Originally written for my tumblr account.
Oh my god. My month of freedom is finally over. Finally, because freedom means a lot of free time. Free time you don't really know what to do with after a few weeks. I mean, after you are done exploring Queensland.
The last month has let me discover most of the Queensland coast. At least the part of the coast that is most worth discovering, I believe.
After a long exhausting, but mostly exciting weekend doing my open water scuba diving course at Magnetic Island, Sandra and I went on a roadtrip to Brisbane. Brisbane is about 16 hours and 1358 kilometers south from Townsville. So of course for us it took two and a half day getting down there. Next time I want to do it in a week.
We spent some time tanning in Airlie Beach, slept in a cat pee stinking backpacker hostel in Macay. Went to the Hungry Jacks drive through and bought burgers in Sunshine Coast. Passed Brisbane and almost went to the Gold Coast to go to the amazing theme park, Dreamworld. I dragged Sandra around to do all the worst and craziest rides. She almost died a little, but I was in heaven. I even got recruited for the upcoming Zombie War through an extremely terrifying laser tag contest. Pretty brave, or what?
While drinking a glass of wine in a bar in Brisbane, we randomly met two local music lovers. And after a glass of wine gradually evolved to numerous pints of beer, we got invited to a rockabilly concert at one of Brisbane's hidden pearls, Lefty's Old Time Music Hall. Earlier a burlesque strip club called The Velvet Cigar. Oh, we danced. Not burlesque, but some kind of swingish dance we invented.
Our second day in Brisbane was with a bad hangover. But, hey, as they say: A hero by night, a hero by day. At least we say something like that back in Norway. We were out walking in the beautiful, freezing cold city already at 9 am. And after a solid breakfast with a lot of pickles at Subway, two fattening tall cups of creamy coffe from Starbucks, a doughnut with pink icing and colorful sprinkles, a happy meal lunch at McDonalds two hours later and a relaxing and luxurious manicure session, we were as good as new. So we went out ate some pizza and repeated the night before with the same guys.
Still reading? Wow, I must be some kind of a writer.
On our way back north we met up with Sandra's family and went camping in a caravan motorhome thing in Hervey Bay. We went on a guided tour on Fraser Island, which is the biggest sand island in the world and the only place in the world where tall rainforests are found growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres. Pretty awesome, right? We saw humpback whales jumping in the ocean and a couple of dingos, while we were driving down the 120 kilometers beach, which is actually listed as a national highway.
After a couple of days with barbecuing, iPhone screen service and 20 minutes of awesome go kart racing at Hervey Bay, Sandra and I continued on our way back to lovely Townsville. Home sweet home. We spent our last night in something that felt like a luxury motel in Rockhampton, with our own bathroom and warm oversized beds. After over a week camping in caravans and sleeping on bunk beds in dormitories at different stinky and cold backpacker hostels, you would feel the same way.
Back home in Townsville the excitement and adventurous life took a break for about a week, before we went to Cairns to explore the Great Barrier Reef on a liveaboard. A liveaboard is surprisingly enough a boat you can live and sleep on board for one or more nights, and is often used in the recreational scuba diving industry. Our liveaboard lasted for three wonderful days and we did 11 fantastic dives (two of them night dives) in different locations at the reef. I saw sharks and swam with huge sea turtles. Dear god, if I only could get permanent residency underwater.
We took the opportunity and drove to Port Douglas and Daintree Rainforrest right after our fantasy trip exploring the great reef. Hiking in rainforrests is amazing and fascinating. I makes me feel like I'm part of the TV show Lost, and I'm really acting the part of it too. We also did a cruise on a small boat down the Daintree River where we spotted three big crocodiles and several baby crocs.
I've been back home in Townsville practically not doing anything for two weeks now. I wish I was rich and could explore Australia none stop, but I'm not. We've done a few hikes to mountains and rainforrest nearby, but it is getting quite monotonous. Tomorrow is my first day of my last semester in my bachelor degree, and I couldn't be more excited.
My conclusion and learning outcome is that I love Australia, but I need more money. A job is the next thing I plan to get.