Two Weeks At The Asylum

Cairns has been fun. Very fun. 

I think it’s definitely true that it doesn’t matter where you are, but more who you’re with. Cairns, for example, has been nowhere near the most beautiful or exciting place I’ve visited since setting off on my travels. Somehow though, the last two weeks have probably turned out to be the best of my travels so far.
 
It probably helps that I’ve been staying at such a sociable hostel. The appropriately named “Asylum” comes with a bit of a reputation as a madhouse – and rightly so. In fact, they proudly have all the newspaper cuttings of complaints against them on a notice board at the reception…how cool is that?! Somehow I don’t think the neighbours will agree.
 

Welcome to the madhouse

In all seriousness though, I would recommend anyone visiting Cairns who likes getting drunk and isn’t too fussy stays at Asylum. When you consider it’s only $15 a night with free tea and coffee I don’t think you can really complain.
 
Anyway, enough of the sales pitch. Here’s a quick round up of what I’ve done in the last two weeks. Well, I say quick, but seeing as I haven’t written in about two weeks it’ll probably be longer than usual. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
 
The Waterfall Tour
 
A lot of people who’ve been to Cairns suggested I do one of the waterfall tours. The rather creepily named “Uncle Brian’s” was one that keep cropping up. Seemingly, people were rather happy to part with around $100 to see a bunch of free waterfalls and get a microwaved pub meal. Maybe I’m missing something here, but is that what equates to a bargain these days?
 

Pretty cool…but $100 cool? 

Luckily, a few like minded people in the hostel also decided they would like to go but not shell out a ton for the privilege so we got ourselves an eight-seater people carrier. With fuel, this ended up costing $25 each which I took great pleasure in informing anyone I met who did the tour. We even took our own lunch; proper budget travellers! Before you ask; yes, I do realise I’m starting to sound like every dad on the planet with every blog.
 
The waterfalls were pretty cool, definitely worth the $25 (can you tell I’m happy with that saving?!). Josephine Falls had a natural waterside, which made me feel like an eight year old child again as I spent a good hour or so sliding down at every angle possible. We also visited the waterfall where Peter Andre filmed the video to “Mysterious Girl”. I can smell your jealousy from here.
 

Peter Andre eat your heart out

Mad Moonday
 
Asylum has run nights out on a Monday for as long as people can seem to remember. It’s something they’ve become rather famous for because, as the name suggests, they’re rather mad. Over 50 backpackers hit the town in their custom-designed t-shirts for a night of boozy behaviour. What could possibly go wrong?
 

Mad Moonday in full swing

Another thing Asylum has gained notoriety for is encouraging their inmates (yes, inmates) to get their arses out, or “mooning” as some people may call it. In fact, one of the cuttings on the reception noticeboard is a newspaper article about the complaints when they mooned at traffic. Anyway, they’ve incorporated this into their Mad Monday night out and renamed it “Mad Moonday”. What’s more; they donate $1 to charity for every inmate who drops their keks.
 
Ironically, on the only Mad Moonday I attended, it all kicked off because we mooned in a bar. The owners weren’t happy, despite the fact they were encouraging people to strip off and partake in other acts of drunken debauchery. Encouraging two lads to strip to their boxers and kiss is fine, but getting your arse out for charity? Absolutely not!
 

The offending act… 

Port Douglas and Palm Cove
 
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut in these types of places. Wake up – eat – drink – sleep – repeat. At any time of the day, you can guarantee someone will be sat there with a box of goon encouraging you to get on it. Whilst this is all great fun, it becomes kind of repetitive.
 
For this reason, we rented another car and went on a road trip to Port Douglas, which is about an hour north of Cairns.
 

Generic beach shot

Port Douglas was nice. The beach was lovely and there looked to be some nice bars and restaurants. A day was definitely enough though as I didn’t really see much there worth staying for apart from the opportunity to detox. It seemed to be a bit more of a place for couples, but still, it’s a place to tick off the list.
 
The same applied to Palm Cove. Nice place to have a beer and watch the sunset, but I’m not sure I’d go back. Ah well, you never know these things until you try them. Plus we saw a great road sign on the way back. Yes, I am 23.
 

The height of maturity

So that was Cairns! The two craziest weeks since I left home. Melbourne and a big job hunt is now calling me. Anyone want to pay me for sitting on my arse and blogging? No? Didn’t think so.
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