PD - (that's Port Douglas not Puff Daddy or Paris Disneyland)
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion Wahalalal, sleeps tonight (watch the beautiful people for Johoyo's version www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyLkya-vmmE)
Yes that's correct, I'm going further into the tropical tourist jungle known as Port Douglas, QLD. It's the smaller, prettier & more interesting version of Cairns. With that logic, it's basically the Prince Harry to the Prince Charles, to those gasping at my example, you're a hair racist!!
Before we delve into my first few moments of Port "Harry" Douglas, we'll have a quick catch up on Cairns (sounds like a segment on a local Cairns news channel, I'll patent that!!).
Well for the last week it's been "quiet" to say the least, there's only so much job searching, drinking and swimming in an artificial lagoon you can do before you develop sociopathic tendencies.
With a cyclone brewing and advertising on TV, changing from film premiers to weather warnings and emergency supply retailers I decided to move on.
However due to lack of entertainment and cash, a group of Brits & Canadians decided to group their money together and buy alcohol......Good God Lemon!
One thing I have to say is Smirnoff have released a Goldschläger rip off with gold shards but with Cinnamon.......again Good God Lemon, or should I say Good God Potato based drink & Cinnamon.
Great News South Park Followers, it's true, Canadians do say “Ay” at the end of every sentence and ABOOT! This may have been an isolated case but a case.
I did go out and meet some local peeps who were very nice in actually telling me some of Australia's trade and social history. Also supposed correct term for Aboriginal People (there are loads of different tribes,land owners etc) and why inner city people are wankers (their words, not mine). Although I didn't manage to do this, you can go out of the city and explore the near by lakes and waterfalls which are 15 mins drive, most are unspoiled and picturesque. More info to follow on this!
OH NO! What's happened the lights have gone out in the Globetrootters, several nations of females are screaming in terror and several nations of under 25 boys are grinning in potential "in the dark grope fest" joy.
A couple of Dutch/German guys come downstairs to fix the problem, however I use the word "boys" appropriately, because at no point would any adult try to fix the lights in a place they barely understand. Myself and Vancouver J (again legal cover up name), aid the guys by providing torches when we find a fuse box, they try to decipher which switch is which switch (say that a couple of times, then red lorry, yellow lorry)
After the unnecessary click fest, it comes to me instantly; these boys are not only switching things off, they're also speaking in their own language!! With groups of international travellers who have no idea what's going on and stumbling around, the last thing to do is keep people in the dark (literally and figuratively). So they rush off speaking amongst themselves and I instantly shout across to them when they head to the upstairs area "WHAT?!? Please can we have that in English too?". Then they go up the stairs to get the lights for the upstairs area sorted, "DON'T WORRY WE'LL SORT THINGS OUT DOWN HERE!"
Thankfully the night porter fixes the lights but comes from the other side of the building and says "I fixed the lights, I hope no one used the fuse box in here" I want to snitch on them but when things like this happen, someone finds out. The next morning I woke to hear the owner giving the boys a bollocking. They had to call an electrician as they'd messed up the circuits for the kitchen. So kids morale of this story - if you know nothing, do nothing & Night Porters are there for a reason, approach them first before fixing something that isn't your property"
Anyway after witnessing the eye-rolling “handyman” efforts of my fellow lodgers, I also had to look for jobs and lets be honest; unless you have a car or come during the harvest main employment season, you're gonna be buggered! Had a great time in Cairns but after 2 weeks of hardly any jobs coming to my attention, let alone calls coming in, I was up sh*t creek, without a paddle or a tissue!
Time to move on I think......
Port Douglas, woo hoo, it's a paradise town, in simple terms, Cairns is the Jamaica of the tropical area, nice, welcoming but has a dirty underbelly of mundaneness and high level of unemployed locals. Which makes PD the Barbados or St Lucia, smaller, pleasant and chilled to the point, where a hammock in the wind seems like the fastest thing here.
I loved Cairns but I'm in love with PD, like it's some sordid love affair and I'm only using Cairns for its transport links and occasional usefulness.
There's not much here but there's more to do here in a smaller setting, so seems better, there are numerous ways to get here, rail, boat and car. Thankfully it's only an hours drive!
For places to stay there are only a few recommended places, I'm staying at Dougie's, it's an amazing, atmospheric resort hostel, providing a cool games/ bar area, free transfer to/ from Cairns and the people have a good sense of community and humour. It's a bit outside the town centre and beach but its only 15 mins walk and the resort hires out bikes. There are other resorts. See the details for those below.
As for jobs there seem to be more here, but it's due to the fact I came during the end of the low season, so people are hiring (Praise Zombie Jesus).
Peak season in tropical QLD is late March to July/August, people are hired throughout depending on business, so if you're a backpacker resort and tourism work may be good, some places do sponsorship, so keep your eyes peeled.
Also as this is a more chilled, respectful tourist trap, don't expect to tear it up big stylie, as most of the visitors are old farts, uh, I mean, mature bores & “anti-Cairners”! However you can go on the beach here but there's a sectioned area where you can actually swim, unless you want an Erwin encounter with a stinger or crocs (the animal not the ugly shoes)!
Anyway this entry is quite short, I've literally written this, while laid in a hammock, writing to hotels for work and sipping iced tea (non-alcoholic). Do I really want to come back to the UK........?!
Best place to stay - Dougie's (www.dougies.com.au ), other recommended places are global backpackers which has a pizza place attached to it. (www.globalbackpackerscairns.com.au/port-douglas)
For hotels go to QT - www.qtportdouglas.com.au
Avoid YHA Port Douglas, it's infamously bad, you would be better going into the showers of the bates motel.
Head to the day and night market here for good produce and massive smoothies which are only $5.