Hello Australia

Trip Start Aug 20, 2008
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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Saturday, August 23, 2008

Entry Picture Link: http://picasaweb.google.com.au/ThreeVagabonds/Destination1CairnsAustralia

Welp, we're finally here. After 3 planes (JFK-LAX-Auckland), 22+ hours and losing a day, we arrived in Cairns, Australia on Friday, August 22. The flights weren't AS bad as we expected... we were able to sleep, ate like queens, took random pictures out the plane window, and took advantage of all the free booze - really can't ask for much more.

After exiting the airport/customs with no plans, place to live or direction, we hailed the nearest taxi driver and immediately asked him where to go. After a lesson about Captain Cook (did you know he discovered Australia???) and other random tidbits of info (did you know that they drive on the OTHER side of the road here???) he dropped us off in downtown Cairns (and told us we didn't have to tip him after we already did - awesome).

Wandering around aimlessly with a hostel map printout and ALL of our baggage (backpacks, carry-ons, suitcase, purses - we WAY over-packed), we checked out a bunch of hostels. We knew from the start that we wanted our own room for 3 - heaven forbid we share with strangers. After sweating a lot and completely dehydrating ourselves, we stumbled upon our new home - Asylum. Yes, it's a hostel not a hospital. We knew it was home when they immediately made fun of all of our bags and told us about goon-pong (beer pong with wine). Everyone is very friendly... and they're ALL hippies.

We checked into room 26 1/2 and immediately discovered roommate #4, a dead cockroach. Our way of dealing with it was by kicking it under Jamie's bed... it's spirit lives on in Jamie's nightmares. We made our beds, covered the pane-less windows with sheets, and walked around the town for a bit. We were passed out dead tired by 9 p.m.

Today, we OBVIOUSLY woke up around 7 a.m. and went for a run on the Esplanade (basically their board-walk here). After grabbing some necessary groceries (i.e. PB&J and bananas), we discovered our future dream job - HOSTIES! We immediately found Reef Experience, the company that will take us to the Dive and Snorkel Cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. After signing up for a 1 night, 2 day excursion, we will work as "hosties" (basically maids/deckhands) for an additional 3-5 days. This work will allow us to stay on the boat with free room, board and snorkeling on the reef. Wohooooooo! We board the boat next Tuesday morning and will be back to Cairns by next weekend.

Impressed and excited, we rewarded ourselves with a relaxing afternoon at the lagoon (yeah...who knew that there were no "beaches" in Cairns???). We've found that Cairns is a small town, and not completely what we expected. The landscape is beautiful and the natives and backpackers are very welcoming. Apparently it is very difficult to find jobs here as well, so we will most likely begin our trek down the coast sometime next week after checking out the Daintree Rain-forest. Our next stop will most likely be Airlie beach with hopes of working on Whitsundays Island. Stay tuned!!

We'll do our best to keep you up to date (after we get off the boat!). :)

Missing our friends and loved ones,
Your 3 Vagabonds
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