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Working and Exploring Cairns
Friday 20th May to Wednesday 17th August 2011 – Cairns, Australia
The next 3 months of this epic adventure were full of surprises, and lots of great experiences. I worked, visited places, and spent time with some of the most incredible people I will ever meet in my lifetime. It’s fair to say that I have been extremely fortunate in finding work, and will forever be thankful for the opportunity to prolong my stay in OZ.
Throughout this time I was able to find a job working for a car rental company, named Cruising Car Rentals. The job was on a day to day basis, and the hours were whatever was required of me on the day. I had days where I wasn’t needed for any more than a couple of hours, and days where I worked 12 hours flat. I was paid by the day, and was grateful for the money I was able to save.
Surprisingly, though the company was relatively small, the guys who worked there were a mixture of English and Aussie. The English were now local residents having moved to Cairns some time ago. The owners were 2 Australian brothers, one chilled, the other uptight. The mix in personalities was amusing at times, and the work was enjoyable. Often I would need to ferry cars between the two depots, taking me along the sunny roads to Palm Beach, and to the better resorts. I liked this part of the job, especially in brand new automatic cars, and I enjoyed meeting the customers along the way, including the regulars that seemed to visit Cairns often on business. I wish I had more time to talk to some of them, and find out exactly what they do.
I worked most days, but also had the odd day off to enjoy some of the money I was now holding. There was still much of Cairns and the surrounding areas yet for me to see, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything out. At the end of July, I met up with a friend I had previously met in Port Macquarie. She came to Cairns to stay for a while with her friends, and and we managed to find a day or two to hang out and see some of Cairns together.
The sights included Babinda Boulders, and Millaa Millaa Falls (Scene to Peter Andre’s hit – Mysterious Girl), as well as a few other attractions along the way. We also embarked upon a day long bike ride around Cairns, in which I manage to pick up a puncture. It was a fun couple of days before the girls returned home to New Zealand.
Other activities included Zumba on the grassy fields down by the waterfront. The classes were run by a girl with her 2 helpers, and were free for anybody to take part in. This meant the field was always full with people young and old, male or female, and was a lot of fun. The sun would set behind the palm trees whilst we exercised, and was an hour of real good fun with my friend Katie, and always something to look forward to. I wish the UK had something similar, but it seems Zumba is not a man’s sport in this country. It’s a shame as I think a lot more people would join in if it was available to men to. It’s one of those things that Australia has got right over the UK. I do miss those Zumba classes.
In August I visited Kuranda again. I had previously been here last time I was in Cairns with a girl I had met, but this time I wanted to ride the train, like the kid I am. It turns out the ride was actually really fun, and stopped by a waterfall for some photo opportunities. It was nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It was a fun day altogether, and a chance for me to visit the markets – something I was not able to do first time around.
There was also the trip to the Great Barrier Reef for some snorkeling with the fishes. Lots of beautiful colors, and some impressive coral. I opted for the snorkeling only, as I have a problem with my sinuses, making Scuba diving a painful experience for me. Sadly, this meant I was not able to get the most out of the trip, but it was a great day nonetheless, and I was able to see much more than I expected to see.
There were many other smaller activities that I took part in throughout these 3 months, including many nights out in Cairns central, and visits to the lagoon. I also spent a day in Palm Beach topping up the tan. I really feel Cairns has become a second home to me, and although it’s a place many would bypass, or only stay a few days, it has grown on me, and I shall be sad to leave. Nonetheless, the time came and I was ready to move on and see the rest of this great country.
As my final day approached, I spent the day with Katie, having a walking tour of the main town, and had a meal and drinks with the guys from the hostel in the evening. As I looked around the table at the people I would soon be saying goodbye to, I wondered if I would ever see any of them again. There are some characters here, and I will miss each and every one of them. Meeting people is one of the greatest parts about travelling, but saying goodbye is one of the hardest. I had great times to look forward to though, and was extremely excited to be moving on finally.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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