A strange and hectic last few months in OZ

Trip Start Apr 17, 2006
Trip End Apr 16, 2007

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Thursday, November 2, 2006

Well Hi to you all,... It has yet again, been a while since our last entry! But like a midget in a urinal - we were just keeping you on your toes!
A fair bit has happened in the last month or so! Again, much ground has been covered and we have also had the privilege of Jill and John (Lous parents), for a portion of this time! Little did we know however, that our alcohol intake would increase two fold, during their visiting period! Plus.. when old people (well fifties!!) talk about rude things for 2 weeks, it doesn't bode well for the mind and soul of us pure minded youngsters! Ha ha. Sorry for the 'old bit guys!!

We departed Darwin on the 22nd of Sept (its really flown by!) and arrived into Brisbane at a considerable, but welcome reduction in humidity. The arrival of Lous parents was imminent and we only had to suffer one more night (for 2 weeks anyway), of slumming it in hostels. For the duration the folks were here, we were kindly treated to very nice apartments, which to us seemed like a palace. The Oldies arrived, after a mere 24 hours in the air and 2 plane changes! It was 8am when they arrived... So we did what any respecting alcohol lovers would do and proceeded to drink, copious amounts of loud mouth soup. The stuff which we all know and love. It started with the champers and ended with all manner of things. So by midday, all was merry and we gracefully retired to the swimming area, for some hopeful rest. How wrong could things be...!! Lou being Lou, the gentle, elegant person and 'NON-drinker' that she is, decided to charge head on into Jill (the poor mother), as she stood on the edge of the pool. The outcome was truly inevitable... It ended with Lou taking Jill right out, to nearly the centre of the pool. All this whilst semi clothed and holding fresh towels! What a welcome for the folks!! Both came up choking and snot ridden!! John looked on as if to say..'its gonna be a long 2 weeks!' and others just chuckled. The outcome was Lou with a deep graze on the knee and Jill grabbing the edge of the pool with mixed emotions!
The days to follow were a little tamer and enjoyed the time in cosmopolitan Brisbane. The highlight of these few days was the whale watching cruise that we took. It was a full day out to Moreton Island, with the promise of viewing the amazing Hump Back Whale, in the wild!! Half way into the trip, the only thing around that had the 'hump', was the many others on the boat,thinking they had been conned out of money and would not see a thing. Then out of the blue, the cry went up.. 'There she Blows'. The Whales were spotted. For the next hour, we were treating to the amazing spectacle of the whales performing acrobatic moves, just metres away from the boat. All was going well, until Lou blew chunks from sea sickness, which started a chain reaction of other un-well day trippers. But the experience we had watching the Humpbacks, will always be a fond memory to us all.
The next stop was a flight up the coast to a town called Mackay. We spent a fairly uneventful/relxing few days enjoying our posh apartment, which complimented a very inviting hot tub/spa in the master bedroom. It was only the giggles of Lou's parents from inside the room/tub that really got to us. We had to find a happy place on a few occasions, just to be able to block out things that were occurring! Moving swiftly on,we also enjoyed yet another Champagne brekkie for Dans birthday!
For our next stop,We took a Greyhound coach, up to Airlie Beach, which is the main stopping point for the Whitsunday Islands. The 3rd and last apartment we were to stay in was again, not a disappointment. We were high up a hill, with a breath taking view of the bay and ocean etc .. The only downside to such views however, was the walk up and down the hill to get there! It was a test of will and stamina. None of which we possessed after the last 2 weeks of alcohol intake. We enjoyed more great meals out and chilling on our balcony. To top it of we had regular visits by the local Cockatiels (white parrot type things), which would perch on the balcony and insist on continuous feedings of bread.
So no sooner than it had begun, the very short two weeks of Lou's parents being there, ended. We tried to show them the life of the backpacker, but were duly unimpressed by our standards of accommodation and bars that we have had and will have to endure, in their absence. The cheap cost of meals and wine (as usual), was of much delight to us all and we enjoyed a pretty cheap (for us anyway) and luxurious couple of weeks. Of course, it was great to see the olds as well!!........ It was a fun time and enjoyed their company.
It was of much distress to leave our lovely apartments, for the inevitable drunk ridden pits, that are.... the east coast Australia hostels. This however didn't last for long, as only 3 days after the folks went home, we had to have, just 'one more' last treat!!! We booked (at severe detriment to our budget), 2 nights on an island called South Molle Island. We were in a decent, hotel and thought the only thing to do in our dire straits, was to get a beach front unit, with a spa bath (hey we were doing fine in our half star rooms until they arrived)!! But why not indeed we thought. But that was truly the last treat for a while and it went down hill from there. We moved up the coast to Townsville and into the tropics. It improved slightly for some rooms here, but we were beginning to become more concerned, that all hostels on the Brit ridden, party going, east coast, was not going to give us any decent places to stay.
We opted to head over to Magnetic Island, which is an easy 20 minute ferry from the mainland. We were pleasantly greeted with the very rugged and mostly peaceful environment, located in this Great Barrier Reef-world heritage listed area. The plan was to stay just a few days, in a hostel called Bungalow bay. It was situated within a forest/bush type environment. We were put into small wooden huts, that resembled a fairly decent sized garden shed, rather than bungalows (the kind an avid gardener or DIY man may posses in their back yard). But we bet one thing is for sure.... They certainly, wouldn't have the amount of critters inside and around their shed, as we did in our 'Bungalow'!!! Further to this, we had the constant array of squawking bird life (very loud), the possums scratching around and attempting to get into the room, not to mention the large (biting) fire ants!. All of which made life pretty uncomfortable at sleep time. Dan at some stages could take no more of our local wildlife and vowed to assassinate something. We also had an extended family of geckos playing around, all night in the roof. We were very fortunate however, not to have had a visit from the huge-Huntsman spider, which normally takes residents in the huts we slept in.

Anyhow, all this would not have been too bad for just a few nights, that we had planned to stay!... However..............Lou went to the bar one evening and got chatting to the owner of the establishment....mmmmm.... and basically, got us both a job for two weeks!!! Dan almost wept. But the deal was not to be missed. We worked three hours a day and in return, we got free accommodation (In Noah's ark/animal infested hut), free evening meal in the al a carte restaurant and a large glass of vino. The work was doing odd jobs, such as cleaning toilets and the camp kitchen etc. Although one job that was given to Dan,where he nearly Kacked himself... The Job was to replace a fly screen on a Bungalow window...But whilst in the process of attaching the screen, a pretty beefy spider was right next to his head. He was down the ladder so quick! The hostel owner calmly said..'don't worry its only a Huntsman,knock it off with a brush', to which Dan said.. 'balls to yer' and they had to get another unwilling victim to shift it. Oh life in the tropics!! Being here to work, meant not heading up to Cairns and the far north East coast, but all in all we had a great laugh and met some wicked people. We got to hold a Koala, another snake,hand fed some loraceets,plus we saved a fair bit of cash as well! Could anyone ask for more?? Think we'll need it though, as we arrived in Melbourne the other day and it's a TAD more expensive than in Queensland! Saying that, it's a great city from what we have seen so far and as usual, has so much more to offer than any stinking city back home. As with every travel pod, there is so much to tell, but we would be here for days.....
Hope all is well and we've only got a couple of weeks left, before heading to Asia. Just before really slumming it though, we have got 10 days booked in Bali (its a cruel world). We are looking forward to the cheapness. for now though,we will probably have an uneventful few weeks from here to Sydney (except maybe a quick trip to Ramsey street for a quick hunt for the stars!). So we will send a travel pod of the few bits we have done before heading off to the culture shock. Take care all. x
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