Part 24: Settling into Cairns

After dropping off the car in Cairns we got a taxi into town and arrived at the hostel we (Max, Shawnee and I) would spend the next couple of days at. Steven would be meeting his family in Cairns, and living the luxury life of hotels and restaurants very soon. However, he had to loiter around us for the hours that remained before his family arrived at the airport. Max, Shawnee and I were going to continue our journey a little longer together and had booked ourselves into Gilligan’s hostel for a couple of days, that would be followed by an Airbnb for the remaining time there in Cairns. We were told by so many people in Wollongong that Gilligan’s was the place to be, that it was party central, had a pool, great facilities, tour arrangement possibilities, and so it was a MUST in Cairns. At reception we were told there was a mistake with the bookings and that we would be upgraded for no extra charge to a 8 person dorm instead of a 10! Woho, WIN! In our rooms we dumped our stuff (and immediately made our beds messy) and met the other people staying in the room. When we arrived the room wasn’t even full and we were only six. Us three, two busy Korean sisters and a lovely Frenchman called Morgan! As the days past we said goodbye to the Korean girls and the rooms filled with other people, including a Gerrman/Russian guy called Fredrick (I think), a friendly Sweedish guy called Eirik, and two not so chatty girls from Switzerland!

Gilligan's Cairns

Gilligan's Cairns

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Gilligans Hostel Cairns

Gilligans Hostel Cairns

Later that day the gang, still intact as a foursome, went for some lunch and then hung out by the Cairns lagoon. The others decided to explore more of Cairns, but I stayed behind at the lagoon to chill and enjoy some sunshine! The lagoon was blue and inviting, with lots of children, tourists and locals splashing around and keeping cool. The from the lagoon I looked out over cairns harbour, where I could see in the distance impressive speedboats coming in from a day on the reef. The shear presence of these incoming boats made my toes tingle a little, like I was watching a royal parade. I watched the helicopters come and go, taking lucky tourists out to see the reef from the air. It was very exciting to know the reef was so close, and that I was looking out onto the waters holding an ecosystem that the whole world knows about and loves so dearly.

Cairns Lagoon

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Cairns Lagoon

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Cairns Lagoon

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Cairns Lagoon

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During my time there, there was a GoPro related incident, but I can’t be bothered to go into detail cause I am embarrassed, and I sorted it out in the end anyway, so all was good and well. In the evening the three of us checked out the “free dinner when you buy a beverage” at the hostel bar, and were pleasantly surprised at the quality of it! After dinner, despite the hostel being such a lively place at night and was starting to come into it’s element as the evening came upon us, I decided to turn down the bar and head instead straight to my mattress, pillow and covers to enjoy the longest, deepest, most comfortable sleep in months (I think I did something like 13 hours of sleeping that night).

The next couple of days flew by and I enjoyed them doing absolutely nothing. It was lovely to really do nothing and properly relax, not needing to worry about driving places, setting up the tent, packing the car, or trying to make sure we filled our days with stuff to do and see. I spent it mostly alone too,  which was lovely. I think we were all keen for a bit of space and privacy by the time we got to Cairns, and so we were all happy to do our own thing during the day! The days past and I filled them with sunbathing at the lagoon, hanging out in my room, making friends and reading, and walking around town. I did make time however to book my Reef tour, “fix” the GoPro issue, watch a jelly wrestling competition with Shawnee and Max over drinks, and go out for a meal with the gang and Steven’s parents!

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