Just another day in

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
Trip End Mar 21, 2008

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Flag of Australia  ,
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The video from Newcastle to Surfers Paradise is now uploaded and can be found on the Contents page (entry #1)

Sunday, November 19

My dormmates, five Australian 'toolies', come charging in at 5am, shouting, farting and still drinking. Straight away I realise that my night's sleep is over, so I get up to use the bathroom. By the time I get back, one of the toolies is fast asleep in my bed. "Oi", I say, shaking the guy "get out". It takes about 30 seconds of this before he reluctantly opens his eyes, looks briefly and blearily at me, pries himself up and wordlessly rolls onto the floor, where he falls back asleep. The 'common room' is not much better, with unconscious bodies strewn all over the couches and floor.

Jane and I get ourselves together and escape to the beach as quickly as we can. The one redeeming feature of the hostel is that it is fairly close to the beach, and the beach is, indeed, spectacular. There is 70 kilometres of unbroken beachfront along here, which makes it even more surprising that all these tourists feel the need to cram themselves into high-rises at Surfers Paradise and then push through crowds to do anything. We take a quick look around the town and then decide that the beach is the best place to be, so we spend the rest of the day lounging around. We also mange to get ourselves a dorm together and, although it smells and is noisy, it is far preferable, in my case, to what I had last night.

Monday, November 20

Today follows a similar pattern to yesterday. We get up early to the gentle sounds of shouting, banging, singing and burping, then walk the 45 minutes into town. We had spotted a really nice wooden aboriginal statue yesterday so we buy it and send it off to our friends Peter and Peggy in Toronto for safekeeping till we get back.

After lunch we avail ourselves of the free boogie board hire service at the hostel and head off to the beach again. For the uninitiated, a boogie board is a cross between a surf board and one of those flotation boards that kids use in swimming pools. You lie on the board, catch a big old wave and 'surf' on it. It's great fun actually, so we do this for a while before Jane spots a big jellyfish in the water, bringing our aquatic adventures to an abrupt end.

Instead we lie around on the beach some more. Just as we are falling asleep, Jane feels something stroking her arm. Thinking it is me, she brushes it away casually, then opens here eyes to find a long brown snake slithering away. She leaps to her feet, waking me and we see the serpant working its way silently through the sand towards the trees behind. Later, we find out from a local that it was the deadly Brown Snake, which can deliver a fatal bite if provoked. We consider ourselves lucky to have escaped with just a fright.

Before we left on this trip, Jane was concerned because she had heard all about the dangerous creatures that inhabit Australia. I had reassured her that we wouldn't encounter any of these things and she had nothing to worry about. So far, we have seen all manner of poisonous spiders, assorted creepy-crawlies, and narrowly avoided fatal contact with a snake and a jellyfish within half an hour.
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