G’Day from Cairns

Well, after checking into my second hostel in Brisbane (which happened to be a building site cos they’re refurbishing it – didn’t do well with hostels in Brisbane clearly!) I had a moment of homesickness – I had to say goodbye to Kate and Viks, and realised I was all alone in Australia (and hadn’t slept properly for 2 days!) – no one was in my dorm when I arrived! after calming down and basically giving myself a very good talking to. I set off to go find lunch, and ended up meeting a girl called Pippa from Bristol who came with me on a search for some koalas to hug!

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We succeeded in finding a koala to hug – and saw some cows pretending to be miniature horses, got up close with many kangaroos and a wallaby too at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which was 35 mins from central Brisbane. She then rescued me from starvation as I couldn’t get food as all the supermarkets were shut for Anzac Day – we did get some gorgeous Caramel Cheesecake which I bought for us in Starbucks though.

I returned to find one other person had arrived in my dorm – her name was Maz, and she’d just come back from Fraser Island – we had some really good chats – despite an age difference of probably about 30 years, we had a lot in common. It also turns out we’re getting the same flight back to the UK on May 3rd…what are the chances?

This morning I left Brisbane – I got accosted by yet another person trying to get me out of Christianity…this time I got a leaflet telling me that Christians who go to churches do not know God, and if I join a cult, I’ll know God and find peace, tranquility etc etc etc. I found the whole leaflet disturbing as it was so full of lies. I also am beginning to wonder what’s going on that I keep attracting these people trying to get me into other beliefs and religions!

I managed to get to Cairns – it’s not what I expected – very California, but the views of Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea etc from the plane were amazing. I’m in a lovely hostel here, met 3 of the people I’m sharing a room with (Aoife, Melissa and Amethyst) and planning to go exploring tomorrow. Not planning on doing so much now as I’ve done a lot of the things I came to do, and realised earlier that I only have a week left here! Feels like I’ve been out here for months….

I’ve managed to get some more photos up of Byron Bay on Bebo – I don’t have any photos from ocean kayaking unfortunately cos you couldn’t take your camera as it would have got soaked!!

I’d really ask for your prayers too, as discovered something today. Please pray for safety as I travel alone and wisdom in how to deal with different lifestyle and beliefs. Also strength – this trip has been a huge challenge for me – it’s been amazing, and I’ve had to rely on God so much…it’s been difficult not to be able to have my friends close by and the time difference has proved keeping in contact with people back home in times I’ve needed it most. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and not sure how I’ll find settling back into life in the UK and finding a place to call home in Edinburgh after 6 years of living in Aberdeen.

Love to you all – La x

Brisbane

Well, our welcome to Brisbane was not the best. We arrived to a dead bus station, and our taxi didn’t turn up. As our youth hostel office shuts at 7 p.m., we frantically tried to phone them – but they didn’t answer. 1 hour later, still no taxi and we started phoning round youth hostels to find they were all full.

We eventually got a taxi, but then couldn’t get into the youth hostel, when we did they had no keys, then the room they had gave us only had 2 beds free. The toilet was minging and the door didn’t lock! All in all, it was generally a big disaster – not helped by the fact the 3 of us were exhausted!!

Needless to say, we didn’t sleep well and checked out the hostel this morning. I had to say goodbye to Kate and Viks this morning as they are heading on a bus to Noosa this afternoon. I’m staying in Brisbane for one more night before I fly up to Cairns tomorrow.

I’m now in Australia all alone!! Quite nervous about that, but also excited – or I would be if I wasn’t so sleepy! I’m now waiting to check into my room at a youth hostel in Central Brisbane and then this afternoon I’m going on the search for some koalas. However, today is Anzac Day (Public Holiday in Oz) so could have some problems getting around today.