Thursday, 6 December 2007

So long farewell......

......So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night,I hate to go and leave LA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu, Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.

Well the time has come for us to pack up our backpacks for one final time and make the westerly 14 hours trip home.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our well wishers and fan club for keeping interested in our journey and tales. We hope to be using this blog again someday, its been an amazing experience and be ready to hear all these stories many times to come.

Love and kisses

Deb, Kate and Stacey xxxxx

We are here for a Singapore Sling....

Well we left Pauline and Neils after spending out last day at Rottenest Island touring around on bikes and swimming in gorgeous blue/green coves and getting our last bit of rays! It was sad to say good bye to Pauline and Neil as they had been so lovely to us since we arrived and really made us feel like we were at home. So thank you Pauline and Neil, hope you are enjoying the peace! Looking forward to seeing you when you come over next!

So we are now in Singapore and well what an end to an amazing trip!! We headed out for our first full day to see the sights, but it was torrential rain the whole day!! We managed to see a couple of temples and some shops but it was just so wet that not much was achieved! Jenny and Debbie got completely lost on the way home and spent ages trying to get a taxi to pick them up but the look of two soaking wet girls didnt really appeal so we walked around for about 30 mins getting more and more lost till one lovely little taxi man took pitty on us and let us soak his back seat!! They then find out everyone else got lost and had the same problem!!

That night Stacey, Katie, Jenny and Debbie all got ready for a night at the famous Raffles hotel, they dressed up so as to look the part and caught a cab over. The hotel was amazing, all done up in christmas decorations, just like the film Annie!!

Debbie put on her posh voice and told the waiter they were 'here for a singapore sling' and they were whisked to a table and served 4 cocktail glasses and some cashews!!
well it was so nice!!! the cashews kept getting refilled and the sling went down far to well, we are planning our own cocktail party when we get home just to have another one!Then the pianist started playing happy birthday, to seemingly noone, so Debbie waved a bit, pretended it was her birthday and lo and behold as we left the waiter told us that a gentleman at the bar had purchased a bottle of champayne for her birthday ! we ummed and ahhed wondering what to do but then decided, well we deserve a little treat at the end of our trip and just one wouldnt hurt! so we sat back down and champers was served....well.....a 200 pound bottle of Dom Perignon if you please!! Before we knew it a second bottle had arrived along with some strawberries!! The silent benefactor was obvioulsy feeling generous!!! Debbie then happened to mention that she hadnt had a birthday cake this year but actually prefers cheese so our waiter Gary descretly runs off and manages to get us a cheese platter as well!!! We love Gary!!!! He was loving it as well!! Then out of the blue Stacey gets bought a glass of red wine as well, we started to enquire about the wine (as we are now experts after visiting 2 winerys!) and it turned out the bottle Stacey was drinking from cost.....drum roll please.....$12,000 SD!!!!!! thats 4100 english big ones!!! so one glass cost 600 pounds!!!! We were on a roll!!!

By this point we started to feel a little guilty so got Gary to book us a cab, passed our thanks and went to leave, as we got outside out little cab was waiting, alongside a limo bus with flashing lights and free drinks in!!! The little porter man whispered to Katie and Debbie, 'If I were you I would take the free party bus home, all expenses paid for your birthday, and it will take you on a night tour of the city'!!!! So we ended our night with the 4 of us in this party bus with Timotae the driver taking us to all the good look out spots across the city and singing along to Crocodile Rock and Wind Beneath My Wings!! The whole evening cost us less then 20 pounds each but our private sponsor a lot more!!!! We ended up taking all the free water and coke from the bus!!! What backpackers we are!!!

Now we dont usually do things like this, its not like we turn up at posh hotels, and pretend its out birthdays everynight of the week, but its our last stop before home and we were in a celebratory mood so when you can......!!

Julie will be so jealous she missed out when we tell her!!!!

See you all soon - from ladies what have singpore slings, free champers, strawberrys, a cheese board, the most expensive wine on the planet and a free party bus home!!! What lives we lead!!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

We have a new friend.......Flipper

We arrived to Perth and immediately enjoyed the home comforts of 'Auntie Pauline's and Uncle Neils', proper towels, washing machines and dryers that don't require dollar coins or having to watch so no one steals your clothes, a pool just for our luxury and not having to lock away your belongings - heaven!!

We lazied for the first two days, coming to the conclusion that it wasn't bad as we had been on the go for 8.5 weeks. Thursday Neil took the day off work and became our tour guide, we headed to Yanchep national park, where we had a BBQ. This was a novel experience for us and with the wide life such as Kangaroo's, Koalas and Kookaburra around it wasn't hard to remember where we were. It was a good day out and Neil wowed us with his knowledge of the area and local plants!!

After not having an early morning for almost a week we rectified that by having a six am start to go and see the Dolphins. We made our way to Rockingham and not to long after we were in our wetsuits we were in the water with the dolphins. This particular group of males werent to friendly and kept swimming off so we were on and off the boats like yoyos. It then took about another two hours before we got to see anything which was quite dissapointing, we were then called to get ready and back in to the water. Bingo, this was what Dolphin swimming was supposed to be like. There was a pod of about eleven dolphins and they were so close to us, we must have remained in the water for about 30/40 mins and swam above them/beside them and it was breathtaking. Poor James became really sea sick and had to get out of the water so missed most of it which was so annoying for him as it was his birthday treat. So another amazing activity ticked off the list.

We hope everyone is well and getting excited thats its only a week until we are home. We are going to try and fit in as much as possible in the get ready for our final blog updates!!

Lots of love the girls xx

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Beautiful Uluru

After our few days in Port Douglas, we headed to Alice Springs for a 3 day trek in the outback. We had been told it was over 40 degrees so we were all trying to prepare ourselves for the intense heat, dust and flies, even buying fly nets for our heads! (after 8 weeks away looking good is the least of our worries!) Luckily when we got there the temperature had dropped by 5 degrees and there was a slight breeze so we could at least breathe! The first night we met up with Julie's old boss Steph and her husband who were on holiday for a lovely meal, and we spent the evening listening to the many tales Julie had to tell from her time in India!

The next morning we got up at 5am to get picked up and head out to the outback, our tour guide, Spud, was brilliant from the start, such a nice change from the idiot we had up the east coast! Our first stop was at a camel farm where Katie and Debbie went for a ride! it was hilarious! Very bumpy! We then headed out to Kata Tjuta (Valley of the Winds) for a 3 hr walk. It had got really hot at this point so we were all loaded up with water, sunscreen and everyone had a hat on! The walk was stunning, lots of climbing but well worth it when we got to the top, the views were amazing. Spud was full of interesting facts which Stacey loved, so when we get home you can ask her all about the geology of the place!

We then went to Uluru (Ayres Rock) to watch the got there and there were loads of tour buses with people gathered round eating and drinking! Spud then got out the champayne and cheese and biscuits and we sat around watching the beautiful colour changes of the big rock as the sun set. A real highlight of our trip.

That night we slept in these cute canvas tents, we were safaring in style!

The next morning we got up at 4am to watch the sunrise over Uluru, it wasnt as impressive as the sunset but still worth getting up for. we then went on the base walk around Uluru (the climb was closed due to high winds, but they dont like you to climb it anyway out of respect) it was a 9.4km walk, all flat but very hot, and it took us about 3 hours, but we were rewarded with cake when we got back to the bus so all good! We then spent an hour at the cultural centre, reading about aboriginal culture and having a quick power nap! we then went for a swim at a campsite and had a well needed shower! That night we stayed in a much more remote campsite where Debbie and Stacey decided they were going to sleep outside in swag bags! The other girls thought they were mad but it was actually really comfortable and cosy, sleeping under the stars with the 1000's of insects and dingos that also lived there!!

On our final day we headed to Kings Canyon for another 3.5 hr walk! again it was a stunning walk with views to die for! More useful facts were learnt and many photos taken, to to proove we were there!
We then headed back to Alice springs, visiting a singing Dingo on the way!

It was such a great 3 days, something really special to see and experience, but we were glad to get out of the heat and dust! So the thought of 8 days of home comforts with Auntie Pauline and Uncle Neil was very inviting! Clean clothes here we come!!


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On the last day of our East Coast Tour we went to a crocodile farm. It had crocs that had been rescued in the local community, as well as crocs they were farming for their meat and skins (imagine battery hens, but replace the hens with crocs!!) At the end of the tour they got a baby croc out for people to hold. We were all very brave and had a hold of the baby croc and it was very well behaved, however when it was Kate's turn it started thrashing and scared the life out of her. They then brought a snake out for people to hold. At this point I just need to add that Kate has a phobia of snakes. The man came up behind Deb's without her knowing and dumped it on her shoulders, making her jump. She was very brave though and even posed for photos. There was no way Kate was going to hold it so kept her distance and even took pics of Deb's holding it. Well we were all about to get on the bus and Kate turns round and the guy is standing right next to her with the snake, she freaked and ran and he thinks this is really funny so chases Kate with it. She ran to the bus, turned around and he's still coming, so she jumps on the bus and runs to the back to hide behind Deb's and then he gets on the bus with it. Kate running to the bus also caused mass panic amongst the German's on our bus. It was like a stampede of wilder beast ! Kate was freaking out, trapped at the back of the bus, she couldn't breathe. Deb's shouted at the man and he finally got off, but it was too late, poor Kate just burst into tears. We can all laugh about it now but at the time it was awful.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Jungle Surfing!

On Tuesday morning Debbie decides to take her own life in her hands and make a decision for the whole group whilst they are sleeping!!! Risky we know, but she for some reason was feeling forceful!! So after a quick chat with reception she books 4 people (Stacey decided to chill out for the day) on to Jungle Surfing in the Daintree Rainforest! What she didnt realise was they would have to drive there themselves and it was nearly 2 hours away! So not only did she book jungle surfing she also booked a hire car and had 30 mins to wake everyone up and get them pumped for some adrenalin fuled fun!

Luckily the rest of the girls were up for it so they headed up the coast in the groovy litte honda, Kate drove there and Debs drove back. Once there they were all kitted up in lovely helmets, each with their own cartoon character on there. Debbie - King Kong, Julie - Rocky, Katie - ET and Jen was somethign like Roger Rarrbit who we didnt know so she became Roger rabbit!!

The next 3 hours involved them jumping off ledges many feet up and flying through the rainforest at top speed! many of the wires were dont in pairs, and the first person had to just hang there whilst the other person was getting ready! So when Julie got a bit scared all Jen could do was wait patiently before Jules came hurtling towards her!!

The last wire was the best, we had to hang upside down like a bat and fling ourselves through the trees dangling down! Kate got the shock of her life when the instructor told her to mind the man eating python who could jump 10 metres in the air!! Katie and Debbie also licked a green ant!! Just like a very sharp lemon!! Something is making me want to shout....'I'm a celebrity.....'!

It was a fun day and we got great views over Cape Tribulation as well so managed to see a bit! The drive was also very pleasant with a little stop for ice cream on the way back! The guy at the car hire man found us all slightly amusing commenting on our tans by calling Debbie a native and jenny Casper the friendly ghost!!

That night the girls decided it was time they lived the high life and all put on their dresses and had oysters and champayne!! lovely!! Who says you cant back pack in style!!

Port Douglas & Gt. Barrier Reef

After only a night in Cairns we headed up to Port Douglas which is a beautiful Marina town. The town is very quaint and had the loveliest shops which Katie and Stacey found entertained their time, they just had to remember that its all got to fit in there backpack.....although that's what the postal service is for right??

Our Hostel was nice and really centrally located with friendly laid back staff. One of the main attractions of Port Douglas is the Great Barrier Reef, so we booked ourselves on a snorkeling trip. We were a little disappointed that we wouldn't be able to go scuba diving but due to the time of our flight the next day the pressure wouldn't be any good on our body and we decided that you would all rather have us back as one piece!

We weren't sure what the weather would be like out on the reef due to the Cyclone that was near by and a number of the trips had been cancelled that week but by the time that we went out the weather was a bit better but the boat ride was very choppy. Our first stop off was at a reef called the Playground and the variety of fish were amazing and there was some spectacular purple coral. It was quite hard work snorkeling with the current as it kept pushing us further out but we still managed to see a great deal. The second stop was at a reef named Halloween and if we thought the variety of fish had been spectacular at the first stop then we were in for a nice surprise as they got even better and the water had also calmed down so was much easier to swim around and see them all.

Our final stop was at a reef called Swallow and for this snorkel we had our a reef guide who was excellent, he would dive down and collect different types of fish and coral for us to hold. Unfortunately we don't have any photos so you can all do your homework and find pictures online. The first was a sea cucumber and a pineapple sea cucumber they were strange to touch and when you held them you could feel them pulsate. We also held a mushroom coral which had a harder texture and when lifted out of water and into sunlight it would produce its own natural sunscreen. I think personally that one of the best underwater creatures that we got to hold was the Purple star fish that was bigger than your hands and being able to hold it was fantastic.

A good day was had in the water and if was definitely the best variety of fish that we had ever seen. Our only disappointment was that we never got to find Nemo, just his cousin a black clown fish, so the search continues.

I hope you have enjoyed your underwater experience!

Love you all lots xx