After a fantastic 2 weeks with miss Alex’s parents in Bali, miss Alex and I arrived in the Gold Coast on the 27th April. A quick glance out of the window upon descent had me questioning whether we’d actually boarded a flight back to Manchester in the UK. The rain clouds were dark and thick. I started praying that the windows on the plane were dark tinted to block out the bright sunlight, it was only once we left the comfort of the plane that I realized the windows weren’t tinted, it was dark and miserable and the rain falling was that fine rain. You know that fine stuff that gets you soaked!! We didn’t expect any marching bands playing the famous Men at Work song Down Under upon arrival, or a welcome handshake from Harold Bishop, but the rain gatecrashed my big arrival down under in sunny Australia.
We had fully embraced our selves for a tough grilling from the notoriously tough Aussie custom guards. This however was a slick and easy process. In fact miss Alex and me slipped through without any checks what so ever. We made a quick decision before we’d even left the airport to book the next flight up to Cairns. The weather being considerably hotter and sunnier up here.
The next flight up to Cairns was the following morning. We booked a flight and headed up north. As soon as we landed the sun was shining and it was warm. Our hoodies were shoved back into our backpacks. We met up with Miss Alex’s friend lucy, from back home in Scarborough. Not long after checking into the hostel miss Alex, lucy, Robyn (lucys mate) and me headed into the city for a bite to eat and a bit of a look around. Instantly the difference between SE Asia and Australia in prices was obvious. A bowl of museli, beans on toast and 2 fruit shakes cost us $24. My jaw hit the floor so hard that the tremor must have been felt back in the UK.
The first couple of days in Cairns had the feel of a holiday. Miss Alex and me both fell in love with the city. Everything is centred around the out door life style. For instance in the park there is a fitness corner, push up bars and pull up bars, free of charge. Next to the fitness corner is a BBQ site, with a hot plate to cook food on, free of charge. If this park was picked up and moved to the UK, I found myself questioning how long before the fitness corner was vandalised and the hot plate became a nice garden feature in some louts garden. A lagoon (outdoor swimming pool) is very kindly provided by the local authority for people to use at leisure. Free of charge. This is because the sea water and the beach is a no go area in Cairns, because crocodiles hang about.
A quick shop in the supermarket could be described with one word. EXPENSIVE. A tin of tuna will set you back a handsome $4.50. A pack of cooked turkey will sell for $26. A standard Dove deodorant spray is $6.50. Also no alcohol can be found in the supermarket. There are specialist Alcohol shops called BWS. The expensive pattern continues with alcohol, apart from Goon! Goon is very cheap “wine” it comes in a 4 litre carton ($12) nobody is actually sure what the ingredients for goon are. Most backpackers have come from a University background and will drink anything cheap so not many questions about ingrediants are raised. after a night on the goon, you will wake up feeling like Mike Tyson is constantly slapping your head.
Lucy has introduced us to new friends. Rachael, Robyn and Louise, and we have managed to meet up with the 2 Sams, for a bit of a SE Asia reunion. Without saying too much on here we are currently making plans for our next step.