Katherine's Trip 2005/06 travel blog

Dear All,

Just a quick note to fill you all in on my Oz Experience so far .... I promise that when it rains in Australia I will spend a day in the internet cafe updating my website which I know is terribly behind especially with my exploits in China ...Basically I am having too much fun and as I am out of practice typing it take me ages to add anything (also, my wit and intelligence seem to have deserted me since the plane landed in Oz , think I am picking up some of the Aussie renowned slowness...)

But as I have had many glowing reports (I was quite surprised as I thought my writing style was terrible - I am obviously my own worst critic !) I promise that I will keep you updated, especially with pictures as my years in marketing have taught me that visual aids are key to the success of a product or service. Besides it's also quite fun to brag ...harsh but true. Anyway, so I landed in Oz after a wonderful week in Hong Kong with Haydn ... which was actually about as far from backpacking as you could possibly get (Strawberry daiquiris in trendy vintage bars) We also went a bit crazy and stayed in the Peninsula for a night which was luxury personified... even though we were only there for 26 hours (I managed to secure an early check-in...) I got through 4 robes, 8 towels and 7 bottles of shampoo and conditoner (another twelve made it into the bag along with some soap and of course the obligatory sewing kit) I just had to get my money's worth being the pikey I have become ...

Anyway, after leaving Haydn at Hong Kong airpot (ah boo !) I was off to Oz to meet up with Sophie!!

I can't actually remember the landing as I was so terribly excited when the Lovely Aussie air steward offered me a mini bottle of Jacob's Creek that I then proceeded to empty the bar of it until I had to move onto Scrubby Rise !!! Having not had wine for 2 months has meant that I have truly re-embraced my long lost friend back into my loving arms ....So I get to Brissy and despite being very dehydrated and slightly worse for wear still manage to find my way to the Hostel with relative ease (Note to self: email to follow on the difference between hostels and hotels ....despite my hopes unfortunately it is not just the appearance of an additional 's' that separate the two) Met up with Sophie , which was lovely and within about 15 minutes we somehow find ourselves in the vicinity of a bar and decide to have a little early evening tipple. Forgetting ourselves and our surroundings we naively ask them if they have a wine list , to which they laughed in our faces and said "it's red or white and both come out of a box." How delightful, we replied and opted for a glass of white. So we then proceeded to catch up each other's news for the next few hours supping away on the vinegar (out of a tumbler /beaker not a wine glass of course)which went down surprisingly well....We then went out for dinner and onto a bar where I was chatted up by a fifteen year old Aussie boy (he could only be described as such) who said that my accent reminded him of Delia Smith. In order to clarify, yes he meant the Delia Smith, the 50 year old menopausal cook who can teach even the most hopelessly inept chef how to boil the perfect egg. You can imagine how flattered I was...especially when I realised that I can't boil the kettle let alone an egg.

The next day we caught the bus to Noosa (having asked the bus driver if the tap water was Evian and ok to drink..) and arrived at our little compound, sorry hostel (not just an extra 's') called Koalas at the beach. This description is not strictly true as it does not actually have a beach front aspect. In fact it overlooks a roundabout on which is situated a Murphy's public house and a chinese takeaway. Oh well, at least we can enjoy the takeaway...it's not as if I've had chinese food for a while or anything .....

But despite my snide comments, (sorry you should never start a sentence with but)the hostel is not far from the beautiful Noosa beach and the weather is hotting up so we have been able to spend a few days relaxing on the beach and enjoying the sunshine. Yesterday we went to Australia Zoo home to the famous "Crocodile Hunter" himself the great Steve Irwin..At least we don't think he actually has his own enclosure there but anyway, we were apparently very priviliged to see the man himself (with the lovely Terri at his side) as he performed some terrifyingly death defying stunts with crocodiles....Soph and I thought it was all very Americanised - not least beacuse the amphitheatre where the 'shows' are is called the Crocoseum... so it didn't surprise us very much to discover that the lovely Terri is actually from across the pond...They had a compere to 'warm up the crowd' before Stevo came out...who was giving free stuff out to all the tourists that had 'come a long way' to support Stevo in his quest for big fat profits, sorry "conservation for endangered species" We thought that England was quite a long way, but we heard them mumble something about someone's ashes, so we thought that maybe they weren't in the best of moods...None of the inflatbale crocodiels seemed to make it our way anyway..

As a result of my trip to the Zoo I have realised that I have fallen in love.....with Koalas..They are just the cutest thing in the world and the only thing stopping me from either a) Fostering one or b) Having my picture taken cuddling one was when Sophie kindly converted the cost of said activities back into the international currency of 'bottles of wine' (For your info Fostering was 15 bottles of wine and the picture was a box of vinegar but I still wasn't swayed...) But I took lots and lots of pictures of them and stroked one (he was so fluffy !!) so that kept me happy being the easily pleased woman I have become (aka Pikey!)

Anyway, more to follow when I have more time...Soph and I are off to the hostel quiz tonight (Yes Haydn, Letty and Bob and Sarah Lawrence - a quiz !!!) We were incentivised by the prize of yes you've guessed it a case of wine... Tomorrow we head up to Hervey Bay and will then be off to Fraser Island on Friday. We are a bit scared of the dingoes, apparently wine is the only guaranteed deterrent against an attack.... makes sense really.

Love and kisses to all

Katherine xxxx

Ps Imagine my delight when I discovered that they do really say 'no worries' it's brilliant I can't stop laughing about it !!!

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