Friday, 22 November 2013

End of a Working-Holiday era...until next time!

My last week at work was pretty easy. I worked Wednesday morning which meant I had the afternoon off, first one, so I took the opportunity to have my first Happy Hour drinks with some of the locals which was nice. Then Thursday was Jag the Joker, my last one, yay! Still didn't go off but I got to finish up early at 6.30pm so I had a few more cheeky drinks with some of the regulars. Friday was quite a busy evening and we were open til quite late.

Saturday morning I spent with Paddy up at the Historical Village (he's the caretaker there). So we took his dogs, Mick and Junior for a walk, then had a beer at his place and coffee and scones at the village cafe. It was a nice morning to say goodbye! I also got two wanted posters, printed by an old printing press at the village, as a little gift from the town. One which said Cyclone Christina, as Paddy rightly turn up, do a good job, make friends, whip us into a frenzy and then leave us devastated at the loss of a good barmaid, haha! The other was for the rentals, which was the 'abnormal Ablemans' quite fitting I thought!!

The rest of the day I packed my bags as after work on Sunday I was heading to Terri's house to stay overnight before heading back to Cairns. I believe only a well seasoned traveller or backpacker gets excited over seeing their entire lives possessions packed into one or two bags!!

Sunday was my last shift, it was a pretty slow one but I got off at 4pm so I could get drunk with everyone before I left, it was so nice that almost everyone I'd become great friends with came to see me off! Tony gave me a little light-up Piggy keyring to keep, which I attached to my backpack and called Herbie after the town from which he came! A nice little reminder of my hometown in Queensland!

It was then time to hug my goodbyes, I was really going to miss this place. After a dodgy start (homesickness, unsure if I could stick it out) I had come to love and appreciate little Herbie-town and all the people in it. It had become a little home away from home and I had even come to love the job! I'd made some amazing friends and contacts and had a little adopted family going on with Terri and Vicki. Hopefully I'd be back to visit in December and maybe even next year for a bit.

So we took my bags out to Terri's car and drove over to her mum's place in Wondecla, where she'd cooked a wonderful roast dinner and we watched some sex and the city, a perfect final evening in the tablelands.

The next day I said goodbye to Vicki (sad times!) and Terri and I went for breakfast at Lake Barrine, a huge fry-up and hot chocolate, scones and cream, we were stuffed after! Then we headed into Cairns, not without taking some pictures of the huge, dark storm clouds gathering across the Tablelands, and a few road works holding us up!

The clouds followed us all the way to Cairns but we figured we'd have a couple hours before the rain hit so we made our way to Palm Cove, one of the northern beaches up from Cairns. It's now stinger season (deadly jellyfish) on the northern beaches so its not advised to swim in the sea (there are nets but they sometimes come through, so better safe than sorry and avoid the sea altogether). So instead we decided to do one of my fave crafties while travelling...sneaking into a posh resort to use their pool and have a cocktail before they notice you're not supposed to be there! Haha

So we gave a fake room, 206, so we could grab some towels. First stop; the bar! Where I got an island dream cocktail and Terri got a mango fantasy. Then it was splash time! Cocktails by a swanky pool...yes please! It wasn't long though (hr and a half) til the black clouds descended on us and we decided to leave before the heavens opened. So we made our way back to Cairns, went for a spot of shopping at Cairns Central before having dinner and more cocktails at an Italian restaurant. We then decided to see a movie, and then headed to Beryls where Terri stayed the night and went home in the morning.

The next couple days I just spent chilling out before I'd be doing stuff everyday again! I sent some things home to try and clear my backpack a little, Beryl's friends Ricky and Jackie were up again so it was lovely to see them before I left. I tried to adjust to the humidity and heat of Cairns again, it's a completely different heat down here compared to the Tablelands!

I sunbathed and made use of Beryl's pool before the clouds took over every afternoon, we still hadn't really had a gd storm. Terri came back on Thursday afternoon and we did a spot of summer sale shopping in Central then went for a farewell meal and cocktails at the Rattle and Hump, picked up my new fave ice-cream, Movenpick's Tiramisu and headed back to watch a film in our pj's with every fan possible going as it was sooo hot!

Then today it was time to say goodbye! I'd said goodbye to Beryl yesterday as she was over-nighting at a friends so I wouldn't see her again til a quick visit in December. Terri drove me to the airport, where my hand luggage suitcase was 1kg too heavy so I had to take one of my books out and use a bigger handbag to be able to take it all on. We had breakfast and then said our goodbyes (more sad times) but we were hopefully going to meet up when we come back up in December.

Then it was just waiting to board my flight to Sydney. I love airports, they are the gateway to new countries, cities and adventures! And here's to the beginning of my new adventure, I'm officially a backpacker again, Sydney bound! Bye bye beautiful, tropical Queensland...bring it on New South Wales, lets see what you got!

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