08.06.2010 - 15.06.2010 27 °C
Because this was so long ago and our brains are slowly being dissolved by Kiwi Experience alcohol, we have decided to narrow down our time in Ayre, Magnetic Island and Cairns to a series of highlights.
Ayre - a tiny town known mainly for its close proximity to the Yongala wreck site, which we had been told was rated as one of the top 5 dive sites in the world and recommended to us over a day trip to the outer Great Barrier Reef.
1.) Arriving with absolutely no food or money and being informed that it was impossible to get to the town even though a mere twenty minutes earlier we had been in the centre and right next to a supermarket.
2.) Having to buy one of their homecooked frozen meals from a selection of approximately two choices and upon eating it, Laura declaring that it had probably been first cooked in the year that the Yongala sank (1905). It looked and tasted of sick, given the choice again, we would probably opt for sick.
3.) An incredible dive but the roughest we've been on. Although we were warned, since neither of us are particularly prone to sea-sickness thought we'd be fine. We loved the ride there, however almost as soon as we had declared that we thoroughly enjoyed the bumpy journey, once anchored, the situation took a turn for the worst with Laura throwing up approximately two minutes later, handing the bucket to the Captain who stuck his head inside and tried to guess what she'd had for breakfast. For those who are interested, it was toast with peanut butter and jam, Laura's new favourite.
4.) Realising quite how much the Thais didn't care for our safety whilst diving. In Australia there is a law about having at least 50 bars left at all times on the surface, on one occasion in Koh Tao, Kat arrived at the surface with nothing and had to manually inflate her BCD.
5.) Now that we have Advanced Open Water (in case we haven't mentioned this before) and now believe ourselves to be superior divers, the second we reached the surface we immediately had a conversation about how the others in the group had slowed us down - what amateurs.
6.) Donna missing literally every single sea creature in sight, most shocking when a manta ray approached her, 3 inches from her face, may we add that the ray was bigger than her being approximately 3m across, and Laura having to point frantically waving her arms in Donna's face. Also almost missed was a sea turtle...oops. Enjoy your dive master Donna.
7.) We saw the original toilets and bathtub of the Yongala, the very reason we wanted to do a wreck dive.
8.) Seeing two sea snakes having sex on the surface of the water...Laura could barely contain herself, she admits that she once spent twenty minutes watching a turtle being raped in Colchester Zoo.
9.) On night 2, having once again being refused a lift to the town and deciding that we'd rather dive without air into the Yongala wreck and find a carcass to gnaw on that eat one of their disgusting home cooked meals again, a nice fellow diver (one of the slow ones) offering to take us to the supermarket. We will be eternally grateful. We even bought asparagus...which we had to pre-boil.
10.) On the journey to the supermarket being massively impressed when we were told about a diving tragedy which occured on the Yongala site, a newly wed couple went diving, the wife for the first time and the husband was a dive master. She drowned 30m down and nothing was found to be wrong with her equipment. One of the other divers, when they got their photos back, saw in one of the pictures, her body sinking and her husband swimming away. It was believed that he turned off her air and then turned it back on after she had drowned. He got away with it. We were thrilled and both believed that this is a very clever murder in case you're interested in coming diving with us...
Magnetic Island, Laura's favourite place in the world. More than once Laura tried to convince Donna that they should get jobs at the hostel bar and stay there forever. She's over that now, thank god.
1.) First impressions were not good as we were surrounded by Oz Experience wankers.
2.) It was an amazing hostel, with the bar being right on the beach and it was starting to feel warm for the first time in weeks. Laura thought it seemed more Asia than Australia.
3.) On our last night, we needed to leave for a night bus, at 11pm. To kill time, we decided to take part in their quiz, being egged on by a Jamie lookalike on reception who Laura was in love with and their hostel dive master, and guy marking the quiz, Tom.
4.) In the middle of the first round, Tom emerged and started stroking Laura's hand. Laura felt uncomfortable with Donna sat across from her and chose to ignore him. Donna could see exactly what was going on, and the hand stroking continued. Exasperated, Tom told Laura to look at his hand. Underneath was a piece of paper with various quiz answers. Nice.
5.) The cheating continued, although we'd like to point out that we think we would have done pretty well anyway. We are massively intelligent, and both have degrees (from PROPER universities).
6.) We ended up coming second and winning a $30 bar tab...bad luck as we only had half an hour before we had to leave. Not keen to give up free money, Laura demanded from the Jamie lookalike we get a free night's accommodation, because to use the bar tab, we would have to stay another night, and therefore spend money on accommodation, which was not a sensible suggestion. He instantly invited us back to his for his after party and a floor to sleep on. Somehow, Laura managed to also win us a replacement phone charger for Donna, free internet to change our buses (what an excellent idea when absolutely hammered), 2 pies because she was peckish, and a handful of extra base vouchers. Good girl.
7.) Insisting that the boys must carry our backpacks to the afterparty, which they did without complaint.
8.) Being relived the next day when our names were down on the bus leaving from Townsville - both feeling rather worse for wear by this point, but being slightly revived by a BBQ meatball sub, our new fave.
1.) Free meals in the Woolshed. Damn good they were too, especially the roast on Sunday, it was basically steak and painful to finish...we did not give up.
2.) Both of us buying jelly shots and not realising until Laura tried to down it and was massively confused when no alcohol hit her mouth.
3.) Going to the supposedly amazing Gilligan's and it being full of old people, lesbians and general mingers. We left soon after, delighted that we'd only paid $5.
4.) Donna disgusting the bouncer at the woolshed on our second night when he went to stamp her hand and saw the stamp from the previous night still clearly there.
5.) Our amazing tour guide to Cape Tribulation who ended all his announcements with 'Just sit back and relax, no worries', Laura's cue to sleep, she then declared that Donna must say this every night before bed so that she could sleep.
6.) Our crocodile river safari where Laura nearly had a nervous breakdown. Having already seen three crocodiles, we were told about Fat Albert, the biggest crocodile in the river at 5m. As we approached the spot where he was, in our open air boat and with Laura closest to the water, we were told various facts about him such as:
a) The previous Summer, Fat Albert had got annoyed with a boat and whilst fighting with another crocodile had almost capsized the boat.
b) That he was a very 'unpredictable' crocodile and at an age where he was angry at everything.
c) That most crocodiles who kill people are 5m crocs.
d) He can jump 5m in 30 seconds. Laura was concerned that the shore was not more than 2m from her face.
e) The guide admitted that he was a little concerned that he couldn't see him, as he'd been in the spot all day and up to 5 minutes before.
Laura practically mounted Donna to get out of the way. Fat Albert never appeared.
7.) Really struggling to stay awake for our 3.30am pick up to the airport, wasting time on the playground opposite our hostel (Laura was thrilled) and then finally arriving at the airport where during the short wait to check in, we both fell asleep. Luckily, Donna awoke in time, Laura meanwhile was absolutely dead to the world along with a guy we'd met who was also getting the Brisbane flight. Donna insisted that because she had to wake Laura up, Laura must wake him up. We didn't even know his name.
8.) Brisbane airport being utterly empty when we went through passport control and both of us being 'randomly' selected for extra security. After the worst search in the world, Laura's guy insisting she was only leaving Australia because of an embarrassing rugby performance. She then struggled to leave the country, failing to operate the gate which they then informed her they had locked and forgotten to open. Luckily they let her through anyway...Donna was laughing too much to be of any help.