Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Vol 11 - Port Douglas is not a mirage

OK so by now I’d racked up many nights drinking in a row. It was definitely time for a break. But it was impossible to sleep in that dorm, and if you can’t beat them join them. After all it was Friday so it was back to the sleazy old Woolshed for another night of shenanigans. Two of the hot barmaids from the bikini night were in amongst the normal crowd. Not one to be intimidated (after a dozen beers) I started chatting to the best looking one. She was from the Netherlands. But part way through the conversation her friend (the other barmaid) cut in and said, "Excuse me do you realise she’s my girlfriend". I said "You’ll have to do better than that, that’s the oldest trick in the book. Some dodgey guy chats to you so you pretend to be lesbians". But she was adament "She really is my girlfriend and I’m getting jealous". Again I was perplexed "Of me?!?" I said. But she was quite convincing so I said, "You’re a very lucky woman" and left it at that.

Later on I was talking to some ladies from Northern Ireland. I told them about the time I drove the BMW with GB plates down Falls Road. For those unfamiliar with the Northern Ireland "situation" Falls Road is a staunch Catholic area and they hate the poms. She said, "Oh noo. You don’t wanna go duwn Falls rowd. I’m Catalic and I would ne goo duwn Falls rowd."

The next night was FA Cup final night. So we decided to have a night in at the TV. But the game didn’t start until midnight over here. So when some English guy from Birmingham pulled out his set of cards and poker chips and announced a game of Texas Hold em Poker, I said I’ll be in that. Hannah the gogo dancer was kind enough to be our dealer (and to give us a quick flash). Now I know what you’re thinking, "But Travis you said you’d given up gambling for good". Well this wasn’t gambling. About 5 of us played for $5 each the winner gets $20 second gets his money back. I’d say we played about 6 games and I either won, or came second in every game.

One guy said he’d played for 6 months online but didn’t know that 5 of the same suit was known as a flush. He called them 5 of a kind. Another guy went all in on a 4 and 7 off suit. His name was Stirling and in my mind now a 4 and 7 off suit is known as a Stirling.

Then the FA Cup started and although I no longer gamble I had some money riding on the game from 6 months ago. I won $60. I was drunk and offensive and rang and texted Jon (West Ham United fan) and Bal (Liverpool fan) back in England. I think my prouded moment was when I sent a text to Jon "You’d better get the washing up detergent and bend an old coat hanger because you’ll be blowing bubbles again tonight". This only makes sense if you know West Ham’s theme song involves the line "forever blowing bubbles, like our hopes they fade and die". Or some such nonsense.

But this is just me bragging and not particularly funny so back to my adventures.

We had a BBQ complete with Sparklers on the last night in Cairns. Here’s a picture of me and Mohawk guy. It’s pretty cool in Cairns, the BBQs are free and you’re right by the swamp. But at night the tides in and the swamp’s full of water and pelicans.

I left Cairns Monday morning for Port Douglas. After all the drinking and poker I was so tired that when I got to Port I slept for 14 hours straight. Tuesday night I caught up with my cousin Lloyd who informed me that it had rained in Port Douglas for 40 days straight. That record looks set to continue.

Yesterday I decided to check out Cape Tribulation. So named because when Captain Cook set out on his imperialistic journey of conquest he had some troubles (or tribulation) there. Obviously not as much tribulation as when he reached that island where they took his head. Was it the Cook islands? I’m not sure.

To get to Cape Tribulation you need to take a Ferry across some crocodile infested waters. For this reason I think they don’t allow you to leave the car. Anyway a bit further down the road I met a hitchhiker, his name of course was Mick. He was a 46 year old Tree Surgeon and quite the character. He lives 50 km north of Cape Trib on some kind of fruit farm. He was a really helpful guide and told me about all the trees, the history of Cape Trib, whether you can get further north without a 4WD, what town he was born in, the name of that tree over there, why the vine wait-a-while is called wait-a-while, his favourite fruit. The only thing he didn’t tell me is about the drugs he must have taken to get to the state he was in now.

But generally he was cool. He showed me a place where some lady brought up 4 kids in the jungle. After that the road was 4WD only. I was trekking through the jungle when I understood the full meaning of wait-a-while. The vine just grabs you and you can’t go anywhere you have to literally wait a while. Especially when it cops you in the forehead.

He was also kind enough to point out that I shouldn’t head downstream as there are crocodiles down there. Why they stay one side of the river and not the other I’m not too sure. But I didn’t see any so it must have been OK.

On the way back I stopped off at Mossman Gorge. Very scenic, very nice and a good place for a swim. At least it would be if you remember your togs.

I’m back in Port Douglas now and I’ll be having dinner at cousin Lloyd’s tonight. Tomorrow night is the street parade. His daughter and fiancé who live in Cairns will be there so it will be good to catch up and have some contacts there. It looks more and more likely I’ll be moving to Cairns.


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