Archive for December, 2007

Night at the movies and morning walk!

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Last night neither of us felt like working after such a big night the night before. So we decided to call it a day and go to the movies. Which movie did we choose? We went to see “A death at a funeral”, and I strongly recommend it. The movie is really funny and entertaining with some very good moments. I had seen some trailers of it and thought that it was going to be like some other movies, which the only funny bits are those shown on the trailer. But no, “A death at a funeral” was actually great. I won’t disclose anything about the movie so I don’t ruin it for you, but don’t miss it if you can.

Steve proudly behind the typical Australian surf patrol's gear, in Yorkeys Knob.This morning we went for our daily walk on the beach and then for a swim, which is not something that we do every day. The water was perfect, a bit too warm for our taste, but we still enjoyed our walk on Yorkeys Knob’s beach. Even though at this time of the year it is dangerous to swim in the ocean because of the marine stingers, nearly all the beaches in Tropical North Queensland put stinger free enclosures, where it is safe to swim. We have checked all the Cairns Northern Beaches and we have seen them ourselves. And this photo is sooooooooo Australian, isn’t it? We love these pics in Spain, that’s why I’m posting it.

Talking about Spain, where are all my friends who should be posting comments in our blogs? Natali, Oscar, Ariel, David, Salva, Pepa, Carmina, Raquel????????????? Hey, where are all of you????????? I miss you, guys! My dad just told me that he’s attending internet lessons to be able to follow us on the net, send us photos and emails and keep in touch more regularly. It’s something I never thought I would see my dad do. Good on you, Dad!!!

The Spanish Omelette

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Last night we were invited to a barbecue in Trinity Beach. We had invited Michael and Sonia to our place for dinner, but with three kids, they’d rather we went to their place. We met Michael a couple of years ago, when we came to Cairns on holidays and he was so kind as to lend us one of his cars so we could enjoy a beautiful drive up to Cape Tribulation. Hey, I forgot to mention that Michael is the owner of Cruising Car Rental, one of the friendliest car rental companies in Tropical North Queensland. Here you have a couple of photos we took on our trip to Cape Trib exactly two years ago. Have we changed much?

On our way from Cairns to Cape Tribulation two years ago. One of the many sensational beaches Tropical North Queensland boasts.

Maria trying to introduce Spanish cuisine in Cairns. Back to last night, we went to Michael’s place, where we met his wife Sonia and their three kids. And because we had offered to have dinner at our place first, we decided to bring some food with us. And being Spanish, what else could I cook that a tasty Spanish Omelette? In the photo someone who resembles me a bit , but seems to have some alien’s blood in her veins, proudly shows the Spanish Omelette to the camera. I think everyone enjoyed it. But to go with the omelette we also bought some Spanish wine, the only we could find in Cairns, and I must admit that it was the worst wine I have ever tried. I guess we got what we paid for.

We had a fantastic time with Michael and Sonia. It was very interesting listening to all their stories about when they started with the car rental business in Cairns. They had stories to tell of all sorts but in general we found their experience very motivational, and hopefully in a few years we can sit back and be as proud as they are of what they have achieved.

A big thank you to Michael and Sonia for last night. We had a fabulous time. Hopefully we can get together again very soon.

Life on Yorkeys Knob

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

It’s an odd name - Yorkeys Knob - but a very pleasant place to live. It’s the third beach north of Cairns city, past Machans Beach and Holloways Beach. Besides having a long, clean, sandy beach, Yorkeys also has a comfortable community feel to it. Like most of the Northern Beaches, Yorkeys Knob has an active and enthusiastic residents’ association. Yesterday, the local Yorkeys Knob Residents’ Association just happened to be holding their Christmas barbecue at the beach, a few blocks from our home. Not to be left out when there’s sausages sizzling and new people to meet, Maria and I joined the festivities.

A friendly neighbourhood barbecue on Yorkeys Knob, Cairns Northern Beaches.Maria on a feeding frenzy at the local Yorkeys Knob Residents' Association Christmas barbecue

We go for a walk along this beach every morning, and every now and again go for a swim. This morning was one of those mornings, and believe it or not, we met the local Yorkeys Knob dolphins. Well, ‘met’ could be a strong word, since I doubt they really even noticed us as they swam past in the early hours of the morning.  Of course, at this time of year, its normally TOO RISKY to swim in the ocean, but the local council installs stinger resistant nets, forming a safe swimming area. For a city girl like Maria, our new lifestyle is dramatically different to anything she is used to. The tract of bushland near our townhouse is home to at least a couple of kangaroos, and most days we catch a glimpse of them bounding past our front garden.

On our way to the Yorkeys Knob Residents' Association Christmas barbecue.Maria at Yorkeys Knob beach

Our normally routine weekend was punctuated by the visit of a German, a friend of an old mate of mine. Stephan was in Cairns for a few days, and asked us to help him organize a DIVING TRIP, a trip to KURANDA and a visit to TJAPUKAI ABORIGINAL CULTURAL PARK. We met us with Stephan for dinner at our favourite BACKPACKERS HOSTEL, and in the end, he also ended up staying with us for a night. Stephan, tell Ryan to get his ass over to Australia soon!

Now, the big news of late is that Australia and the USA signed a reciprocal WORKING HOLIDAY VISA agreement (although for some reason they insist on calling it a ‘Work and Holiday’ Visa) That means Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 – inclusive – can apply to spend twelve months travelling and working in the great Land Down Under! There are no restrictions on the number of visas to be handed out, and it is anticipated that we will welcome upwards of 30,000 young American working holiday makers each year. And when it comes time to choose whereabouts in Australia they would like to spend their time (it’s a big country!!) there’s nowhere better than Tropical North Queensland.   The major urban centres of Tropical North Queensland - TOWNSVILLE and CAIRNS - offer a wealth of casual employment opportunities in a range of industries, not the least of which is our booming tourism industry.  Great numbers of working holiday makers find a job in the local agricultural industry. The towns of BOWEN, TULLY, and INNISFAIL rely on working holiday makers for their harvest. The work may be tough, but if you work hard there is good money to be earned, and the camaraderie among workers will likely result in some great friendships, and lifelong memories.    

But the best thing about spending your working holiday in Tropical North Queensland is that when you’re not working, there is no end of things to see and do. The GREAT BARRIER REEF stretches 1200 miles along our coastline, and in many places the World Heritage listed WET TROPICS RAINFOREST spills right down to the beach. And the famed Australian OUTBACK is only a couple of hours away! Spend your spare time soaking up the sun on our beautiful palm fringed beaches, diving and snorkelling on the reef, trekking in the tropical rainforest, exploring the Northern Outback, or join in some of the myriad activities that this part of Australia has become famous for: white water rafting, hot air ballooning, hang gliding, skydiving, bungy jumping, jungle surfing, jet skiing, kayaking, kite surfing, horse riding, quad biking, fishing, golfing, birdwatching, crocodile spotting, sailing, fossicking, water skiing, wakeboarding, and four wheel driving. This really is an ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND  In Cairns alone, there are over thirty BACKPACKERS HOSTELS, and the city receives two million visitors each year. That many people can’t be wrong. And you can find everything you need to know about Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, and Tropical North Queensland on Cairns Unlimited