a storm coming.." Now I didn't hear this (well Lew didn't tell me .. probably on purpose) and we set off. I wondered why a lot of people had their jackets all zipped up. Then the rain absolutely hammered down. Good job I still had my sunglasses on otherwise I wouldn't have been able to see a thing! I was completely soaked from head to toe. Then all the bikes started conking out, due to water getting into the air filter. Tom's bike went first. Lewis' bike next, but mine made it all the way back to the scooteroo hq !! out of about 35 bikers, only 10 or so made it back. They gave us free professional photographs as a way of saying sorry. But I think I can speak on behalf of Lewis and Tom when I say that this was the best experience of Australia so far! AMAZING!

Tuesday 15th February

The night journey on the bus was a lot worse than the previous journey. I didn't sleep anywhere near as much as I would have liked. We arrived in Agnes water/1770 (weird name for a place ey?) at 9 am and we were all pretty shattered. We booked into a really nice hostel that was pretty much empty. The three of us were put into a 10 bed dorm, that was also completely empty so we had a lot of space for once. Then we stumbled across the blonde hair dye that the other two bought back in Airlie Beach. We decided to dye their hair, but the outcome wasn't so good and didn't look anything like the beautiful blonde woman on the box! It was fine for me because I didn't do it so I had something to laugh at every time I looked at them. After they got over the fact they were certified gingers now, we all walked to the beach. The surf was pretty impressive and the sun was shining so we had a nice day there. We got back to our hostel to find that George (lad we met in Cairns) had checked into our dorm! small world ey? and so we all cooked dinner and then went out and bought some goon (Cheap Australian wine) we had a drunken game of monopoly and ended up taking an empty bin out with us and went frog hunting with our head torches on. It was sort of like a wimpy version of Steve Irwins Croc Hunter.. Anyway we caught a lot of frogs and toads and then the police turned up.. well the village sherrif. Lewis hid in the hedge with the bucket and I went over and spoke to the policeman. He just was wondering what we were up to and I replied " oh were just looking for a bar" and he bought my story and went away. We then took all the frogs back and released them .... all over my head .. Then we obviously showered and hit the hay.

*no frogs/toads were harmed in the froghunt*

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Monday 14th February

Woke up with another hangover (I may aswell start every blogpost with this sentence) and had to check out at 10 which was a stuggle! Lew came in at about 7 am and woke me up so I assumed he was up before me for once. We checked out and slept for another 5 hours or so on the sofas in the hostel. Then we spent another lazy day clilling by the lagoon untill our Greyhound bus arrived to take us to Agnes Waters.

Sunday 13th February

We got up on time and got a shuttle bus to the dock where we got our ride for the day. We booked just a day trip on a ex lifeguard boat. which means it went bloody fast! We climbed aboard and the boat went so fast it only took 40 mins to get to the islands. The boat had inflatable sides that you could sit on while the guy rocks the boat from left to right so fast you nearly fall out. Our first stop was a snorkelling site where all three of us went for a snorkel together. Was a good job we had those hideous stinger suits on, as there were lots of tiny jellyfish in the water, which stung our hands and feet a fair bit! After that we shot over to whitsunday island and did a bush walk. I ate some ants (bush tucker) and found myself picking legs out of my mouth all the way to the top of the island. We got to the lookout and had the perfect views of whitsunday beach and the swirling sands. After that we went on the beach and chased some soldier crabs and got the boat over to whitehaven beach which was amazing! pure white sands, crystal blue water and a clear blue sky! we sat and had lunch and then played vollyball with a couple of girls we met on the boat. We stayed on the island for a good 2 hours and then it was time to head back to mainland. I decided to sit on the inflatable sides and held on to the ropes because the bloke went crazy! snaking the boat from left to right was mental could have fallen off at any second! We got back and went to the lagoon to get the salt water off us. We sorted some dinner out and met up with the 2 girls from the boat earlier for some drinks at a few bars. The night ended with lewis wearing girls pj's up to his nipples strolling into mcdonalds at 3 in the morning and asking for a ice cream... priceless.

Saturday 12th February

Woke up today with a bit of a hangover.. When we finally got up we decided to check out a car rental place, because we wanted to hire a car for the day to go see the cedar waterfall. Turns out you had to be 21 to hire from that particular place. So we spent the rest of the day at the lagoon and cooked our own dinner I had cold ravioli..which was.. um nice .. Then we had an early one as we had to be up the next morning, to sail the whitsundays!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Friday 11th February

We actually managed to wake up in the morning today which was an achievement! We slapped on the factor 15 (40 for Tom) and decided to go check out Airlie Beach. I'm not too sure why they call it 'Airlie Beach' because the beach here isn't that great. Dorset's better! but still it's such a nice, clean place. Soo much better than Cairns by a long way. We then checked out the lagoon, which was also a lot better than Cairns's lagoon. We stayed there for a while and would you believed it, bumped into the couple we shared a dorm with in Cairns! It was nice to see them again and we had a bit of a catch up and we arranged to go for drinks together at the hostel's bar.
We met up with them around 8ish, after we had cooked our own dinner in the most disgusting kitchen I've ever been in.. I was afraid to use the knives and forks in case I caught something. But we make a tonne of pasta and then met up with the couple we met in Cairns. We had a few drinks and got pretty merry and ended up going to a nightclub. They wouldn't let Lewis in because he was wearing a vest, and so we went back to the dorm and then ended up going to some other bar instead of the nightclub, due to cheaper drinks. We met a load of crazy Aussies and two German girls who took me and Lewis back to their campervan (because we want to know what they are like because we want to get one for Nz) We checked it out and cooked even more pasta and then walked back and met this nice Mauri girl who worked on a boat in Airlie. We sat on a bench and chatted to her for about 2 hours then Lew and myself decided to call it a night as we wanted to be up early tomorrow.

Thursday 10th February

Today we got up really early and checked out of Global packpackers and hoorayy, Our bus was there waiting! We had a 6 hour coach journey to Townsville, Which I managed to sleep through most of. When I was awake I saw a lot of destruction from the recent cyclone. Looked terrible!
We stayed in Townsville for around 10 minutes and then had another 6 hour Journey to Airlie Beach which was a bit more of a drag, but I still slept through most of it (so much for looking out the window and seeing the Australian scenery!) We arrived in Airlie around 8pm and it was absolutely chucking it down! Good job I was wearing flip flops. We went to a hostel called Nomads, who told us that it was cheaper next door, so we thought okay cya and went next door to a hostel called beaches which was actually quite good. It had a huge, cheap bar which everyone used, even people from other hostels and our dorms were really nice. We were all pretty shattered, even me who had about 13 hours sleep today, but we decided to have a early night and see what Airlie had to offer tomorrow.

Wednesday 9th February

Today surprise surpise we woke up pretty late with a bit of a hangover and therefor had a bit of a chill day down at the lagoon. We went out and checked out the mall aswell. Basically did the same as the previous days before we went to the great barrier reef. Cairns really isn't as good as it's made out to be. It's a lot smaller than I thought and all there is to do in the day, is just go down to the lagoon. We did our usual free meals at the hostel and the wool shed and then went to the bus stop to get our ride out of Cairns to Townsville. We got there and there was no sign of our bus... turns out it was cancelled due to the bad road conditions (cyclone damage) so we ended up walking round Cairns at night looking for the cheapest hostel possible for the night. We checked in to a hostel called Global Backpackers which wasn't actually that bad! it was a lot closer to the lagoon, so we dumped our rucksacks in the dorm and went for a night swim. We then had a walk around and ended up checking out a night market which sold lots of authentic aboriginal arts and crafts...Didn't buy anything though.. we're backpackers!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Tuesday 8th February

Today we had another lazy day by the lagoon, as it was finally open. We spent most of the day they catching rays and going for swims. later that night we decided to check out the Cairns nightlife and we ended up getting front row seats to a womens jelly wrestling tournament, was an experience (dont worry Gentlemen I will put the photos up) Were definitely starting to feel the strain of the backpackers budget. a pint is 5 dollars during happy hour. Compare that to Thailand where a pint was about 1 pound 20 !! Definitely miss Thailand when it comes to budgeting and spending money!

Monday 7th February

We woke up at 7 and got the coach north to Port Douglas. This is apparently the best place to go to see the Great barrier reef. It was a 2 hour coach drive, but I actually enjoyed it as the sun was finally out! and it was a coastal road so the scenery was pretty awesome. We got on the 'super sonic' boat and departed the port. whilst on the boat, Myself and Lewis had to fill out scuba diving forms just incase we died or went missing! We arrived at the reef and had to watch a safety video, where they explained that if you hold your breath while accending, your lungs would explode and you would die ... right. So We both got kitted up in all the scuba gear and jumped in the sea. The water temperature was 28 degrees! Luckily we had a expert instuctor all to ourselves which was good. At first I stuggled with the whole 'don't hold your breath' concept, but after a while I had mastered it and it was AMAZING! completely different to snorkelling and it feels unreal! our dive was for 30 minutes, and then we all went for a snorkell together. We moved to the next spot and we all went for another snorkel sesh together. I lost the other 2 and ended up swimming with a turtle! then my luck got even better and the other turtles mate turned up and I basically watched them get it on.. which is apparently really rare! The third and final stop was another amazing reef. Me and Lewis decided to fork out another 40 bucks each and do another dive. This dive was even better than the first. We went deeper and were down for a lot longer. It was a really strange feeling swimming alongside a huge wall of coral, and I saw a nemo! We then headed back and had a rocky boat ride back to dry land. We got back and were so shattered from all the swimming we didn't stay awake for long.

Sunday 6th February

We woke up pretty late this morning, the weather wasn't that great so we didn't miss out on anything. We went to a nearby tourist info place and myself and Lewis have booked to do a scuba dive on the Great barrier reef which is exciting. All three of us will also get to do a whole day of snorkelling. We also decided to go with the greyhound bus service to take us down the East coast to syndey stopping off on the way at Townsville, Airlie Beach, Agnes Water/1770, Rainbow Beach, Frazer island, Noosa, Brisbane, Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay and then Sydney. We also recieved enough free meal vouchers for every night we are staying in Cairns which is good for us backpackers! Later that evening we decided to stay up late and watch the 6 Nations rugby match between England and Wales and tried our first pint of proper aussie beer. Good times!

Saturday 5th February

We landed in Cairns airport around 9.30 am and got a transfer to our hostel (Gilligans) But we couldn't check in untill 2pm so we dumped our rucksacks at the hostell and went for a wonder. We had a nice breakfast at a local cafe. I've noticed that there is a lot of Aborigines around in Cairns, and they are always drunk and being followed by the police here. Because of the cyclone the lagoon (big community swimming pool area) is closed. But hopefully it will be open tomorrow or the next day. We finally killed enough time to check in and the dorm was pretty nice. It had all the basics so we were happy. We met a nice couple from London who we shared the dorm with. They were here during the cyclone and they said they were just stuck in their dorm for 2-3 days! We were all pretty shattered from our flight this morning, so we just had a lazy day and explored Cairns.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Friday 4th February

Today is the day we fly out of Singapore to Cairns in Australia via Darwin. We were told about the cyclone the day of our arrival to Singapore, so we spent a lot of today doing our research into it. Hoping it would pass before we arrived! We spent a lot of today just on the computers in the hostel sorting this blog out and drinking lots of coffee, as it was chucking it down outside. We went for one last stoll around the City of Singapore then got the subway system to the airport. and waited for our flight for 2 hours. We were told that Singapore airport is absolutely amazing but we obviously went to the wrong terminal, because it was nothing like what everyone said it would be. We got our flight with jetstar which wasn't the best airline in the world by a looong way! But we arrived in Cairns safe and sound around 9 am the next day and not a cyclone to be seen!

Thursday 3rd February

We woke up pretty late as we were all pretty shattered from the previous flight. We met the other 2 blokes that were also staying in our hostel room.
Because it was Chinese New Years day today, the streets were almost deserted which was a good thing in a way, but it was eery, which was strange. We walked to a place called little India which is a part of Singapore and is full of Indian restaurants and local Indian markets. Because the Indian people do not celebrate the Chinese new year, Little India was absolutely heaving with people. We managed to squeeze through the sweaty markets to buy some fruit. (which was desperately needed as we had had enough of rice, noodles etc) We then went back and just chilled at the hostel for a bit which gave me the opportunity to update my blog. Later that evening, We decided to go check out this huge skypark building at marina bay. It was absolutely massive! and the lift up to the ship on top of the buildings only took about 10 seconds!! our ears popped a bit as you can imagine. The views from the top of the skypark ship were unbelievable! We got there when it was getting dark, so you could see all the lights on the buildings and it made some pretty good photographs. We then left and walked around the enormous shopping mall they have there again. Then we went back to the hostel as it's too expensive to go out for a drink here haha.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Wednesday 2nd February

I actually managed to wake up at 6am and didn't feel like a zombie which was good! We checked out and got to the airport and caught the flight to Singapore hastle free.

the Train system Here is the main way of getting to places (basically a Singapore version of the tube) It took us a while to work out how to use it, which involved asking a few people to help us out, but we got there in the end.
We saw the Raffles hotel, which is the most famous hotel in Singapore. We then spent the rest of our evening at the marina bay which is amazing! theres a skypark hotel there which is just 3 huge hotels with a giant ship lying across all 3 of the buildings.

Also it is Chinese new years eve today so China town and the marina bay was packed with people celebrating and fairgrounds etc.

The roads here are so clean I feel i could literally lick the floor and not catch an illness. Also there is a lot of supercars around here.

It felt a bit strange when We first arrived here. It's like a weird blend of Thailand and USA. It feels really modern, sort of like a virtual city in the middle of nowhere.

Tuesday 1st February

Today we had the ultimate lazy day. Literally woke up at 12ish got some food and strolled around the markets again bartering with the locals and trying to get the biggest bargain possible. We came back to our hotel around 4 ish and slept untill 7 and then went out for our last meal in Thailand. We decided we had to go back to good ol' stop here, as that was the place where we had our first meal. The waitress that we became quite friendly with gave us a round of free drinks which was nice of her, and we stayed for a few games of pool and then did our last walk around Khao San road before getting an early night for the flight tomorrow.

We arrived back at the hotel and Tom and Lewis went to bed as we had a 6 o clock in the moring start to get to the airport. I was about to join them when Ning decided she wanted to take me to a traditional Thai night market. I was told about the night markets before I left for Thailand so definitely wanted to experience one so i decided to join her aslong as we were back by half 1. It was a bit of a strange experience to see all these stalls selling a range of items from swords, tazers and knifes, to those eye contact lenses that make your eyes look huge (the ones that are banned in the uk) But what I found the most odd was the fact that all the people were so awake and it felt like it was day time. Ning told me that they would just sleep in the daytime and wake up for the market. So they basically live nocturnal lives just to sell their goods! We left the market and got held up in traffic for what seemed like hours. So we arrived back at about half 2 in the morning. I said my goodbyes and headed straight to bed thinking to myself that the flight tomorrow is going to kill me if I dont sleep now.

Monday 31st January

Today we had a pretty Lazy day In Bangkok, as after about 3 days of the place you literally run out of things to do, and its not the most pleasant place to stay for a long time anyway. But we wondered around the markets again and got a few bits and peices. We then found a gym and spent a few hours in there and I experienced a steam room and sauna for the first time which was interesting..
I must say, it was a bit of a detox after the weeks of sleeping on trains and bus's and drinking Chang and Singah beer. So I was feeling pretty refreshed afterwards.

Later that evening the three of us met up with Andy and Lorna (2 of the group members from the trip) and we had dinner, together which was nice. Then the time finally arrived to experience whats known as a 'Ping Pong Show' Now I won't explain what it is or tell you what we witnessed .. and fortunately cameras wern't allowed.. which is a good thing for you lot!
So after the show we left white faced and a bit queezy and met up with Ning the girl from our hotel and her friend mint. We went to a few bars and nightclubs in Khao San. Then Some of us went home, and Ning and Mint took me and Lewis to a proper Thai nightclub. It was a bit intimidating as EVERYONE there was Thai and we were the only non Thai's there ... But they all seemed to love us and we got back in at 6.30 in the morning which sort of proves we had an amazing time there.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Sunday 30th January

We arrived at Bangkok train station around 9 am and said our farewells to a large chunk of the group. the remaining 5 or 6 of us decided to go to the huge shopping center called MBK. Its about 5 floors tall and sells almost everything you can think of and its crazy cheap! Tom bought a camera for like 160 quid and its worth 250 ! We almost spent a whole day there, theres so much to do. After we left we checked back in to our old hotel we stayed at before we left for the trip to southern Thailand. Later that night we met up with First and a few others from our group for a farewell meal. the restaurant was really nice. It was overlooking the river than runs through Bangkok and at night it looked amazing with all the street lights and fireworks being let off in the distance. We then decided to call it a night, as we were all shattered from the sleepless travel the night before.

Saturday 29th January

We had to check out our hotel at 12 and we had one last photograph as a whole group before everyone went their seperate ways. We then got the catermaran back to Chumporn and got the nightrain back to bangkok. As this was a day of just travelling to Bangkok I will take this opportunity to show a few more photos from the past weeks.

Friday 28th January

Today We went to a local diving center and hired snorkels and flippers for the day and went on a boat tour. First stop was to se the 'shark' which turned out to be a complete disaster as the Ko Samui rain clouds caught up with us and the waves became huge! So we didn't stay there long and moved on to the next spot. It was a very rocky boat ride but the next spot was amazing. As we arrived the weather calmed right down and the snorkeling was amazing! Me, Lew and our new companion Sammy really enjoyed it and we found ourselves being the last ones coming in out of the sea, every dive spot we visited.

Our last stop was an island. We had to pay 100 baht to enter as it was so well kept! the sands were literally white. It reminded me a lot of the beaches in the Maldives, and the sea was full of coral and exotic fish. We went for a quick snorkel sesh, then Me, Lew and Sammy decided to climb about a million steps and then some huge stones to reach the top of the huge hill that overlooked the whole Island and got some cracking photographs! Then we headed back and had a meal together as a group and then went to an ozzy Bar and then hit up a few beach parties.

Thursday 27th January

Today was a bit of a travel day, We arrived at the ferry port in Ko Samui mid morning and had a 2 hour ride on a catermaran boat to Ko Tao. Finally some sun !! The island looked even better when the sun was out. We arrived at our very posh 5 star hotel on the beachfront, and I havn't been in such a nice hotel. I shared a room with Tom and we had the most amazing balcony with in built sofas and a 40" tv and a impressive bathroom. We concluded that this would be our nicest accomodation throughout our whole travelling trip!
We took a strole around the beach which was really nice and right on our doorstep. Later that night we all went to the beach for a bbq. Afterwards we were told that we would be attending the Famous ladyboy show!! As we were walking through the streets on the way, we were already being harrassed by ladyboys on the way, Grabbing us and trying to kiss us etc. So I decided to have a few more chang beers before going to the show.
The show was actually amazing!! I was sat in the front row but slowly made my way to the rown behind as they were trying to get the audience involved! But it was no use hiding as they asked for voulenteers, and would you believe they rushed over to me and dragged me straight up and backstage! so Lewis and Tom, being such good friends, decided to join me.
I wont tell you what we had to go through that night... You can make your own mind up from the photographs....

Wednesday 26th January

Today Me and Lewis and one of our trip buddys, Andrew decided to ride elephants. Looking out the window we were a bit apprehensive as there was huge dark grey, mean looking clouds in the sky. Anyways We decided to go ahead regardless and we were pretty much the only ones there. First we watched an elephant show, where we witnessed things like elephants doing handstands etc. Then they asked me to voulenteer for the next trick..
Basically i had to lie on the floor while an elephant put its foot on my chest! We then moved on and watched a monkey show, and thats when the heavens opened up and it ABSOLUTELY chucked it down! the rain was so hard the monkey pretty much ran away and when it did get on with the show it just wanted to get out the rain so it was a bit rubbish..
Then we took a ride on the elephants. It lasted about 45 mins and was pretty good and we all got some good photos.

Later that evening Me and Lewis went to watch the Thai boxing at the local stadium. It was 1000 baht to get in which was like 22 quid and we saw some cracking knock outs! Then we went back to the green mango for the rest of the night.

Tuesday 25th January

We had an 8am meet this morning to head out of Koh Sok national park and catch the ferry to Ko Samui. Once we reached Samui we checked in at the sandy resort hotel and I had a double room to myself. One double bed and one single with a memory foam mattress which was a bit of a problem when choosing which one to sleep in. We headed to the beach which was literally on the hotels backdoor step and Lewis and I went for a swim in the sea which was almost bath-like temperature! it then became a bit overcast which was annoying and so we had a bit of a pre dinner snack and then went for a dip in the pool.
For dinner, we went to a sort of cook it yourself bbq which was definitely an odd experience! we basically had a hot pot thing on each table and you just put your raw meat on and away you go! I was more concerned about catching some sort of food poisoning so I didn't eat a vast amount.
We then all headed out to experience the ko Samui nightlife which was amazing ! beach parties and a nightclub called 'the green mango' was our personal highlight. I ended up chatting to a group of ladies (yes they were women) and I lost the other 3 I was with. So i ended up rushing around Samui on my own trying to remember the name of my hotel to get home! Luckely Lewis found me so the taxi ride home was a bit cheaper. He was more worried than I was!