Not unlike a traditional UK boxing day, today was spent looking through our things and generally not doing much. As we’d had a busy day and late night last night, we decided to have a lovely lie in and stayed in the comfy bed until about half 11. We could have stayed there so much longer but we remembered we’d booked onto the free trip to the botanic gardens and had to be downstairs at 12:15. We’ve been on the trip before so had seen it all already but I really wanted to get a photo of an Ulysses butterfly and so I’d put our names down to go back. I don’t think Codie was as keen as last time we went it was so hot and humid and we were there for a long time but as we’re leaving soon, it’s nice to have another look around Cairns and make the most of it. Forcing ourselves out of bed, we hurriedly got dressed and set off to Woolworths to get some food for the day. We didn’t have much time for breakfast so we decided the best option would be something from the tasty takeaway food section and settled on dim sims and potato cakes. Sadly, I think we’ve had them that often that I’m starting to resent them a bit but I expect we won’t have the chance to get them in Adelaide and so I shall simply make the most of it now. Once we’d selected our snacks and invested in a bag of crisps, now quite a luxury, we set off back to the hostel to make sure we had everything and wait for the minibus.
We had a little bit of time to waste and so sat in the common area to eat before making our way to the reception but that’s when it happened. The trip was cancelled. Oh no. With it being boxing day and therefore a public holiday, the gardens were apparently closed and there was only one member of staff at the hostel who obviously couldn’t leave. It was a shame as it was really my last chance to see one of those butterflies but there wasn’t much we could do and instead had to find another way to spend the day. I wish they’d have told us in advance though, after all it’s not like boxing day came as a surprise to anyone. Anyway, rather than grumble about it we decided to make the best of the day and headed off back to the harbour to have one last look around there. It was nowhere near as deserted as yesterday but everybody seemed a little bit sleepy and wandered around as if on autopilot. We spent a bit of time watching the boats bob on the water and I helped a couple take some photos of themselves before we went back to have a little swim in the lagoon. I’m really going to miss the lagoon I think; it’s been really nice to be able to go out for a bit and just laze by a pool for absolutely nothing. It’s great that Australia does this, it just gets people out a lot more.
Upon nearing the pool, I jokingly asked Codie whether he had his towel with him and received the reply “no”. Hmmmm. Not the answer I was hoping for really but it really wasn’t the end of the world and we just had a little sit down and a read instead. I’d recently bought an issue of BBC Wildlife magazine and wanted to download it on my iPad for the plane so attempted that. I ended up using up my allowance of free wifi and having to people watch instead. I hope it’s worth it! All I wanted to do was top up my wildlife knowledge and didn’t even make it past 5% downloaded! I liked getting to sit by the lagoon and watch the planes overhead but I think I’m also quite happy to be going off somewhere new to discover new things too. As lovely as it is, it’s starting to get a bit boring now and I never want my Australia trip to end up like that. I’d love to come back one day though and hopefully catch another glimpse of the spoonbill!
In the end, we decided to go back to the hostel to have a swim and catch up on our blogs. It’s nice to just be able to relax and sort things out without panicking that there’s something else that needs doing. Back at home editing the videos I was creating for people, I found that although I really enjoyed doing it, it was really quite tiring and time consuming trying to stay on top of it all. It’s nice to have a little bit of time away from it. Of course I’m making sure I’m keeping up with my photography, that goes without saying, there’s just a lot less pressure and it’s on my own terms really. Still, it’ll be nice to get back into it all when we get back. Eventually, the heat got to us and we went for a dip in the hostel pool which is always lovely. The ‘Christmas Shark’ returned again and chased Codie around for a bit, though it did struggle with the biting side of things and choked on pool water quite a few times. I watched Codie hurl himself into the water about 3 or 4 times and we had a few races (I always win hehe) whilst being watched from the balcony which was a bit weird. We’d been in there about an hour when we decided to get out as the sun had disappeared and it had really cooled down. We also wanted to try and get our packing out of the way before our flight on Sunday. There are really strict limits on hand luggage and unlike the flights out here where we were allowed to bring a carry on bag and our laptops separately, everything has to have a combined weight of 7kg. Now with the camera bag weighing almost 7kg by itself and the laptops being about 6kg, we don’t really have the weight to carry anything else like the chargers or things to read. Rather than leaving it all to the last minute,we thought it’d be best to just sort it out today and have a nice calm last day in Cairns tomorrow.
Following a quick shower and trying to dry with a pool water soaked towel, I dragged my bag out from under the bed and emptied out the contents on the floor. Admittedly I hadn’t chosen the best place ever and ended up having to boot it all under the bed so people could get in and out of the room. It was difficult with other people’s bags about and both of us trying to sort our own things in quite a small space but I got there in the end. My bag was packed, hooray! I’d had to fight my the vacuum bag as there seemed to be a tiny hole in it somewhere and it kept re-inflating but it was now packed away along with the rest of my things. We’d paid for 20kg of checked baggage for our flight, an optional extra, so I was a bit worried that the weight of my bag was over however a quick check on the digital scales showed that I was actually 4kg under. I feel like I should take some more things just to get my money’s worth! When Codie shoved all his things in, including the litre of sun lotion we’d bought, his only came to 15kg so we were both well under the limit and could then relax because it was done. I’m slightly worried that my bag might not make it off the plane though as two of the four zips have bust and the top has torn. I’ve definitely learnt my lesson about buying cheaper bags; somehow I can’t see it surviving the journey back to the UK…
Now absolutely starving after an hour and a half of packing, we went off to the kitchen to make a “yummy” tea. It wasn’t the best. We’ve been having to use up our food before we fly so this tea was pasta with tomato sauce just by itself and it was just a bit too plain. Needless to say we didn’t hang around savouring every mouthful but instead stuffed it in, washed up and the left to go to the night markets again. I’d had my eye on a t-shirt stall there and I really wanted one but just couldn’t justify it to myself. Now I had some Christmas money, I could finally get one and was very excited to go and choose which one. After a good look through the designs, I chose a flying fox one as I feel that they are one of the most memorable things about our trip so far. The man running the stall told us that all the designs were created by a local artist and that the shirts are all printed in Australia. It’s nice to think that by buying one, I’ve supported a local business as not only does it mean more, I understand how difficult it must be competing with other places. I’m not entirely sure when I’m going to get to wear it though; it’s white for a start and all the other clothes I’ve brought on the trip are starting to get all worn and I don’t want it to get ruined. It’s really nice though so I hope I get the chance to soon!
On the way back out of the markets, we turned left and visited the donut shop. We’d seen the little treats advertised before but were never really that hungry so hadn’t bothered. After tonight’s pasta dish, however, we were both desperate for something nice so paid our $3.50 for 5 mini bites. They were amazing. They were shaped liked little fish and had a sweet tasting custard in their centres. Yum. I forgot to tell Codie they were hot though so he took quite a large mouthful and ended up burning his mouth. This happens quite a lot though so I don’t think he was too bothered! I think the fact that they were fish shaped made them even better, far more interesting than the usual round shapes and I quite fancy getting some more. I’ve really enjoyed the markets as they’re crammed full of different things from gold chains to having your name painted on a grain of rice. It’s a shame that we didn’t visit them earlier but I think if we had have done, I would have spent all of my money there!
Back at the hostel a little while later, we made the most of the fast internet and I Skyped my mum again. I love getting to see the woofs but this time there was the added bonus of Marv the hamster as well. He’d temporarily escaped but had been found and looked quite cross about it whilst the dogs were just enjoying their new Christmas toys. It’s a bit strange not getting to see them a lot but it was the same when we were in Cardiff, it’s just a bit further away this time! I haven’t been able to skype anyone for a while now because of various things and so it’s been really nice to speak to people and find out what’s going on at home. At about half 11, we decided it was time for bed and went back to the room to watch some things on the laptop. I’m definitely going to miss the huge kind sized single beds here although it might encourage us to leap out of bed faster in a morning. Tomorrow is going to be another nice calm day, perhaps with another trip to the night markets for crepes this time, before we head off to Adelaide on the 28th and I can’t wait!