Last month in Paradise

Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
Trip End May 27, 2008

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, October 7, 2007

So, sorry for not updating this sooner but I've been pretty busy and the usual excuse of the internet costing a bomb.  I'm on dial-up at the mo so no pics for a while but as usual check out the facebook website for those.  I started my new job working in the boat company's tour shop which was a challenge-using my cunning selling skills to persuade people to buy tickets for the boat.  Most of the time I had people asking for general info such as 'are there any toilets near here?'  I wasn't supposed to go out of my way to help people who weren't booking a trip but I'm nice and people appreciate local knowledge.

My job at the tour shop meant that I got to check out some of the trips we sold for free or hugely discounted so I took my housemate Elsa to a ranch and we went horseriding and quad biking.  I have to say I'm still not taken by horseriding, probably because it's so slow and I'd be quicker hiking the same trails although the quad biking was so fast it was too scary - Elsa is a speed freak and got a huge buzz but I didn't get anything out of it, except from filthy!  We had a brief trip to the toursit town of Kurranda afterwards-I'd been selling lots of train trips there in the shop and decided to see what it was all about.  I have to say that although it's quite pretty, it's full of souvenier shops and wasn't our cup of tea.  Had some great ice-cream though. 

Had the usual night out (Courthouse pub followed by Iron Bar) for my friend Emma's 26th birthday.  We also had a big night out for Emma and Jo when they left town.  It's starting to feel like Groundhog day as there's not much in the way of choice for nightlife in Port Douglas!  Been to a few Karaoke nights in the last month which have proved to be highly entertaining-it's the kind of town where people of all ages go out and have a good time and everyone knows each other. 

Had yet another day off work (passenger numbers have been low so not much work around on the boat for me) and decided to go on the boat and dive seeing as it's free. That was pretty cool and I saw a pregnant reef shark.  Went on a sunset sail trip on a nice boat with my housemate Dave which was OK but I prefer it when you atually sail to a place and get off the boat. 

Had a great day out at the Rainforest Habitat, the local bird and wildlife park.  You get a buffet breakfast surrounded by birds and then wander around the park.  I have some nice photos but they are on facebook.  I then spent the afternoon at Hartley's Crocdile Adventures Park where you get to see Crocdiles jumping out of the water to eat chicken heads.  It was highly educational although it was also a crocodile farm and I felt sorry for all the crocs that were going to become some tacky handbag or belt!

My housemate Elsa has been the assistant director of the local play, The Sins of Ellen Thompson, so I went to watch that with the girls and it was very good.  It's a local story about the only woman ever hung in the state-her and her lover supposedly killed her husband but the evidence was based on local gossip.  Port Douglas seems to be a famous place for a lot of things as it's the place where the two divers got left behind on a dive trip which then became the movie 'Deep Water' and Steve Irwin was killed by the Stingray off the coast here at Batt Reef.  Plus as I mentioned before there's always a movie being made and it's currently 'The Pacific', a follow-up to Band of Brothers made by Hanks and Spielberg I think.

What else have I done?......I went mountainbiking on the infamous Bump Track with a cool company called Back Country Bliss Adventures and the same week took a hike that way with Elsa to a nice waterfall. 

Last Thursday I had a nice meal out at the local place, The Beach Shack.  Have to say it's the best meal I've had in town, although my fish and chips on the beach with my housemates was pretty good too!  Had a shoddy game of pool after and last night we went on a big bender around town.  This time we made the effort to go to some nice cocktail places, Mango Jam and Waterfront, before finally being forced to go to the Ironbar, the only place with a late license and dancefloor.  I was given a shot glass as a leaving present and like Alan's last night out, I was fed shooters on a rapid basis.  Needless to say I was out for the count pretty sharpish and had a hangover for the first time in years the next day!

Today I've been packing up, sold my bike (which was painful as it's been such a good friend!) and hot footed it to the airport to get my flight to Darwin.  I felt pretty teary on the bus journey there as although I'm looking forward to a change of scene (and nightlife!), I've made some good friends here that have felt like family and it will be a long time until I see them again, if ever if they don't make it to England. 

Oh well, onwards and upwards to Darwin and the West Coast of Australia, the true Australia I've been told.  Can't wait!
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