Carins, Queensland is another Australian city with a teaser oceanfront location- the asshole jellyfish won’t let anybody in the ocean without a goofy skin-tight Star Trek outfit on.
Despite being in the middle of absolutely nowhere, Cairns has a pretty impressive nightlife and tourist infrastructure.
That might be because it’s just a 90 minute boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef, where some of the world’s best SCUBA diving is to be had in shower-warm water.
Luckily for me, an unusually long “natural disaster” season has kept many tourists away for the moment, making tour operators desperate and trips/hotels real cheap. I’m spending $20 a night to sleep in one of the nicest places I’ve bunked yet, and I’m getting my PADI Open Water diving certification for a week’s salary. That credential will give me the power to rent gear and harass aquatic creatures all over the world, and according to my instructor, get me laid.
After I saw him fondling that sea cucumber I wasn’t too sure I should be taking his advice in that department, but I had so much fun on the 20-minute intro dive I decided it was a worthwhile pursuit.
Between dives and Chinese buffets I met some Brits with uncharacteristically straight teeth. They had the unique privilege of being the first people I spent more than two consecutive days with since January, so I temporarily had some semblance of a normal social life for the weekend.
But they crusaded back to Brittania on Monday so I guess I’ll head back to the bar. Beer prices, unfortunately, have not been affected by two cyclones and an earthquake. I think I know what business I’m going into when I get home.