Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Ello Mate!

So our first night in Cairns was the last time I updated my blog. That night our whole group, all 41 of us, went out to a couple bars here. Apparently this place is a big party place so it was pretty crazy. I was feeling sick before we went out but i decided to get through it and just go out with everyone. So we all went out and had a good time. We went to the bar at our hostel at the end of the night and I got on stage and started dancing with this rapper guy. Mk and schaller joined me :) it was funny. Then i went back to the room cause i was feeling really sick. I ended up having a few liquid laughs throughout the night, i think i got the stomach flu or something. So the next morning I got to sleep in and passed on going to the aboriginal presentation thing which was kind of a bummer but i did get to sleep in for once.

That day we went to this thing called "the reef teach" and they taught us about all the different corals and fish to get us ready for the next day of snorkeling and scuba diving. i didn't do much the rest of the day...did some shopping, me schaller and Mk went to dinner and pigged out. australia has made me fat.

Snorkel day....
So i opted to go on this 2 day one night snorkel/dive boat while the others who didn't went on just a one day thing. I was trying to get on the one tday thing because i wasn't too keen on spending all that time on the boat but i ended up sticking on the 2 day one night. there was only a few others from my group. so before i went out on the boat i was freaking out, first i'm scared of the ocean, second people were saying how there were sharks out.

so once i'm on the taxi boat that takes us to the boat we sleep on and dive off of i start settling down. once we got to the boat (called the kangaroo explorer) we ate lunch then got a brief before going out into the water. I went on my first snorkel and it was AMAZING. the great barrier reef is so beautiful. i saw a shark!!! i didn't freak out either. it was great. it was a little guy. so cute actually. :) after my first snorkel i went to the top deck and ended up falling asleep...they woke me up to talk before the second snorkel and told us we could go i decided to go finish my nap in my cabin. however....i ended up sleeping for FOUR hours and missed my second snorkel! and i was thinking of doing a night scuba dive with an instructor that you had to pay extra i missed out on that but i wasn't bumming or anything because i was just enjoying the relaxing time on the boat. so i had dinner and chilled on top of the boat by myself. it was actually amazing. the sky and moon were so pretty against the water and it was the first time i was alone in so long. around 11 the boat went back to cairns for reloading and refueling and i just randomly decided to jump off. they usually don't come back to cairns so when i heard they were i was like, well that'd be a good time to jump off so i can enjoy my day tomorrow since if i stayed i wouldn't get back until 5 the next night.

i walked the whole way back to the hostel w/ my hair a mess, my leg pants all rolled up, and my backpack. i felt like a vagabond. i showed up at my room and everyone was back from the bars and were completely weirded out i had just showed up in the middle of the night when i wasn't expected back for another day and they thought i was in the middle of the ocean like 4 hours away. it was funny.

today schaller had made a reservation for bungee jumping. so me and MK decided to go watch her. it was a really neat place it was in the middle of the rainforest and there was a little lake they bobbed into when jumping with a waterfall. me and MK decided play a game of pool in the cafe after her first jump while we were waiting around and we saw two girls going on this bungee swing. and i was like that would be so fun, i wonder how much that is. and MK was like we should do it. and i agreed impulsively. it was kind of weird since i'm afraid of heights, i've never even considered doing anything like it. we decided if it was under 50 we'd do it. so we went and asked and they said 69. we came back and finished our game and MK made a deal that if she made the next shot (which was an impossible shot) that we would do it. she ended up making we ran over and gave them the money and signed our lives away before we'd change our mind.

we walked over and got strapped in...and mind you this all happened w/ in 10 we're strapped in and moving up we're both saying "what in the world are we doing, like what the h*** are we thinking?" it takes us higher and higher and higher... i can see all of cairns and the mountains and the ocean and i'm freaking out, almost in tears. not realizing i'd be going up this high when i was paying for it. MK had to pull the string at the top. before we went up there he had told us to wait til the light in front of us went from red to green...neither of us paid attention to it when we got to the top cause we were freaking out...i just yelled pull it! pull it! pull it now! pull it! and she's giong NO NO NO NO. hahaha, gosh it was so funny. she pulled it and we went FLYINGGGG at 100KPH through the jungle. it was insane. imagine the dragon swing at six flags but like...times 10. (sorry mom) at the end we were hanging there, and i said...we're going again. and MK was like what? and i go it's 20 dollars for the second swing...we're going. and she was like the guy all of a sudden starts lifting us up...i thought we'd get a break in between but i guess we lift back up there and were both freaking again and i tell MK she has to pull the string again. when we are up there she starts messing with me and won't tell me when she's pulling it...and all of a sudden i just feel my stomach in my throat and i'm flying through the air again. it was the best feeling in the world. i loved it...

so that's that. after we got back we went to a disgusting mexican restaurant...i completely regret that decision. then i went shopping and i got MORE souveniers...i need to stop! i think tonight i'm going to get some packing and laundry done so i dont have to to tomorrow night. it's our last night pretty much :( i'm so sad.

tomorrow is my birthday here! and we're going whitewater rafting. i hope i don't die!

that is all for now. love youuuu

Sunday, July 5, 2009

lie in our graves.

hello again. it's been forever. almost a week, yeah? seems like forever between now and then. funny to think how the time gets away.

So as most of you know, I'm done with the work part of the trip, which saddens me greatly. It has been my favorite part thus far. We've been moving around and seeing different parts of the east coast and learning tons and tons about Australia and its's actually REALLY fascinating. I'm obsessed with learning about the aboriginals here, such a neat thing. We also get to do some cool things along the way which i'll get to nowish.

Let's see...last Monday morning we arrived in Byron Bay. It is a surf town with lots of hippies and surfers, it's wonderful. It has one main street and our hostel was pretty cool, right on the beach. We got there Monday morning and I did a bit of walking around and got some lunch and took a nap on the beach. Then some of us went to a 2 hour surf lesson. We walked to the surf school, which this guy runs out of his house, and we all had to put on wet suits and take a drive down to the beach. I've never worn a wet suit before, it was a bit tight, and everyone was laughing at each other. Except everyone kept saying I pulled off the surfer look, I doubt that highly. So they taught us how to catch a wave while still laying with our tummy on the board, that wasn't too difficult, especially since they would give us a nice push before. The hardest part was paddling with your arms, and since i'm in the worst shape of my life i'm finding, I was having a tough time at first. But my body got used to it, after that they taught us how to stand so we got the last hour and a half to try getting up on the waves. I got the living crap beat out of me out there, as did everyone else, but it was a riot. SO MUCH FUN. I got up a few times. It was crazy. You may ask "well wasn't the water freezing because of it being winter", but I find here I don't notice the temperature of water or anything when i'm in the ocean on this side of the world. I'm just thinking about my keeping myself alive the next minute.

That night the guy who owns the surf school out of his house had a bbq for us all, 41 people stuffed into his backyard, but it was SO good. After that we walked back to the hostel and had a few drinks at the bar there. I didn't actually, I was exhausted and went to bed. As I seem to do a lot here :)

The next day was a free day. I live for the free days on this trip since we're constantly on the go. That day I went shopping. Spent lots and lots of money on souvenirs :) i'm so excited! Then I went ZORBING. I"m sure none of you know what that is but it's where you get in a huge rubber ball (imagine what you would put a hampster in) and you get strapped in and roll down a huge hill. It was hillarious. Yet very dodgey (sketchy in Australian slang). The guy drove us out to this cow pasture, no joke. He actually almost hit a cow while going only 4 miles an hour. We were a bit confused. Then we see this huge ball sitting at the top of this hill and these broken off seats that used to be on legs of a chair but they were just placed in the grass. So we sit down and watch as each one of us get pushed in this ball down the hill. It was a hillarious site. Especially since when you stop at the bottom, youre laying helplessly in the ball until the guy drives down to pick the ball up to bring it back to the top. So strange but fun nonetheless. That night there was a trivia night at the bar, so we took part in that. I thought we did pretty good but we ended up not winning, but another group from our ISV trip go them :)

Wednesday we left for Fraser Island. The biggest sand island in the world. EVERYTHING is sand. They drive on the beach. It's craziness. It only has 54 permanent residents. It was awesome. We weren't allowed to swim in the ocean because it's a huge breeding place for tons of marine life, sharks especially. So no one goes in the ocean. We got there that evening and settled in to our rooms and the bar was right next to where our condos were conveniently so a bunch of us went there to watch a pool tournament. The next day was one of my favorites. We had a tour guide while on fraser so he took us around the beach. We first stopped off at what is called the Ocean Pools. Where there are rocks that form pools from where the ocean waves go over the rocks. It was really really neat, so we swam there and got to eat lunch. That day we also went to this place called Indian Head. We walked up this huge, huge cliff and got to sit up there for a couple of hours looking over the ocean, it was the prettiest site i've ever witnessed I decided. We also saw whales belly flopping and playing for about an hour. Saw a couple sting rays as well. No sharks though. I went off on my own and layed down over the cliff. It was a good time to take to myself. Sittin on top of the world with my legs hanging free. For those of you who don't know, my grandma died. So i'm having kind of a hard time keeping a smile in front of everyone 24/7 here because I hate the fact that i'm not home right now. So trying to balance making the most here and thinking about things back home is hard. (Keep my family in your prayers, espeically my dad...)

After that we walked back to the bus and on the way down we saw the biggest pool of was crazy, i've never seen anything like that. It was amazing. We then went to this place called Eli creek. Anotherplace to swim on the island which is nice because you can't swim in the ocean. It was so beautiful. IT was a little creek through a part of some rainforest (they have subrainforests on fraser). You could just float through, it was like a movie. After that they took us to these huge sand dunes. We walked about 200 meters up the steepest hill ever (made of sand so it was a thousand times harder) then we all just sprinted down. It was so fun/funny. I can't wait to put up pictures of that. My legs are still hurting from it.

That night we had a costume party, you had to think of costumes that started with the words I S or V. Me and MK were sleepy, and wore our PJs haha. A couple of girls were vegemite and they spread it all over their bodies and stuck crackers to it and the labels as well. Gross but hillarious. It was pretty funny.

The next day before we left Fraser we went to a lake on the island that started with a G i forget the name, but it was green and beautiful. It was at the bottom of a huge sanddune so of course we all sprinted down and dove in. After that we took a walk back to the bus and headed over to this rainforest. Definitely my favorite part so far. The most beautiful thing EVER. I can't even describe it. I got sort of scolded by everyone because me and MK hung back and decided to go swinging on vines and walking on huge logs and we took so long and held up the group but I couldn't help it...and i was just like "Guys, i'm in a rainforest...c'mon now" seriously though. It was great Haha there was a creek going through the whole forest with some of the freshest water in the world, walking through the water...coming up through my toes to my ankles to my head to my soul. :) name that song..i can't get enough of it right now. Um, after that...this is crazy...we went to this lake with a very low ph level and sand that is so fine and white. They took us there to bathe because we wouldn't get to shower for another day due to travel and time schedules and stuff. So the water was so so so clean, we washed our hair and teeth with this sand and it was like a super condition with this stuff. It was crazy how great it felt. I felt so cleansed afterwards. It makes me laugh thinking that I bathed in a lake like that but whatever it was great.

So we had a 15 hour bus ride and arrived in Arlee bEach yesterday morning. We ate some breakie and headed out to go ocean rafting. What it was, was this speed boat that they did all these twists and turns with and going over huge waves, you had to hold on for dear life. We went around to some of the whitsunday islands. We also went to an aboriginal cave which was really neat. After that they took us to do about an hour of snorkeling on a part of the great barrier reef. It was so pretty. Kind of scary cause i have some sort of fear of underwater things, even at the lake, but it was neat. I scratched my leg on the reef, So tht kind of hurts when I get in the water, stings. I hope it scars so I can look at it forever :). Then we got to lay on a beach for three hours and eat an amazing lunch. We were on the whitest sand in the world. It was so neat.

Last night we chilled out and I went to bed early cause i was exhausted. Today we drove to Cairns, just got here about an hour ago. This week we're going snorkeling/scuba diving, tomorrow we're going to an aboriginal thing and get to learn how to throw boomerangs and on my birthday (thursday) we're going white water rafting which is what i've been looking most forward to on this trip. so should be a good week.

everything is going really well other than what we've been doing. I've met some really cool people. I'm a bit homesick but it's easy to get off my mind with everything going on. I love the australian culture so much. We get to do everything barefoot, being barefoot is completely acceptable here..I LOVE IT. I have a couple of bruises though, nothing to complain about though. It's going to be bittersweet leaving here. :( well i need to go get ready for dinner. Much love to you all and i hope you are all okay, okay, okay.