Archive for November, 2008

Published by Linda on 30 Nov 2008

Lindybear – Licenced to Dive…..

Well we had another overnight journey, our flight was at 5am from Darwin and after arriving in Cairns, we picked up our rental car (yippeeeee) and made the 90 minute scenic drive to Port Douglas. Port Douglas is a really chilled out spot. Don’t think I could have worked here as it is a little too quiet but it’s a great spot to rest and relax.

There was no rest for us though as we did our open water course here, where the Great Barrier Reef is supposed to be much more unspoilt. I’ve always loved, loved, loved the water, especially being under the water but over the last couple of months for one reason or two I’ve developed a fear of it. In particular getting out of my depth. I bought some googles and I’ve been working on it over the last couple of months. So I was a little apprehensive about the diving. Off to the pool we went, and a little apprehension developed into a full scale wobbler. Got really, really panicked and I honestly thought I’d have to back out. Took a while to calm me down, I must have guzzled half a tank of air in the process :-) Anyhoo the second day in the pool was much better and once we had our medicals (how on earth??) and exams passed, it was off on the boat, on which we got to see some of the reef, check out the colour of the water people…..

Apart from a few problems with my ears, i.e. at first I found it really difficult to equalise, the diving went really well. We went to Tongue Reef on our first day. I’ve snorkelled a fair bit and diving, of course is much better as you get to go much deeper, but I think I’ve to be convinced that the Great Barrier Reef is one of best places to dive in the world.  Now to be fair it was much better the second day, we saw loads and I think we were more relaxed so probably enjoyed it better. Having said that I’m still a little disappointed in the Great Barrier Reef. Think we might try to fit in another day of diving on our way down the coast, maybe there are better spots. I’m so glad that I’ve finally got my licence, it’s been on my list for a while and we had good fun even though it was an exhausting week.

 

 

Feeling tired (and sick in my case – blah) since leaving Darwin, we also drove up to see Cape Tribulation, which is just spectacular. If you ever come to this part of the world, please come to see it!!! It’s described as something out of Jurassic Park in the Lonely Planet and it really does have that spooky, deserted rainforest feel to it……

 

…..and then suddenly the trees clear and you’re standing on a deserted beach with perfect sand and turquoise warm water……..

…….which we could only dip our toes in because of stinger jelly fish at this time of the year. We were really tempted to risk it but since the vinegar had run out, we didn’t really fancy peeing on each other if we did get stung :-) No swim – boooooo!!!

 

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT????? It literally is the warmest water I’ve ever (kind of) been in – even warmer than the indian ocean and that’s saying something!! It is really so, so, so beautiful and it struck me while the two of us were driving along, how lucky we are to have the opportunity to do this :-) We spent the day alone on perfect beaches, walking rainforest trails, going to look-outs for some great views…..

…….and of course sampling locally made ice-cream made by the Daintree Ice-cream Company (funnily enough) which I actually didn’t really like – sorry :-(

Daintree rainforest, Cow Bay, Myall Beach, Noah Beach and Alexandrea Bay are some of the spots worth going to see. Soooooooo beautiful :-)

We also visited Mossman Gorge which is unlike anything I’ve seen before. I went for a cold, cold swim, as we had arrived there kinda late and the sun had left us. It’s also has stunning and unusual scenery.

And now that I’m officially a mermaid or at least a licenced diver, we’re heading south and our first stop is Cairns or as the locals call it CAAAAAAANNNNNNNSSS. You kinda have to hear but it’s really funny.

 

More photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157610489119678/?photo_deleted=3069974963 and http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157610169944080/

Published by Linda on 23 Nov 2008

And the thunder rolls…..

….as we are set to leave Darwin. We arrived here on the 9th August prepared to work our asses off and that we have. It’s been tough on very little sleep and treats but we knew we’d have to put our heads down for this time. It’ll be worth it too because we shouldn’t have to work for the remainder of the journey so it’s six months straight backpacking from here on out. I know it’s going to go all too quickly. This month I left home six months ago, so I’m almost half way through and there has been a few reminders of how fast the time is going. For instance it kinda surprised us when we heard the Bank Holiday Jazz weekend in Cork was happening and the clocks going back was a bit of a milestone. I know that when the clocks go forward again at home that my time will nearly be out. I think Christmas will be another big occasion where we’ll be thinking of home but I’m also pretty excited about spending a Christmas on the beach!! 

We finished work last wednesday and basically we’ve been partying ever since!!! Finally we’re social beings again!!!!! Had some really fun nights out.

Including the most fantastic dinner in Lewinskys (where Kate worked) Myself, Kate and Janz (our chef in the hotel) were treated to tasting plates so we basically got to try the whole menu!!!

So we’re now leaving Darwin after it being home for four months. I don’t think I ever really considered it home though to be honest. In fact one day when Kate was leaving work and said “see you at home” I was kinda thinking “home? huh? I really don’t consider this home” Darwin is nice and small but is really a jumping off spot for National Parks like Kakadu and Litchfield. It’s served it’s purpose for us as there isn’t a whole lot to do so we didn’t really feel like we were missing out while working all the time, which is a good thing. So will I miss Darwin? Well someone told me it would surprise me and I’ll end up missing it and now the night before I leave, there are things and particularly people that I will miss, of course there are. We spent so much time here.

Things I won’t miss though are getting up at 4.30am and meeting people going home after a night out at 5am when I’m on the way to work!! Goodbye and good riddance to greasy hair and skin which had to be scrubbed within an inch of it’s life everyday. No more deep fryer, grill, steam or oil burns. (Presumably the hair on my arms will grow back in time). No more swollen legs and aching knees and generally feeling about 80 years old!!!!

No more bacon, eggs, sausages, omelettes, beans, mushrooms, scones, pies, sausage rolls, soup, scones, fruit platters (awwww) or Janz shafting me by getting me to do the vegetarian option :-) No more retarded mop buckets that take two feet to squeeze out the mop. No more washing and wearing uniforms and horrible men’s chef pants that are waaay to short (permanent list pet hate!!!) Back to wearing flip flops again, incidentally these are our work shoes, like us, they barely made it!!  

We’ve almost forgotten what’s it’s like to wear our own clothes besides pj’s. And finally NO MORE 70 HOUR WEEKS. We’re through, done, finished and in a couple of days we’ll be back on the road. Woooooooooooooo hooooooooooooooooooooo. Can’t wait!!!!!!

What I will miss though is the fun Janz, Kate and I had in the kitchen, messing about the savages we have to feed. Me putting him on a butter ration (it’s still a bit of a novelty for him as the quality of butter is really poor in the Phillipinnes) of 20 kilos or so a week!! Also trying to stop him eating pork belly to reduce his risk of heart attack. Me slapping his hand like a little kid, when he tries to steal something I’ve just made and trying in vain to get him to make a healthy option.

I will also miss having a washing machine and clothes line (it’s the little things people), a power shower (useful for scrubbing off bacon fat – mmmmmmm) and I’m sure in another couple of months I will be getting tired of not being able to unpack and carrying all my wordly possessions in a 16 kilo backpack (hmmmmm it’s more like 20 kilos these days so I’ll have to streamline when we get to sydney)

I will also miss the craic I had with the customers in the Italian restaurant. I basically played a cross between a demented leprechaun and Mrs. Doyle from Father Ted, really just for my own amusement to get me through the hours but they lapped it up I can tell you!! When I collect people’s dishes I say things like “ah you didn’t finish your dinner, what’s wrong with ya?” You can get away with murder when you’ve an Irish accent. (although it’s also got me into trouble, particularly one night when a very elderly enebriated gentleman took a shine to me – much to the amusement of my boss and the rest of the staff). I will also miss getting to try the chef, Frankie’s, new specials – yum!!

And we’ve made some friends here, we will miss them too. Hopefully we’ll meet up with some of them in Sydney for Christmas. I’ll also miss our house mates, especially Shane when he’s making his two minute noodles!!! :-)

And now as the weather builds up and the rains are about to begin, we’re leaving Darwin and not a moment too soon, remember people this is a year of summer – no rain allowed!!!!

On that note, we’re outta here………

P.S. I know it sounds crazy but I’m also a little scared to stop work because over the last few years I’ve no attention span and need to be occupied constantly. I can’t even concentrate on a half hour tv show. So a 65/70 hour week did distract me enough, although I used to be climbing the walls on my time off. Anyway now I have to learn how to relax I think, wish me luck……..

Published by Linda on 13 Nov 2008

Pedantic Semantics & Tick Tock, Tick Tock…..

Language has always interested me and so this blog is kinda devoted to aussie words and sayings. First off is No Worries, EVERYBODY says no worries when you say thank you to them and often it is no worries, mate – very australian don’t you think? The funny thing is I think I’ve started to say it too. Well not the “mate part but certainly no worries!! It’s really weird to hear women calling you mate – will never get used to that. Hmmmm myself and Kate have also started saying bucks instead of dollars, it’s weird now I say things like we can get this for 50 bucks, it still feels a little strange after I’ve said it.

The very first classic aussie saying I heard was in the airport and someone actually said “Flaming Galah” I honestly though only people in Home and Away or shows like that said these things!!! You have all the obvious sayings like G’day, mate, bloke, barbie (BBQ), cossie/bathers, crikey, do you reckon? or I reckon (which I also say but I think I might have said that at home too, hmmmm I’m not sure now) etc, etc.

Another really common expression is “too easy”. Like if they are paying for something and have the correct change it’s “too easy”. People also say “oh that’s heaps/I’ve had heaps” when you’ve poured them enough drink or they’ve eaten enough. Instead of saying he arrived or he didn’t get here until 6, they say “he didn’t rock up til 6” I kinda like that one I must say. There are also expressions like ferrell – which means disgusting and so many more that won’t come to me now but I guess these are the main ones that entertain me the most :-)

Moving away from language for a minute, did you know that Burger King is called Hungry Jacks over here? Weird huh? Tastes the same though. They also call (bell) peppers capsicums over here, myself and Kate are having none of that though and still call them peppers :-)

Anyway I digress (who me??? Never!!!) The saying that intrigues me the most though, is Fair Dinkum. Now I always thought that is was derived from “Fair Income” meaning ah fair dues or fair enough, which to my pedantic mind makes perfect sense. Actually though, Fair Dinkum means, or rather Dinkum means honest or genuine. So I still think my sense of it isn’t completely out, as “to be fair now/in fairness/fair enough. To me it’s kinda the same but I’m told that I’ve got it all wrong. So I’m not sure whether the aussies or me are being the pedantic ones……

In other news this week (just because I’m not doing a separate blog), we have just less than a week of work to go!!!!!! Set to finish on the 19th and it can’t end quick enough now. We’ll have a few days recovery and then fly to Cairns on the 25th. I’ve allowed myself to get excited too soon so now the days are crawling. We are dying to get to the end of it and have few celebratory nights out. Still heading out once a week at the moment but you can see how tired we look in this photo,

we’re just shattered, but it’s just around the corner now :-) and soon, hopefully we’ll look like our eyes are open and be healthy bunnies before too long.

More pics (well not too many actually) on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157608619184953/