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Visiting the Cuddly Koalas in Kuranda, Cairns
Thursday 24th March 2011 – Cairns, Australia
I am enjoying the intense heat of Cairns at the moment. It is hot, yet not unbearable so, which is just how I imagined feeling in Australia. Today was all about mixing the bad with the good, the job hunting and the trip to Kuranda, home to an Aboriginal community and the sweet little Koalas.
Having kept a diary right from day 1, I realised today marked the 66th day for me out in Australia. Is this significant? Not really, it has just gone by so quickly is all, and this brought a smile upon my face for reasons I am unsure of. Maybe I am just happy I have lasted this long without feeling the need to cut the trip short and to return to reality. This is why it is paramount that I find work soon. I do not want to be known for the guy who went to Australia for a year, yet came back after a few months. This morning had to be spent looking for work.
Globetrotters Backpackers was top of the list this morning, as I have been all but guaranteed work at the hostel for my accommodation, as well as a little money. I presumed I would be going over the finer details before confirming my position there. To be honest, I just wanted something, anything. As it turns out, the deal is I have to stay as a guest in the hostel for at least a week before they would consider me for the role. At the time it felt like a necessary evil, but after thinking long and hard about it, I couldn’t see any real point in just hanging around for a week, especially as there was no real guarantee I would have work at the end of it. Furthermore, my money would be greatly depleted without having gained anything. I walked into town knowing I would need another plan.
I stopped at various places to enquire about work, but I think most of the hostel population are out looking, and there are only so many jobs. I figured most positions would be filled by the more attractive applicants. My receding hairline and lack of muscles ruled me out from the start. The walk back to the hostel was weighty with the thoughts on my mind.
After lunch I joined two of the girls from the hostel in a trip to Kuranda Town. Having spent much of my time in Cairns looking for work, I have yet to read up on the sights and attractions that Cairns has to offer. I thought I would work first, play later. This being said, I hadn’t heard of Kuranda until now, yet it sounded like a nice afternoon out.
We picked up the mini bus (not literally) to take us to Kuranda and sat back to enjoy the ride through winding roads and mountainous passes. It reminded me a lot of driving in New Zealand, but unlike New Zealand, the views through the trees were less spectacular. New Zealand always has so much to offer in the way of incredibly immense backdrops and stunning scenery, whereas the bulk of Australia lacks in this department I feel. I am yet to see the whole country though, and probably never will, but it’s just an opinion formed from my experience so far.
My two travelling buddies were fun to hang out with, and this continued to be the case throughout the day. We visited the markets in Kuranda, though we were horribly let down by the lack of stalls, as well as the apparent dislike for us being there. It seems most were shutting up shop early, and didn’t entertain the idea we might be interested in buying anything. I think it must be pretty easy to spot a browser rather than a buyer for those who have manned these stalls for any number of years.
The indoor markets were a little more exciting, and there was the opportunity to grab some food whilst we were there. The later part of the afternoon was spent in the animal enclosures, feeding the Wallabies and spotting the lizards in the cages. We also spent a time in the Koala enclosure, admiring these beautiful animals and having our pictures taken with them. I don’t know how I expected a Koala to feel like, but how it felt was not what I expected. The animal seemed calm enough and content to just sit. I can see how some can get distressed though with all the handling.
Having had my picture taken, I was ridiculed somewhat by the girls with me for looking ‘creepy’ in the pictures. I studied the images one after the other, and it is true. For some reason I have come out looking like a weird guy with my facial expression as you will see in the picture on this post. I can assure you though, this is not the case. The camera just caught me in bad light, honest. This picture is the best I could muster from the batch I had.
The afternoon was over all too quickly and we were soon back on the mini bus destined for Cairns. Once back at the hostel it was a chance for us to relax a while and get ready for a night out. We went to the good old Woolshed for a meal and stayed for the after party. As the years have gone by, and my age creeping up, this has meant I feel less inclined to drink and party the night away. I like a good party, but have never really enjoyed the drink so much. This meant I felt more and more out of place as the evening wore on. I wasn’t nearly as drunk as the girls I was with, and when a drink landed down my front, I felt it was a good time to leave.
The walk back to the hostel gave my top a chance to dry, and I contemplated my next moves as I frequently do. I decided that I wasn’t sure what to do next, so that walk didn’t help much. Tomorrow was a new day, and I needed to spend as much of it looking for work as possible.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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