Minjin swing

So back in cairns charlie and I had already pre-booked some accommodation that happened to be at the same place as a couple of our friends from our tour, so we headed over to check in and then all ant for dinner and a drink together before getting an early night.

As I said in a previous post charlie and I had managed to get two vouchers for a minjin swing so the next day we were picked up at 11am to head up there. We arrived and sat and watched a couple of other people go first. When you see them doing it, it really doesn’t look that high up, but once your up there it’s a different story! We got all strapped up and they crank you up to the right hight and then you have to pull your own cord to make you fall! Charlie an I got to do it together which is a good thing I think as I made him pull the cord, there’s no way I would have been able to do it!! It was the most amazing feeling ever!! A couple of people even said they thought it was scarier than the Bungy but we can’t compare, yet!

We had a great day, an cant thank Nathan and Hayley enough for giving us there vouchers!! Thanks guys!!

We got back to discover that my big rucksack had broken! The main zip down the front had split!! It was already 3:30pm and all the shops shut at about 5pm in cairns so charlie and I were getting ready go spend a fortune on a new bag when one of the guys we were sharing a room with, Denis, told us he was really good with zips! An odd but very useful talent! And luckily for us he managed to fix it!! Saving us a huge $450 which is what it would have cost to buy a new bag the same size!! Denis we are eternally grateful!!

The next morning we had to leave at 4am to catch our flight back to Brisbane which is where we are flying out of to Fiji!

It was valentines day while we were in Brisbane and charlie and I stumbled upon the most amazing chocolate shop EVER!! It ha everything you could ever possibly want covered in chocolate, as well as chocolate fondant, chocolate drinks (hot and cold) CHOCOLATE EVERYTHING!!! It was literally the most amazing place I’ve ever been to! So charlie and i decided a there was so much on the menu that we wanted, rather than going for a nice dinner later we would spend the money here!! It was SOOOOOOOO worth it!!! By the Time we finished i was in Chocolate coma!! Genuinely couldn’t move for a good 10mins!!

Apart from that couple of days we spent in Brisbane were just spent organising stuff so I won’t bore you with the details!

It’s sad to say goodbye to aus, we have had the most amazing time, met some awesome people and it’s been the best start to our trip possible! But now it’s Fiji time!!

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Rainforest adventures

We were treated to a lie in this morning before starting our trip up to the rainforest. With our group having shrunk from 37 to a mere 9 we were also down graded from our big coach to a little mini bus!

Our first stop on our way up was for an aborigine experience in a section of the protected rainforest. It started of with a smoke blessing to protect us while in the rainforest and then we began our tour through the forest looking at old style huts made from a special bamboo type plant that was bendy enough to shape the roofs. Our guide also showed us special rocks that they used to break into nuts, almost like an old fashioned version of a missal and porter, as well as some special sandstones that when mixed with a little water and rubbed on a different rock made face paint! It was a very interesting experience. And at the end he even played the digerydoo for us!
Once we were finished we drove for a while longer before coming to a really cool ice cream hut that wasn’t actually ice cream at all! It was like a cross between ice cream and sorbet all home made with fresh fruits from the land that the stand was on. It’s even been voted 5/5 stars by trip advisor which for a tinny stall in the middle of some farm land is very impressive! If your ever near by I would 100% recommend heading up there!

We stopped for lunch in a tinny town where you could tell everyone knew each other and we were getting the odd stare for being the outsiders! Once we had all eaten we carried on our journey towards cape tribulation. We had one more stop before we arrived at our accommodation for the night which was at a beautiful look out. It’s the only place in the world where 2 world heritage sights meet each other, the rainforest and the great barrier reef. It was really beautiful. After a quick photo opp we carried on going to our accommodation.

The place we were staying was similar in style to the lodges at Fraser island only more basic and far more spiders. And I’m not talking little one or just daddy long legs, I’m talking huge fuckers the size of my face in nearly every corner. I’m not going to lie I basically shat myself! The boys thought it would be a great idea to catch a moth and feed it to one of them, I nearly had a heart attack!

Luckily our tour guide decided to take us on a little treck to a river that we were able to swim in. it was a nice distraction from all the spiders! After that we went down to the beach to see exactly where the reef meets the rainforest. We weren’t able to go for a swim though as the jelly fish there are really dangerous so we just took a walk along the beach instead. Our bus driver found some crazy ants that apparently tasted like lemon/lime if you eat them. A couple of the boys had a go, and charlie just licked on to see if it was true, apparently it was!

Once we got back we all got changed an then headed down to dinner. The restaurant was pretty small but still sweet. Once we had all ordered we had to wait quite a long time for our food, but when it came we all agreed it was the BEST meal we had had in the whole of Australia! Once we had finished we told the waiter to tell the chef how much we all loved the food, to which he replied “you can tell him your selves, he’s right there!” and behind the counter we could see just one guy making all the food him self, explained why it had taken a while!!

The next day we were up early again, this time to go jungle surfing, which was basically zip lining through the rainforest. We had loads of fun even though it wasn’t quite what we thought it was going to be! We went down 5 different zip lines with varying heights. And on the last line we were able to go down it upside down which was GREAT!

Once we were done we went on aNother walk through the rainforest and saw some beautiful plants and trees, but to Charlie’s disappointment not much wild life!

Then we all headed back to cairns to say our final goodbyes as our contiki adventure had sadly come to an end.

Cairns and sad farewell

After our long drive and strange encounter with a man that appeared from no where asking to film us all on the coach, we arrived in cairns. Once we had all battled for the shower and got ready we had a free evening for a few of us headed to the nigh market for some dinner, also our friend Nathan had decided he wanted a life size cuddly koala teddy so we had a browse for that too. After a couple of hours of searching an having no luck we headed back for an early night, as we had to be up super early again in the morning.

The next day, bright and early we headed out on a much nicer and bigger boat to the great barrier reef. Everyone of our group had decided to do this trip too so it was a really lovely way of spending some time together before most people left the next day 😦

We arrived at our first stop and despite the choppy water we all put our stinger suites on and jumped in. The crew on the boat were great and took us over to the better spots and showed us where nemo lives! Even through the weather was great to start off with and the water was pretty rough we still swam around for hours before heading back to the boat. Just before lunch the crew took out the glass bottom boat for us and we got to see even more as the area he took us too was really shallow. Once we had a great seafood lunch we went to a calmer area for our next snorkelling session. This time we anchored up and then all jumped in the glass bottom boat which took us out to a much shallower part. When we got out the boat we were all astounded to discover just how shallow the water was! We were in the middle of the ocean at the great barrier reef but the water was only coming up to our ankles! It was amazingly bizzar!! We paddled to a deeper area and this time we saw double the amount than we did the first time. I got to hold a star fish and a sea cucumber, I saw a giant clam that was probably as big as me! I saw 3 different kinds of nemos as well as a turtle! It was AMAZING!! One of the best parts of the whole trip I’d say and would 100% recommend it! Once everyone was finished we got back on board and went back to the harbour.

That night we were all going for our last meal together as one big group and then off to a pub crawl around cairns. The pub crawl was so much fun and we ended up going to 5 different location each one with its own drinking game. We all got hammered and had a great night!

The next day we had a free day so most of us spent it passed out due to our hang overs or down by the pool. After a nap Charlie and I decided to go to the shops as we needed to get a new hand luggage bag as Charlie’s had fallen to pieces. FYI mountain warehouse are SHIT!! Don’t ever buy anything from them!!

That night was due to be far more tame as a few of the group had already flown to there next destination or home, but we headed back out to the woolshed again (one of the bars from the night before) for dinner and $7 jugs of cocktails before dancing on the tables all night! They were holding a dance competition that night for the best dancer with a chance to win a free minjin swing. A minjin swing is similar to a Bungy jump only rather than being tied at the feet you are lying flat like super man, and rather than falling head first you drop and then swing back up.

The competition was hilarious and our good friends Nathan and Hayley won. The only problem for them was that they were both headed home the next day and the voucher was only valid for the next 2weeks. Because of this, Nathan, the sweet heart that he is, gave us his voucher as once we are done in the jungle we still have 2 more days left in cairns where we could use it. So as we had one voucher we figured we should get the other one from Hayley who had already asked if we wanted to buy hers. So we manage to get 2 vouchers for $40 which was AMAZING!! The end of the night got a tad emotional as everyone said there goodbyes and promising to meet up again one day. We made such a great group of friends and it will be odd dropping down to just 9 of us to go up to the rainforest but I’m sure we will still have loads of fun!

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Farm stay and sailing

After a long day of driving we arrived at the farm that we were due to be staying on. We were all fairly relieved as there had been a possibility that we wouldn’t have been able to stay due to the flooding, but luckily all was fine.

We arrived a little before the sun was setting so some of our group went for a walk up to the top of a hill to watch it go down, I couldn’t be bothered so I decided to just get settled in my room and have a shower. Soon after we all had a couple of drinks around the main barn where we were due to have dinner. The farm was family run and therefore all the staff were related in some way or another. There were also 3 kids running round and racing on scooters, they were all around the same age as my siblings so it made me a little home sick seeing them all play together!

We had a lovely roast dinner before being interrupted by screams from some of the girls! It turned out one had seen a snake and a poisonous toad so everyone was freaking out a little!! At this point the staff decided to give us a whip cracking demonstration as a nice distraction! It’s safe to say its a lot bloody harder than it looks!! I had a go a whipped my self round the ankles a couple of times, which fucking killed!! Charlie was standing on the side lines trying to shout instructions at me which only got me more frustrated! I managed to kind of get the hang of it but not properly so I handed it to charlie for his turn. To my pure delight he found it just as hard as me, until suddenly we all heard a huge crack and then the girliest scream ever as charlie somehow managed to whip himself on the arse!! It was hysterical!! And I actually think one of the girls managed to catch it on her phone so I’ll do my best to get hold of it!! After everyone had had a turn we headed back inside, for karaoke. We had all hated the idea to begin with and no one volunteered to go first until a couple of girls decided to bite the bullet as they clearly weren’t going to let us get away with out singing! but in the end we all got involved and it was a great laugh!! Charlie even sang!!

The next day we were up early AGAIN to head further north for our sailing trip.
Now I must stress, when charlie and I signed up for the sailing i thought (stupidly enough) that we would be on a beautiful big boat almost like a yacht, (clearly I’ve never been sailing before) however what the boat turned out to be was so far from what I had pictured in my head an it wasn’t the nicest surprise. The boat it’s self was fine, I’m sure people that liked boats would even go as far as saying beautiful, however the sleeping arrangements were not! As we went down stairs (very steep stairs I may add) to the inside of the boat, which was no bigger than a corridor, we all saw our fate! Everyone was sleeping in this tinny corridor together, pretty much one on top of the other as half the beds were suspended above the beds below a mere inches above your face with ropes. It’s safe to say the majority of us weren’t best pleased, but not just that, we were then told about the limited water supply on the boat and that we were only aloud to have a 1min shower each and the girls weren’t aloud to wash their hair as the shampoo blocked the drains. WE WERE ON THE BOAT FOR 3DAYS!
In case you havnt gathered, I didn’t like the boat! But it was too late to change my mind so I clung to the side for dear life as we sailed at pretty much a 45 degree angle through the whitsundays.

As we had arrived on the boat at early afternoon we didn’t do anything other than sail on the first day. But everyone got involved with getting the sails up and doing other sailing related activities! By the time we anchored I had accepted my fait and was trying to enjoy myself! We did actually have a lovely dinner and played some drinking games under the stars before passing out. The next day we sailed a bit more to Whitehaven beach. Now as much as I hated nearly every min of being on the boat, I feel it’s safe to say it was all worth while when we got to the beach. It’s been rated top 5 in the world by lonely planet and is by far the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen in my life! Even the sand was amazing, it’s 90% silica (which is what glass is made of) so even under the Australian sun it didn’t get hot and was the softest sand I’ve ever touched. We stayed on the beach for a couple of hours before heading up to a look out point which gave us the full view across this amazing place. After that we headed back to the boat to take us to our next destination which was where we were going to do our snorkelling. As it is stinger season we all had to put on really attractive stinger suites before getting in the water. As we were quite far north now the reef we were snorkelling around was actually part of the great barrier reef, but as it was only the fringing reef there wasn’t quite as much as you would expect to see, but impressive all the same!

Once we were done we headed back on bored for the night where more drinking games commenced and people got rather messy!! After a sleepless night due to the heat of everyone sleeping in the corridor, we headed back to shore much to my delight! We got back pretty early before getting on the coach for a lovely 9hour drive, after most of us hadn’t showered for 2days, you can imagine how delightful that trip was!

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Busy week

So our extra night in Sydney actually turned out to be quite eventful! Once we checked into our new hotel and found out it had an in door pool along with jacuzzi and sauna we all decided to go for a swim!! Was so nice to be off the coach and just chilling out. Then a few of the girls volunteered their room for everyone to drink in before we went for dinner. Drinking games started and it’s safe to say I was pretty drunk before we even left the hotel!! However I wasn’t the only one and it meant the walk to the restaurant was far more entertaining!! En-route my welsh friend Ashley and I needed the toilet, we were fairly towards the front of the group so thought we had plenty of time to run in somewhere. When we came out the group was no where to be found!! We spent the next 10mins wondering around darling harbour asking random people if they had knew where stacks was (the restaurant we should have been in by now!) only to discover no one knew where it was, eventually a slightly tipsy charlie must have noticed I was missing as we got a call and some directions from him!! Was all very entertaining at the time!!!
Then at the restaurant I ordered steak only to find out I had to cook it myself on a giant hot plate, doing so while intoxicated was very difficult!!

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After we ate we all headed back to the hotel where we were supposed to carry on drinking back at the girls room, however one of them wanted to sleep, so a mr Lucas thought it would be a great idea to put forward his room for the after party!! We all had a great time and got pretty smashed, but luckily I snuck out at a semi reasonable hour before more drinking games commenced.
The next day however we had to b up early to catch our flight up to the gold coast. Unsurprisingly enough charlie was the last person down, was late for the bus and held everyone up, I wanted to die!!
We jumped on the flight and arrived to sunshine which lifted everyone’s moods, it lift Charlie’s mood so much that he left his brand new kindle fire on the plane!! Luckily when we got on the bus I asked to use his so he managed to run back and get it!!
We arrived at Byron bay and headed straight up to a beautiful little light house which was the most easternly part of Australia. We then checked in and then we all headed down to the beach to enjoy the sun while it lasted!! That night we all cooked our own dinner as we were staying at nomads which is more of a hostel than a hotel so it had a kitchen. After we had eaten we headed down to cheeky monkeys bar which is know as the travels bar. When we got there we discovered that they had some crazy competition on where all the girls could get their boobs painted with their countries flag to win a free skydive! Needless to say I did NOT partake, however a couple of the girls in our group did and one of them actually won!!
The next day we drove down to an animal sanctuary which was quite sweet, we saw all the same sorts of animals that we did at the zoo just on a scaled down version but it meant we got another chance to feed the kangaroos and a few of these ones actually had joeys in there pouches which was exciting! Once we were done we headed up to surfers paradise where we had a very exciting evening planned!! We arrived early evening and got changed before headed to Dracula’s which is a theatre show. It was AMAZING!! It had a similar set up to the moulin rouge where there is no real running story just lots of little segments, but it was so funny and something I would ALWAYS recommend someone to go if they are in the area.
The next day we were due to have a surfing lesson but due to the rough seas it was cancelled so they put on a paddle boarding session instead. As charlie and I had already done this in mooloolaba we decided against paying for the lesson but did decide to just rent a board instead so that we could show off to everyone how easy it was haha!!
That evening we decided to all have a group BBQ at the hotel we were at which was lovely!! We all brought a tone of food and had a huge feast!!
The next day we were up super early AGAIN and headed to Brisbane for a couple of hours before heading further north to noosa.
Almost as soon as we arrived in noosa we had one of the funniest moments of the whole trip. We were strolling down to the beach when I spotted someone who look just like Charlie’s friend jack, as we got closer I noticed that actually it was Charlie’s friends jack and Harry who have been in aus for the last year. We had no idea they were going to be there and had no plans to see them!! But I’ve also not seen charlie that happy since the trip began!!
We hung out with them for a while before having to go for dinner!! But that night we took a couple of the girls to their house party and had lots of fun!
The next day we had to be up crazy early as we were heading out on 4×4’s to Fraser island.
The island was beautiful And after we had been for a quite a distressing treck we went to one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to, lake Mckenzie
It was AMAZING!! We had lunch there and then headed to our questionable accommodation!! Once we settled in we headed down to the beach to watch the sun go down which was very romantic!
However the next day I woke up with about a million mossy bites which was very irritating!!
From hear we are heading to a farm and then sailing to the Whitsunday’s for a couple days which should be great!

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Rain, rain, GO AWAY!!

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So for those of you that havnt seen the news, the one country in the world that you can guarantee sun……..is FLOODING!

As we left the fantastically named “sunshine” coast to fly back to Sydney we were concerned if our flight would even be going ahead as normal as they were expecting 80kph winds. Luckily we were fine and managed to get back on Australia day safe and sound, although we didn’t celebrate much as we were travelling all day 😦

The next day we woke up to, yep you guessed it, MORE RAIN, bright and early to start our sta contiki tour. Once we had met everyone it was time to jump straight on the coach and head for the blue mountains. Despite the run and fog it was really beautiful and charlie and I were actually really glad it was included on the tour as if it hadn’t been we deffinatly wouldn’t have made the 2hour journey up there! We went on a stroll down to a couple of beautiful waterfalls before heading to a local town for lunch where charlie and I had one of the BEST brownies we have ever had in our lives! (possibly the high light of the whole day!) before heading back to Sydney. One we got back we went back down to the rocks as there Sunday market was on so we had a wonder round and then headed back to our hotel to get cleaned up for dinner.
We went to darling harbour for dinner where charlie and I both tried kangaroo for the first time!! If I’m totally honest it wasn’t great, but wasn’t bad either, I just kind of tasted like beef but a bit tougher.

The next day we woke up and headed down to the harbour again!

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This time with our new fwiends!

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After we had been well and truly drenched we got taken to the delightful manly beach, but funnily enough, no one was in the mood for a swim, which was good really considering the beach was closed anyway due to the weather! So we jumped on the ferry and headed back to the harbour. From there we went down to paddeys market as it was all undercover so we could stay dry. We had a fun time exploring and grabbed a couple or bargains before stopping for lunch.
Later that night we had booked to do the harbour bridge climb and we were determined to enjoy ourselves despite the rain.

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Even with the rain we had the most amazing view over the city with it all lit up. We got very wet but it was defo a once in a lifetime opportunity that we were both really happy we did.

This morning we were up early to start out 7hour drive up north, only to be told an hour in that we were turning round and going back to sydney coz of the rain! So we are spending an extra night in Sydney today/tonight and then flying up to the gold coast tomorrow. Everything else is a bit up in the air at the moment so this tour might not turn out to be quite what we planned but I’m sure we will still have a great time.

On the up side, the weather in Fiji is looking great!!!

ZOO!!

So we went paddle bording, and was great fun, amazingly enough I didn’t fall in, can’t say the same for charlie though, after about 2mins he managed to stand up, got cocky and fell in!!! Unfortunately we couldn’t get any pics as we were both too scared we’d fall in and break our phones!! Only saw 1 jellyfish thank god so no one had to pee on each other!!
Didn’t do too much for the rest of the day just chilled by the pool until it started raining!

The next day it poured all day and has been since then!! So as there wasn’t a huge amount we could do we went to the cinema as charlie was desperate to go and see djoango, I wasn’t best pleased as this is now the second time we have been to the cinema since we got here but to be fair there wasn’t a lot else we could do!

Today despite the rain we still headed to Australia zoo and had the best day!! The rain meant the place was pretty empty so we got great seats for all the shows and didn’t have to cue long to have our picture taken with the koala bears!!

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As you can see we had loads of fun!! Saw all the animals fed most of them including the elephants, getting in some practise before we get to Asia! We also saw a great tiger show, the feeding of the otters, a crocodile show, a birds of prey show, pretty much every show you could think of really!! Charlie has quite clearly stated that today was his “best day ever!”

Tomorrow we head back down to Sydney, which consistently is also Australia day, so a bit of a shame that we will be spending most of it in the airport, but hey, what can you do! Then on Sunday we start our 16day tour which we are both ecstatic about!!

Mooloolaba joys

So since the last time I updated you all charlie and I have had a few eventful days!!

We caught our flight from Sydney to Brisbane and ran through the airport hoping to catch the last bus up to where we were staying in the sunshine coast. We got out to discover that there wasn’t a 10:30 service, very helpful, so we then thought we would just try and see how much a cab would be, after being told it would cost us a mere $280 we decided against it, all the trains had finished for the night and to rent a car would cost us more in underage fees than the actual car it’s self! So charlie came up with the great idea of just sleeping in the airport until the next bus at 6am. Now any of you that know me will know how well that suggestion went down, but after finding out the cost of getting a cab and paying for a hostel I reluctantly agreed.

After a sleepless night charlie and I managed to catch the 7:30 bus and arrived at our hostel, mooloolaba backpackers at about 9. We were then told there was a boat party on that left at 11:30 and was only $10 each so we decided we should give it a go.

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We had a great time on the boat and gave us a chance to make more fwiends!! The people here are all really lovely and most of them have been here quite a while so they could all give us good tips on what to do and where to go!

Directly opposite the hostel there is a bowls club so when we got back from the boat we headed over there for cheap beer and a cheap meal!!

For those of you that know today was THE day!! And it all went really well surprisingly!! I don’t want to talk too much about it here but most of you have received private massages on Facebook so have a look. We are all going out for dinner tomorrow night so that kind of says just how well it went!

Tomorrow we are going paddlebording in a jelly fish infested lake so that souls be interesting!! Wish me luck!!

Bondi

We woke up bright and early again today to get back on the tour bus and head to Bondi. We arrived nice and early and got a pretty good spot on the beach. We got settled and hired an umbrella for the day as dispute Charlie’s sunbeds he has managed to burn already!

So we got comfy and were having a lovely time, when out of no where a massive wave came up and soaked all our stuff, luckily I managed to grab the valuables so nothing was broken. However it’s safe to say I’m not a fan of sand at the best of times, it gets everywhere and just generally pisses me off, so when the sea not only soaked all our possessions but also covered everything in wet sand I can safely say it reuined my day.

Luckily I spotted a great looking pool that over looked the sea, so we packed up our wet belongings and headed o

ver. It turned out to be a member’s club called icebergs but you could pay to get in. It was beautiful and best of all sand free! So we ended up spending the rest of the day there.

The rest of our day was fairly uneventful so I won’t
bore you with the details but we are heading up to the sunshine coast tomorrow so hopefully I can work on the tan then, and go to the Steve Erwin zoo!

Day 1 in aus!

So we made it here safe and sound, and without killing each other on the 24 hour journey, which I’m pretty impressed by!! We arrived pretty late and had to try and figure out which train to get to find our hostel, not the funniest experience when we were both exhausted and carrying very heavy bags, of which charlie had already broken and managed to cut his back before we had even left the airport!

We found our hostel eventually an played musical beds for about half an hour as there is no clear way of knowing who is sleeping where! When we eventually found our beds, on opposite sides of the room to each other we pretty much passed out!

Charlie woke up the next day at a delightful 6:45am (how I love jet lag!) and could think of nothing better to do than wake me up!! Not best please!! We then both got ready and headed out to begin exploring!! Suffice to say the showers here are actually pretty nice!!

We headed straight down to darling harbour for some brunch where we then found a hop on hop off bus tour which we thought was prob a good ideal as we had no real plans for the day. It turned out to be a really goo idea as the bus took us to pretty much every touristy place in Sydney you would want to go to! We saw the bridge, the opera house, the rocks, centre quay, the botanical gardens, George street which is kind of like Oxford street in the uk, it even had a topshop/topman which charlie was very surprised by!!

We then headed back to the hostel to get changed for dinner and got chatting to some of our room mates. There’s a very entertaining Irish guy called Aiden and a lovey Canadian couple called jackie and adam. We were really surprised to find out they were all around 29/30! I think we were just assuming everyone would be around the same age as us or younger!! We discovered that jackie and adam have just arrived from new Zealand so we were picking their brains about that for a while and also found out we are all going to be in Thailand at the same time so agreed we should all try and meet up!

After we finished making fwiends we headed out for dinner. Now I must admit my intentions were all good! I had read in one of our guide books that surrey hills was great for food and had loads of little cafes and restaurants so I figured we should try there. However I didn’t really have a set place in mind so I figured if we just headed in the right direction we’d be fine. We ended up walking around for about 45mins up some really steep hill, finding some crazy house party that we got invited to, until we eventually stumbled upon what was basically the Australian version of GBK but better! We ate and then trekked it all the way back again!

Tomorrow the plan is to head down to Bondi and check out the beach!