Goats and Whips.

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Goats and Whips.

Updated 8 years, 6 months ago

Well, we arrived in Perth and hired a camper straight away, heading for the outback. After a few wrong turns (despite telling Luca that there are NO turn offs for the next 300 miles...) we ended up in some little cove where, as you're swimming, wild dolphins brush past you in the surf...

Anyway, we got ourselves back from the wild dolphin place relatively unscathed; granted Luca nearly rolled the camper van trying to swat a fly, but other than that we did good!

Back in Perth we rang Qantas to confirm our flights to Cairns, only to be told that it had been cancelled due to some massive cyclone in Cairns (which, by the way, no-one emailed me about to check that I was ok; I could've been dead... or at least very, very wet.)

We made it to Cairns via Sydney a few days later though, and chilled out for a week in our hostel due to Luca managing to contract the worst case of tonsillitus ever recorded by medical science... had to have a massive needle pushed into his tonsil to drain it! Lovely.

This meant that he was unable to go out on the piss for about a week, which was torture... so I found some new friends for a while.

After Cairns we got on our Oz Experience bus which had the most random driver in the world... Full of the most random facts in the world; AND he didn't appreciate my "What's pink..." joke... Nob.

Well we arrived at Magnetic Island which is basically a tiny island with not a lot to do unless hill walking and poking koalas floats your boat, so we decided to do some diving; not realising that it meant we were stuck on the island for a week! A week!!

Turned out good though! Me and Fella were informed that the S.S Yongala shipwreck was just off the coast, and was one of the top five dive sites in the world.... so we figured we'd give it a go... Sit back, relax and let me tell you a story..

A hundred years ago there was a big old ship sailing up the coast of Australia, the crew were merchant sailors and there was a prize racehorse on board too... Then it hit a cyclone... the 15 meter waves created a shallow drift at the bottom of the ocean, and as the ship rose over the crest of these waves, the bow of the ship struck this drift. The waves then crashed over the ship, penetrating the hull and quickly filling it with water... The ship then turned on its side and sank, drowning all 122 people on board...

Didnt see any corpses, mind. What we did see was:

Sea snakes, massive Grouper fish bigger than my car, shovel head sharks bigger than me swimming less than tree ft. away, sea turtles (fin, noggin, duuuuude), huge barracuda, and Nemo! Was quite possibly the most surreal experience of my life... 100ft below the ocean, swimming around a 100 year old ship full of ghosts, fish and sharks... Possibly the best diving experience of my life!

We left Magnetic Island the next day on another Oz Bus with a driver called Dane... The chap looked about 35 but turns out he was only 21... Anyway, he started the journey by telling us about how on his last trip he ended up 200 miles away from where he should have been, with two blown tires and a huge hangover... Inspired.

If you remember me telling about our last driver who was full of useless trivia...? This guy had none... He was about as useful as a one-legged man at an arse kicking competition... We spent the duration of the trip watching him get over-excited by the Aussie rules football on the radio and crack onto women... What a guy! He did play us a traditional Australian folk song though, which was actually pretty cool... I forget who it was by but the title was "Do you fuck on first dates?"... I'll leave you to drag it off Limewire yourself!

We arrived in Airlee Beach anyway, eagerly anticipating our sailing trip across the Whitsunday Islands, on our 100year old pirate ship! That didn't leave until the following day though, which left us with nothing to do for a night...

You guessed it... 3 am... Swimming pool... Wet hot dogs (which Luca ate)... Luca running in and out of our ten-person dorm fetching frisbees and other toys, waking everyone up to ask them to join us in a friendly game of 'night-frisbee'... Which went down about as well as a pork pie at a Jewish buffet.

Well the next day we buggered off to our boat, but not before two of the girls from our dorm had requested a room change! Anway, the boat was pretty funky... big sails, cool cabins, and a rope swing! There was also a bar, which provided us with endless entertainment watching a gay couple quite literally drink the bar dry of vodka on the first night, then complain profusely for the next two nights that there was no drink... Bloody gays.

We did our sailing anyway, went to some amazing beaches, and generally lounged around on the sun deck for a lot of the time... The only problem was that if you wanted to go into the sea, you had to wear a wetsuit, this was because of all the jellyfish in the water... Now this would have been fair enough, except these suits dont cover your feet, hands or face... The three most likely places to get stung... A prime example of Aussie thinking for you...

Well anyway, we didn't get stung by the poisonous jellyfish, or bitten by the man-eating sharks, or killed by the deadly cone shell, or the stonefish, or the lion fish, and we made it back to the safety of Airlee Beach... Thinking about it, why would anyone come to this place?? Anything that moves can kill you, the beer is expensive and it's full of Aussies...

Anyway, we got back on our bus to head to a place called Kroombit... A new driver this time and a new host of people... One girl (and this may sound harsh) was quite possibly the ugliest specimen of humankind ever recorded... The only person alive who could eat an apple through a tennis racket... I wish I could have gotten a photo for you guys! ... Chippie would have probably had a go though...

We got to this Kroombit place anyway... Which was kind of like a ranch in the middle of nowhere... We had a go at cracking whips; which me and Luca were awesome at! So much so that we're thinking of opening a whip shop back home... "Whips and Stains"... What do you reckon?

Well after this we went on a horse ride... to corral goats! That's right, like a genuine cowboy I rode around on my horse (the mighty Ledger), and rounded up all the goats out on the ranch and herded them back to the holding pens! I was also much better at it than Luca, who, if truth be told, appeared to be more than a little fearful of the viscous goats... and his horse kept stopping to eat grass... Obviously didn't have the raw control and animal sensitivities that I'm blessed with...

Once I'd successfully rounded up the goats we went into the holding pens to try a bit of goat lassoing... A few girls went first and chased the littel rubbish goats, trying (without avail) to lasso one... Then I stepped up... Picked my goat (Satan, they called him, six feet tall and eyes the colour of Hell itself), let our eyes meet, then went for him... It was a battle of cosmic proportions... Eventually I chose to let him live for another day... Both exhausted, I left the ring, a new found respect for my goat friend...

Then Luca steps up, walks up to my exhausted goat, slips the lasso over his head and declares himself victorious... Despite the fact that poor old Satan was so exhausted from our epic battle that he could hardly stand... Bloody Luca and his cheating ways! That boy's collection of morals is as empty as a hermit's address book.

I got over it by showing him how a real man fires a shotgun and rides a mechanical bull... Took him to school there!! Then I got headbutted by a bouncing goat, and didn't even flinch... That's right, took it like a man... Granted I had a lump the size a small country on my head, but that goat knew who was boss...

We moved on from the ranch to a place called Hervey Bay, which was about as lively as the old folk's home after a particularly strenuous day of crochet...

Luckily we weren't there for long, we were only there to go off to a place called Fraser Island, which was actually really cool... We rented a 4x4 and went off road driving and camping around the world's largest sand island for a few days... ten people in the truck, three tents... a load of food and beer, brilliant! We also wound up with an Italian chef in our group, who managed to create a gormet meal out of half an onion, some bread and a few leaves... The Ray Mears of the culinary world! He was also a typical Italian in relation to his driving, particularly when we came head on with other 4x4's and he would be hanging out of the window shouting in Italian, leaning on his horn until they backed up... Granted he had the intellectual capacity of a dirty potato, but he was definitely one of the funniest blokes I've met on the trip!

From there we came to Noosa which is where we are now, and once arriving here we were informed that there was no backpacker accommodation in the entire place...Great... Thank's Oz Experience... So officially stranded and in a situation so sticky there hasn't been a stickier one since sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun, we began the hunt for somewhere to sleep...

Luckilly the tourist information people found us a nice, quiet place for a little bit more than the price of a hostel... A luxury four star apartment!!! Woo hoo! Lapping it up for a couple of days! Spa, sauna, pool, own kitchen, balcony, views across the town... I think the luck of Warrick and Luca may be finally turning... and it did!

We left Noosa and me and Fella got off the bus at Surfer's Paradise and let the girls carry on to Byron Bay... this meant that we now had no-one to tell us that it was too early for a beer, and therefore Surfers became one heavy couple of days!

We arrived at the hostel to be informed by the guy at check-in that we could only stay there if we agreed to go out on their pub crawls every night... Not a bad policy to have if you ask me... So after much deliberation we checked in and prepared ourselves for a night on the town...

Now this place is officially the sunniest place in Australia, with golden sunshine 310 days of the year, minimum... You guessed it, day we arrive; monsoon... there were people surfing down the streets... unfortuntely all the drains flooded in our hostel and the place began to smell like the inside of a false leg.

After a couple of days here we moved on to Byron Bay where we were meeting loads of people from our bus, the reason that everyone was here was because we were celebrating the birth of one of the finest individuals ever to grace this fair earth; ... you guess it... me! That's right, it was my birthday, and so we decided to get ourselves a box of Goon (I'll explain in a minute) and then head out to a backpacker bar called Cheeky Monkeys...

Goon is a funny thing. In Australia it's like a whole backpacker culture, yet no-one anywhere else has ever come across it... Basically it's four litres of wine in a bag; for about three quid. Delectable.

It also has it's own personality... probably due to the fact that on the box there is a label saying "contains fish extract, milk and nuts"... What a combo... So you'll often find people refering to 'Goon' as a person... "where's goon?", "Ahh, he's just chillin in the corner." ... It also goes a little further sometimes; so here is my good friend Alice's guide to Goon...

http://www.bugbitten.com/photogallery/showalbum.php?uuid=7784&aid=44020

Legendary.

Anyway, after my birthday celebrations in Byron (the Essex girls came too! You remember the leper? Our own personal Judas? She came back to see us... although she still shows no remorse for stranding us in Penang... perhaps a good dose of clunking is what she needs...). well, we moved on anyway... back on the Oz bus for the final time, I think I actually shed a tear! We had a really cool group though, loads of people we knew from down the coast, which is what you need when you're spending three days with people.

Well first of all we went to surf camp... where we learnt how to surf. Now I wasn't expecting to be overly great at this, especially after discovering my goat-herding ablilities only a few weeks earlier... Turns out I'm actually a pro-surfer... they're considering making the next Blue Crush film about me, which I was honoured by... And Gus, guess what??? Free BBQ afterwards!! You'd like that, wouldn't you fatty??

Anyway, after my second surfing session the following morning we packed up our stuff and prepared to head out to another ranch, similar to the last one where I realsed my potential as a goat-herder... well we arrived here to be told that there wasn't much to do that night other than to get drunk in the hot tubs that they have in the grounds... so once again we cracked out the Goon, who had been sulking at the back of the bus, and hit it at a pace! One of the guys was trying to crack onto one of the younger girls from the bus, which was amusing to watch as she was quite obviously so pure and innocent that Moses himself wouldn't have been able to part her knees...

Morning arrived eventually, and we decided to go on another horse ride, which was actually really cool apart from the fact that one of the girl's horses kept stopping whenever she had to go through the mud, so some ruddy amateur slowed us down! Obviously didn't have the raw control that me and Luca seem to be blessed with...

Before I continue, however, I seem to have neglected to menion the greatest gig ever in the world! Hawksley Workman is his name, and if any of you feel like downloading some of his live tracks, I doubt you'll be disappointed!

Anyway... Sydney. Well, we arrived, checked into Base hostel that the girls booked... possibly the most expensive hostel known to man... so we moved out into another one which was pretty cool... Massive TV, and huge collection of DVD's... That's right, other side of the world and I was watching Disney films...

Seriously, try not watching tv for months at a time and see how you get on!

Well, when we did drag ourselves away from the big screen, we went to have a butchers at the opera house, which is actually pretty cool... although it does seem like they spent so much money making the outside look really cool, then they ran out and had to settle for the 'village hall' look inside...

Check this out for culture, me and Fella went to watch a Ballet in the opera house!! Bloody ballet! That's right folks... I'm upper-class!

Had a scout round Bondi Beach... well you've got to, right?... Actually looks a lot like Fistral Beach in Newquay, only without the testacle-retracting water temperatures... Met up with Suze and Fi from Nuneaton, which was good... so weird seeing people from back home! They're both doing good, by the way!

And that pretty much concludes Sydney... there were a few farewell parties... and Goon got a few outings up to the hostel roof terrace... but other than that it was pretty quiet...

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