So before I went to do my work experience on Mike Ball (guess what the next post is going to be about), I took Carl's suggestion and flew up to Cairns a few days early with David for a little relaxation time. Unfortunately it was cloudy most of the time and even rained a bit
Carl scheduled the flight on Monday at 6:30 AM, so we had to be at the airport at 5:30. We had to find out own way, and since Uber showed a quote about the same as what a taxi would have cost, we decided to try it. JP (cousin) sent me a coupon code for $20 off, so it would be a nice ride with a discount! Unfortunately the Uber drivers weren't getting up early this morning as they didn't show available until 5:15. Taxis are a bit shady, and this one is no exception; He took us all the way to the end of the terminal to stretch the fair as far as he could . We had to walk back half of the terminal to find out gate.
Anyway, the flight out there was with Tiger Air. I think they're a regional airline in Australia. Dave was pretty pissed about it, but I got an exit row seat offer in row 1 and didn't have to pay my baggage fees. He went back to ask for a seat closer to me, but still didn't get the exit row offer. On the way to the plane, we picked up coffee and a breakfast thingie, but when we got to the plane they wouldn't let us take the coffee on board...what's up with that? Don't they know I'm American and need my coffee? Teeheehee. The rest of the flight was good though, uneventful.
We arrived in Cairns, all bags showed up, grabbed a taxi to the hotel (Bohemian Resort), and dropped our bags off. Booking.com showed that we could check in at 12:30, but they told us 1. We took this opportunity to go grab some lunch down the road, and try to find some wifi. My data on my phone was working, but was sporadic. After lunch, we went back to the hotel and hung out by the pool. It was a bit cold, but we didn't have anything else to do, so I swam a bit and slid down the water slide a few times. The "hot" tub was just as cold as the pool. When I asked about it later they said that because Cairns only has 2 weeks of winter that it's not worth it to heat the water. So she wants me to believe that the water gets hot enough in the shade of the Cairns summer to be called a "hot" tub. lolz.
We checked in at 1 and grabbed a quick nap since we had been out the night before to celebrate Dave passing his IDC and Lola passing most of hers. After the nap we caught a bus to the CBD, did a little shopping, checked out the Esplanade, and booked a waterfall tour for the next day. We took another bus to the Direct Factory Outlets there in Cairns, but apparently it's like Perth...they close at 6. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were both pretty tired so we started watching Gravity (one of Dave's favorite films) and went to bed.
The next day we had to be up at 7 for a 7:30 pickup. They were RIGHT on time...nice! We rode the bus around picking up other people before hitting the road up north a little for a tour of what they call the Tablelands. This day turned out to be one of the best I've had in a while. I made a new friend on the way to the first one, Annie, and we had a blast all day since Dave is British and likes to complain about things. While we were on the road trip north, Annie explained a bit about the backpacker lifestyle. They basically find backpacker resources and hostels to stay in for about $25/night. Sometimes as little as $20/night. Then they catch busses here and there for the next destination. Her job allowed her a year off and to keep her job just to travel. It's awesome! Here's a video from my tour...
I also did a commercial-style video for Annie in front of one of the waterfalls that is used for music videos and commercials.
That night, we met up with Annie and Linda for dinner and they brought $6.50 coupons! w00! Cheap dinner! Dave left just after dinner but Annie, Linda, and I explored the night markets (see: Asian Markets) and went by Woolsheds pub and tried to have them make my Pear Melon Martini. Even with a recipie they f00ked it up. Then they charged us $15/each. Alcohol is SO EXPENSIVE in Oz. I walked home around 12 and went to bed.
The next day was just a relax day. Nothing really planned. We were going to try and get up to Trinity beach, but the forecast wasn't looking promising so we just hung around the CBD and went to the Esplanade. We did a little more shopping for things I needed for the trip and things Dave needed for his upcoming trips. Nothing too eventful. I did stop by the Mike Ball office and fill out my paperwork and take my test. I also picked up my replacement Atomic Aquatics Cobalt 2 dive computer that they overnighted me. So good customer service there.
The last day, Dave's flight was at 7 so he got up and left early. He even remembered to leave the key! I checked out around 8 and caught a taxi to the Mike Ball office to drop my bags off. Then I went back to grab some breakfast and a few last-minute things. Once I had all that, I went back to The Esplanade to lay out and get a little sun before my trip. I'm hoping I get to do lookout on the Mike Ball boat and work on my tan at the same time! Kira said that her legs were pretty tan, but it was "too cold" to take her top off, so I'm thinking they'll let us.
Well that's it for this post. The next post will be about my experience on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions for work experience. Till next time...