Nah trang and reunion part 2!

After a very bumpy night bus, we arrived in Nah trang super early! Rosy, Ella, Emma, Miles and Henna had already been there for a day, so we headed to mojzo inn where they were staying. When we arrived the guy on reception was clearly expecting us as the others had obviously mentioned it, while we were checking in he went up and woke them all up to let them know we were here!! Barring it mind it was 6am! We felt very bad, but luckily everyone went back to sleep!

Charlie and I couldn’t check into our dorm until midday so we chilled out in the lounge area until it was time for breakfast. We had great pancakes and an omelette while we waited for the others to wake up for a second time! Once everyone had eaten we decided to head to the mud spa that I’d heard about. We all got changed and were picked up by an elongated golf buggy!

When we arrived we were taken straight to our bud bath. As there were 7 of us we were given the biggest bath. As they started filling it with mud we were taken over to the first mineral shower area which was a huge circle with tones of shower heads at the top. Once we were all soaked we were taken back to our bud bath. One by one we gradually got in. The mud was lovely and warm and also much thinner than we were all expecting! It didn’t really stick to you in the way you would imagine, it was far more watery. We all covered ourselves in the mud and took a variety of funny pictures on rosys water proof camera before getting out to shower off. The next part was like a big grown up mineral water park. The area that you go to to wash off all the mud was full of jets pointing out all over the place! There was one that looked like a big fountain with jets shooting up from the floor, one that was like a walkway with jets shooting at you from both sides and one fairly normal looking shower one. As we didn’t know the difference we decided to try them all!

Once we were all dried off we claimed some sun bed by the pool and went to get lunch. The food was actually pretty good and the portions were HUGE! When everyone had eating so much they felt sick we went to go lie in the sun like big beached whales! After a few hours we headed back to get showered properly and changed for our big night out!

We went for dinner at a roof top bar type place, the food really wasn’t that great, but Ella and I both enjoyed ours! Next we went to a bar with the craziest promoter lady ever!! She came running out into the street to hug us all before forcing us into her bar! We had one drink there before slying off so we didn’t get stopped! Next we went to a place called red apple as the others had been there the night before and said it was really busy, however when we turned up we were the only people there! But it was happy hour and they were doing two for one on sprits so we stayed. After Emma and miles had played their game of pool we decided to move on again. We ended up at a place round the corner from where we ate which was much more lively.

We stayed here and had quite a few drinks, had a dance and generally enjoyed ourselves until charlie decided he was hungry so the two of us as well as Emma went in search of some food. We found a little shack selling some sort of German sausage and got one of those before going back and attempting to sleep, while the girl and guy in the bed above me went at it like rabbits all night.

The next day charlie and I wanted to go to vinpearl which is vietnams version of disney land, minus the Disney characters! The others had already been the day before so they went to the beach instead. Charlie and I got a cab to the cable cart that takes you across to vinpearl island……yes it’s on it’s own island! As soon as we got off we jump straight onto the only “roller coaster” they had there. It was a bit like the flying fish at Thorpe park only shorter! Then we headed straight over to the water park section as the others had told us this was the best part. We dropped off our stuff and headed to the first slide. We went down and all the Vietnamese were laughing at charlie because he made such a big splash when we came down!! We went on pretty much every water slide they had and spent a good two hours there before realising it was almost 3pm already and we hadn’t had any lunch yet! So we got dry and went in hunt for food. Sadly vinpearl was very limited with there food selection. There was either a big “fancy” restaurant or lotto which is effectively a shit version of burger king and we had already been warned not to go there. So we found a random food stall that did the classic Vietnamese dish “chicken nuggets and chips!” I probably should have mentioned before that Nah trang is FULL of russians. I’m not quite sure why, we havant really come across many Russians elsewhere in Vietnam, but for some reason they obviously love Nah trang.

Anyway, after we’d had our delightful lunch we decided to cue for the lugging style ride next. Well I say cue, it was more like an elbowing match until we got into a space where people couldn’t really push in front of us any more! After cueing for about an hour we finally got to the front. The cart that you sit in was similar to lugging in that you have a leaver that you lift to make you go and lift further to break. It was on a raised track that gave you a beautiful view of Nah trang. The idea is to go down it fast, hence it being in a theme park, however you are slightly limited by how fast you can go by the person in front of you as there is no way of over taking. Sadly I had some granny in front of me who clearly thought this was more of a scenic view than a ride as she was breaking at every given opportunity. We got to the end a little pissed off that we had cued so long for it to be ruined by someone woman who had pushed in front of us!

We went back up to the main entrance area just to catch the end of the parade before jumping back on the cable cart to go back. The others were leaving that night so we wanted to make it back in time to say goodbye to them. Once we’d said our fair wells, charlie and I headed to a place called lanterns for dinner. It was a really cute little restaurant with no ceiling, covered in lanterns. We had the most amazing dinner there, we both tried their yellow curry as it was recommended and it was sooooooo good!!

When we were finished we went back to the hostel to pack up all our stuff and get an early night as we had a 6am bus to catch, however this didn’t quite go to plan due to the assholes in our room who came it shouting at 3am and then deliberately carried on when they saw we were trying to sleep. Then more of them came in at 4am, again being as loud as they possibly could. It’s safe to say both charlie and I were fuming and very happy to turn on all the lights and slam the door when we left at 6am!

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Hoi an

As the journey from hue to hoi an is only about 4ish hours they run a day time bus rather than a night one, so we left first thing in the morning. The journey wasn’t too bad apart from the fact that there was no air con! We got chatting to three lovely english students who had just done a semester in Singapore. When we arrived the five of us sort of stuck together and we went on the longest hunt for accommodation!

Our friend James who we met at the farm stay was already here with our other friend Nadia. They were staying at an hoi hotel and had said they had managed to get us a pretty good price, so we set off for there. Unfortunately when we arrived it was a different person on reception who knew nothing about the arrangement and was trying to charge us $20 for a room which was out of our price range. So we decided to carry on looking and stupidly thought the beach was pretty close so we headed in that direction. After at least an hour of traipsing around in the midday sun with our huge bags we decided to give up as the beach was no where in site and we were all hungry and tired. So we got a cab back to an hoi and started negotiating. We managed to get them down to just $14 if we didn’t have breakfast, but we had heard breakfast was pretty crap anyway so we weren’t too fussed! Hoi an is a beautiful little town with a very strong French influence so it was funny walking around everywhere as it almost felt like the back streets of Paris!

After showering and chilling out for a bit we all meet up to go for dinner. The only up side to having walked around pretty much the whole town that day was that we had already pretty much got our bearings and knew where stuff was! We ended up at a restaurant called green moss, which despite the name did really good food. James and Nadia met us there and we all had a lovely group meal. Once everyone had finished someone mentioned pudding, so we went in search of some cakes! There are also tones of little French patisseries dotted around the town so it wasn’t hard to find somewhere. While we were polishing off our cakes we heard a huge crash from the street, we all ran out to discover there had been a big motorbike accident. We were all a little stunned and didn’t really know what to do, there was a guy lying unconscious in the road. Luckily he had a helmet on otherwise it could have been a lot worse. Eventually someone who looked like police arrived so we figured there wasn’t much we could do. We headed back to the hotel but spotted a cute little night market on the way. At night hoi an gets even cuter as it is covered in colourful lanterns that are all lit up. There was a huge stand at the market selling them, but charlie and I agreed we had no where to put one!

The next morning we had a bit of a lie in before meeting the others to go to the beach. We decided to get a cab this time, rather than walking for hours! We arrived at lunch time so we found a spot on the beach that also did food. We chilled out here for a couple of hours before heading back. Once we got back we decided to have a wonder round the shops. Hoi an is know for its tailoring, so every other shop is a tailors of some kind, be it clothes, shoes, bags, anything! Nadia was already in the process of getting some stuff made, so I arranged to meet her for her fitting so I could see how it turned out. She was getting two jackets and two dresses made at different places, so we went off in search of the first one. All of the stuff she was getting made was lovely! In particular one of her coats. When she put it on I fell in love with it, so much so that I decided to get one made too! After I’d been all measured up we went to meet charlie and James for dinner at a place called good morning Vietnam, which had been recommended to me by miss squire! It was a lovely little Italian place and the food was AMAZING!! Once we’d finished eating it was still pretty early, so we decided to go for some drinks. We had a cocktail at this one awful bar before quickly leaving and finding somewhere better! The next place that we went to was much nicer so we settled there. While at the bar we got our first glimpse of snake wine. We had heard of rice wine but not snake wine and it wasn’t until charlie spotted the snakes head staring at him in the jar that we realised what it was! It was very creepy looking, and we all agreed we didn’t think it would taste great so passed on that one! Many cocktails later we realised we were the only people left in the bar so we called it a night!

The next morning I had arranged to meet Nadia so we could go to our fittings together. Charlie decided he’d had enough of shopping the day before so he stayed in bed. James decided to join us and showed us to this great little coffee shop that did amazing pastries, so we grabbed some breakfast before heading to the fittings. My coat was basically finished which I was amazed about! How they managed to create a brand new coat from scratch in about 12hours was so impressive! And it was basically perfect, only very tinny adjustments needed to be made to the hood and buttons! Once we were finished i grabbed some lunch from cargo the coffee shop we went to for breakfast and met back up with charlie. We decided to go to the beach again as it was a lovely day, however this time James had a different spot to show us. We got a cab down there again, and the area he took us to was lovely. It was far quieter with hardly any people trying to sell you stuff, and far prettier. We stayed there for most of the afternoon before heading back for mine and nadias final fittings. Everything was perfect so I collected my cost and Nadia got her bits too, luckily hers were all good as she was leaving that evening. We met up with the boys and sadly I was out numbered in wanting to go for a curry so we went to a place called Ganesh which James had been to before. It was horrid and I didn’t enjoy it, but everyone else seemed to! After dinner, sadly, Nadia had to get her flight down to ho chi min, so we said our goodbyes.

Charlie had now decided that he wanted a coat too, so we went back to the place where I had mine done and he showed them what he wanted. After they had measured him we went back in the direction of the hotel as James had a 6am flight to catch so didn’t want a late one, but we ended up stopping off at a little place on the way back anyway for a couple of beers.

The next day was our last day in hoi an. Our bus left at 4:30pm for nah trang so we had half a day to fill. We grabbed breakfast at cargo again before heading up for Charlie’s fitting. His coat needed quite a few tweaks so he was a little disappointed at first. Once he was done we wondered round the shops and grabbed some lunch, killing time before his next fitting at 2pm. When we went back his coat was much better but still needed some bits changed. Eventually when we went back at 4pm everything was done so we had to make a quick dash back to the hotel to get our bags and jump on the bus.

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Kiwi bus and bay of islands

Luckily we managed to get onto our bus so we didn’t have to stay in Auckland for another 2 days! But it did mean saying goodbye to our friend Casey as she was taking the naked bus instead.

We were the first pick up and after we grabbed everyone else we started the journey up to the bay of islands. We got chatting to everyone on the bus, as you do, and discovered the 4 girls sat behind us were all also from surrey and 2 of then actually lived in Walton! After more chatting we discovered that Rosey, Sophie, Ella and Tweedy were actually the 4 girls that my friend Rosanna had come away with and we realised we all knew a lot of the same people!! Such a small world!! We then got chatting to everyone else and ended up making a lovely big group of us of about 18 all of which were English! In fact I’d say 95% of the bus were English!

During the journey we booked ourselves onto a couple of activities, one of which was swimming with dolphins that afternoon. So as soon as we arrived we jumped off the bus and funnily enough bumped straight into Casey who had been dropped at the same place with her bus! We were all staying at the same hostel so we agreed to meet up later and then headed out to our boat.

We jumped on the boat which was quite a nice size and started our mission to try and find some dolphins. As they are wild they can never guarantee that you will even get to see any let alone swim with them however they say that 99% of the time you do at least get to see some. So we were all stood at the side of the boat trying our best to spot some dolphins. After about an hour or so the boat stopped and we all got very excited, only to be told they had spotted a penguin, not dolphins! He was a very cute penguin, but I think we were all expecting something a little more exciting! We carried on and eventually came across a smallish pod of about 10dolphins who at the time were actually sleeping!

When dolphins sleep they don’t actually shut off all of their brain so they are still partially awake. This meant we had to wait around a little bit to see if they would wake up or not before we could get in the water and swim with them. Luckily for us they were already showing signs of waking so we stuck around. After half an hour or so we all started to put our fins and masks on so that we were ready to jump straight in as soon as they did wake up. The crew told us that once we were in we would have to swim hard and fast to keep up with them. We all got into the water and my god it was cold!! Baring in mind charlie and I had just come from Fiji where the water was about 25degrees the shock of the water actually took my breath away! I tried to swim and keep up but didn’t do very well at all, however charlie didn’t do too bad and got fairly close at one point. After a short time we got back in the boat as the dolphins clearly weren’t that interested in us. We carried on sailing around to see if we could find any more and amazingly there were 3 dolphins that liked the look of the boat and so they came up along the bottom and started swimming along the side and underneath of the boat at the exact moment charlie and I were sticking our heads off the end of the boat, it was AMAZING and totally made up for the fact that the other dolphins didn’t really like us!!

Once our trip was over we headed back to the hostel and had a nice BBQ for dinner before having a couple of drinks and heading to bed as we had a very early start the next day for our cape ranga trip.

We were up nice and early for our day trip and it was really nice as most of our new fwiends from the bus were doing the trip too so we all had super cool bonding time!!! We started off with a nice walk at a place called mangina, we all found it very entertaining and were more interested in that than the actual walk itself as all we were supposed to be looking at we’re some special trees! You can tell I wasn’t moved by this walk!! After that we headed down to 90mile beach which was very nice. Although I think charlie and I have turned into beach snobs now as we have seen some of the best beaches in the world so in comparison it wasn’t that amazing, but still lovely! After we had a quick walk down the beach and found a dead puffa fish we jumped back on the bus and went to do some sand boarding, the high light of the day!

Our guide took us to this HUGE sand dune and gave us each a boogie board. We clambered up the hill, all of us nearly dieing on the way up as it was so steep, and then when we got to the top he gave us a quick demonstration and then we all started to fly down the dune. It was by far the best part of the day!

After we had finished getting covered in sand, we jumped back on the bus and headed to another beach for lunch. This one was prettier than 90mile beach but it was still very windy and not the warmest so not many people got in the water. From here we headed to a walking trail that leaded us to the point where the two oceans meet. It was really pretty here and there was also a sweet lighthouse there too.

Once we had finished our walk we stopped in at a wood carving showroom before heading to get fish and chips for dinner. The fish and chips were pretty good and was nice not to be eating noodles for a change! Then we all headed back to our hostel and played drinking games and everyone got pretty drunk.

Because of our antics the night before the next day was a bit of a write off as everyone was pretty hung over! We all kind of bummed around not doing much until the evening when we went out to a lovely Mexican restaurant for dinner that over looked the bay. As we had all had a pretty heavy night the night before we decided to take it easy and get a fairly early night!

The next day was our final day in the bay of islands so we got up and checked out and charlie decided to go kayaking with the boys before we jumped on the bus back to Auckland.

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New Zealand begins

So we landed into Auckland this afternoon and already charlie was impressed just walking through the airport! He had already decided this would be his faviourate place! We got through customs, still with our friend Casey and charlie tried to get organised by picking up every single leaflet he could find! We grabbed some lunch and then got started on organising sim cards for our phones as we were going to be here for so long and the ones we had were pretty crap!

We then jumped on a bus and headed to our hostel, silver fern, which for the record is lovely! Really new and modern and you get free wifi for every day you stay there, so I would defo recommend it!

Once we dumped our stuff we all decided to go investigate the local area. After walking around for about 10mins we came across a big cue outside of the theatre attached to the new Zealand sky tower, so we decided, what the hell, why don’t we join this cue and find out what it’s for. After being stood in it for about a min, Casey decided maybe we should ask what we were cueing for, only to be told it was for the new Zealand xfactor! We got talking to one of the crew who told us that if we wanted to be in the audience all we had to do was register round the corner, so he took us round and we just managed to get registered with 10mins to go! We went up to the theatre, had to hand in all our phones and cameras and took our seats in the audience!! It was all a bit crazy but really cool and we ended up staying and watching nearly the whole thing!! So watch out if it come out on tv you may see charlie and I in the audience!

By the time it had finished it was pretty late and we were all pretty hungry so we headed to a burger place we had been told about by our friend Harry who we met in Fiji. We got down there and had these huge burgers for dinner before going back to our hostel to do more washing!

The next day we had a bit of a lie in before deciding today had to be an organising day! And to be fair it was very productive, we got my big bag fixed withs a new zip, we sorted out my phone, we went and brought some warmer clothes as we had been warned that it got pretty cold in NZ and we also went to try and book our seats on our kiwi experience bus for the next day only to find out that unfortunately the bus doesn’t run on a Sunday, so tried to book on for the Monday and were told we were on standby as it was currently over booked. We headed back to the hostel to make dinner and decided that as we had another free day we would spend it at the zoo!

So we woke up bright and early on the Sunday and jumped in a cab to the zoo. We had a great day that started with feeding the giraffes which was very cool, then we went and saw the elephants, orang-utans, sea lions, monkeys and lots more. We had a great day but I still don’t think any zoo will compare to Australia zoo!!

We headed back to the hostel and had to try and fit all my stuff back into my bag as I’d had to unpack it all to get my bag fixed, it was NOT fun! Before getting an early night as we had to b on the bus at 7am the next day to start our journey round NZ

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Mantaray island

After all the boat issues we arrived at mantaray in the dark fairly late. Luckily the staff knew about the issues and still had dinner waiting for us which was lovely. Walking back to our room we bumped into some friends we had made at the very start on coral view island so we headed down to the bar for a couple of drinks.

We met a load of other people too, some of which were headed to new Zealand next as well so it was nice to swap plans and tips! As always when you go out and intend to only have a couple of drinks we ended up staying out till the early hours and getting pretty drunk as our crazy friend chris thought it would be a great idea to buy 3 bottles of champaign and make everyone drink it with him!!

The next morning we woke up to the sound of more rain 😦 and as I wasn’t feeling great we spent most of the morning in our room. After lunch the sun came out so we headed down to the beach for a spot of sunbathing and soaking up the sun while it lasted. Once we were showered and changed we headed up to dinner which was buffet style. As we had all had a pretty heavy night the night before we decided to just have a chilled one instead so we had a couple of cocktails and called it a night.

On our last day at mantaray we were delighted to wake up to beautiful sunshine. It was super hot and so we checked out of our room and headed straight for the beach. It was pure paradise. After laying in the sun for a while we went for a dip in the sea and the water was amazing. It was so clear and so warm, you really couldn’t ask for anything better. After another yummy lunch we headed back down to the beach as it was fish feeding time. One of the guys who worked at mantaray was handing round pieces of bread to everyone and it was as if the fish knew what time it was as they had all come right up to the edge of the water. There were tones of them, and they weren’t tinny little things either, they were about 4-5inches long and fairly see through other than the black stripes they had on there backs. Occasionally they would flip onto their sides and we realised they had silver tummies!! They went appserlutly crazy for the bread we had and all you had to do was put a corner of it in the water and they all started gabbing at it!

Once the fish feeding was over it was time to say our goodbyes and jump on the boat to our final island, octopus.

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Charlie’s birthday and Coral View

The next morning was Charlie’s birthday!! We had to be up at 6:30 to grab some breakfast before heading to the port to catch the boat. Once we arrived we had to check in, a bit like at the airport and get tags for our bags so they got taken off at the right island! We had decided that it made sense for us to go to the top of the group of islands we were visiting (called the yasawas) and then make our way back down over the 2weeks. However this did mean doing a 5hour journey on the boat to begin with.

As it was Charlie’s birthday I wanted to try and surprise him by booking us into the captains lounge on the boat. You get unlimited free alcohol and snacks in there as well as it being air conditioned, has nicer seats and big flat screen tv’s as well as your own personal waitress. It meant our 5hour trip was much nicer and charlie could drink as much as he liked, what more could he want on his birthday! We also made friends with a kiwi couple called Paige and Casey who were headed to the top of the islands too but not the same one as us, but we arranged to meet them back on the boat in a couple of days!

The island we were headed to was called coral view, and was really lovely. As soon as you arrive they great you on the beach with there welcome song and a cocktail. We then had lunch, which was buffet style but beautiful and fresh before being shown to our room. After a quick afternoon nap we decided to get into island living by just sitting in a hammock and reading our books for a couple of hours…….pure bliss!!

That night was a tradition Fiji themed night and so our dinner had been cooked in a tradition smoking hole. This is where they dig a large hole in the ground and line it with hot coals. They then place whatever it is they are cooking, in our case chicken and pork, into the hole on top of the coals and cover the hole with big palm leaves. It was very interesting to see, but I wouldn’t say it was my favourite meal that we had!!

To top of the evening, the staff also put on a special dance show for us, performing a variety of different Fijian dances. I made them all aware it was Charlie’s birthday so he got a few free beers from the staff and an extra special dance!! I will post the video so you can all see it (on Facebook)! It was amazing!! Once we had finished eating and watching the show we all chilled out on the terrace and had some drinks with everyone. We made a really nice group of friends on the island and it was nice because there weren’t too many people there so we all got to know each other pretty well.

After a while we noticed some of the staff sat around a big bowl so we went over and asked what they were up to. We discovered they were drinking carva which is fiji’s version of alcohol. They do have normal alcohol too but this is a special drink which is made from the root of a plant and they drink it to get drunk. Only it’s not what most people would think of when you get drunk. It doesn’t have the same effect on you as normal alcohol, but it’s hard to explain. So everyone sat around and tried some and it was VILE!! It tasted like mud water and was really disgusting!! So I swiftly declined the next cup and went and sat back down!! We carried on drinking and had a really nice chilled evening. I think it’s safe to say charlie had a memorable birthday!!

The next day the organisers were offering a free snorkelling strip so as charlie has decided this is his new fav hobby he jumped at the chance! We headed out on a little speed boat a stopped at a couple of spots, both we fantastic!! The water was crystal clear and so warm! At the second stop we all got out at a beach and there was slightly less to see there. While we were there the weather took a turn for the worse too and started to rain. Once we headed back it cleared up though and was lovely and sunny so I decided to top up my tan while charlie had a nap.

After more snoozing in hammocks and reading we had dinner and were supposed to be having a fire dancing show that evening but as the rain had started again we weren’t able to, so instead they put on a film for us on the big projector and we all watched it while hearing the rain pouring around us outside.

The next day we had to check out in the morning and didn’t get up to much as we had to be on the boat at lunch time. As we left the staff sang us there fair well song this time.

Once we were back on the boat we met back up with Paige and Casey and decided to go with them to bare foot island next as we weren’t able to stay at long beach as we had wanted to.

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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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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!!!