week 16...
on the toad again

North Queensland

Meet Forrest Jump, 3rd place winner in today's Cane Toad races up here in sunny Port Douglas, QLD. He may not look like much now, but you should see him move when he gets a party favour up his arse. I'll explain on Tuesday...
be wary wary quiet... Just look at this animal. It's ridiculous. It's got a beak like a turkey, a beak fin like a dolphin, legs like a velociraptor and more plumes than a Lucky Chang's bartender. This week we spent a collective 14 hours searching for a glimpse of this creature and I'm starting to think that we've been had. After last week's Did We Go To The Moon fiasco, I'm starting to question everything, especially a cockamamie ratite like the cassowary...
meet john & jessie
Every once in a blue moon you run into a couple of quacks that you take an instant liking to. On our European trip, that was Mikki & Charlie. On our USA road trip, that was Jon & Jen, and Mark & Zoe, and Jeff & Vilma... that was a good trip...
Today, we were bus-lucky enough to be seated next to Jessie and John Hoelle from Los Angeles. Over dinner we soon discovered that their lives are practically running parallel to ours...

Creepy Similarity #1: John and Jess recently quit their jobs in LA to spend some time adventuring around the world. They've just come from Thailand and after Australia they're headed to New Zealand for even more adventure. Just like us!

Creepy Similarity #2: They met in University about eight years ago and have been together ever since. That's about one year longer than we've been together and they've assured us that this year is the best yet! Just like us!

Creepy Similarity #3: John's an animator. Just like Kev!

Creepy Similarity #4: Jessie ordered the asparagus tortellini. Just like Aim!

Hoelle Smoke!
His Job: Animator & Screenwriter
Her Job: Adventuring Archeologist
Fav Food: Sushi
Best Tip: Don't eat Australian Mexican!
Creepy Similarity #5: They're just old enough to feel like a chaperone around the mobs of backpackers in Queensland. Just like us!

Creepy Similarity #6: They're huge fans of the Sony Camera, and fancy themselves semi-pro photographers. They've posted their travels on their own website. Just like us!

Creepy Similarity #7: They're very photogenic, not to mention good looking. Just like us!

contest: two tell the truth...
Since we're so into facts and falsehoods today, why not another contest? At the Ironbar in Port Douglas (home of the cane toad races), we met these three guys and a gal and asked them to tell us two truths and a lie. Of the three statements next to each honest face, can you pick out the lie?

Sam : Sydney, Australia
He is a Regimental Sergeant Major.
Came in 2nd in state Digeridoo Competition.
Once caught by cops doing a "nutty run".
Tom : London, England
6th in line for Scottish lordship.
Noel Edmonds is his uncle-in-law.
1995 Under-11 Kung Fu Nat'l Sparring Champ.
Franziska : Saarbruden, Germany
Fluent in German, English and French.
Was Miss Deutsch-Franzosisches Gym 2000.
Drinks beer through her nose as a party trick.
Toby : Southampton, England
MC'd at One Nation Club in London.
Owns a skateboard company.
Plays leftwing on National Football
      Championship team 2 years running.

Bonus: Who's birthday is on Australia Day?
Sam  Tom  Franziska  Toby

Hey, don't bother to enter, because the answer is on
The Last Page of the Trip.
what's that, wally?
Every now and then, Wally Wombat surprises us with how clever he is. For instance, did you know that the skin on a wombat's backside is a few inches thick, and very tough? Neither did we! Kev tried to kick him in the arse and he broke his toe! Just kidding kids!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!

Tom the Toad, Tom the Toad, Why did we jump on the road?
click here to see what we're up to!

achtung! Vodka Cruisers:4/$10 Flavour:Mango Today's Weather:
EXTREME CAUTION! BEWARE IN THREE LANGUAGES! Whatever you do, do not swim in these waters! Don't even go near them! Huge crocodiles, as long as three man-eating meters, abound with malice and cunning and great gnashing of teeth and will gobble you up faster than you can say "Mulairian Yams." Run for your lives! Flail your arms! This area is dangerous beyond measure! Just the spot for a local playground, wouldn't you agree?

"Don't eat me, Christopher Robin!"
- Liam.
ew!Fastest Toad:Fat Bastard Slowest Toad:Gay Freddo Today's Weather:
That "ew" is not an "ew" of disgust at the sight of a warty brown cane toad. That "ew" is an "ew" of disgust at the amount of money these guys must bring in each night. Ew!
  Picture this. Northen Queensland is overrun with cane toads, so nobody's going to miss six of them. Each toad gets a coloured jumper (ha) to distinguish him from the other toads. The jumper is an elastic hair scrunchie. Six contestants are chosen randomly from the crowd and are given a party tweeter (see bottom of page). The toads start in a bucket in the centre of the table, the bucket is lifted, and the contestants blow the tweeters at their frogs to get them to leap off the table. First one off the table wins. Total cost to bar: $2.00 at the party store, and a bucket.
  Tickets are three bucks a head. If only one person goes, the event is paid for. However, the room was packed! So, that's 200 people, two shows a night, three a head... $1200. Add to that the cost of drinks, and you're easily up another $500.
 And then, the final race of the night is an auction. Audience members can bid on a frog, and the winner of the final race wins a $25 t-shirt (probably costs $8 to make), and a $30 drink voucher at the bar. At our show, each frog was sold for upwards of $20, and Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi went for $38! They made easily another $200 on the auction! $2000 a night! Ew! Ew! Again I say, ew!
  Worth my three bucks though. Maybe not 38, but three.
Kev: "That's where I put my sandwich! In my pocket."
Aim: "Who are you, Len?"
strike a pose Who bought wine?Us Who bought dinner?Them Today's Weather:
You know you've got one. Everyone does. I'm talking about that favourite pose to jump into when a camera is shoved in your face and there's something scrapbook worthy behind you. It might be a fake smile with a slight head tilt, or you lean against whatever's available in your best attempt at looking thinner. With Kev, it's the action-man pose. ACTION MAN! I don't know why Kev has chosen this to be his signature. Is he trying to appear more athletic? Did someone tell him at one point that this angle makes his nose look smaller? Is he getting ready to speed off into the distance, leaving behind only a couple of smoke clouds and a confused, Aimee-shaped coyote? Whatever the reason, he keeps on doing it. And he looks funny enough that there's no way I'm going to ask him to stop.
  By the way, that's the city of Cairns behind him.
Q: Why wasn't Jesus born in New Zealand?
A: They couldn't find three wise men or a virgin.
a mission Hike:6.9kmNoisy Pintas:Bloody Cassowaries:Today's Weather:
Next stop in our whirlwind tour of Queensland: Mission Beach. We're camped in total seclusion, miles from anywhere. Including the beach. How can they call it Mission Beach when it's a 45 min walk to the beach? Somebody get on the phone to marketing.

"...and I figured by this point I'd removed enough appendixes and looked up enough bums to consider a career change..."
- Former Australian Diplomat.
jungle fever Euchre Winner:Kev Crazy Eights Winner:Aim Today's Weather:
Holy Frickin' Frack! Kev's caught an untreatable, mysterious strain of Blue Jungle Tongue! There's nothing in our survival book about this... do we put pressure on it? Do we search for plants nearby that might provide the cure? Do we put ice on it or soak it in hot water? Yikes! We might have to amputate his whole head!
  Actually... that's not a bad option. Kev, you have a few more Blueberry Vodka Cruisers to dull the pain. I'll go get a hacksaw.

"You're going to teach me Okra?"
- Aimee.
crap. Hike:16kmNoisy Pintas:Turtles:Bloody Cassowaries:Today's Weather:
Damn bird. As you can probably guess, we spent another day hiking through the rainforest trying to catch a glimpse of the largest, ugliest, most vicious bird on the continent. After five sweaty hours of hiking, one downpour (this is the rainforest, don't forget) and about twenty piles of this, we realized that the cassowary (or the Town Hoax Reaffirmation Council) was, in fact, taunting us with it's feces. I don't have to tell you twice what I think this is a load of.

"...and I thought the Irish were daft."
- Wizzie.
trapped Euchre Winner:Kev Crazy Eights Winner:Kev Today's Weather:
There's only one bus outta this beach town and we can't get on it. The hordes of students heading south on the last day of their winter break have taken up every available seat and they won't let us squeeze into the luggage bins. This call for drastic action... To the Fish And Chip Stand!

"Yeah, there's so much to do during the day, and at night, there's nothing to do but go drinkin'. It's right awesome."
- Overheard from neighbouring phone booth.

A Head Of The Rest!
Congratulations to Bill Mead of Kelowna, BC, who thought ahead to correctly identify all seven skulls on Week 11. Now there's a guy with his head screwed on straight! Here are the correct answers...
A) Wombat
B) Koala
C) Kangaroo
D) Possum
E) Magpie
F) Rabbit
G) Ferret

Here's the contest on Week 11.
Thanks to everyone who entered! Check out the new contest on the left!

bitumen: (n.) pavement, asphalt, concrete, or any material to seal a road other than dirt. Pronounced "Bitch'em".
No worries, it's bitumen all the way to Nunbuddapub, except for a 180 mile stretch between Poolyapanzup and Dijabringabeeralong.

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We've got mail...
Hi Wally, Kevin and Aimee
We are busy drawing mascots for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Some people even drew a wombat for their mascot. Wally would be the perfect name don't you think?
How is your trip going? Do you have your bikes yet?
Has Wally been eating his Vegemite since he has been in Queensland? We hope that Kevin and Aimee have been sharing their Vegemite and not eating it all on Wally.
What are you all doing in Queensland. Are you still on the beach searching for sand crabs?
We miss you but we are enjoying your adventures. Do you miss us in Horsham? We hope that Wally is not homesick.
How's Wally's surfing? Is he any good on a surfboard?
Good luck for your trip.
- Year 3, Horsham 298 Primary

Hey guys! Going thru my email while packing and caught up with you two. YOU'RE CRAZY! But it sounds like a wonderful adventure. I am envious and live vicariously thru you...
Cheers and Best of luck,
- Kent, New York NY

Looks like ya having a great time guys, love the photos, very jealous still, i wanna be semi naked rolling in the sand and catching fish, tallyho xxxxxxxxxxxxx We are grooving on by saving and hoping to be back in Oz next summer
- Mikki, Fareham UK

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