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Day 8: Cairns

August 30, 2008

This morning the wake up call was not as bad as yesterday, we only had to get up at 4 to catch our 7am flight to Cairns.  I am very excited to be heading to warmer weather.  It has been in the upper 60’s so far, without rain I might add, but the breeze off the ocean can be quite crisp if the sun is not out.  So I am ready for some beach time.  Our shuttle bus driver arrived to take us to the airport right on time at 5am, but the ride to the airport proved not so easy.  I should have known something was up when the driver was acting like he had an extra shot of meth in his coffee this morning.  He barked orders at us as if we were in basic training about where to sit and how to arrange our luggage in the pull behind covered wagon that was behind the shuttle bus.  Shouldn’t he be arranging our luggage for us?  Anyhoo, we tore down the road stopping at each hotel with a hard squeal of the brakes, collecting frightened passengers at each location.  Not to mention the random passengers we would pick up off the corner at 5am.  We ended up packing 16 people into a 12 person bus, people were sitting on the floor and right in each others faces–on que from our driver I might add.  It all came to a pinnacle when he asked for “McWilliam, you come with me outside to arrange luggage”.  So the story is told by my husband is that he had to crawl into the pull behind trailer with the meth driver and arrange the luggage based on terminal stops.   All the while the driver is 2 inches from his face, “pull harder, pull harder”.  Now the people with larger luggage, such as ourselves, were spared, the ones with small luggage were being tossed out the back into the street like trash in a garbage can.  When my husband returned to the vehicle, mind you all the passengers can hear this transpiring while waiting, he says “it wasn’t pretty”.  I didn’t ask for more details.  I knew it was bad when we got to the airport and he refused to tip the driver.  But before the rein of terror ended, a fight ensued between a passenger and the driver.  It seems that the passengers thought they had pre-paid, the meth driver said “No-always pay driver”.  They bickered back and forth for a few minutes and in the end the meth driver threatened to take them back to the hotel, mind you we were at the airport sitting in the terminal when this transpired.

Luckily, we made it on the plane and to Cairns without much else eventful occuring.  Believe it or not, we did not take any pictures today.  We arrived at our resort, stripped to our swimsuits and headed for the beach.  We did plan some activities for the coming days, but today we had lunch by the beach and just relaxed.  It was nice to relax, but I am certainly ready for an activity.  Our resort is great, it is set in a rainforest and is so relaxing.  I love it here.  I am able to post some photos, so I have amended some of my previous posts to include pictures.  Below are some of our pictures from our black water rafting adventures in Waitomo–if you will recall, these pictures are associated with the wetsuit incident!

Black Water Rafting, Waitomo, New Zealand

Black Water Rafting, Waitomo, New Zealand


Gwen Rafting

Jer Rafting

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