Do you come from a land Down under?

Trip Start Feb 15, 2006
Trip End Feb 16, 2007

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Well we have landed here in Cairns and we are safe and well.

The flight made a stop at Darwin to drop some people off and refuel; they made us get off the plane with all our luggage (what a pain) for about one hour but at least we get to have a smoke, then get back on again for the remainder of the flight. As the plane is now half empty I have 3 seats to my self as Ben has gone to sit by the window. My ear is killing and has not popped this time and I want to cry - the pain, oh my god!! No sleep for me then!

Anyway we land around 7.30 am and we are now 9 hours in front of England. We have no where booked to stay but its ok cause in the lobby bit just before you leave the airport they have free phones for you to ring accommodations to see if they have any rooms (some will even come and pick you up depending on what time you land). And some nice kind guy who was leaving gave us a phone card with about $15 on it. So we picked the International Hostel which is close to the Lagoon and in the centre, dump our bags into our jail cell (seriously; bunk beds, a sink and no window) and go for breakfast and coffee.

The Lagoon area is really beautiful; its like a park with a huge communal swimming pool (fee to use complete with shower block and toilets) and they have BBQ stations dotted around which you can use day or night for free too (as if you'd every find anything like this in England, it would just get vandalized). By 11am we are knackered so we sleep for a few hours, have tea and just wonder around. Well when I say wonder around I mean we find a couple of great pubs one of which sells alcopops. Not the Iron Brew WKD I used to drink back home, but something called Vodka Tropical (kinda like VK) in orange or pineapple and they tell you to dance on the tables!!! My god how many pubs have I been thrown out of back home for dancing on tables? Now I really can with out getting told off. Girls you would love it out here.

The big no smoking ban came into effect here in July and you can't smoke anywhere except on the street and even some parts of them are no smoking zones. There is no smoking in hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs or any type of building. Most pubs and restaurants have outside seating and most of this is no smoking too, but there are a couple of pubs that do have a seating area for us outcasts, but if they are full you can't just stand there with a drink and your cig; the door staff will send you back in side if you can't get a seat. It's really weird standing in a pub with a drink, dancing and having a laugh without having a cigarette! But I have to say it does work the air in the pub, clubs, restaurants is much fresher and of course you don't leave smelling of smoke (as all my non smoking friends have told me). So maybe it's time for us to give up smoking another go? I'll let you know if we decide to or not.

So after a fairly decent nights sleep in our cell we are up and out looking for somewhere to live which is cheaper than this jail and a bit more comfortable too. Today is Friday and we don't want to be wasting loads of money staying in a hostel so we are looking for a shared house. The first one we went to see was an absolute shit hole and the lady who owned it said the guys don't usually leave it in this state! Yeah right. I don't mind messy (hey my house was never tidy) but I do like reasonably clean. So on to the next which is the complete opposite; spotlessly clean to the point of being sterile (we'd be too frightened to do anything) so we went to look at one more and this one is absolutely perfect. Its a little way out of the city, which has its bonuses honest (maybe we will spend less money) even though the owners seem a tad eccentric. They love boats and have turned the part down stairs kind of underneath the house at the back in to a boat (well it doesn't really look like a boat but it's all to do with boats - I doubt you are following this, I'm just confusing myself now). Ok there are 3 double rooms, a single room and a bunk room which sleeps 3. We have a look at a double room (called the bikini room) and it's nice; when you lie in bed you can look up at the stars cause of the way the window is set. There is a large living area/kitchen, shower room (no bath - why don't people have baths anymore?), laundry room and a huge decking area outside to laze around in the sun. They also hire bikes so we can ride into the city as it is a good half an hour walk (or slightly longer with my little legs). We meet a couple of the house mates, decide to take it and will move in Sunday morning.

Next thing we have to do is get me to a doctor, my left ear is so bad now I am almost deaf. They have Medicare here which is the same as the NHS back home (but probably much better I reckon) and being British we can sign up so we won't get charged to see the doctor, but will just have to pay for the prescription as back home. They have an office in the shopping centre and a doctor's surgery upstairs at the back of the chemist so as soon as my application is sorted I can go straight up stairs. It took 31 seconds for the doctor to look in my ears, say 'yes they look sore, I guess they hurt?' This was after he tried to shove this light thing in my ear to look and I screamed 'NO it hurts too much!' He wrote a prescription for some antibiotic ear drops and I left. The bill would have been $61 which works out about $2 a second!!!!! My prescriptions cost about $7 which is less than 3 quid.

Saturday we got to work on Ben's CV as he has a 12 month working visa and is hoping to get a job as a Dive Master or wil do some labouring work, then we just wondered around for a few hours and decided we'd have a right good night out on the beer, so we did. We watched bands, coyote girls dancing on bars and even watched World Champion Fish Racing at the Woolshed (oh what a laugh Nemo won by the way). They played some wicked tunes from the 80s & nineties which made me feel somewhat nostalgic and left me wondering what all my girlfriends will be getting up to tonight back home (they are in Blackpool this weekend and i hope they are thinking of me while getting pissed!!!). We didn't have the camera with us but hopefully the fish racing will be on again so we will try and get some pics. Anyway we had a good night and decided to ring a few people back home (it was 2am Sunday here and 5pm Saturday back home) and the only persons who were in was Beth & Nick! We have a really cheap phone card so don't be surprised if you get a call around 7/8am it will probably be us as its late afternoon here then.

Need sleep we are moving into our new home tomorrow with or without a hangover.

To be continued. . . . .
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roseyben on

Cheers Matt & Vicky
HI guys
thanks so much for your message we are still having a blast and can't beleive we finally made it to Oz! There are so many places we still wanna see but just didn't have the time. Anyways no we haven't set a date for the wedding we are doing good as we are for now. Thanks for keeping up with our adventure we miss everyone lots but if any of you wanna see us then get on a fucking plane and come and visit us!!!!!! Hope you too eventually get off on your travels you won't regret it. Keep in touch love you all x x x

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