Monkeying Around the World

Monkeying Around the World

Lil Dave’s Adventures with Ivan and Jennifer

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Airlie Beach

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up early on September 3, 2009.  We checked out. 

We had a nice breakfast.  Ivan and Jen had baked beans, toast and cereal.  I had bananas and toast. 

We said goodbye to the crew at the Cattle Ranch station. 

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We boarded the Oz Experience bus at 7 am headed to Airlie Beach.  We had a long day ahead of us.

We arrived in Airlie Beach at 4 pm.  We checked in to Magnums.

It was time to use the internet for awhile.

We walked to Armada for dinner.  We were celebrating Ivan’s birthday.  Ivan and Jennifer started off with the 3 dips: basil pesto, garlic herb and capsicum.  It tasted really good.  I had a nice banana lasagna. 

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Ivan and Jen shared the mushroom stack salad and the salmon.  The mushroom dish was awesome while the salmon was very plain and didn’t have much flavor.

Ivan, Jennifer and I walked around on September 4, 2009.  We had lunch at a cafe. 

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Ivan and Jen each had a chicken and avocado sandwich on whole grain.  I had a banana and chicken sandwich.

It was a really chill day for us.  I worked on the blog.  Ivan and Jennifer relaxed and used the internet.

We went to Armada for dinner again.  Ivan and Jen got the same starter.  I had the banana and chicken gnocchi.  Ivan and Jen shared the mushroom stack salad and the crocodile fillet. 

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The crocodile tasted like chicken but it was really tough.  It was Jennifer’s first time eating crocodile.  She definitely preferred chicken.   

Ivan wanted to check out of the nightlife of Airlie Beach.  We went to Morocco’s.  Ivan and Jennifer had a free coupon for a glass of house wine.  They also played some pool.  Ivan won. 

We listened to some live music at Beaches.  The band played a lot of music we’ve never heard of. 

We walked across the street to Evolution.  We all danced for awhile to the good music.

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Kroombit Cattle Ranch

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up early on September 2, 2009.  We had breakfast in the kitchen.  Ivan left milk we had brought for the other travelers.  I left a banana for any monkeys to have.

We were picked up by the Oz Experience bus at 8:30 am.  Our driver Keno picked up other people at a different hostel.   We surprised to see that our group contained 18 people and 1 monkey.  Usually, it was only 4 people or so.

We drove for awhile.  We were driven out to the Outback to the Kroombit Cattle Ranch station.  We arrived there about 1:30 pm. 

Lunch was ready for us when we arrived.  Ivan had a tasty veggie burger.  Jennifer had a chicken schnitzel sandwich.  I had a grilled banana sandwich. 

We checked in and then shown to our private room.  It had a bunk bed with a double bed on the bottom and a single on top. 

Ivan and Jennifer were headed to go horse riding.  I decided to sit behind Ivan since he’s the better at horse riding.  Ivan’s horse was named Bundy.  Jennifer had one named Jude.  We got on our horses and set off. 

We would be mustering (herding) the goats.  Jennifer’s horse seemed a bit lazy and kept eating grass.  We rode out to where the goats were eating the grass. 

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We had to make sounds and make sure the goats were headed in the right direction.  It was really hard work!  There were some stragglers and we had to make them start moving.

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Jennifer’s horse, Jude, didn’t seem to listen to the commands he was given.  The little baby goats were the cutest.  It was lots of fun mustering the goats.   It seemed to take awhile doing it though.

We got all the goats in the holding pens.  We rode back to the cattle ranch. 

The people on the ranch had a baby kangaroo.  There was an car accident and the mama kangaroo died.  The baby was really cute.  It hopped around slowly.

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Most of the group hopped on the Oz Experience bus.  Andy told the horse riders that our reward was getting in the truck to the goat rodeo.  It was a really fast and bumpy ride.

It was time for shooting a rifle to hit clay pigeons.  Only a couple people signed up for it.  Jennifer was the only girl.  It included 5 shots for $10 AUD.  Ivan went first and he got 3 out of 5 hits.  Jennifer went next and she also hit 3 out of 5. 

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They thought it was cool shooting the clay pigeons. I really wanted to have a go myself, but they told me that I was too young, and too much of a monkey to be able to shoot a gun.

Next, it was time to try lassoing.  Ivan was doing alright.  Jennifer couldn’t do it at all.  They tried practicing, but it was a bit hard.

Ivan wanted to catch a goat.  The people at the ranch didn’t seem to like doing the goat events.  But, we insisted.

We got into groups of three.  We got a quiet guy who Jen thought looked like Lurch from The Addams Family.  Andy said we had to choose a name for our group.  Ivan thought The Three Amigoats would be good.  Then, they had to choose either C, M or D.  Ivan picked C, Jen got M and the quiet guy got D.  Ivan figured out that it was Catch, Milk and Drink.  So, the teams had to catch a goat, milk it and drink the milk.  The groups were competing for points.

Ivan was running around to find a female goat.  He got one.  Jennifer tried to milk it but nothing was coming out.  Andy came over to demonstrate.  Ivan got another goat and Jennifer finally some milk out.  The quiet guy refused to drink it.  Ivan drank it instead.

There was another goat game.  This time we had to lasso a goat.  Then, another person puts the goat on its side.  The last person brands the goat.  Of course the brand isn’t hot.  Ivan kept trying to lasso a goat with no luck.  He was told he could catch one. 

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He got one and dragged it to Jennifer and the quiet guy.  The guy put the goat on its side.  Then Jennifer got the brand and accidently hit the guy and then branded the goat. 

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They got points but some were deducted since Jennifer branded her teammate.

The next game was called circle of fire.  The group held hands and two people were chosen by spinning a bottle.  Then, Andy would have the two people hold a two metal rods.  The current would go through the whole group.  Ivan, Jennifer and the quiet guy thought that was a stupid game.  Ivan and Jen didn’t like electric shocks at all. 

We went back to the bar for drinks.  Ivan and Jen got a bottle of red wine for $9.  It was Happy Hour prices for wine all night. 

Dinner was served next.  I got a banana stew.  Ivan and Jennifer ate the tasty vegetable stew.  They weren’t sure if there was more food, so they had seconds.

The main course was next.  I had a banana quiche made for me.

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Ivan and Jennifer each had a good vegetable quiche.

Al was an old guy who worked at the ranch.  He told us that it was time for face painting.  He said everybody needed to have at least some paint on their face. 

Ivan drew a Nazi sign and Whites Rule on Jennifer’s face for a joke.  But, nobody seemed to get it.  I don’t know why though. 

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Jennifer’s Asian, so she wouldn’t be a Nazi.  Everybody kept having the reaction of Oh, that’s a bit too much.

Jennifer made Ivan into a clown at his request. 

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I didn’t get mine painted because I would have looked ridiculous – plus the paint would have been a pain to get out of my lovely fur.

Al gave us a talk about Kroombit.  It was really boring and seemed to sober up Ivan. 

Ivan and Jen drank some wine.  I had a cup of banana juice.

There was a talent show.  We didn’t really watch it though.  A guy who walked over hot coals won. 

We were taken to try out whip cracking.  Al was helping people out.  He cracked the whip so easily and loud.  Ivan got a few cracks in.  Jen couldn’t get a crack at all. 

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It seemed really hard to do.  

It was time for the mechanical bull.  People were getting on but the bull was really jerky at the beginning.  Ivan tried it and was thrown off right at beginning.  Jennifer tried and she was thrown right away as well.  It was really funny to watch.  I tried and was thrown across onto the dirt since I’m so light.

We decided to go to bed.  We had a fun filled day and we were real tired.

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1770

Ivan, Jennifer and I checked out of the Friendly Hostel on September 1, 2009.  The friendly guy who runs the friendly hostel drove us in the van to the bus station.

We boarded the Oz Experience bus at 9:30 am.  Our bus driver was named Keno.  We were headed to the Town of 1770.

We stopped for lunch at Bundaberg.  Ivan and Jennifer wanted to try out Fruit 2 Juice for lunch.  Ivan and Jen each had a lovely chicken and avocado wrap.  My wrap was a nice banana and chicken wrap with teriyaki sauce.  Ivan ordered a shake but before he could request no sugar, the lady put a bunch of ice cream.  It didn’t taste too good.

We arrived in the town of 1770 around 1:45 pm.  We checked in to 1770 Backpackers.  There were no private rooms available.  The lady who checked us in was really nice.  She let us have a ten bed dorm to ourselves. 

Ivan had set up to do the scooteroos.  Scooteroos are miniature Harley Davidsons.  Jennifer was scared to drive it and wanted to ride behind Ivan.  I thought I could catch a ride and squeeze myself in between Ivan and Jen. 

We were picked up at 2:30 pm at the hostel.  We were driven to Scooteroos.  They told us that we should grab a helmet and pick out a leather jacket.  There were no monkey-sized helmets so I had to make do without one. 

Ivan hopped onto a scooteroo and then we got in behind him.  It was a really tight fit.  There’s a bar behind the second seat that holds the license plate number.  There would have been plenty of room if it wasn’t there. 

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We drove around the town of 1770 on the Scooteroos.  Since we had a lot of weight, we were usually the last of the group.  I know Ivan wanted to go a lot faster.  He loves driving fast.  It was a scenic drive around the town.  It would have been nice to drive right near the sea.

We stopped for a break to have potato wedges.  I got banana wedges, but it was just a fancy name for banana slices.  We sat on the rocks and watched the sun set.

We rode back to the Scooteroos place.  The ride was alright. 

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I guess it’s because we’ve ridden lots of motorbikes and seen lots of countryside – so the ride was nothing special for us.  A van took us back to the hostel.

We chilled and used the internet.

We walked around to find a restaurant for dinner.  We decided on Agnes Tavern.  I had a nice dish with chicken stuffed with bananas.  Ivan and Jennifer shared a smoked salmon salad and a trout with a great buttery sauce with prawns. 

We walked back to the hostel after having a drink.   We went to bed early since we had another early start.

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Hervey Bay

Ivan, Jennifer and I checked out of Dingo’s on August 31, 2009. 

Ivan and Jennifer each had a cajun chicken wrap.  It was way too spicy so you couldn’t really taste the other ingredients.  I had an okay banana wrap.

We got the Greyhound bus at 12:30 pm headed towards Hervey Bay.  We arrived there at 2:20 pm. 

Ivan called the hostel so we could get picked up.  We got picked up by a van.

We checked in to Friendly Hostel.  We had a private double room.  The room was nice.  The bed was comfortable and a had a nice duvet.

We each took a shower.  We walked around town.  The town is pretty quiet.

We wanted to try out a French restaurant.  We kept walking trying to find it.  But, it was farther than Google Maps said it was.  Ivan and Jen started checked out the restaurants.

Ivan and Jen each had a glass of red wine at a pub.  I had a banana juice. 

We walked next door to the Black Dog Cafe.  Ivan and Jen started off with a tasty bruschetta.  I got a banana and chicken noodle dish. 

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Ivan got the spicy chicken with noodles.  Jennifer ordered the chicken teriyaki with noodles.  Ivan and Jennifer had some wine with their dinner.  The meal was really good.

We walked back to the hostel.  We were all so tired that we fell asleep without brushing our teeth (Ivan and Jennifer) or our fur (me).

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Fraser Island Trip

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up really early on August 28, 2009. We stored our backpackers in the luggage storage at the hostel, and then met in the car park for our briefing. Our alcohol that we had ordered was nicely stacked for us behind our van, and we noticed that we had the least alcohol out of all the groups – one group was just stupid though, with a ridiculous amount of alcohol that was just way too much.

Although our group had the least alcohol, I would say that it definitely had the most bananas. Probably too many to be honest – but better safe than sorry that’s what I always say!

Everyone helped out with loading the van up, then I volunteered to take a group picture of everyone.

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The people who were going to be doing some driving (Ivan but not Jennifer) also got a briefing. Then, we all jumped into the van, with Tony, this French guy driving, and we drove off.

It was a short drive down to the beach where we had to wait for a little while for the ferry to arrive, to take us to Fraser Island. Once we were on the ferry, we were lucky to see dolphins swimming in the water.

The journey was about 20 minutes, and once we arrived the adventure started, with us getting stuck in the sand almost immediately! Still, one of the other teams were also stuck and so we didn’t feel too embarrassed. I offered to get out and push, but that comment was just met with laughs, so instead we waited until Tony the driver skillfully got us out of the sand and on the way.

Due to the high tide we had to drive along an inland road for a while, but then after a while we hit the beach, and the road was just the beach itself.

The weather was perfect and the views were beautiful – we were driving right next to the waters edge! After a while we turned off and started driving through the jungle towards a place called Lake McKenzie. When we arrived we were going to have lunch, but nobody could be bothered to carry all the food down to the lake – so  they said they would skip lunch. However myself, Jennifer and Ivan were hungry so we grabbed some bread, bananas, and a tin of tuna and took it down to the lake with us.

The lake was a fresh water lake right in the middle of the Island and the views were stunning. After eating our lunch we all got in the water, which was freezing cold so we didn’t get too much of our bodies wet – just enough to get a nice photo!

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We all sat around for a while and admired the view, and then it was back in the van, with Ivan driving this time.

The driving was quite tough as it was really sandy, and Ivan got stuck a few times, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle. We got a lost a couple of times, and lost track of where the other trucks got too – but luckily once we arrived at the central station to buy some ice, the other trucks also turned up.

After some more driving, we all decided to set up camp, so we found a suitable spot, and started unloading all the stuff from the van. Jennifer and I helped Ivan build the tent.

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Jennifer’s tent building experience was not too much, so she wasn’t sure what exactly went where – but everyone helped everyone else and so eventually the tents were up.

We then started to cook the dinner for the evening. Jennifer and Ivan helped chop the potatoes up for the potato salad. We only had one small table to cook on – and most of that was taken up by the cooking stove, so it wasn’t long before everything was full of sand, and we were having to improvise quite a bit with the cooking.

Still, the potato salad was a success – and some steak was cooked for the meat eaters, some veggie burgers were done nicely for Ivan and Jen, and some bananas were sautéed in some banana sauce for me.

After dinner the drinking started. Some people were drinking beer, some were drinking this stuff called Goon (really cheap Australian strong box wine) and some were drinking banana juice (me).

We were playing drinking games, and everyone was getting very very drunk. It was all a lot of fun, until some people got a bit too drunk……still at least the night was really fun. The less said about what Jennifer does when she is drunk, the better.

The next day on August 29th,2009 Ivan woke up early and made everyone some scrambled eggs. It wasn’t too much of a success though..he thinks he used too much pepper. Still nobody was really complaining as everyone was so hung over.

We all helped clear up the mess, and then pack the van back up again so we could continue our journey along the beach.

After a while driving we stopped at the Maheno wreck. It was an old boat that was washed ashore years and years ago.

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We had a look around it and took some pics, then continued our driving.

After a while we came to a point called India Head. The rest of the group went for a walk to the look-out point, but Ivan and Jennifer were too tired to do that, so just sat on the rocks admiring the great view. It was really relaxing. After a while the group came back and we grabbed some lunch in the van – then Jen stayed in the van to get some sleep, while Ivan and I ran after the rest of the group who were heading to a place called the Champagne pools.

It was a long walk to get there. The walk was nice, but once we were there the actual champagne pools weren’t that impressive…just a couple of natural lagoons in the water.

After we walked back to the van, we then drove back down the beach to get a camp site for that night.

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Ivan and a French girl helped cooked the chicken stir fry…and this Idiot French dude decided that it would be a smart idea to cook the rice using ocean water..as we need to add salt to the water anywhere, so he figured to just use salty ocean water. Naturally, the rice was totally ruined…and there wasn’t much stir fry, so after eating it, Ivan cooked some more veggie burgers for everyone to eat.

That night Jennifer didn’t really drink much as she drank so much the night before. She went to bed early, but Ivan got really drunk and stayed up quite late chatting with some people on the beach.

The next day 30th August,2009, we all woke up to a bit of a mess. You see, there are lots of Dingo’s on Fraser Island which are wild dogs – and so we were told not to leave any food out overnight….Well we got up and there was food EVERYWHERE…a lot of it due to the rice fight we had had the previous night. All of our food had sand in it – loads of plates and cutlery was missing…and by the time we had all got up, most of the other groups were already on their way.

Ivan made an omelets for us and we also had some cereal to eat.

Once we had packed up, we drove down the beach, and somehow missed our turn off for the road we had driven down at the start of our trip. We were convinced we were going to miss the ferry back, but luckily we arrived in time and so did all the other teams.

Once back at the hostel we had to wash all our dishes- we were apparently the only group to lose any plates and cutlery. We then had to clean the van and throw all the rubbish away.

Back at the hostel it was nice to have a powerful hot shower waiting for us, as nobody had had a shower for days..I was finding sand in the fur on my body in places that I didn’t know sand could go!

That evening we went to a nice restaurant called Hotel Rainbow Beach. We started off with some really tasty bruschette with fresh garlic, herbs, and oil. It was really really delicious as the garlic was fresh and easily spreadable on the bread.

For main course we ordered a chicken dish and a salmon dish.

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A really really tasty meal.

It was early to bed for everyone that night as we were all so tired.

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Travelling to Rainbow Beach

Ivan, Jennifer and I got up early on August 27, 2009.  We checked out of X Base Central.

We got on the bus at 6:30 am headed to Rainbow Beach.  Ivan and Jen had cereal on the bus for breakfast.  I had bananas and yoghurt.

We stopped at Noosa.  It was a long stop for an hour and a half.  We walked around the town.  There’s lots of posh restaurants and retail shops. 

Ivan and Jennifer each had a breakfast smoothie.  I had a banana.

We checked out the shops more.  Ivan sent out a postcard.  We grabbed lunch.  Ivan and Jen each had a chicken and avocado wrap on the bus.  I had a banana and honey wrap.

We drove for a couple more hours.   We finally reached Rainbow Beach at 2 pm.

We checked in to Dingo’s Backpackers.  Ivan and Jennifer were in the mixed dorm.  I was going to sleep on Jennifer’s bed. 

We met up in the dining area for our Fraser Island briefing.  Tomorrow, we’d be doing a self-guided tour of Fraser Island.  We were told about the island.  We had to watch a video that warned us about dingoes and told us other rules.  There are waste stations where we have to place our garbage. 

We met our group.  It consisted of 11 people and 1 monkey.  Everybody seemed to be kind of quiet in our group.  We thought we might have a boring group.  The group consisted of French, German, Irish, England and American. 

People signed up to drive.  Ivan wanted to drive.  Jennifer has never driven 4WD so she decided not to drive. 

Ivan and Jen each packed a backpack for the upcoming trip.  We bought some cup of noodles and snacks in case.  We would be getting food to cook – but we weren’t sure if it would be any good.

We walked around Rainbow Beach for dinner.  The town is really small with only a few shops and restaurants.  We couldn’t find a good restaurant.  It was either bad food or closed.  Ivan and Jennifer decided to have the vegetable lasagna at the hostel.  They thought it was really good.  I had a banana sandwich. 

We went to bed since we had an early start again in the morning.

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Wet Rides

Ivan, Jennifer and I got a bus to Warner Brothers Movie World on the morning of August 25, 2009. 

We saw the Stunt Show.  It was really good.  There were cars going very fast and doing cool stunts. 

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It was time for lunch.  Ivan had an egg sandwich with lettuce.  I had a banana and chicken sandwich.  Jennifer had a tasty chicken and avocado sandwich.

We rode a few rides.  It was cool.  The park isn’t that big so Ivan and Jennifer didn’t have to walk around much. 

There’s a Harry Potter store.  There was figures, broomsticks and stuffed animals available for sale.

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We went on a wet ride.  Unfortunately, it stopped working right before the end of the ride (where the big drop happens and you get wet).  We were stuck in the dark for a few minutes.  We had to exit our cars and out of the ride.

We really wanted to ride the Scooby Doo ride but it got shut down a few times during the day.

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Ivan rode the Superman ride.  He though it was super fast.  He loves riding roller coasters.

We got to meet Shrek!

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There was a parade going on.  It had different characters like Scooby Doo and the gang, Bugs Bunny, Austin Powers, Shrek and Batman.  We had a good time at the theme park.

We took a bus back to the hostel.

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We walked around to find a nice restaurant for dinner.  Ivan remembered a place he read about on the internet.  We went to Chiang Mai Thai for dinner.  The menu actually has a section called Bugs where you can Ginger Bugs or Sweet and Sour Bugs.  Ivan and Jennifer shared the really tasty Tom Yum chicken soup.  Ivan got the pad thai.  I got a noodle dish with bananas. 

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Jennifer got bbq chicken which came with a nice chili sauce. 

We walked back to the hostel to get some rest.

Ivan, Jennifer and I checked out of Surf n’ Sun on August 26, 2009.  We stored our backpacks at the hostel.

We got a bus to the water park Wet n’ Wild.  I went to chill near the wave pool.  The waves actually get really big. 

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Ivan and Jen rode a lot of rides.  It was a hot day out.  The park was pretty empty.  It only took a maximum of 2 minutes wait for all the rides. 

We got the bus back to the hostel.  We grabbed our luggage. 

The hostel drove us to the bus station.  We left on the Oz Experience bus at 5 pm headed to Brisbane.  We got there a few minutes after 6 pm. 

We checked in to X Base Central.  Ivan went for a walk to get some exercise.  I worked on the blog with Jennifer.

We tried to have dinner at Wagamama.  But, it seems restaurants close really early in Brisbane.  A lot of the restaurants were too expensive.  So, we went to the convenience store to buy dinner. 

We ate dinner at the hostel.  Ivan and Jen had cup of noodles.  I had banana and crackers. 

Our room was really hot.  Ivan complained about it and the staff was rude about it.  The room is very brown and boring. 

We went to sleep early since we had a very early start in the morning.

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Surfers Paradise

Ivan, Jennifer and I checked out of Nomads Odyssey on August 23, 2009.  We placed our backpacks into luggage storage at the hostel.

We walked around Byron Bay.  Ivan and Jennifer had muesli and yoghurt.  I had bananas with milk and honey.

We stopped by the beach for a few minutes.

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We got chicken wraps for lunch.  I added bananas to mine.

Ivan and Jennifer went to watch Inglorious Basterds.  I watched episodes of My Gym Partner is a Monkey on Jen’s iPod.  They enjoyed the movie.

We grabbed our backpacks.  We got on the Oz Experience bus at 3:30 pm headed towards Surfers Paradise.  We arrived at 5 pm.

We checked in to Surf n’ Sun.  Ivan got a private room.  It was nice because it was an apartment.  So, there are two bedrooms and a kitchen.  We settled into our room.

We walked to the store to get some food.  Jen had a chicken linguine Lean Cuisine meal.  Ivan had baked beans.  They both shared crackers and hummus as well.  I had two bananas on bread. 

The hostel provides a dvd in the room and dvds with movies or tv shows.  We watched a few episodes of Little Britain. 

Ivan, Jennifer and I had lunch at Subway on August 24, 2009. 

We walked around Surfers Paradise.  Ivan got a haircut.  We stopped by Condom Kingdom. 

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Jen had a go on a didgeridoo.

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We went to Dracula’s Haunted House.  It’s the same company who runs Dracula’s Cabaret.  We all walked through.  All the props were very well made. 

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There are certain things to make you scream like the ground shaking or a skeleton flying at you. 

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It took us 45 minutes to go through the entire haunted house.  We all enjoyed it.  It was really scary for me.

We walked around some more.  We stopped by Pancakes on Paradise.  I had two banana pancakes.  Ivan and Jen shared a tasty marinated chicken crepe. 

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We went to Infinity next.  We had to wear gloves and shoe covers to enter.  They didn’t have monkey-sized gloves or shoe covers so I just hung on to Jennifer.  Infinity is a series of rooms.  Each one is different with mirrors, special effects and lights.  It was interesting and trippy. 

We had the same thing for dinner as the previous night.  We watched more episodes of Little Britain before heading off to bed. 

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Byron Bay

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up around 6 am on August 21, 2009.  We had a nice breakfast. 

It was time for surfing lessons.  Ivan decided to go.  Jennifer was so tired since she was up late last night reading her book. 

Jennifer and I slept on a couch while Ivan went surfing.  He couldn’t stand up on the board.  He didn’t like surfing at all.  He sat down and watched the rest of the group try to surf.

We left on the Oz Experience bus at 10:30 am headed to Byron Bay.  We arrived at 2 pm.

Ivan and Jen checked in to Nomads Odyssey.  It’s a new hostel that opened up in March 2009.  It was very clean inside and quite trendy compared to most hostels we have been

We were in a 6 bed dorm.  It turned out we had it all to ourselves.  It had a really great bathroom that was more like the kind you would find in a hotel rather than a hostel.

We had dinner at a restaurant called Chameleon.  Ivan and Jennifer got the $30 deal that included a three course meal with a glass of wine. 

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Ivan got the trout sashimi with salad and soba noodles for a starter.  Jen had lentil and curry soup.  Ivan got the chicken breast for the main course.  Jennifer had the linguine with smoked chicken.  I ordered spaghetti with bananas.  Ivan and Jennifer got the waffles with ice cream. 

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Ivan got chocolate ice-cream while Jennifer had mango.  The meal was real tasty.

We walked back to the hostel.  I watched Ivan and Jennifer play ping pong in the hostel lounge.  They’re both very competitive.  Ivan won.

Ivan, Jennifer and I had to switch to a different 6 bed dorm on August 22, 2009, as the room we were allready in was full up.

Ivan got wraps for us to eat.  Ivan and Jen had their chicken and avocado wrap.  I had a nice banana salad wrap.

We got picked up at 10:05 am for our trip to Nimbin.  Nimbin is a town where most of the people are in favor of legalizing marijuana.  Ivan read on the internet that Nimbin is filled with hippies doing it and trying to sell it on the streets.

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We got to Nimbin.  It wasn’t exactly as we thought it would be.  The hippies weren’t really there anymore.  It seemed that Nimbin got cleaned up by the police.  We did see the Nimbin museum which was filled with quotes about marijuana. 

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It was quite a colorful museum.  It was free admission, but you could make a donation. 

There were ladies on the street asking if we wanted pot cookies. 

We went back on the bus.  Some people had bought the pot cookies. 
We drove to a pub for lunch.  Our driver got busy right away on the bbq lunch. 

Nobody seemed to be stoned.  Everybody just chatted in their groups on the grass.  Ivan and Jennifer had veggie burgers for lunch.  Jen didn’t think they tasted so good.  I had a banana sandwich.  The pub was ordinary.  Our group wasn’t very lively.  The guide didn’t really talk much. 

We drove to a waterfall after lunch.  The guide was trying to get people to jump into the water.  Only about 10 people actually did. 

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The people who jumped said the water was freezing cold.  We just watched.  Ivan and Jennifer drank some cider while they watched the jumpers.

The bus drove the group back into Byron Bay.  We arrived at the hostel at 5:30 pm.

We chilled for awhile.

We walked around to find a place for dinner.  Ivan thought Asia Joe’s looked good.  It was BYO (bring your own alcohol).  Ivan ordered pad thai.  Jennifer got the salt and pepper shrimp with two kinds of noodles.  I got Singapore noodles with chicken and bananas.  Ivan ran back to the hostel to get a bottle of wine.  It was the wine they bought on the Hunter Valley wine tour.  The food turned out really great.

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We walked around to get some exercise.  We used the internet at the hostel.  Then it was time for bed.

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Oz Experience

Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up really early on August 20, 2009.  We checked out of the Mount Batten Hotel.

We walked to the Oz Experience office.  We boarded the bus and left at 6:30 am.  Our destination for today would be the Surf Camp.  Our guide’s name was Squatter.  All the Oz Experience drivers have nicknames, but they are not allowed to tell us how they got them.  There was only 8 people and 1 monkey on the bus.

Squatter drove the bus for awhile.  Our first stop was at the Koala Hospital and Study Centre.  There were only two koalas on site. 

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We took some pictures and went back on the bus.

Squatter thought we’d do something different since we were ahead of schedule.  We stopped at Port Macquarie for lunch.  This was a really nice village with beautifull views over the ocean.  It was Subway for lunch.  Ivan got a veggie patty while Jennifer got a roasted chicken sandwich.  I got a banana and chicken sandwich.  We had a nice view while we ate our lunch.

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We got back on the bus.  We drove for a long time.  Squatter talked a lot about the areas we were passing.  It was quite interesting. 

Squatter stopped the bus by a field filled with kangaroos.  There was about 10 of them eating a snack.  We had to walk very slowly for about 10 steps and then stop.  If they looked at us, we had to look down at the ground.  We got really close to them about 30 meters.  It was cool to see a mama with a baby in her pouch. 

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We arrived at the Surf Camp at 5:10 pm.  Ivan and Jen put their backpacks in their room. 

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There were 3 bunk beds in the room.  There was another couple in the room as well.

Dinner was served at 6 pm.  It was buffet style.  There was veggie pasta, salad, bean and corn salad, pumpkin soup, potato wedges and nachos.  I added some bananas to the pasta.  The pasta wasn’t too good though.  I did have plenty of salad though. 

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Ivan and Jennifer really enjoyed the pumpkin soup.

We chilled for awhile.  It was really cold outside tonight.  Ivan and Jen took a walk.  We all used the internet. We were going to watch a movie in the movie room, but the sound was so so so low that you could barely hear what was being said. We left a couple of minute in, wondering why on earth other people were bothering to stay when the only lines you could hear was when the actors were shouting!

It was time for bed.  It was so very cold in our room.  There was no heater available.  Thank goodness for the blankets that weren’t in use on the other bed.  Jennifer used two blankets to keep warm.  I went under one blanket and slept like a monkey baby.

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