The Whitsunday’s & Sydney in 48 hours with 4 hours of sleep.

So as I said in my last post, the place we parked up and slept at wasn’t the most glamorous. It was filled with bugs and cockatiels who were murdering each other at 7:00am so we had no chance of sleeping past that.

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We packed up the van one last time & drove to the center of town to figure out where/when our tours left from. La tres amigos were going on a 3 day 2 night party boat called the Clipper that I wish we could have gone on & Erika and I were doing a day boat called the Fury. We go to the center of town and tried to figure out what we needed to do, and as we were talking to some bitchy receptionist girl at info center, me and Erika missed our bus. We started panicking because no one was being helpful and we were going to miss our tour that we had just driven 11+ hours for. We finally got to talk to someone who knew what the hell they were talking about and we drove down to the marina and started running around like crazy people trying to figure out where to go. && just to make things that much more interesting it started to down pour. Luckily we made it just in time and boarded our boat.

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We arrived back at the marina at 16:30 & headed into town to walk around a bit. We bought some souvenirs, ran into our favorite Irish/English friends, Damien & Pierce, then headed back on the road. We left around 19:00 and had to drive 8 hours to Cairns, drop off the van & make it to the airport for our 6:45 flight. We hit a couple of bumps in the road on the way there, which I cannot elaborate on, and made it to Cairns at 4:30. First stop was to go wake up Colin and say our goodbyes/ thanks for saving our lives several times. Then we returned the van and cabbed it to the airport. 3 hours & a cat nap later, we said GOODBYE to the tropical wet weather of Cairns and said hello to the metropolitan of Sydney! Checked ourselves into YHA central backpackers and headed off to explore.

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Mine & Erika’s favorite spot in Sydney was Bondi Beach. Reminded me a lot of Venice Beach in LA, just with way better views.

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&&& then this happened. Sorry mom.

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On a funnier note; it’s been interesting being here during the Winter Olympics. To native Australians, it’s kind of a big joke. All the news and commentary is very comical as they just make fun of how shitty they’re Olympians place.

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After a really long day, we went back to the hostel & attempted to get ready to go out. With no shampoo conditioner or body wash, it proved to be slightly difficult but we gave ourselves a Mexican shower and attempted to go out. We tried to have a nice dinner but we were too broke for anything nice. Which ended up with my face in a pizza, literally as I fell asleep on my date at the table. So we just went back and crashed. Tomorrow Erika leaves :(((((((( & I head to Melbourne (Melbin)

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Seventeen Seventy rock climbing/cliff jumping

So this place was best place we’ve gotten to crash at thus far. This was our view from out back of the van in the AM:

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Group consensus was to chill there for the day. We went off exploring & found some pretty serious rocks to climb & jump off of. See below our location on the peninsula;

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After we climbed we decided to jump. I almost chickened out 😦

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Trees here are pretty weird. They kinda look upside down because the smaller limbs are on the bottom and thicker on top:::20140224-092952.jpg

Before we left for Airlie Beach & the Whitsunday’s, we stopped in a park and made lunch.20140224-093013.jpg

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20140224-093241.jpg5 Hours & 1 cop encounter later we arrived in Airlie Beach a little after midnight. I made some taco’s for my mexican friends & then we drove around for about an hour on an almost empty tank of gas looking for a place to park. We found one & it wasn’t the most beautiful but it did its job. Tomorrow we go on our day trip on the Whitsunday’s and then have to immediately drive 8 hours to Cairns so we can drop the van off, and make our 6:45am flight.

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Fraser’s pt3; last day :(

6:00am, no joke, we were awoken by Brett blaring this song in his truck:

Thanks buddy. We had to get up so we’d be able to make it to Lake Wabby before the tides came in. Me & team E packed up camp, since we’d never be returning and headed out one last time.

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Lake Wabby is a 3.5 mile hike through the forest & is located directly adjacent to a sand blow. Clearly it was a struggle for me & Erika.

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Jenny, Erika & I forgot our sleds so we instead rolled down into the lake.

After our entrance Erika and I made another sandman and then climbed on top of tres Mexicans.

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We trucked it back through the jungle and then headed toward the ferry to take us away from Frasers 😦

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20140223-130751.jpgWas not a fun trip back; beacuse A. we were leaving fraser’s and all our new friends we met & B. I almost fell off the ferry.

When got back to Rainbow beach, we were planning on heading on down to Sydney & stopping at Surfers Paradise. Butttt since every single person we talked to said we had to go see the Whitsunday’s we reconsidered. Since the tres amigos were going up there as well the following day, we decided to join forces && drive up together. So basically we are doing a huge circle and back tracking but whats ever, thats the luxury of not making reservations in advance.

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Alejandro got worn out from doing his Mexican duties. 20140223-132422.jpg

20140223-132504.jpgThe Whitsunday’s are a 12 hour drive from Rainbow Beach so we stopped half way in the town of Seventeen Seventy which was a 4 hour drive. We found this awesome little parking lot at the top of the peninsula, parked and passed out.

Oh, I forgot to mention that as I was backing out of the parking lot to leave rainbow, I backed into a fence, denting the side of the car & breaking the taillight. I’ve lost count of the Caitlin – Aussie standings, but I’ll call this one a draw since we have full insurance and won’t have to pay for it !! Oh and then as we were driving up to 1770, Erika hit a bird smashing the front headlight. Go us!!!!!

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Fraser’s Island pt1.

8:00am we packed our 4×4 with our team.

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Once the car was loaded we were off towards Fraser’s.

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Had to take the ferry over to the island since there are no paved roads or bridges, and got our first chance to spin the tires on the sand.

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You cannot swim in the ocean due the infestation of sharks so instead we headed to a natural crater lake in the middle of the island, swam && had lunch.

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Erika snapped this fantastic shot of me mid wipeout, after she tripped me.

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Once we were done playing in the water we went back to set up camp.

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Upon arrival at camp, we received our rationed food portions for the remainder of the trip from the back of the trailer. We were given some pretty dirty pots (mom you would have starved before using them) && we used them to cook us a delicious meal. && When I say we, I mean my two new Irish/British friends cooked for us.

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They made us a delicious Asian stir fry. Which was followed by some dranks at the aboriginal “night club” called winkies. We did the limbo, played some cards, & I made a large fire, again by me I mean my new Mexican friend helped me get it going.

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It’s not a mini van, it’s a camper..

Last day in Cairns, didn’t really do much. Went back and met with the rental car company to see if we could work something out with the key. No dice; they wanted 550$ for the key unfortunately. After that disappointment, we just chilled at the lagoon until our 16:30 flight. We met up with our Cairns BFF Colin. He hooked me up with some antibiotic drops for my ear, unfortunately he only had literally 2 drops left. I used them last night and now my ear feels so much better. He also hooked us up big time with a car and a trip to Fraser Island, lots of discounts included.
Caitlin 3 – Australia 4

I have also transitioned into a professional backpacker by transforming my duffle bag into a backpack:

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We arrived in Brisbane (Brisbin) & headed to a hostel. Brisbane City Backpackers, it was pretty sweet. This reminded me of living on campus in college, except way better. They had a pool, a cool roof top deck with a view of the city, an awesome kitchen that you could cook and keep your food, and of course a bar. For 26$ a night, we shared a 6 person room, with AC.

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The next day we walked around the city in route to pick up our new whip.

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I have my own University here; CQ University.

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&&& here is our new ride. The Jucy Sleeper, equip with bed, sink, cooler, & a mini cook top. I know, it’s really awesome. For about 70$ a day, your completely covered if anything happens to the van, even if you hit a kangaroo with it.

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While waiting to load up our camper, some guys gave us a box of stuff including a buncha free beer. Caitlin 4 – Australia 4

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We got our stuff and were on our way to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Seriously best zoo in Aussie. Pretty cheap and you can actually interact/ have contact with the animals. I got to frolic in a field of docile kangaroos, what could be better than that?

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& here is a million pictures of me with the kangaroos.

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After our wonderful day with the Roos we got back in the camper and drove down the Gold Coast to Byron Bay. We were suggested to stay at this place called the Arts Factory, but by the time we got to all the hostels all the camper spots were taken. Soooo we had to drive around until 2:00am looking for a spot, couldn’t find one so we just made up a spot for ourselves in the Arts Factory. We were told by the staff that if we were caught, we’d get fined but we didn’t have any options sooo fingers crossed 🙂

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