12th-17th June 2012
As I cheered at the prospect of going to Australia when the plane left Singapore to Darwin, I realised that I wasn’t alone…well in my body. A nasty virus decided to strike my immune system at the most inconvenient time and place possible. The plane journey. This was to be the second time this has happened on a long plane journey.
The first time, I went by without contracting any illness or upset stomach after my time in Uganda only to have it strike as we landed in Dubai on the way back and my buttock muscles came to good use!
This time, my throat was constricted, my glands swollen and my voice hoarse as I woke up after dozing slightly for a couple of hours. The cough I had the day before had suddenly turned into a full blown Tonsillitis and I was struggling to stop my coughing seeing as I had a mother with a sleeping baby, one that squealed for ages before finally going to sleep, and the mother was worn out.
After a whole lot of coughing and spluttering, my vitality took a nosedive and I seriously thought I was going to develop a fever. Oh my days.
13th June 2012
Luckily, Darwin arrived and we had to undergo through another security check. This was very stringent. Seeing as I cannot go through a body scanner due to my cochlear implant, I would have to be body searched by a security officer. I don’t mind this as they are just doing their job and I told them to pat me down. They were horrified at first and asked if I was extremely sure. Course I am. Then I had to sign a load of forms as a disclaimer release for myself if I get violated by a security officer. Then fill out my personal details. I wouldn’t have minded but I was the first in a very long queue from a late flight with only 20 minutes to rush through security and get on the next plane from Darwin to Cairns. Oops. I already made several Australians annoyed with me on my first minutes on Australian soil.
Finally getting approval from his manager to pat me down, the process lasted…10 seconds. Then I was shown to the transfer room.
Coughing and spluttering, I just wanted to sit down for a minute but it seemed that many non-Australians decided to ask me about advice for Cairns. Confused, I asked them why me? They say I look Australian. It wasn’t the first time, many people in SE Asia thought I am Australian. Course, I’m handsome with my ravishing good rugged looks and a beautiful tan, but come on…really?
After the coughing flight from Darwin to Cairns, I landed at Cairns tired, and on a downer but luckily as I stepped out of the airport, the morning weather greeted me with such enthusiasm! After the humidity of Malaysia and Singapore, the air felt extremely fresh yet warm. I breathed this in my phlegm covered throat and chest feeling swift relief.
As my pick up from my hostel arrived, I lumbered in and checked in on arrival and fell into my bunkbed with a hello from my bunkbed mate for a few minutes, I was fast asleep. This was at 10am in the morning. And I didn’t wake until 9pm! Feeling slightly better, I thought I would try to mingle with fellow hostellers. I found my bunk bed mate and he introduced me to 2 others…a Scottish bloke and a Dutch bloke. We talked a bit over a pint of shockingly overpriced beer $6 per beer?! That’s like £4 for a beer!
But I had to retire to bed. I was still ill and could feel myself getting more and more poorly. Back into bed it was.
14th June 2012
After a racking night of coughing and developing a fever, I dragged myself out of bed for the free breakfast the hostel offered. After a long hot shower, I felt better enough to go and walk down the esplanade alongside the bay to Cairns Harbour. Arriving in the city centre itself, I checked out the tourist information to find a few deals but the best deal I found was FREE INTERNET!
Let me tell you, Australia is expensive but the Internet access is even more expensive as You PAY for it. Makes a change from SE Asia where wifi is readily available everywhere! I thought what a con! But luckily, the tourist information Internet is free! So there I stayed for a good couple of hours, blogging, catching up with news, and finally doing a little bit of work.
I still felt poorly but I was happy enough to go for a little stroll around the town centre. It’s full of tour shops, backpacker places, bars and pubs and especially the infamous Woolshed pub where you can get a free meal with some backpacker places such as Corona Backpackers. Opposite the backpackers, there is the world famous Gilligan’s Nightclub, where many bands play and also for some raucous partying.
Historically and culturally, you will not find anything in this place. I grew to suspect this was truly a tourist town and a party town. I was proved correct in my week I spent recovering in this place.
At the end of the day, I wandered back to the hostel and climbed into bed for more reading.
15th June 2012
Nothing much to note except going to the chemist for more lemsips and cough mixture. Tonsillitis was getting worse. Day was spent in the hostel.
16th June 2012
Felt a lot better today. Wandered over to the shopping centre. Bought some dry food for my travels. It’s so expensive to pay for a meal compared to SE Asia. It’s back to cooking now. Many hostels have a kitchen and you will always see bubbling pans of pasta with clueless backpackers not knowing whether it’s done or not. Spent an hour and a half teaching 3 French people how to cook a meal.
At the shopping centre – Cairns Central, I also spotted a British Sweet Shop and replenished my sugar levels with fizzy cola bottles.
Also bought my Australian SIM Card for my unlocked Samsung phone. Went with Telestra, recommended by many backpackers in my hostel. Apparently, you will always have a signal with Telestra,
17th June 2012
Finally had enough of Cairns and the backpackers in my hostel. Most of them are French who stick together and also Swedish people who has no word of English. Felt a lot better today so decided to make a trip up north for the next day to get away from Cairns. Port Douglas! Also booked Uncle Brian’s Tour of the Atherton Tablelands for later on in the week due to popular demand.
This time I taught 2 British girls how to cook.
At the end of the day, I was bored being poorly and being bored really! Cairns is not the place to be if you are ill!
Now I can’t wait to get to Port Douglas to finally defeat my Tonsillitis and start having a good time in Australia.
Have you been ill on your travels?