From paradise islands to Cyclone City! An adventurous week in Cairns...
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!!!
Well, we have had an 'interesting' few days in Cairns (to say the least!). We arrived to our hostel to hear that there was a major cyclone warning (aka hurricane down-under!) and that we had to be prepared to be stuck in our rooms for the unforeseen future....hmmm.....not what we had bargained for at all, particularly as we had a fun-filled week planned - sky dives, extreme white water rafting, jungle swings, trips to Cape Tribulation/Port Douglas and diving trips out to the Great Barrier Reef to name but a few!
Needless to say, our sky dive was cancelled immediately but I decided to make use of the unusual weather conditions and so ventured out to do my jungle swing (thanks for the Xmas pressie Matt!). So what is a jungle swing, I hear you ask?? I had NO idea. All I know is that I had told Matt (prior to getting the present) that I definitely was NOT going to do a bungee jump during my travels. GOOD JOKE MATT....Basically, you are strapped into a swing, brought as high up as the bungee jumpers (50m high), only instead of being upright and jumping, you actually start head first and swinging in the middle of nowhere!! I then had to pull a rope (which took me about 10 mins to pluck up the courage to do!) and you are then sent careering through the jungle at 120 km/h......not only did my stomach exit through my mouth on the way down, but then I hadnt factored into things that at the end of the pendulum swing you have to do it all over again backwards....and then again forwards, then backwards etc etc......OMG!!! This, I can assure you, may as well have been a bungee jump - it was absolutely terrifying! And it's really just one jump with a bungee so this is worse?! Anyway, I have lived to tell the tale - but when asked if I wanted to have another go, the answer was a very definite NO THANKS!
That night we had a girly night out in Cairns to check out the local places. We ended up in The Woolshed and experienced some rather unusual goldfish racing as the main entertainment for the night! Also met up with some new friends (Annette, who may be coming back to NZ with me).
The next day was an early start, as despite another serious cyclone warning I decided to do my white water rafting trip! I was told by the guide that I could get my money back coz of the cyclone but that it would be AMAZING rafting if I did go coz the weather conditions would be great for the rapids. So...I went!
Well, I have done a few rafting trips before so decided to upgrade to the Extreme package which includes swimming in rapids, boat flipping, rock jumping and all sorts of other wacky stuff....Let's just say, we got all of the above and more!! Not sure the photos do the day justice as I obviously couldn't take photos whilst on the rapids (and I spent most of the time IN the water!) but it really was a massive adrenaline-rush ALL DAY and definitely the best/scariest rafting I have ever done! I was at the front of the boat, and hence seemed to be the only one to fall in at nearly every rapid. At one stage I was heading straight for a massive rock head first and managed to jump to the other side pushing in my fellow rafter instead - oops! Team work, eh?! And....we saw a crocodile and a snake in the water - sooooo scared!!! Anyway, it was a great day and I would highly recommend it - and, I survived with only a few bruises!
Australia Day was next....or should I say loads of English/Irish getting hideously drunk again?! Actually, that may be slightly unfair, as we were first greeted with about 30 Ozzies all clad in Oz flags/bikins etc on a pub crawl (that had started at 10am). So we started off with them, in the Irish Bar of course! We then walked through town and made our way to the Pier where there were a load of live bands playing (including the ex-Australian Idol) AND it was 2-for-1 drinks until 7pm - woohoo!! We got tattooed up with Australian flags on our faces/arms (....I know, I know, but when in Rome?!....) and made our way around the other spots in town before walking through about 3 ft of rainfall and ending up in Gilligans. Good random night out!
The cyclone warnings started getting bad again and all boat trips were cancelled again, and we couldnt even get to Cape Trib as the roads were closed so at this point I decided to give up on Cairns and change my flights to get to New Zealand a week early. Disappointed to have missed out on my diving trip and to see Cape Trib, but the weather was getting worse - it had rained every day since we got there and wasn't looking to improve....and I was missing the sun!
So I have now arrived in Wellington. I had to sadly leave my wicked travel buddy (Bea) behind in Australia :( so I am now technically travelling alone - yikes!
But the good news is that I am now staying with Mary (good friend from uni who lives in Welly) :) Ok, thats it from me for now - I am about to head into town to plan the next stage of my trip...New Zealand. Will have a new mobile number here so will let you know when I get it.
Love to you all at home, hope you're not missing me too much!! :)