Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Land Ho!

After three days on the water I had well and truly found my sea legs which meant that as soon as I stepped on to dry land, it moved. We were reliably (?) informed that the best cure for this would be to ingest alcohol as the swaying effects would cancel each other out. As sceptical as I was I felt it would be bad form to disagree with the experts so duly agreed with new diving friends that we would all meet up later that night to put it to the test.

I returned to my hostel where I was upgraded from a six bed to a three bed dorm. I was a little unsure about this but was delighted to discover that not only were my two new roomies female, one was in Cairns to complete her dive course with the same company I had just been out with.  I would loved to have stayed to talk to her but I had to head out before the shops closed as I had to buy a new camera. My SLR was definitely on the blink and I had been without a camera before and regretted it. I headed to a couple of shops but since I had been planning on buying a point and click for a while I pretty much knew what I wanted, a canon powershot which I could buy a waterproof case for at some future date. Well if I’m going to love diving as much as I love photography I might as well combine them. I was very good here as I did not buy the more expensive one but settled on the one that did just what I wanted and no more, after all I was planning on getting my SLR fixed for any serious photography I wanted to attempt.

Back at the hostel I plugged in the camera battery then it was time for a shower and some serious getting ready. Ok I threw on some decent clothes put on some eye make-up and found some jewellery but it was the most effort I had made since arriving in Cairns. Once I met up with my newly certified dive friends I discovered they were planning on eating at the bar, since I had already eaten some sushi I felt it would be rude not to make an effort and duly ordered some desert. I had known these people for almost a week so lets just say they were not very surprised. Post desert it was time for beer, Jack Daniels and dancing. It was a really good fun night out and the perfect end to what had been a great week.

 After all that excitement you’d think that I would be looking forward to a day in bed but nope, at 6:30am I was awake and though I was slightly hungover I decided that I would head up to Kuranda  where there are daily markets. My new roommate agreed to come along so we headed to the bus station and within hours were having an early lunch in the rainforest. Kuranda is an interesting place; they have a koala park, a bird aviary and a butterfly sanctuary but we contented ourselves with a look around the market shops. Despite a number of platypus themed items I was very good and didn’t spend any money but enjoyed the variety and made a mental note to head back before I left Cairns. By this point I had decided I quite liked the Cairns and had decided to look for work so I could hang around for a while so I hoped I would have time to come back. After exploring all the market shops we headed to the skyrail. The skyrail is a series of cable cars that go from Kuranda down to Caravonica at the edge of the rainforest. As we headed down we got the most amazing views of the forest and the small shadow on our cable car on the canopy reinforced just how high up we were. We disembarked at both stations to wander along the boardwalks through the forest and stopped at the lookouts where we got a closer view of Barron Falls. Once at the Caravonica terminal at the bottom of the skyrail we discovered that the last bus back was full. However the friendly ticket officer was happy to direct us to a nearby shopping centre where we were able to get a cheaper everyday bus back to Cairns.

Back in Cairns I asked the hostel reception about staying long term on my return from my next trip and was delighted to be told there was the possibility of some housekeeping work at the hostel itself which would include staff accommodation.  Nothing was certain as the manager wasn’t back before I left but it was good to know that staying might be easier than I had thought. It had been a good day with my newest friend but we were both tired and decided on an early night as we were leaving early the next day to go on different adventures. She was off diving which might have made me envious except I was booked on to the Uncle Brian’s tour of the Atherton Tablelands. I had been promised silly fun, cake and lots of water of a different kind, I couldn’t wait!

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