Posts Tagged With: Hostel

Cairns, Sunshine City

I am at the northernmost point in my trip, and Cairns is a gorgeous place!  It’s nice and warm, the weather is perfect, and there are tons of backpackers chilling out and great activities.  There’s no great beachfront, but there is a man-made lagoon area where sunbathers can hang out.  I walked around the city on my first evening, there was live music spilling out of the doorways, lots of shops still open,  and even an outdoor movie theater in the town’s square!  I am totally coming back some day to check out this city again, it’s not a huge place but there are SO many activities, I only got a small taste in the two days I was there, and decided to go and check out some waterfalls in the tropical rainforest on Captain Matty’s Barefoot Tours.  I boarded the bus early on the Saturday morning, not knowing what to expect out of the day.

It was a sweet tour, there were some little hikes to gorgeous waterfalls (not one, not two, but three!) lakes and mountainous areas that showed off the region around Cairns really well, and we got a taste of all things Australian, some new music to listen to on the bus and a history of the surrounding area.  Our guide Gili was hilarious, made the day when he rescued someones Go-Pro from the natural waterfall rock slide, my favorite part of the tour.  We saw a Cassowary in the wild, one of only 1500 of these endangered birds that are left in the surrounding area, we got a good close look at it too, which is apparently really rare.  I slid down the rocks into the pool even though it was a bit cold, it looked so fun! We even got to sample some Aussie goodies like Tim Tams and coconuts from palm trees ( which are actually not native to Aus!).
I went out that evening with some people I met on my tour, first drinking goon (ugh) and then hitting the Woolshed to dance on some tables. It was a bit of a gungy backpacker bar but it was pretty fun to watch the ultra hammered people fall off tables!  We went to a second bar attached to our hostel which seemed like the nicest/biggest bar in the area, and danced the night away with an assortment of people, a pretty multicultural crowd for Australia!  Seems like Cairns is a big draw b/c it’s actually closer to Asia + other countries than Sydney/Melbourne.  I took myself home as the club was closing, i had only one more day to check out Cairns before flying off.
I had to pack and check out before stowing my locker in storage then sneaking back up to make myself breakfast in the communal kitchen 😛 I had a not so nice goon-over, and decided to check out the Lagoon and try to get in some snorkeling before leaving for the airport later.  I lazed around at the Lagoon after walking through the main beachfront area, and have decided I really like Cairns and would totally give it a second shot with more time to look around the area and explore all the activities.  I finished up with a dip in the Gilligans pool and said goodbye to (what i thought would be the last of) tropical Australian weather! My flight went off without a hitch, and soon I landed in the Sydney Airport where there were a few new adventures waiting for me! The best part about Sydney so far is my friend David, who I met in Vancouver when we both lived there.  He’s already picked me up and welcomed me into his house for the next few weeks while I explore Sydney and the surrounding area. I feel glad to put an end to the frantic pace of my trip so far and just to stay put for a little while in the same place – after all, I’ve stayed only up to three nights at EVERY place I’ve been to so far – 5 countries, 2 months! Whew.
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Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Night Ride 2 Magnetic Island

I got off the island at Hervey Bay, and was dropped off at the bus station to await my coach.  But first, I had to stop and get some reading material for my long bus ride!  I settled in for a long haul up the coast, doing an overnight bus that left at 9pm, arriving at my destination around 1pm the next day. It wasn’t too bad, all things considered.  I slept + read my book and ate bus-made peanut butter sandwiches. Mmm.

The greyhound rolled into Townsville and I was dropped off right at the ferry terminal, which was convenient but I’d just missed the ferry! I hoped this far-flung Magnetic Island was worth it, after all the trouble to get here!  I boarded the ferry and sat on the windy top, happy to be outside in the sunshine after more than half a day on a bus!  The public bus on the island dropped me off right at my hostel, Base Backpacker.  It was one of the most scenic places I’ve stayed, right on the shore, and my dorm was a little cabin! Cute!  When I got there, I decided to explore and looked around the surrounding area.  I hiked up the hilly terrain into the sleepy town, and watched the sun set over the beach, which looked over the coast of Australia.  It was a beautiful view, and a perfect stopover on my long trip to Cairns.  I slept like a baby in my little cabin dorm, too bad I didn’t have more time to explore this little island, which is not actually magentic, but had some properties in the sand that was said to throw off compasses, so was named for it.  Looks like a perfect and popular spot for weddings, it’s so picturesque!
The ferry back was fantastic, the weather was warm, and it was ONLY  a six hour bus ride to Cairns. Luckily I was into a good book, so the time flew and before I knew it, I was in Cairns!  The small city immediately charmed me, and I made my way to the big hostel in the middle of town, Gilligans, which was definitely the swankiest hostel I’d stayed in on my whole trip! I was excited to explore Cairns the next day and check out the city.
Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Solo Journey Begins

It’s day three of my solo adventure and things are going great!  I found a much more awesome guesthouse called Banwa Art House and settled in there for three more nights.  I thought about going to El Nido, but its a seven hour bus journey there and I leave again from Puerto Princesa for Manila – so a fourteen hour round trip just doesn’t sound worth it to me for one night in El Nido. Damn.  I decided to make the best of my time here, and the owner of my hostel has been so helpful and lovely in sorting everything out for me! What a nice change from the previous guesthouse I was at!  The owner lives most of her time in Ireland and has two very sweet daughters who are spending their summer here with her, the hostel is filled with other lovely travelers and I feel right at home, even though there is no aircon in the room and a few neighborly mosquitoes, gotta take the good with the bad I guess!

My first solo day was pretty uneventful as I settled into my new place and took a looooong walk around the little city, which is slowly growing on me. Slowly.  I caught up on my world news and chatted with friends from home that evening, hitting the hay early because i had a scooter rented for the next day and was excited for my journey!
I woke up the next morning and packed up my stuff, getting ready to scoot off on an adventure to find Emerald Beach.  I got directions from my lovely hostel owner and drove off down the streets of Puerto Princesa, loving every minute of my drive and finding the beach no problem after about twenty minutes on the road.  It was awesome!! Even though I was parked in front of a hotel, NOBODY was around save for the hotel staff, and I had the beach/pool to myself for pretty much the whole day.  I sunned myself and ate a lovely lunch by the pool, my friend Laura from the hostel showed up about halfway through my day and we chatted about backpack life.  I went to leave in the late afternoon and realized – uh oh, I had somehow lost the key to my scooter!! Yikes 😦
I pretty much had every maintenance guy, security officer and tourist police guy looking for that damn key, and finally one of them triumphantly pulled it out of the sand!! WHEW! I was so relieved that I didn’t have to pay a major fee for losing the key!! I scooted back to my hostel after that without any other bad things happening, and spent the evening relaxing, playing a very interesting game of chess with a five-year old and chatting with the other travellers in the place.
Today has been a quiet, relaxed, blogging kinda day, ive been to two coffee shops so far and have been typing away, trying to record the events of the past week (feels like so much longer!) and staying out of the rain.  Tomorrow I finally leave Puerto Princesa and move on to Manila and Malaysia awaits!  I’m sure there will be lots of new adventures waiting for me there 🙂
xo
D

 

Categories: Phillipines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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