Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
30Trip End Mar 01, 2010
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Once the pair had dropped of their van at the hire place in Cairns they were a little stuck as to what to do next. After Duncan spent the best part of an hour 'evaluating their options' but not actually making any concrete decisions, Nadine finally took over and went up to some other Brits in the hire place who seemed to know what they were doing. The couple, who were, as they later learned, called Rachel and Daniel, were only too happy to share the cost of a cab into town. The intrepid pair then successfully secured a room at the same hostel as them called Gecko. They then also managed to arrange for a free pick-up from a hostel in Port Douglas, Dougies, the following morning. As they were heading out to find some dinner in Cairns Duncan announced, seemingly pleased with himself: "Excellent, this all worked out just as planned." . Nadine just glanced at him sideways and decided it was probably best to leave it at that and head out for a stroll along the promenade.
Chapter 2: Finding Nemo - Take 1
The following day they were picked up by a multi-coloured bus with 'Dougies' written all over it and a very jolly Aussie who would drive them up to Port Douglas and give them a bit of a tour along the way.
In Port Douglas the pair spent most of their time floating in the pool as it was simply too hot to do anything else. In the evening of their first day there they headed down to the marina where a restaurant on the inlet had come up with the ingenious plan to feed a particularly big groper called George (who supposedly weighs over 260kg!) at 5pm every day with the leftovers from their restaurant and had thus turned the restaurant into somewhat of a tourist attraction.
"Shall we finish the evening off by having dinner at that restaurant that was recommended to us, I think it was called Salt and Pepper?" Duncan shouted in an attempt to make himself heard over the noise of the hundreds of Rainbow Lorikeets that seemed to favour the trees along the marina.
The following day they were picked up for their first trip to the Great Barrier Reef where the pair snorkelled and scuba dived. They finally found Nemo and also said hello to various other little fishies along the way:
Chapter 3: Introducing Glen the Koala
Having had their fill of water animals the pair decided to try the much acclaimed Rainforest Habitat Sanctuary in Port Douglas for some crocodiles, koalas, snakes, kangaroos and so on instead. They were not disappointed and also very lucky with their timing with the Koala, Python and Snake presentations starting just as they arrived. They particularly enjoyed Glen the Koala who was, rather cruelly, woken from his deep sleep to be cuddled by some of the tourists willing to pay an extra $16 for the privilege (which they couldn't quite justify given that they were at that point almost double over the original budget, whoops). They then stroked the mini salt water croc and the black python before they headed to the wetlands area to chat with the dozing kangaroos and wallabies.
Chapter 4: Finding Nemo - Take 2
Back in Cairns the intrepid pair went for a second Great Barrier Reef trip, this time a slightly more luxurious option with a hot tub on the back deck and an overnight stay with ocean view!
After one last night in Cairns they pack their bags and continued their epic honeymoon. Next stop: Melbourne. Here they will stay with Graaaaant, more to follow soon....