Jamie and Sophie's Adventure

Jamie Longmore and Sophie Jones travel the world

Monday, June 18, 2007

Whitsunday Islands

We have just got back from our sailing trip around the Whitsundays. It was a big excuse to party basically! Our boat was called Pride of Airlie and there were 45 passengers and 3 crew, there was another boat that had about 25 people on aswell. The first day we just sailed over to South Molle Island which had a big resort that we stayed at, we were in a 6 bed dorm with Diego our new American friend and 3 Dutch guys. In the evening we went and had steak for tea and then played a few drinking games, had a dance and got merry.
It was an early start the next day, breakfast was 6:30 - 7:00, surprisingly me and Diego were the first to arrive and got tucked into some cereal, bacon, eggs and toast.
That day we went to Whitehaven beach and did some snorkling, though you couldn't really see much, we saw about 10 fish! In the evening it was much the same as the night before, food, drinking games, etc. We got an extra half an hour in bed the next morning, which we needed as we got woken up by one of the Dutch guys being incredibly sick all over our dorm floor for about 20 minutes. Why he refused to go outside or to the bathroom which were both about 2 metres away, we don't know. He had also soiled his mattress in the night. It made the rest of us feel sick as you can imagine it didn't smell too good.
Today it was raining but it didn't stop us having fun snorkling, the place we went today had a lot more fish and some nice looking coral. We bought a cheap underwater disposable camera and tried to take some photos, we'll have to see if any of the come out though.
It was a fun trip and we made some good friends in Diego and a Swiss guy called Milo who was very amusing without knowing it and looks like Egon from Ghostbusters!
We're getting the 8:20pm bus to Townsville tonight and will probably go diving on a shipwreck tomorrow which will be fun.

Friday, June 15, 2007

At last

I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to do this post, a combination of being busy, tired and too lazy probably, but finally I am ready to tell you what we have been up to in the last few weeks.
There is a part of Melbourne called Malvern so we obviously had to go there and check it out, we decided that it didn't have as many old people as my Malvern but it was a very nice place, we tried to find a road with the same name as one back home but the only thing we could find was a St Josephs Primary School.
We went to see an Aussie Rules Football game, St Kilda v Hawthorne, people had told us that it was going to be a decent game as both teams were in a bit of form. It was at the MCG which is a very impressive stadium and we got seats behind one of the goals, reasonably high up and with an excellent view. We thought the game was OK, couldn't work out why there were about 10 referees and why the coaches were allowed to run onto the pitch and talk to their players whilst play was still going on but I managed to figure out most of the general rules. Both teams got booed off at half time and in the end Hawthorne won comfortably, something like 65-30. We thought it had been a decent game as we didn't know any better, however, when we got home and turned on the TV, they were describing it as possibly the worst game in the history of the sport! They kept going on about it for weeks and probably will talk about it forever.
The next day we went into town and there was a Sunday market which we had a look at, there was a place that did palm readings and that sort of stuff, was pretty cheap so I thought I'd do it for a laugh. I was expecting an old gypsy woman with a crystal ball but I got a large foreign man with a bad cough instead. He told me that my life line was long and I should live past my 70s unless I do anything stupid. He told me that I have not reached my full potential yet as one of my lines wasn't long enough but there is plenty of time for this to change. He told me I would get married once, when I am around 33 and probably not to my current girlfriend, he said he was reluctant to even call it a relationship which neither me nor Sophie (who was watching from outside the tent) were too impressed about. He also told me the insightful information that I would probably not work in Melbourne for my next job. Apparantly I will not work in an office but work with people, in the same kind of way a Doctor or dentist works with people, not sure what he was getting at there. When he asked me to pick 3 tarot cards, the first one told him that I have doodled my life away so far, achieving nothing as yet. The others were good and were something like I would have a happy marriage and a good life. He also told me I'd be financially secure.
We also went to Crown Casino which is the biggest casino in the southern hemisphere. I came out of there $54 better off so I was very pleased with myself.
We did a tour of the MCG which was very good, the guide told us lots of information and we saw the changing rooms, practice areas, all that sort of stuff.
Sophie's birthday was good, I bought her a jacket she hadn't stopped going on about, I bought it without telling her and she noticed it was gone from the shop but I convinced her that someone else had bought it, which made her very sad but obviously she was very pleased when she opened it. I also got her some books, magazines, nougat and a few other things. I filled the room with over 50 balloons for her which took me a long time and I was very out of breath by the end of it. I also took her to a nice restaurant near her work for lunch and then to see Zodiac at the cinema in the evening so it was a good day.

We checked out of Acland Apartments and got the night bus to Sydney, leaving at 8pm and arriving 8:30am. We checked into a hostel for the first night and met up with Joe Sunter and Rob Middleton in the evening for a few beers. The next day we moved into Robbie's apartment which was very nice and stayed on a camp bed he borrowed from a mate. We went out that night and had far too much to drink. The rest of the the week we did an open top bus tour of the city and Bondi beach, climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge at night time, went to a bar made of ice called Minus 5, though the actual temperature was -16 degrees! It had ice sculptures, the glasses and seats were made of ice, it was great but very cold obviously.
Rob took us and an ex girlfriend called Candie out for a meal at Doyles Fish Restaurant which is apparantly quite famous and was a really good meal. I managed to get the flu during the week in Sydney which was pretty horrible but it only lasted about 5 days.

Byron Bay
We got another night bus, this time leaving at 9pm and arriving 9:30pm. We didn't really do much there apart from walk to see a lighthouse. We stayed in a hostel recommended by my Dad after reading good reviews online but it turned out to be quite bad, we asked for a double, but it was at the back of an 8 bed dorm. It was very smelly!

Surfer's Paradise
Next stop was Surfer's Paradise where we made friends with a Kiwi girl and a few English people in our dorm. We went shopping with Kate the Kiwi at Pacific Fair, a large shopping centre where I picked up an excellent comedy t-shirt. That night we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3. The next day we went to Dream World, a big theme park which was a lot of fun and had some brilliant rides, it wasn't too busy so there was no queueing. Dream World is where the Australian Big Brother house is so we saw the set of that and all the people watching about 50 monitors in a room.
It may have been paradise for surfers but not for us as it rained a fair bit while we were there.

When we got to Noosa, we climbed up this massive steep hill with all our bags to check in to a hostel we had booked online the day before. Unfortunately they had emailed us back to say they were full but we didn't get it. Back down the hill and onto the bus for another hostel. Noosa was quite nice but very cold for some reason, it's not meant to be cold in Queensland! We went to Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin's zoo) and saw all the croc's, kangaroos and all the other Aussie animals they had there, it was a good day but not the most impressive zoo we have been to on this trip. They are still building and making it bigger though.

Fraser Island
Next up was Hervey Bay which we went to so that we could go on the Fraser Island safari, this is an island made entirely of sand, the biggest sand island in the world apparantly. We went for 3 days, 2 nights in a big 4 wheel drive which we had to drive ourselves, we had a group of 11, 3 Danish lads, an Italian girl, 3 English guys and 2 English girls. Everyone was lovely and we were very lucky to get such a good group. I was the only male that could drive as you had to be over 21, all 4 girls could drive but one of them hadn't driven for 2 years and the Italian girl was too scared as everything was on the other side and she's used to automatics. Therefore me, Megan and Sophie did most of the driving, with Charlie pitching in too. It was quite weird driving such a huge vehicle, especially as I haven't driven for 9 months and the roads were not the best as you can imagine.
We went to see various lakes and lookout points, camping near the beach both nights. It was so cold at night Sophie thought she was going to get frost bite. The girls cooked us food and we drank alcohol, sang songs and had a good time. There were lots of dingo's lurking around which terrified Chiara the Italian but they were just looking for food to steal from us. There was a rather large and more than likely poisonous spider on our tent in the morning which was a bit worrying but nobody got bitten or anything. The weather for the first 2 days was great but it rained the last day unfortunately which was when we went to Lake McKenzie, which when sunny, is meant to be one of the nicest places you could wish to be. The stars at night were a highlight for me, I've never seen so many stars in the sky.
I'm rushing now as I only have 2 minutes left!

We have arrived in Airlie beach and tomorrow go sailing around the Whitsundays for 3 days, 2 nights. Unfortunately the weather is pretty bad but hopefully it won't affect the snorkling and other activities.
10 weeks on Sunday when we get home, keep in touch between now and then, I won't leave it as long before the next blog!