A Travellerspoint blog

Peter Pans, Byron Bay and Skydiving

Brisbane

HUUUUUUGE thanks to Ben in Peter Pans who helped us to do everything we wanted in our mega tight schedule. I booked my skydive last night too, to do today as I figured the latest I leave it means the less time I have to worry about it. We spent 4 hours in the travel agency last night and then went for a few celebratory drinks in the valley of Brisbane.

The hostel we stayed in last night was shocking and I wouldnt be staying there again- no way! Luckily where we're staying tonight is awesome, theyve got a pool on the roof and I'll be making full use of that in the morning! We very nearly got locked out last night because we were late arriving so I think my payback this morning were the cockroaches in my shower....ah well a wise man once said ' a mans mistakes are his portals of discovery' and this was def one of mine!

We had a wicked time in the bars and even got to see the defeat of Everton by Portsmouth- come on Pompey!! haha.So we had a few drinks with Ben and shared our pearls of wisdom of Fiji with him. We relived our memories of the Wanna Taki cruise and South Sea Island (looking forward to the Thailand reunion guys!!). We headed home at about 1.30 because we had to be up at 4.30 to start heading to Byron for the skydive.

We opened our eyes this morning and felt like we'd only blinked because we were that tired. It was a happy mothers day at my end but obvs not our mums because we're so many hours ahead. What better way to celebrate Mothers Day than throwing yourself out of a plane... I even have a certificate hahah.

SOOOOO the bit youve all been waiting for.....the skydive was the single most scary thing I've ever done in my life but it was absolutely amazing! I definitely have the adrenaline bug and I know this is going to be paining my mum to read but I'm definitely looking into getting my full licence at some point. Going up in the plane was terrifying and to top it all off, I was first. The guy I was with was brilliant and really experienced. I got the full package of dvd and piccies and some of you will be unfortunate enough to see these but Im telling you the dvd is hilarious, even though I look awful in it. The jump was 14k feet and it was at the most Easterly point of Aus. The views were incredible and I would fully recommend everyone to do it (even though Heather wimped out)

This evening we went for dinner with Ben and did some more chatting about Fiji as well as getting last min advice on Fraser and Whitsundays. Then H did her washing and I came to update thise- very exciting I know but the next 12 days are jam packed for us.

We head up to Hervey Bay tomorrow and start the Fraser tour on Tuesday. Im so so excited it's unbelievable. I'm finally getting to see these places for myself. In the meantime I'm going to try finding a pub showing the Lpool/ Aston Villa game but not sure how much luck I'll have given that it's kicking off at 2am in the morning our time

Anyways loving you and leaving you as I go to fulfil my footballing needs

lots of love

x x x

Posted by debski 07:03 Comments (0)

Kangaroos, K.O.L and the Harbour

Sydney

Again we have another round of thankyous to do before we update you with Sydney and thats a mahoosive thanks to Cindy, Helen and Luke who had us to stay with them whilst we were in Sydney. It was a cracking way to get around the city and experience some of the culture too and by culture I mean of course the bbq before the K.O.L concert but more about that later.

So we arrived in Syndey on St Patricks Day and what better thing to do on this special day than go to the pub? Our flight got in pretty early, so we went to Cindys local and had a few drinks before she came to collect us. I spoke to a very nice chap behind the bar, who kindly gave me a Guinness hat when I asked for it. You all know how I get about daft hats and I'm sure you can all imagine the look that Heather gave me when she saw me with the hat. If there's one person who shouldnt be given a daft hat- it's me and I wore that hat all night (mum I bet you're so proud)

Cindy told us that she'd never been out on St Patricks day before, so what better way to kick off the tradition than with a couple of Scousers and a pub full of Aussies? (sound a bit like the non Irish Irish bar in Washington?? haha) So the night was wicked and we all got unbelievably drunk (well it would have been rude not to eh) We got chatting to a nice group of people who were standing at the same table as us and there are some beautiful classic shots on facebook, for those of you who care enough to go and have a look lol.

So with the first night over; Heather, Cindy and I all stumbled back to Cindy's house and awaited our hangovers to find us. We spent our first day in the city wandering around and I have to say that I can completely understand why people dont want to leave Sydney- as soon as I saw the harbour I think I fell in love with it.

Before we went to Syndey Harbour we visited Darling Harbour and went into the Chinese Gardens of Friendship. If China looks anything like this garden did then we are in for a treat and a half because it was beautiful. Our second evening in Sydney was spent wandering around the harbour, getting piccies of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, then around by the Rocks and then home. It was nice catching up with Cindy properly and it was lovely having her show us around her hometown. We have some nice photographs of all of us, nice and arty haha although Cindys direction leaves a lot to be desired hahaha.

Our third day was spent doing a hop on hop off tour which is where I discovered that there is soooo much more to Sydney than I originally gave it credit for. The few days that we spent in Sydney definitely weren't enough and I cant wait to visit this side of the world again so that I can explore it properly. We also visited Bondi Beach and although it looks quite nice, after 2 weeks in Fiji it doesn't really compare so I'd advise anyone wanting to do both of these- do Bondi first because you'll be blown away by Fiji.

Our third evening in Sydney was probably my favourite and the reasons are to follow. Cindys housemate threw a barbie and we had a few drinks. Helen...the wonderful wonderful lady that she is, had a spare ticket to see K.O.L and so I went along with her to see them play at Sydney Entertainment Cente. Apologies to anybody that I've already spoken to about this gig but they were incredible live! Their cd's definitely don't do them justice and I spent the evening being thrown around in a pit...which was so much fun haha.

We went to Featherdale Wildlife Park on our last day and it was a tough decision that I made to go there over the Blue Mountains. I really wanted to hold a kangaroo and decided that I would do the Blue Mountains when I next come back because I'll be spending a lot longer here and there is a lot of hiking involved (so there's a nice excuse for me to return eh) We're on limited time and figured that we wouldnt have time to do the Australia zoo because there was a small matter of Byron Bay and a skydive to contend with. The wildlife park was incredible and we stroked koala bears (although they look a lot less cuddly up close) and played with/ fed the kangaroos. It's nice that they're allowed to roam free and we have some wicked action shots with them.

We went for a meal and discovered fruity lexia (goon) on our final night in Sydney: Sally, Matt- you guys were both right about it and now Im seriously concerned about how the next 12 days are going to go as we have the Fraser Island tour, Whitsundays and Magnetic to get through haha.

We got to Brisbane in one piece and the flight was pretty calm.

lots of love

x x x

Posted by debski 06:20 Comments (0)

And I thought cycling was supposed to be good for you.......

An ode to Mary and Melbourne

Before we fill you in on the rest of Melbourne, we'd like to thank Mary, Vinnie, Diane, Helen and Neal for their incredible hospitality during our first few days in Australia. We have had a great time with all of you and you got our time in Australia off to a brilliant start.

Soooo we left off by saying that we were going to watch Utd playing Lpool at the supporters club...and what a wicked night it was! Some of the Aussie supporters are more brutal than the English and that's saying something! We found a guy to rival one song with his chanting and I definitely think that we should get them together to form some sort of football supporting duo haha. We found that the Aussie supporters like taking their tops off too, it's not something we've come across much in England but each to their own I guess eh. So you all know the score of the match- we trounced Utd on their own turf and even got a penalty!!! can you believe it!!! wooooop! So with the match over, we headed upstairs for the rugby. Not that any of us are mega rugby fans or anything but we are all fans of carrying the party on so Helen, Vinnie, Heather and I all went upstairs to keep going. On the way we found a Fearghyl....and by a Fearghyl I mean a real person and that was his name! apologies to any Fearghyls out there nut I was genuinely baffled by his name...I guess there's a first time for everything and that was meeting my first Fearghyl....this trip is bringing me knowledge that knows no limits haha.

Vinnie made friends with pretty much all of the bar, so that made Helen, Heather and I popular by association. I have to say we got a wee bit carried away with our newly found social status and so carried the part going until we rolled in at about 6am.Well we had to celebrate the reds win in style didn't we.

Sunday morning and we went to watch Neals football team playing .....they didnt win but they definitely should have! One of the players had himself a little fan club, mentioning no names but I believe it was number 9 haha. After the football we went back to Neals house and watched a re-run of the beautiful game! We all had a nice Indian meal (yes me with Indian who would have thought eh haha) and chilled.

On Monday we took ourselves into the centre for some more sightseeing and photo opportunities. Monday evening was a bbq with all the family and we said our teary goodbyes to the dogs and cats as well. Tuesday morning was a drama what with packing and sending home 14 kilos worth of stuff (mum please dont drop it eh haha). Mary took us to the airport and the next leg of our trip (Sydney) was about to begin. I should let you know at this point that I got my bag down to 20 kilos for the internal flight which is pretty impressive considering the amount I had before this.

Sooooo I've managed to leave out one of the most entertaining parts of our time in Melbourne and that was the search for the car keys. Heather, Mary and I had all been in the office until pretty late and stopped off at a supermarket on the way to buy dinner. All that was well and good and so we went back to the house where an almighty search for the keys took place: I was on my stomach looking under the car, Heather was on her stomach doing the same whilst Mary emptied her bag out about 15 times looking for the keys. We all knew that the keys couldn't have gotten very far because Mary had just driven the car with them. As we were on our knees, I suggested that we pray to St Anthony to help us to find them. Heather looked at me as though I'd just suggested we go kill a kangaroo so I decided to do this on my own (but not on my knees of course) So about 5 mins after I prayed to St Anthony- guess what!! the keys turned up...and you'll never guess where they were- in the car door. Heather immediately turned to me and told me that I am exactly the same and you know what, I would have to agree- so I salute you Mary because it's not only me who does things like these.

I could go into so much more detail but I'm afraid I'm saving it all for my journal because I think the car key story is ample enough for all of you. Melbourne was beautiful but we definitely didn't have enough time to do everything that we wanted to do, so that will mean a return at some point.

Next stop is Sydney but before we update you on that, we'd like to thank everybody again for welcoming us into your homes. We've had so much fun and look forward to sharing the piccies with you. Mary/ Vinnie, we'll be seeing you in August- dont forget your dancing shoes

lots of love

x x x

Posted by debski 05:30 Comments (0)

Helllooooo Melbourne

Australia so Far

Melbourne is awesome and I'm so pleased we've finally made it here. Our flights were a bit ropey as the new flight we got put on was to Sydney and then a domestic to Melbourne. We were on the same flight as Marty and Chris but when we got to the gate, the guy wasn't going to let us on because we didn't have a flight interruption mandate. We got sorted though and we got here in one piece. Mary is a diamond and we had a ton of fun trying to find her car in the car park (Mary, can I have your autograph now please because you're famous haha). Mary and Helen took us for dinner in the casino and then we did a spot of night time touring of the city. We have driven along the grand prix track which is going to be used in a couple of weeks time (Madelaine are ya jealous haha) and have seen the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.

Today we have done a bit of sightseeing and tomorrow we're going to the immigration museum, the zoo and we're going to go up the Eureka Building. We're planning on heading to Sydney for St Patricks Day and H is looking at flights as I type (I get all the good jobs eh haha).

I hope all of you have been getting your postcards ok? Have probs spent more $ on them than anything else but dont think they're all getting there. So apologies in case they haven't.

So thats the update on Melbourne so far- the weather is nice and the food is great. We're no longer on Fiji time which means a tearful goodbye to the drums but we are back to reality again and the first day in another city has been weird haha.

My camera is nearly full and I am going to be writing a strongly worded letter when I get back because I've been told memory cards don't support filming only still images. I'm having to buy an external harddrive to store all of my filming. Ah well there's nothing I can do I suppose. Heather is having as much luck as me and has had to buy a new memory card for hers. It's all character building and adds to the fun I guess.

Will be watching the Liverpool match on Sunday and we're going to see a local Sunday league game too.

Will be speaking to you all soon

lots of love

x x x

Posted by debski 00:01 Comments (0)

Vinnaka and Moca

Thankyou and Goodbye- Fiji

To those of you using this blog as a personal soap opera (mentioning no names- lynn haha) I would like to apologise for the lack of updates over the last week or so. We have been island hopping through Fiji and many of the islands have had no telephone/ internet access, so have had to keep you hanging until now to let you know our movements.

Before we do that though I'll give you an update on what some of the others have been doing since we left them. It appears that our fave Brummie boy will has his own personal fan club, so to those of you who are wondering- he is currently in South America doing a 6 week tour of cycling, hiking etc. Will- our thoughts are with you, hopefully you are laying off the vodka enough to compete with everybody else (hahaha just kiddin). Jo is in New Zealand on a Contiki tour and we are meeting her up the coast of Australia in a few weeks because she's starting at the other end. Lil, Brendan and Ash are all back in the UK- hope it's not too cold there for you all but after the camping you are well experienced to cope :o) Juno and Gil are back in Korea and I am in regular contact with Gil who has joined the wonder that is Facebook. Juno- we have found 2 people who can rival your sleeping habits- one is a Swiss guy (Pascal, you'll hear more about him later) and an Italian guy called Antonio. Maybe we could set up the sleeping olympics for you all- winner gets a nice comfy bed haha. I haven't spoken to Katz but I figure he got back to Japan ok...at least I'm hoping he did anyways. Lone and Amanda (the Danish girls) are back in Denmark and have been tagged in quite a few of their piccies on FB. Cindy (the Juliet of the tour) is in sunny Sydney and we'll be seeing her on Tuesday to celebrate St Patricks day in style with her- Goon at the ready hahaha.

And now onto our update....So the last time I updated this I think we were in Korovou and having an absolute ball. We were doing a tour called the Tropical Awegasm which included a 6 island hop of Fiji. The way that it works is that you are given a book of passes and you make your own way to the boat transfers on the days that you need to which takes you to the islands and so on. It's not an actual tour like the one that we did in America, so you have people who are on a lot of the same islands as you and some who are even doing the same tour but could be one day behind you or one day in front. At Korovou was where we got chatting properly to 1 half of what is going to be the best new band to rock the world- and that is the strawberry half aka Gaz. Korovou didn't have the best beach in the world but what it didn't have in beach was made up for with the fresh water pool and the incredible staff. We spent the first day at Korovou chilling by the pool and topping up the tan. The first evening we were entertained with the Bula dance and the staff were all quite happy to get involved with us all- particularly Sam, Paul, Steve and Wa. I won a dance competition and didn't even have to get the 'what' sign out (you know what I mean Rich haha) I was informed I'd get my prize the next day and so went to bed mega excited for what I'd won. The staff made a bonfire on the beach for us and we all sat around chatting. The skies in Fiji are beautiful and the constellations are so clear to see.

The second day at Korovou was when Strawb landed so we spent the day chilling in the pool. It was way too hot to sunbathe, so we sat in the pool instead. H decided she needed to top up the tan so sat on a lounger with her book and her sunglasses, pretending to read but secretly eyeing up all of the staff. She then decided to take herself for a walk along the beach. It's a tough life y'know but somebody has to do it haha. Anyways the walk along the beach comes with the Walker seal of approval, so you all have to got yourselves over there to check it out. My prize turned out to be some gin. No Jenn I didn't mix it with Vodka, just tonic and I have to say I could be converted (well for that one night I was at least). We did crab racing and for those of you who don't know what crab racing is; you basically pull a crab out of a bucket and put a number on it's back. Then it's a case of seeing which one makes it out of the circle first. Julia the birthday girl won but I'm not sure that she won anything. I got everybody to sing happy birthday to her and then we all got pulled up to dance. More traditional dancing was done too and H and I both agreed that the fire dance the guys did at Korovou was far better than the one we saw at Waya Laylai. Well we are proffesionals now you know, we are considering putting in applications to 'So you think you can Dance' to be on the judging panel.

We were sorry to say goodbye to Korovou, particularly Sam and Wa but our public were awaiting at Coral View (so much to do and so little time).We will definitely be going back to Korovou as it was pretty much perfect. The only thing we would do to change it would be to update the washroom/restroom facilities but the outstanding service and food more than make up for it.

Coral View was nice enough but didn't live up to the standards set by Korovou. The best part about Coral View was meeting some of the people we were about to spend the rest of our time in Fiji with; Moustache aka Matt, Sally, Mintuu, Laura, Busker aka Pascal (long story haha)Chris, Kaisha and Antonio. What we have found, especially from being in Fiji is that it doesn't really matter where you are, so long as the people you are with are a good bunch. We have been really lucky from the beginning to have met some great people who have made all of the bed bug/ mosquito bites/ tiredness etc all worthwhile and quite entertaining in the process. Matt and Sally introduced us to the game of spoons and I have to admit that I am not the best at this game, in fact I'm probably the worst. It's a funny game though and has made it into the list of things to play on our 26 hour train ride (although I'm not sure how it will work with only 2 of us). The entertainment at Coral View wasn't the greatest and Heather made sure her opinions were known. The singing definitely didn't live up to the fire dancing and there isn't really anything that sticks out in my mind about recommending Coral View other that going to do the cave diving. To get right into the cave you have to go completely underwater. It is nothing like any other experience that we've had and as far as we know, this is the only island where this activity is offered. We all made our own fun and I christened the band that is now known as Strawberry Moustache which is made up of Gaz and Matt. The reason for this is that Gaz has a 3/4 guitar which looks like a strawberry and Matt has a tattoo of a moustache on his index finger. I can't even begin to tell you about the entertainment that moustache has given us over the last few days but it was definitely money well spent. I have copyrighted the name and they will soon be bringing their music to a bar near you.

After Coral View was the Wanna Taki cruise and I think both H and I were literally itching to get off this island. Unfortunately a combination of extreme bed bug bites and sunburn had left us in a very uncomfortable way and were excited about the air conditioned dorms on the cruiser boat.Spent the afternoon jumping off the boat and then doing some kayaking/ snorkelling. If you're thinking of doing Fiji you definitely need to include this in your trip. We got onto the boat on the 7th March and it saw the start of Heathers birthday celebrations. I organised a cake and a special birthday cocktail (FMU) and we all sang the first round of happy birthday. We played some drinking games in teams and the losing teams were condemned to giving us a pole dance followed by a lap dance (so a good night for us haha). After the official games had finished, we played some games of our own- formula one and the goggle game. I am currently working on adapting them to banking products so that I can use them as energisers- WOOOOO!!! Our group grew with Natalie, Marty and Mr Fiji Gold aka Simon. We also had the guys from Coral View so I guess you could say we had a right old time haha. Heather had a bit of a cry and got to speak to her mum via smoke signals ...not really it was a mobile haha and then continued the birthday bash.

Heather ended up crashed out on the top deck of the boat and some unthinkables were very nearly done to her. I wont go into too much detail as I know our mums are reading this haha. Luckily enough for her they weren't and she took herself off to bed. Matt, Chris and I carried on the drinking and then got ourselves into our beds to get a good start on the next day.

Day 2 on the Wanna Taki boat and it was hangovers at the ready. Actually I wasn't too bad as I got up at 9 am and did some snorkelling, followed by another round of jumping off the boat. It doesn't look too steep at first, it's only when you look over the side that you realise how high up it is. Heather was slightly more worse for wear as the FMU cocktail had had quite an effect on her. As we were sitting around for lunch we were all sorry to be leaving the cruise and going to our next places. Sally and Matt were already booked in for 2 nights and we not so quietly pleased with themselves. One by one we all had the same idea- why don't we all stay an extra night?? So that's exactly what we did. Gaz who was one day behind, got onto the boat that day and it was day 2 of Queen Heathers birthday celebrations. We did more snorkelling and swimming, then had dinner. One by one people were taking themselves to bed until somebody (I think it was Matt) had the idea of doing an FMU. There were only 4 of us up for the challenge- Matt, Gaz, Sophie (on the same boat as Gaz) and myself. The drink has about 6 shots in it and we all did 1.5 each. I say 1.5 because Matt kindly poured half of our second one over all of us- thanks again eh haha. FMU's are lethal and it basically led to team olympics, pole dancing and the grand finale was a talcum powder fight downstairs in the dorm area. Apologies again to anybody that we woke up. We weren't in the best books the following morning and the sight of all the talcum powder was a harsh reminder of the madness from the night before. We apologised to the crew and cleanded up but I think they definitely saw the funny side of it- particularly you Matt haha. The words 'be prepared' come to mind when you get dressed every morning as you never know where each day may take you haha.

So as we said a teary goodbye to more people (even though we were going to be seeing them the next day) we began to look forward to what the next island had to offer. What we did realise though, is that a lot of us are going to be in Thailand for the Full Moon Party at the same time so have organised a Big Toe reunion for then. We headed to South Sea Island and like a lot of the other islands, South Sea is amazing. It holds roughly 20 people as it's too small to hold any more and you can walk around it in about 5 mins. The sunset was so beautiful and got some beautiful pictures.

Day 2 of South Sea and H and I went on a day cruise called the SeaSpray. It came included in our tour and was all food/ drinks for the day as well as a visit to a traditional Fijian Village and the island where Castaway was filmed. The day did not disappoint and we even visited a school. I was amazed by the island and if I had been Tom Cruise, I never would have left. I did my own little bit of exploring and even found my own Wilson- in the form of a coconut. The island really is perfect and no words can describe how it looks but I can't wait to show you my video footage from it.

When we got back to South Sea, the guys who had left to go to another island after the cruise were back again for one last night. We dressed up for the occasion and by dressed up I mean we showered haha and settled in for what we thought would be our last night together. Heathers created a fan club for her boobs...and I think I can guess who the president will be haha. If you would like to join, send me an email haha.

Our last morning in Fiji was spent sunbathing and chatting (oh what a tough life). I fell over in the pool about 4 times. When I say fall, I literally diappeared under the water. I hadn't realised that there were shelves in the pool and nearly drowned myself. Luckily enough it wasnt fatal but I'm starting to think I have 9 lives....actually no. With all the accidents I've had, I think I've had the lives of about 10 cats haha. I got bitten by bedbugs and my ankles/legs have swollen up ridiculously. I am leaving the complaining to Heather, I'm just venting mine here instead so OOOOWWWWW!!!! I've been bitten by bed bugs and im so so so sore!!! hahaha just kidding but seriously, they aren't the most pleasant things in the world- they're affecting my golden brown tan with their marks.

We got back to the main island and said our goodbyes to Sally and Matt to take ourselves to the airport. Once we arrived we headed straight to the check in desk to start the next part of the trip. When we got there, we were informed that there was no scheduled flight. The staff were quite rude to Heather and she looked like she was about to have a fit so I stepped in and took matters into my owns hands. It turned out that our flight had been changed to the previous day but nobody had taken the time to let us know. This meant we were stranded in Fiji for another night ...dont worry you dont have to get your violins out haha.

So what do you think we did when we found out we were in Fiji for another night??? We headed to the hotel where everybody was staying and surprised them haha so it meant yet another farewell. I swear we've said more goodbyes in the last 3 days than we have in the whole trip haha. We all chilled, had pizza and watched 'Yes Man'. The film is good but not a patch on the book. It was good to see everyone (for yet another last time haha) and think Thailand will be ace.

So there's the last week or so in Fiji....looking forward to yet another Big Toe reunion dont know how we'll get through the next few weeks (sob sob sob) haha.

Hope this was enough of an update, have got loads in my journal which I've probs missed out so will be adding extra bits in. Watch this space haha.

Safe flights to everyone...Matt, Sally- enjoy Bali :o)

lots of love

x x x

Posted by debski 00:00 Comments (0)

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