Saturday, 26 March 2011

March 8th - Cairns (Day 1)

    Just finished our first (very) full day in cairns. We arrived outside the hotel at 6am and was told that check-in was from 2pm, so we had quite a long wait.
    Walking around Cairns about a million times today, we have discovered the one thing that we can't do without on our holidays... a supermarket. And look what we bought:
    Nasty cheap marmite and peanut butter spread. Additionally, we picked up a loaf of bread, 12 slices of cheese, 20 packets of crisps and a bag of cheapo cookies. Yes, we have secured ourselves lunch and dinner for the next few days! Crisp and cheese sandwiches? Yes please? What's that? You're bored of crisps and cheese? I bring you the ultimate alternative, marmite and cheese (and crisps)!
    We have to keep it cheap because our holidays are so long. Spreading $1000 over 3 weeks compared to if we just came for 5 days is very different in terms of daily budget, right?!
    But having bought all the food, it meant having to carry it around with us. D'oh! We headed down to the promenade anyway, and sat down for a while. The weather is not so great, but it is still pretty hot. While sitting there we got peckish so decided to eat some of the bread and cheese and marmite (only me for the last one, scooping it onto my finger and spreading it on the bread as best I could). And it felt great to have a little picnic by the sea in a small, quiet park.
    Until the birds came along.
    Big bloody seagulls fighting with sparrows to get front row seats, waiting impatiently for me or Chigu to drop crumbs of goodness for them. Which we didn't of course. Didn't I mention that we are on a tight budget this holiday? :P
    After our brunch, we decided to walk around a bit more and so we took in the scenery of Cairns. It's a quaint little town, reminiscent of (dare I say it) the Christchurch that me and Chigu visited last year. I'm sure we'd find it a little different considering the circumstances now. But basically, I'm talking about fairly small buildings, one or two stories, with a kind of canopy or cover over the pavement so you can walk along the paths in the shade or out of the rain (which we have seen quite a lot of today unfortunately). The town is very laid back and clean, but bustling with tourists (predominantly Japanese (I'll pick this up again later)) looking at the souvenirs or planning an excursion. There's also a lot of quality looking restaurants (where of course we can't eat at) and bars too. So yeah, a town very much catered for foreign tourists.
    Our hotel is called the Hides Hotel and it's pretty nasty. Not quite what we expected, but it was cheap, so I can't complain too much. Chigu can though. She is deeply upset that we don't have our own bathroom but have to share a communal bathroom and show room with the other guests. The room is also very run down with the only air conditioner being this:

    A bloody big fan right above our heads.
    The hotel is very central though and seems fairly quiet (I'll regret saying that in a couple of hours when I get woken up by an impromptu toga party down the corridor at 3am).
    In other news, I found a free wifi slot just outside the hotel so I shot a quick email off to my mum. I also found out that there is another gig lined up for me in Sydney, and that I'll have free drinks and get paid to play in Brisbane. A first for Cheapshot! I feel like my dad playing in working mens clubs with his band. I'm really excited though, and to have all his happening because of the friendships I have forged through the international chip community makes me feel very humbled. You guys rule!
    So, it's time for bed. I'm knackered and we're up early in the morning for our diving trip!!!!!
    Night night!

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