Welcome to Australia! Day one and I already love this country/continent! I slept through the entire plane ride since my flight left at 0110. So I arrived in Australia feeling very tired but the second I stepped off the plane, I could feel the breeze from the tarmac and saw beautiful blue skies and mountains from the window. I have to say, as much as I loved traveling in Asia, I am so glad to be back in a western country. After dropping off my bags, my first stop was to Woolworth’s, a local grocery store chain, and walking around the aisles made me feel at home. No more constant wondering how long your food has been sitting out or if the kitchen is “up to code” at least not for a little while.
I had a couple of hours to kill before I could check-in to Gilligan’s so I walked around and explored the town for a bit. Cairns is just a small town at the tip of Australia’s northern East coast. It is a very popular destination for backpackers to start or end their route. Cairns has access to the Great Barrier Reef and is known as a prime location for snorkeling and diving. I spent the afternoon hanging out at the Lagoon, a public pool by the beach. The beach in Cairns is not great due to the undesirable conditions for swimming and it being home to poisonous stingers, so both locals and backpackers go to the Lagoon instead. The water was freezing but it was a perfect way to cool off after walking around town for hours.
Last night, I met some new friends back at the hostel, Luki and Morris from Switzerland. We spent the night talking and went out to find free pizza with our other roommate from Germany (as backpackers do). Since we didn’t make it in time for the free pizza, we picked up some Domino’s and hung out in the room for the rest of the night.