After New Zealand me and Ryan spent a few days unsuccessfully house hunting. On the first day there were 2 pretty nice places we would go for and decided to go with the cheaper one, only to find out the next day that the landlord didn’t want a couple living there. And by this time the other one had already been taken. So it turns out that we’re now living in my old house as Aymeric was moving out so it was just easier and more convenient for us to move in. And with the floods and so many students looking for houses it was so difficult to find anywhere. We stayed downstairs until Aymeric left but I didn’t really spend much time here as JAMIE arrived and we were busy having adventures.
He arrived in the middle of the night, around 1.30am. It was so good to see him, and oddly didn’t seem at all weird for him to be here. It was just as normal as hanging out at home. He even brought me a penguin! We slept until morning and then headed into the city where we stumbled upon Australia’s Next Top Model auditions. Jamie was very excited to be in Australia and for it to be sunny and warm! We couldn’t stay in town too long as we were flying to Airlie Beach that afternoon. We landed in the tiniest airport I had ever been too. The luggage was brought out on a trailer in the car park and the departure lounge was just a waiting room with a telly. We got the bus to Airlie beach and saw Jamie’s first wallaby en route! It was strange to be going along the Bruce highway as I’d only been there a couple of months before but in completely different circumstances –not living in a van this time! We arrived at our hostel and headed out for some dinner. Jamie even bought us strawberry daiquiris to celebrate! It was delicious. We bought some goon on our way back to the hostel and had a fun first night in Airlie beach drinking and dancing. The next day we had to check in to our boat trip in the morning and check our luggage into storage at Peterpans. We had a bit of a wander around as well and the amazing chips for lunch. We then headed to the quay to board the New Horizon, although we got completely soaked on the way with an extremely heavy shower. There is never drizzle here, when it rains it pours –even if the sky has been clear just before!
We waited at the quay for a bit until Scott from New Horizon came to show us to the boat. We climbed on board, dropped our stuff off on the table and then set sail. The boat was actually pretty small to have so many people on it. The bedrooms were below deck and dorm style –it was a bit different to the dive boat I stayed on! It was so lovely to just sit with your legs hanging over the side as we sailed across the ocean. Everyone there was seemed to be a backpacker or on holiday so everyone was really young and friendly. We met some really nice welsh girls from Swansea and an Irish girl who we had a very funny night running around the boat with. The next day we were woken up really early at about 6am by the anchor being pulled up and then had to get up at 7am for breakfast. We headed to Whitehaven beach early taking a little boat across from where we were anchored. It was the kind of boat that you sit on the side of and as I was sat quite near the front my dress got completely soaked as a wave came over! The beach was amazing though –we had a little walk to it from where we dropped off and when we arrived you could just see amazingly white sand and blue sea. We sunbathed for a while and then donned our stinger suits to go swimming. I thought it would be a good idea to sit on Jamie’s shoulders when he suggested it but then found myself being dunked in the water! The sand at Whitehaven beach is supposed to be the finest in the world with 98% silica so it’s supposed to be good to exfoliate with so we had a go. You’re also supposed to be able to clean your teeth with it (but I didn’t fancy that) and clean jewellery. We had another bit of a sunbathe before heading up to the viewing point to take some pictures. Unfortunately I’d managed to get sand in my camera, even though I never took it out of my bag, so I don’t actually have any pictures from this trip. It was very beautiful though.
From Whitehaven beach we went to a fringing reef off one of the islands where we went diving. There was only 1 other certified diver so me and her went first with Scott as a guide whilst everyone else did introductory dives. It was really, really good! There seemed to be so many more fishes here than I saw in Cairns. I saw clownfish, parrotfish, leopard fish, an absolutely huge angel fish as well as lots of other little ones. It was a really good dive –I saw so much. We then snorkelled to the shore from where we finished up (we left our gear on the boat). The water was shallow so you could even see pretty well whilst snorkelling, and you could hear the fish as they were munching on the coral. It was very strange; I wondered what it was at first. Jamie did his first ever dive here as well and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t really think anyone can not like diving, at least in Australia. I’m not sure how keen I would be to dive at home. The rest of the afternoon was spent sunbathing while everyone was doing their intro dives (they could only go 4 at a time). But the beach we were on was very uncomfortable as it was just made up of coral.
When we got back on the boat we travelled on to where we would stop for the night and had dinner. The food was surprisingly good on the boat, we had fish one night and spaghetti bolognaise the other. The night was spent having a few drinks, and hanging out on the boat. The next morning we were woken up early again and then were taken to another bay to go snorkelling or diving. I couldn’t afford another dive (not that I could afford the first) but Jamie went again. I just snorkelled instead. There were strange organisms in the water that looked like jelly fish but didn’t sting. I’m not sure what they were but there were so many you couldn’t avoid touching them. They felt very odd and got in the way of everything. Luckily they were only near to the shore and disappeared once you got out a bit further. Anyway this day was the day we met Elvis. A huge, tame fish. You could even stroke him! He felt really, really smooth it was a bit strange. It was pretty cool to stroke a fish though. After some more snorkelling we headed back to the boat which we jumped off into the sea. That was fun! Jamie even took a video.
We then had some hot dogs before sailing back to Airlie Beach. It was a very rocky journey with water coming over the side of the boat. We started off sat at the front of the boat and got absolutely soaked (although so was everyone at the sides). It was hard to even stand up. We started playing a game with Gem and Aine where you had to stand up without touching anything for as long as possible. It was very funny. The rocky journey went on for so long though and I started to feel sick. I went back to the front of the boat to sit with the wind in my face and that made me feel a lot better though. Strangely I was the only person on deck at that point –I think you’re supposed to avoid the front of the boat when it’s rocky but it definitely helped me. By this time we were nearly back anyway so it was all alright.
When it was time to go I definitely didn’t feel ready for it to be over –I could have done with a few more days on the boat. It all went so quickly. That night we all met up for an afterparty. Everyone looked so nice and showered compared to the boat! We were only allowed a 1min shower a day on there! It was a good night ending in me and Jamie discovering delicious chips and wedges. Then the next day we were flying back. We spent the day hanging out at the lagoon and in the park before heading back in the evening. Bit of a disaster when we got back though. Ryan had got completely lost coming to get us and the trains had already stopped. We waited for him for over an hour and he had been driving for nearly 3 hours! He had ended up going in completely the opposite direction. So he was a little grumpy when we finally made it.
From Brisbane we headed to the Gold Coast for a surfing lesson! Ryan came with us this time as well. It was a lot of fun and I even managed to stand up a few times. I wasn’t the natural I had hoped I would be though. Definitely spent a lot more time in the water than on top of it. After surfing we headed back to our hostel and had a little wander round the town before me and Ryan went to play crazy golf whilst Jamie skyped his parents. That night me and Jamie headed out initially with the hostel but then ended up sat by the beach for a while whilst Jamie told me all about the oldies. We headed back to the club and broke out some new dance moves i.e.) the scuba, the guns and the shopping trolley. We went home via a 24h restaurant with delicious nachos.
The next day me and Ryan woke up early so headed into town to get some breakfast and a packed lunch before Jamie was up. We then spent the day at SeaWorld. It was amazing! They had the best dolphin show. I’d never seen one before and I loved it! Their jumps were amazing, they were throwing their trainers up in the air and even letting them ride them surf style! I think my mouth was pretty much open throughout. We also saw a really good sea lion detective show. The animals there were amazing. Me and Jamie also went on the rollercoasters but the dolphins were definitely the highlight. There was a big indoor penguin enclosure there as well. It was really funny as some of the penguins would try and jump out of the water but end up falling in. I could have spent ages watching them but eventually we had to go home.
The next day was spent doing nothing much in Brisbane before getting our flight to Sydney in the afternoon. Foolishly we had not booked a hostel and as it was a Saturday night there were absolutely no vacancies. We asked in so, so many hostels and Ryan was phoning them up for us as well. We even ended up asking in a motel and a travel inn but even they didn’t have any vacancies. We thought we were going to have to sleep in a park! Thankfully Ryan was able to get in to contact with Shell and she let us stay at hers for the night. It was so kind of her as it was already fairly late by this point; she literally saved us from sleeping rough and even gave us ice lollies. Ryan had told me about her love for ‘lollies’ (sweets) so in the morning me and Jamie went to a supermarket and bought bags and bags of sweets for her to say thank you. I can’t believe how lucky we were and will not be arriving in a city without having accommodation booked again! At least we’ve learnt!
We spent the day exploring and sightseeing. We went down to the markets at the rocks- I wanted to buy loads of gifts for everyone here but I wouldn’t have had space in my hand luggage as it was nearly too heavy already. We then went to the opera house and did some viewing. In the evening we went for a few drinks in a bar. A live band started to play so we went up to see them and were treated to some very amusing dancers. There was what looked like a very drunk office worker breaking out his moves while his embarrassed girlfriend tried to calm him down. It was very funny to watch. There was also a crazy old lady who took a liking to Jamie.
The next day we took the Manly ferry to Manly beach. It was a lot nicer than Bondi beach! It felt like a cute little seaside town. We thought it was a bit chilli to swim so sat by the beach, browsed the shops and ate some chips before heading back. We went for a wander in the evening but had an early night ready for Jamie’s birthday the next day.
JAMIE’S BIRTHDAY. We got up and took the ferry to Taronga zoo where we entered via the skyrail. A cable car that goes right above the zoo-we went right over the elephant enclosure! We then went to see the koalas –which Jamie had never seen before. We saw loads of animals giraffes, tigers, seals, penguins, lions……so many! We watched a seal show which was really good and we went to the elephant talk and watched the elephants getting trained. My favourite bit was when the elephants were playing football and then the smallest baby elephant stole the ball and sat on it. It was so funny and cute! It was also cool to see all the adult elephants rushing over to the babies when they started trumpeting (for what seemed like no reason). The baby elephants were amazingly cute; I wish I could have one! There were 3 babies there; the youngest was only born in November! After we had been all around the zoo and Jamie had stroked a wallaby we got the ferry back to the harbour. Now I had secretly planned a jet boat trip for Jamie from me and Mel so I had to keep distracting and delaying him until it was time to go. It was quite funny and he didn’t seem to realise I was up to anything. The jet boat was so much fun! We were doing slides and spins and speeding along bouncing off the waves. We even did some sightseeing and saw the house of the man who owns all the Westfield shopping centres in Darling harbour (I’m not sure if we have those at home but they are everywhere here so he must be uber rich). We were already rather damp when the driver suggested showing us what the boat was famous for. It turns out it was a completely drenching tidal wave that came right over and on to us when we braked suddenly. Everyone got absolutely soaked and I sort of wished I didn’t know what the boat was famous for. It was really good though and I wanted to go again straight away.
From here we headed back to the hostel to dry off before dinner. We went to dinner at a pub buffet which was rather yummy. After we finished I surprised Jamie yet again with some cupcakes I had sneakily taken there earlier. I wasn’t actually allowed to light the candles because they would set the fire alarms off though. We did it outside the hostel instead though and sang happy birthday. We then headed out with people from the hostel. It was ladies night so most of the guys were wearing dresses –disappointingly we hadn’t realised before so Jamie didn’t get to dress up. It was a good night and we got extra free drinks because it was Jamie’s birthday.
The next day we had to get up fairly early to catch our flight back to Brisbane. I was quite sad that this was the end of my travels now. Although now it seems like ages ago! I miss travelling loads and keep on wishing that I would be sleeping in a van instead of in a house. Even last night when I was cycling back from dance there were loads of bugs under the lights on the bridge and even that made me want to go travelling again, although I hated that part of it!
We spent a last few days relaxing after all our activities in the last few weeks. We went into town one day and Jamie got to experience the wonderful pancake house. Most delicious. And then Jamie had to go home, although we were both hopeful that he might miss his flight. As he left I was sad that he was going and also jealous that he got to go back to the UK. Although I’m sure he was jealous of me staying in Australia too. It made me quite homesick to see him go. But that will be me in 3 months. Time seems to be flying by now; I just do not know what happens to it! Already it is week 6 of uni, yet we only just started. In 2 weeks it’ll be mid-semester and then after that just over another month until exams. What is going on?