To Cairns, finally

When I was back at the hostel after the skydive the first thing I did was to watch the movie and the photos. Then I uploaded them, converted the video and uploaded that as well. Unfortuantely facebook could not process it :S what a waste of traffic. I tried 2 more times and it never worked. In between I had dinner and talked a bit to the 2 canadian girls in my room. While waiting for the upload to complete I watched series.

I wasted ~600 MB of precious traffic that night and facebook could not process it. I tried the program “handbrake”, manual use of ffmpeg and more.

The following day I finally found a working solution:

  1. extracted the MPG from the DVD using k9copy
  2. deinterlaced the video using ffmpeg:
    ffmpeg -i Skydive.mpg -deinterlace -sameq Skydive-deinterlaced.mpg
  3. converted it into a flash video using ffmpeg and h264:
    ffmpeg -i Skydive-deinterlaced.mpg -vcodec libx264 -acodec libfaac -vb 700000 -f flv Skydive.flv

Steps 2 and 3 could usually be done at the same time, but I first wanted a deinterlaced mpg for a few other tries. I hate interlacing! In many players it looks just awful.

 

Anyway, the bus came at 3.30PM and I had to check out at 10AM. I sat down in the TV room and bought 4 hours of WiFi access to figure out how to successfully upload the skydive video. The 2 canadians, Renee and Caitlyn, organised movies to shorten the time waiting. The second movie finished just in time so that we could take our bags, walk out the front of the hostel and few minutes later the OzEx arrived. It was the last OzEx ride for all of us because Cairns is the final destination. 2 hours later we arrived in Cairns and I was dropped off at Gilligan’s.

The guide booked a table for 7.30pPM at the Woolshed and told us to be there at 7.30 for awesome dinner specials and free beer later on.

After checking in, dropping my luggage at my 8 bed dorm, having a look around the huge hostel and eating the free (but small) dinner there, I went to the Woolshed and arrived just on time. Turns out I was the only one on time. I ordered my dinner for half the price: BBQ pork ribs, chips, salad and a free drink for $7.50. Nice!

I went upstairs to the empty OzEx table and sat down, waiting for the buzzer I got to go buzzing. When it did I went back down to collect my meal. This is the normal system for Aussie bars/clubs. You either get a number or a buzzer and collect your plate when the food is ready. 10-15 minutes later the 2 canadians showed up and little later our guide “two-can”. I talked a lot to the canadians, much for then the 2 days before. Turns out first impression can be very misleading, they were actually really fun and talkative. Half an hour later the rest of the OzEx group showed up. Around 9 we got free jugs of beer 😀 I had 3 pints or so and bought 2 bottles.

When dinner time was over the pub turned into a club: the music was turned up, happy hour begins and games took place. The first one was goldfish racing. It was really funny. They had 2 long plastic bars filled with water and goldfishes from 8 different countries or so. For every country they chose a volunteer for the race. It was a knock-out system, always 2 fishes at a time. The fishes were put at one end into the bars simultaneously and the volunteers had to make bubbles with straws behind them so that they would move forward. The fish who crossed the finish line first won 😀

The winner was Ally, the scottish guy from my OzEx group. He won a bungeejump!

When the race was over the dancing started. I had lots of fun with Renee, Caitlyn and the others. At some point Caitlyn was gone and did not come back. Renee and I were a little worried, but it turned out she decided to take place in the wet tshirt contest later that night 😀 it took place later that night, and she rocked it! She won $150 and a daytrip on a boat to the reef. Awesome! We had a great evening together, but around half past 1 in the morning I had enough. I did not want to spend any more money on drinks and after 6 hours partying with the group I started to get bored. On top of that, more and more people were making out around us. So I left and at 2AM I was in bed. Everybody else in my dorm was already asleep when I came in.

This was a really great first night in Cairns. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera because I didn’t expect it to be so great – a decision I regretted all night.

 

My journey up the east coast is finished now – I won’t get up any further north. I have a 5 day diving course ahead, but that will “only” take me out to the Great Barrier Reef, not further up the coast. I travelled nearly 3,000km by Bus now. Here is a map of my trip:

 

Australia East Coast 2011

Category: Australia, Places