"If the stingers don't get ya, the crocs will!"

Trip Start Feb 04, 2009
Trip End Apr 20, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I woke up after 3 hours sleep with the hangover from hell. We had to check out at 10am and meet our shuttle bus at 10.30, so there was no time to feel sorry for myself.
It was Frans 22nd birthday, so she unwrapped her pressie and card that I had secretly purchased the day before.

The bus journey was pretty awful: I just put my eyemask on, my ipod in and dozed until we reached Port Douglas. We arrived at Dougies Hostel, a lovely little resort with a pool, big common area and lots of little cabins. When we asked if we could swim in the sea, the response from a crocadile dundee type - and I quote - was "If the stingers don't get you, the crocs will" - I feel he was being a little over the top.

We were very lazy that day on account of the hangovers, so we decided that we must celebrate Frans birthday that evening with a nice fish dinner. Unfortunately for us, everything in Port Douglas closes at 9pm in low season, and we didn't manage to reach town until 9.15. Poor Fran had to settle for burger and chips, at a bar and grill with 'live entertainment' (a guy doing soundchecks for an hour straight, with no tuneful lyric to speak of).

On the way back to Dougies we saw a croc sitting in a shallow pool of water (exhibit A to the above quote). He looked mean and peckish, so we walked back as quickly as our little legs could carry us, avoiding all water - pretty tricky when its just been raining and theres a hell of a lot of surface water...EVERYWHERE.

That reminds me...The Weather. I can't believe i haven't mentioned this yet. We haven't had a dry day since 16th Feb...yes thats right, nearly a full month. Way back when in Ko Toa, the rain started, and it has not ceased. Now Australia has a Cyclone, so the wind and rain looks set to continue for a good while. Please god, give us a spot of sun...

Snorkelling was just wonderful. We went out to the Low Isles on the Quicksilver boat...yes, like the brand. We were given stinger suits,a head to toe lycra blue suit, with attached mittens and balaclava styley head gear. Flippers and a snorkle and mask were added to the ensamble. Becky decided to put her flippers on at the top of the beach...she very nearly missed the snorkle tour.
The snorkle tour, conducted by a marine biologist, was 45 minutes long.
We saw:
Giant clams which closed when you waved your hand at them (defence mechanism)
Sea cucumbers
Coral (lots of different types, including spaghetti coral and sponge coral)
Green Turtle - he was only a baby at a mere 50years old, but he was enormous

On the glass bottom boat ride, we took after dinner, we saw another lovely green turtle. Unfortunatly snorkelling by ourselves was unsuccessful; I just couldn't spot anything. also, the tide had gone our and I was vertially lying on the coral...not at all eco-friendly. I hate to think how much I bleached that day :(

On the way back to shore, one of the Quicksilver crew sang us a few tunes, none of which I could decifer, but several of the other Ausies were singing along... maybe they were local tunes, or maybe they could understand his accent - anyway, it was a lovely way to end a really fabulous day.

Next day we got a transfer back to Cairnes, and spent 9.30am - 4.30pm at the airport. We didn't want to carry our bags round town all day, so we got the transfer straight there, and unfortunately, that meant sitting in a terminal. The hours actually flew by, and it was quite a fun day. You know you're with true friends when you can spend 7 straight together, with no entertainment to speak of, and still have fun. 
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