Sunday, 17 January 2010


It's 4.17 am and we're sat (well, Sara's fast asleep on a big sofa thing, covered with her scarf and with an eyemask on, I wish I could take a photo but she's sleeping on the camera!) in Darwin airport waiting to get on another little 3 hour flight to Cairns! Nearly there! I wish we could say we'd seen a kangaroo already but we haven't.

We had to stay an extra night in Singapore - our flight was cancelled or some such nonsense, still, we were put up in a 4* hotel in the city centre with meals included - an amazing buffet which had everything from local stuff to roasties to lobster. Hopefully the rest of our journey is as uneventful as the first bit, though the stopover is a bit of a pain and doesn't seem to serve any purpose!

We'll catchup with some of the other stuff asap - it's all in the journal! Oh, and all our photos are up, although we've not edited them so expect 3 or 4 of the same thing - usually us blinking/squinting like moles having taken our sunglasses off.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

A Belated Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone, once again we've been slacking on the blog front somewhat so here's what we've been up to...

30th - Brilliant day, we took a local bus out to the botanical gardens, not only was it cheap but we got to see a bit more of the city. Outside the old colonial UNESCO heritage bit, it's much like some of the other cities we've seen in Asia. We were walking across the carpark as I said to Sara, "You know, i'll be gutted if we don't see a monkey today...oh my God, look up there, there are loads of them!" They were up in the trees, climbing the fences, and generally mucking about near the entrance of the park. We soon rrealised why, ou could buy nuts for them at the entrance. We watched them lark about for a while, and then jumped on a little tram thing that took you round the gardens, my foot still aching a bit and it was only 20p so laziness prevailed! We did a short tour around, seeing various caged plants (cacti, herbs, ferns), but really the gardens were just a really nice park.

The tram dropped us back at the entrance where I gave in and bought some nuts and set out on my mission to become a monkey god. They were loving me withing 2 seconds of opening the nuts! Both Sara and I started out throwing them the nuts, and some of them caught them without letting them hit the floor which astonished me. We then got down on our haunches and held the nuts out to them, and the little scamps ran up and grabbed them. Obviously this kept me entertained for about an hour - some of them were braver and would sit within easy reach, while others would rab and run, especially the mums carrying their babies underneath.

Once out of nuts, we went for a wander, through the "Japanese" garden, which had a little river which we (Sara) paddled in, and then found some huge leaves with well positioned holes that became masks for the next few minutes. We hunted round until we found one that we could get both eyes and mouth visible for a silly photo, and then wandered back, past the masses of jogger who had descended on the place. As we were walking back, Sara asked "I wonder if there are snakes here" and then exclaimed and pointed as we saw a great big black and yellow monitor lizard just chilling out under a bush. It must have been about a metre from head to tail and t was right next to me as we were walking and I jumped out of my skin. The odd thing was, no-one else we pointed it out to seemed bothered. They must be common over here...

Back in the Old Town, we had street food, trying some Malaysian specials, Wan Tan Mee, Curry Mee, then chapatis with a dhal mix and some corn on the cob. It was all delicious, and we spent £2 in total and were stuffed.

31st - Was well timed to be my first day off antibiotics! We didn't do much all day until I went out to get some cash, and the ATM swallowed the money but debited our account! We spent the next two hours trying to sort that out, only to find out that the money would be credited to us at a future date, it was a real pain, and also meant that we'd used our card the maximum for the 24 hours and got no money. We used a different card, which also didn't work, and finally got some cash about 7pm having tried 3 cards and ATMS. Panic over, we grabbed some food and then went back to wait until later for the fireworks and world record attempt for the most people at a dance class at one time. We missed the record attempt due to my shoddy timekeeping, but we did make it down to the promenade to see the fireworks and some of the lve music that was on. We were sat on the sea front, and suddenly fireworks started further down the coast, right behind a tree. I panicked and thought we'd chosen a blind spot to watch the fireworks from, but then the countdown started and the fireworks began. Shortly, they were all over, and we grabbed an ice cream for the walk back as it was still roasting hot even approaching 1am.