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Jodie's Australian Adventure

Travel with me as I visit Australia - I hope you enjoy!

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Location: Bristol, England

I'm back home!! I landed at 6am yesterday and nobody knew I was coming home (except Katherine and Mark who picked me up from the airport!). I wanted to keep it a surprise from my Mum and Dad and I think I can safely say they were both surprised.

I'm both happy and sad - it's been great to see people and have my own bedroom back but I was really sad to leave Australia and the way of life. The tip of the iceberg was when the captain announced the temperature in London - 'a chilly 5 degrees' - great and I was still wearing shorts and flip-flops.

I've had an amazing 4 months and have definately made some life-long friends. I've done and seen things I never imagined I would and this experience will stay with me forever!!

Thanks to everyone who followed my trip and I hope you all enjoyed following what I was doing.

Hope to see you all very soon.

Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Location: Cairns, Australia

G'day from sunny Cairns!! I'm pleased to say the weather has improved alot since Brisbane - the heat in Cairns is very different, it's a really humid and sticky heat but hey, I'm not complaining!!

My last few days in Brisbane were really good and I actually really like the city. If I come back to Australia to work, Brisbane would be on my list of places to go and work. On Saturday it was still raining on and off in the morning so I decided to pull the rain mac on again and head towards the city and Botanical Gardens - the Irish were celebrating St Patrick's Day already so the pubs were all really busy and there was a nice atmosphere in the city. The Botanical Gardens were really pretty and really peaceful, it's just a shame the weather wasn't a bit better, but it didn't spoil it.

On Sunday I went to Australia zoo - home of Steve Irwin!! It was such a good day even though I went on my own. When I first got to the zoo, I watched a crocodile and snake show in the Crocoseum!! They were doing all kinds of crazy stunts with the crocodile and how the keeper didn't get his head / hand bitten off, I don't know! After the show I headed to the photo area and had my picture taken holding a baby alligator, cuddling a koala and had a snake wrapped around my neck - not all at the same time!! I was really proud of myself with the snake because it was huge and sooooo heavy!!

There were lots of crocodiles at the zoo, and each crocodile had been rescued by Steve Irwin so at the front of each enclosure, it told the story of why the crocodile had been rescued and how it ended up at the zoo. I didn't realise that Steve Iwrin's parents actually opened the zoo and at first it was really small and when Steve and Terri took it over, that's when they really expanded it. Apparently Terri's plans are to extend it by a further 1000 acres! At the moment, the zoo covers 75 acres so it's pretty ig and they have the 'Steve Shuttle' to take you to each area.

I went to see the elephants and the tigers and the tigers were in their enclosure with the keepers and they were all just playing - I'm glad I was on my side of the glass!! I also got a chance to feed an elephant which was really good. At the end I had a look in the souvenir shops and there were all weird and wonderful things to buy, including a Steve and Bindi doll!!

I left Brisbane on Monday and flew to Cairns - not before getting stopped at Brisbane airport and being searched for explosives!

I got to my hostel in Cairns around 3.30 and got chatting to the people in my room - all english / Irish which made a nice change. I had food with the guy in my room - in the hostel you can pay $3 and get a drink and a meal (so about 1.50!) We had that then watched the film they were showing out by the pool. I also found out that one of the girls in my room was doing to the same trip to Cape Tribulation as me on the same day so it was nice to hear I had someone to go with!

I had an early start on Tuesday as I went off on my trip to the Great Barrier Reef. We took around 2 hours to get to the first reef sight and I was ready to do my intro dive! I was so scared but we were all in the same boat!! Ha ha! We had a safety brief and got all our diving equipment on - when everything was on it was so heavy and we had to have extra weights around our waist so we would actually sink! The only time I will have extra weights tied to me! We got in the water and held on to a rope that had been put their so we could literally put our face in the water and get used to breathing with the respirator. I really panicked at first but just had to get used to breathing through my mouth. Then there was another rope about 5 feet under the water which we all held on to, to get the feeling of being completely under the water. There were 4 of us to 1 diver and we all linked arms and went down further where I started to calm down. Our instructor was really good and constantly made sure we were OK. The other 3 were happy to unlink arms and follow the instructor but I was still nervous so held his hand the whole time - it helped that he was really good looking!! We saw amazing fish and coral and I felt much more relaxed knowing that I was safe with Richard! We even saw a reef shark, which was about 4 feet long! I almost shit myself thinking we were all going to be killed because he made the fin sign on top of his head but the shark just swam on past! We saw lots of clown fish (nemos) and touched the giants clams which made them close up! The colours of the fish and coral was amazing - I think the deepest we dived was 10 metres and in some parts we were able to stand on the sea bed which was a really weird feeling! We came up and I was so proud of what I'd done so I was on a big of a high! I got straight back in the water and went snorkelling!

We then got back on the boat to have some lunch and went to the second sight for snorkelling, which was Michaelmas Bay. The island is a bird sanctuary so people are only allowed on designated areas of the beach. Our boat stopped 200 metres from the island and then a smaller boat took us over to the beach and we could snorkel back to the boat, we had over an hour to do this. Again, I saw some really colourful fish and coral but not as much as when we did our dive! It's made me what to do my PADI diving course!

After that we headed back to Cairns and I then met my room-mates for St Patricks Day. By the time I got out they were already really drunk so I had some catching up to do! We were in one bar called the Woolshed where we were dancing on the tables and some of the guys entered the potato bobbing competition and Laura won a bungy jump and Irish Laura won a jungle trip and poor Tom was gutted that he only won a Woolshed T-shirt. I ended up running away from a New Zealand guy who was quite weird, so I had to make my escape through the emergency exit!!

We all got back to the hostel around the same time and stayed up chatting for ages and eventually went to bed about 3am!

We all had a pretty lazy day on Wednesday and didn't get up until lunchtime! I wasn't feeling hungover, just quite tired but everyone was feeling really rough! I had a look around the shops then me and Laura went to the Woolshed for tea - they do a really good deal where you get a really big meal, any drink and dessert for $10! So we were there for a couple of hours, and just chatted loads. We headed back to our room then we all played the card game Uno. Had a fairly early night as I had to be up at 7am on Thursday to go to Cape Tribulation - luckily most of us were getting up early. Me and Laura were on the same trip and the 2 Tom's were doing their Barrier Reef trip.

Our first stop on the Cape Trib trip was a crocodile cruise on the Daintree River - we hoped to spot huge 20 feet crocodiles but we only saw 2 tiny ones, maybe 2 feet long - me and Laura are still convinced they weren't real and the company just put them there if all else fails! Still, it was a nice cruise along the river.

We also did a short walk through the rainforest, which was nice but it was really humid so we were all glad to get back to the bus and get the air-con on! We got dropped to our different hostels about 1pm and I quickly realised that I was in the middle of nowhere and there was nothing to do! All the food / drink in the hostel was really expensive and there wasn't even a small shop anyhwere near! I took my book and headed to the pool and luckily Laura had hired a bike from her hostel and rode to see me. We walked along the beach and it was really nice, only a few people from the hostel were on the beach. If they weren't there, we would have been totally alone. The beach was surrounded by rainforest and it reminded me of a deserted island. Laura went back to the hostel and I read some more of my book and headed back to my room about 8pm. There were some HUGE spiders, the size of my hands in the surrounds of the hostel, so I wasn't keen to bump into them! The other girls in my room got back around the same time as me and were were all in bed by 9pm. One of the girls had seen a snake by our room so that convinced me even more not to go out! I woke up at 5am needing to wee so badly but it was still dark and I waited until 6am when it got light to go, so I could see what was around me!!

I didn't get picked up from the hostel until 1.30pm and on the way back to Cairns we stopped at Alexandra lookout and in the distance was the reef where Steve Irwin was killed by the stingray. We also stopped at Mossman Gorge which was really pretty - the gorge was nice and lots of people went swimming in the water hole and there was also Rex Creek Bridge - which is a small suspension bridge that crosses the gorge. We also stopped breifly in Port Douglas - which is a small town an hour north of Cairns. I got back to my hostel and checked back in to the same room and the Irish girls and Tom were still there. I didn't plan to do much but there was an Irish guy who had just checked in and he wanted some drinking partners, so he was to the Bottle-O and bought $100 worth of drink so I was drinking with 3 Irish people on our balcony until 2am!!

I haven't got much planned today, very low on money so anything I do will either be free or very cheap.......

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 13 March 2009

Location: Brisbane, Australia

Hi guys!!

I just realised I haven't updated my blog for a while, but don't fret, you haven't missed anything exciting....well apart from my birthday!

I had a really good birthday, it was gay and lesbian mardi gras in Sydney on Saturday so a big group of us went to the street parade. We all spent a few hours getting ready and wore different outfits...there were nurses, devils and plenty of glitter and feather boas. On the morning of my birthday, Aniqa had bought me a birthday cake and balloon so everyone outside the hostel cafe sang happy birthday to me which was nice.

We got to the street parade around 4pm but it didn't actually start until 8pm, we just had to get there early to get a good space. It was already really busy by the time we got there and we had to entertain ourselves for a few hours but it was worth waiting for. The first thing to pass through the parade was the men and women on big motorbikes and most of them were in couples, although there were a few singletons!! The parade lasted around 2 hours and there were a few interesting sights, one thing that did make me laugh was the 'leather for pleasure' float followed by 'cows are cool, leather isn't'! Think they could have maybe put them apart!! Also there were some people in rather interesting leather outfits and various 'gear!!'. There were gay and lesbian representatives from the emergency services and also families of them. One lady was holding a banner saying that she was proud of her gay son - I thought that was really nice. There was a really good atmosphere and everyone was having a good time. If that parade was in include I'm pretty sure there would have been a group of drunken idiots shouting insults at the parade!

We headed back to the hostel bar about 10.30pm by which time our legs had completely cramped up, after being stood literally in the same position for over 6 hours. We all rushed to get something to eat and drink then headed down to Side Bar where I had a few glasses of wine then went to bed about 1am. So all in all it was a good day!

I had to get the overnight coach to Byron Bay on Sunday - something I wasn't looking forward to as the coach journey takes 14 hours!! It wasn't too bad once I was on the coach because I mainly slept most of the way but where my feet had been stood in one position yesterday and now sat down for 14 hours, my ankles really swelled up and I convinced myself that I had DVT! After a phone call to Mum and a night of sleeping with my feet propped on anything I could find, the swelling had almost gone my the next day.

Byron Bay was a bit of a disappointment, mainly because the weather was pretty bad. I arrived about 8.30am on Monday morning and couldn't check in until 12pm so I sat by the beach and watched people having their breakfast on the beach and walking their dog, or going for a morning surf. Unfortunately, that was the only good day for weather while I was there. I then walked down the main street and looked in the shops and headed back to the hostel to check in. I had started to feel quite ill in the morning, I had a really sore throat and a headache so I decided to go to bed for a few hours. When I woke up I felt a bit better and got chatting to the girls in my room, who were all really nice. I went to the bar for an hour with Lara, a german girl, who was leaving the next day. I was still quite tired so we both got an early night.

I woke up on Tuesday after a good nights sleep and walked to the shops with Lara and got an ice cream and sat by the beach, just watching the world go by! The 2 other girls in my room were meeting friends from home and they invited me for tea with them, so we went to a nice Italian restaurant and got a pizza. They were all quite hungover so we didn't stay out late - we went back to our room and did face masks and read all our magazines - have to keep up to date with all the gossip!!

I woke up on Wednesday and felt awful - I had real trouble swallowing and a horrendous sore throat so I went to the chemist to get some medicine! It was another rubbish day weather - wise, raining on and off all day. I went to breakfast with the girls and we watched the rain pour down and it was the first day I had to wear my rain mac so I wasn't impressed!!

I went back to bed in the afternoon then just stayed in the room in the evening and sorted out my bag. I felt so crap that I wasn't really interested in going out.

I woke up on Thursday and still felt like crap but had to get the bus to Brisbane which took around 3 1/2 hours. I got to Brisbane and felt like a zombie so I went to the chemist and got some stronger painkillers and had a few hours sleep. Luckily I felt better when I woke up and went to the cinema with one of the girls in my room. It poured with rain on the way back from the cinema so we both got soaked!

I'm staying in Chill Hostel, which is really nice and about 10 minutes walk from the city centre.

When I woke up this morning the weather wasn't that great, it was raining but still warm. I pulled my rain mac on and headed into the city for a look around. I wandered around for a couple of hours then went back to the hostel and waited for the weather to clear. When it stopped raining, I headed to South Bank which is the area around Brisbane River - it's a shame it wasn't sunny because the views would have looked much better. There isn't a beach in Brisbane but they have a man made beach / lagoon just by the river. It's really nice but looks weird to see all the sand etc then look across and see all the skyscrapers!

There are various cafes along the river and they also have a market too, so there is plenty going on here. Brisbane reminds me alot of Melbourne in the sense that Melbourne also had the river with shops and cafes along it, as well as the main city.

The weather is meant to improve tomorrow and it would be nice to have at least one day of sun here! I'm meeting up with a few friends from Melbourne tonight and it will be nice to see them. I've also booked to go to Australia Zoo on Sunday - the Steve Irwin Zoo so I may get to wrestle with a crocodile!!

I fly to Cairns on Monday and that's almost the end of my trip then, I stay for just over a week to go snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Then I go back to Sydney for a few days and land back at Heathrow on 1st April!

So not long until you all see me again and I can bore you to death with all my pictures......

I will update again on Sunday....if I make it back alive from the zoo!!

xxxxxxxxx


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Recent Messages

From
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JODE, HAVE A GOOD ONE! XX
Response: Thanks - but you didn't leave your name!!xxx
From Katherine
Hiya Chum,

Happy Birthday...Have a great day. We can have a few drinks when you get back!!!!

Lots of Love

Katherine & Mark
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Defo need a night out when I get back!!xxxxxx
From Carley
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Couz, Happy Birthday to you!!! Have a wicked day!! Love Carley & Darren xxx
Response: Thanks couz!xxxx
From
Jode
So good to hear from you today - can't wait to hear all about it in detail and your story telling!! Rocking here!! - Not!!! Same old crap! Have a 40% voucher off for peacocks tomorrow so i shall be hitting Bemmy tomorrow!
Speak sonn
Lots of love mum & Dad (minus the top of his finger!) oh and Marge sends her love xxxxx
Response: Hope you didn't go too crazy in Peacocks!! You can hear about it all for weeks when I get home, along with the 1000's of pictures!!xxxxxxx
From Katherine
Hello Chick,

Haven't been able to text as still have no credit! Hope the tour is going well.
Look forward to the next installment...
Lots of Love
Katherine
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: The next installment is on its way.....xxxxxx
From Carley
Hey couz! Oh My God! I cant believe everything you have done, you are amazing! If you ever get a down day again, just sit down for a while and re read some of this blog to see what you have achieved & done and then go onto the Bristol Evening Post website and catch up what you're missing in Bristol - which is exactly nothing!! I had the same thing about 3 months in and it's only natural but you sound like you have a jam packed schedule so just enjoy every single second and take it all in because you'll be back before you know it! Still massively jealous but loving reading what you are up to. Have fun!! Carley xxx
Response: Thanks couz - I'm on the go all the time so I'm having a restful week in Sydney at the moment before I start the East Coast!xxxxxxx
From Katherine
G'day Chum,

Glad you are having a fab time....will we be backpacking round Weymouth!?!?! Have reserved a table at the Hen & Chick for when you return, They called me concerned as they have a back log of Rose wine that has you name on it!!!!

Enjoy the next stage of your travels.

Take care lots of love
Katherine
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: I miss rose wine so much, just can't get it out here! I think the pink suitcase will be sufficient for Weymouth!! Ha ha! Can't wait for the Hen and Chicken!xxxxx
From Jo
Was lovely to see you Jodie
Its been sad this visit because of the fires but seeing the baby has been lovely. Your trip sounds amazing and will follow you when we get home Weve got 2 more days then we go back not looking forward to English weather I hope weve missed the worst of it We were in Adelaide last week I liked it too went up to Glen Elg. Keep flying the flag for the Poms Love Jo
Response: Thanks Jo - I heard all about the fires, it's really terrible. I've just been to Glenelg beach today! Was lovely to see you too - Alexandra is a little cutie pie and say thanks to Andrew and Kristine for me xx
From
Jode
Glad you survived the outback - I bet your 'bushed' -get it!! Going to look on facebook now at the pictures - Do you know you have moved up to second in the most looked at site this month!! - Alan reckons he clicks on there a few times a day to bump you up the table!!!
Speak Soon
Lots of Love Mum xxx
Response: I click on my website at least 10 times a day!! Ha, I'm only joking!! Need to put more pictures on here and facebook and will also update the blog too xxxxxxx
From Katherine
Hiya Chum,

Glad you arrrived in the outback ok.
I told you to use deodrant or you would attract the wrong type of men!!!!

Have fun...Looking forward to a wild night out when you return!

Lots of love
Katherine
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Hey chum, I'm safely in Adelaide and I absolutely stink!! He he!! Still, keeps all the weirdos away from me! I'm on countdown to Weymouth revisited!!xxxxx
From Vicki & Andy
G'day Jod
Sounds like trip is going well, just wondering if we will ever see you again !! You missed a great weekend in Looe, but sure r E will tell you all about it, she is thinking of trading the caravan for a barn conversion.
Take care and stay safe, love Vic & Andy XX
Response: I'll be back....when the money runs out!! Heard about your weekend...for some reason I thought you were all in France!xx
From Mum
Hi Jode
5.30 on Monday evening - Snow falling - Marge has just been out for walkies and loved it!! I'm in for the evening now and not going any where!! Got some of Shaun's old work boots out of cupboard in case I have to walk to work tomorrow - you know me sooo dedicated!!
Your blog must have taken you ages - you sure you did all this and didn't just make it up???
Mum xxx
Response: Marge loving walkies?? Hmmm, think your making that up!! You are very dedicated to your job!! Yes I'm sure I've done all of it....maybe that's where all my money has gone!!xxxxxx
From Lisa
Hi Jodie

hope you are enjoying yourself time goes too quick though when you are!!!
Keep away from those fires and dont get your ass burnt!!!
Luv Lisa x
Response: Thanks Lis, good advice as always!! Ha xx
From Carley
Arlight R Couz? When's the next update coming along then!? I'm getting twitchy for my next update ;-) yes, i'm leaving my dreams through you! ha ha! Hope all is well and you are still having a great time. You are looking amazing on your pictures by the way. Carley xxx
Response: Hey couz, just done the mammoth blog!! I'm having an absolute ball!! Love it....you should do Oz xxx
From Sacha
Hey Jodie
Only just looked at your blog and am totaly impressed - but keep thinking you are super imposing yourself on these pictures and are secretly larging it in Bognor!!
Sounds like you are having a great time and have got the chance to see some great places - am looking out for the movie sequel Wolfcreek II can you make sure its worth the rental fee!!
Carry on having a blast and do me a favour - get the door!
Take it steady, Love Sach xx
Response: Hey Sacha, good to hear from you. There will be no sequel to Wolf Creek!! Ha. I think it's time you got the door and stop being so naughty! Take care xxx
From Katherine
Hiya Buddy,

House is finished...will upload some pics soon on facebook!
Looks like your having a fab time, won't compare to Weymouth now!!!
Missing you loads. Speak soon
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Can't wait to see the pics - all the hard work has finally paid off!! Still love Weymouth and looking forward to Weymouth revisited!!!xxxxxxxxx
From
Hi Jod,
Loving all the photo's, especially the fit guy from neighbours...maybe I'll have to start watching it again! I would have loved to have done that tour. See you're moving on to fraser island in the next week. You will absoutely love it the island is stunning, I wish I was going there again. Well good luck for your skydive and keep enjoying it. By the way, don't want to make you jealous but I'm off to Looe as well. All the gayle force winds and raining bet you can't believe what you're gonna be missing????
xxx
Response: He was very fit!!! I'm not doing Fraser Island until middle of Feb. Why do I always miss out on everything at home??! Hope you had an amazing time in Thailand...somewhere else I want to go xxxx
From Mum
Jode,
Would have love to have gone to Ramsey Street and the tour! Hope Karl, Susan and family are ok now you are on first term names with them!!
Looking forward to next weekend when I am off from friday to monday with nan sandie etc to Looe - see what you are missing!!
Well must go - I am on the late shift - phones ringing - this job would be alright if it wasn't for the patients!!
Lots of love Mum xxx
Response: Oooo, that's it - leave me out of the family!! I could have flown home especially. You should come to Melbourne (especially St Kilda), there are lots of druggies that put Bristol to shame!!xxxx
From Lucy H
Missing you loads.

Can you babysit next Saturday night please?? Pretty please!!!!!!

You're the bestest babysitter, ever. xxx
Response: Ah bless, tell your Mum that I'll fly home especially (and I always told her I was the best babysitter!!!)xxx
From Sarah
Hey Hun wow you have booked a lot of trips when is the sky dive? you are so brave!! im loving your travel blog you have done so much! p.s - please stay away from that man who speaks to wheelie bins im worried! love from sarah x x x
Response: I haven't booked a date for the sky dive, just need to phone up and book it when I get to Byron Bay - probably towards the end of Feb!! Ahhhhh xxx
From Katherine
Hiya Bestest Chum,

I have updated the Map to put you in Melbourne!
Was so nice to here from you on my Birthday, Still feeling a but pants but hopefully feel better soon.
I have given your pants to Jo - got 2 packets so you have 12 new pairs.
Speak soon, take care, lots of love
Katherine
xxxx
Response: Thanks for the pants chick, much appreciated!!xxxx
From Helen
I see you found Bruce - did he have his Sheila?????!!!!

Love from us all xxxx
Response: Which Bruce??xxx
From
Land 23rd jan 06:30 got your phone no in aus so will ring you when i'm compis mentis looking forward to seeing you and hearing about your adventures Kristine is lining up a barbie in your honour a few tinnies and bottles of red will probably be drunk can actually say see you soon take care of yourself in the meantime will see Katherine about the pants- shes not well at moment cos we are on a cold damp foggy island and it is cold !!! Love Jo
Response: Ah, will be good to see you Jo. See you soon!!xx
From Jo
You seem to be having a good time it all looks wonderful keep the sunshine going cos it wont be long (12 days) and we'll be over yippee!!! anything to bring ?
Jo
Response: Just the pants thanks!! What date do you arrive??xx
From Mum and Dad
Jode,
Loved Port Stephen's!! Told father Ted we are moving the caravan from waterside to Tin City!!! I think we'd fit in quite well - your father in his hat with corks on (you know he doesn't like flies!) and me well I'll bring r nan and we can just sit and people watch!! Only one draw back - I don't fly!!! Oh well I'll just stick with Waterside then!!!
Lots of love
Mum and Dad xx
Response: Dad would hate it in Port Stephen's - there are loads of flies and mosquitos. I got bitten loads, even on my face!! Just off to Melbourne Aquarium!!xxxx