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Andy’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 02 Jul 2006

Location: Cairns, Australia

MapCAIRNS - END OF THE ROAD?
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Cairns is, for most people who travel in Australia, the end (or the beginning) of their trip as the East coast is the most popular route undertaken by backpackers. So it was that within five minutes of checking into my hostel i had bumped into a host of different friends from my travels. Though Cairns is commercialised, uninteresting and geared around scummy backpacker bars (the Woolshed being the best/worst) full of Brits with various Union Jack items of clothing i knew i was going to have a good time meeting up with people whom i had shared many great experiences with, from Perth all the way up to the Whitsundays.

I travelled up with Gemma and Claire who had become my longest travelling buddys. We booked into Gilligans, a five star, uber-deluxe hostel. The Ritz of the hostel world. As usual these big, modern hostels are largely impersonal and unfriendly - Gesellschaft springs to mind (History degree friends should know what i mean) - but if you already have a group of friends it is well spectacularly equipped, clean and well maintained. We even got a fresh, clean, fluffy white towel on arrival. Having spent the last three months using a very handy but ultimately unsatisfying travel chamois using a real towel was blissful luxury. Backpacking fosters a deep appreciation for the small pleasures in life as will no doubt develop further when i reach deepest Asia!

Cairns was uneventful other than some fantastic nights out…thankyou Charlotte (from Fraser Island), Claire and Gemma, Mirthe and Becky (Surfers Paradise), Jen and Naomi (Townsville) Mark (Byron Bay) and finally, but by no means least, Zita and Kirsty who i last met up with in Melbourne and who i’ve missed greatly.