December 11th, 2009 – by: kskillen
Brushing my teeth at the bus stop - you do what you have to do
I have to leave this afternoon. Iâ€™m catching the bus to Airlie Beach. The great news is my two Canadian friends are taking the same bus. Weâ€™ll get into Arlie at midnight so theyâ€™re going to let me stay with them in their apartment that theyâ€™ve rented! Sweet deal because I havenâ€™t booked as place to stay and I was not looking forward to trudging through downtown Airlie looking for a place in the middle of the night.
Our bus arrives over an hour late, gah! We thought it would never show up! I am dying because I need to pee. Have I mentioned that a lot of places in Aus (cafes, fast food places etc) donâ€™t have washrooms in them? Good times when everything closes in Ayr at 3:30pm, our bus doesnâ€™t arrive until 9:30 and I have had to pee for hours.
Iâ€™m not going to delve into details, but letâ€™s just say the bathroom wasnâ€™t in good shape on the bus. Iâ€™ve stood on toilet seats before but this was an entirely new experience. Just get back to your seat as quickly as possible I said to myself. I made it. And we made it to Arlie.
Andrew and Anoop's apartment, the couch is my bed for the night
Andrew and Anoopâ€™s place is AMAZING. Itâ€™s a home with a living room, full kitchen, bath and two huge bedrooms. I take the couch and I love it! Theyâ€™re off on a 3-day trip to the Whitsundays in the morning so Iâ€™m staying in the apartment by myself this the morning, enjoying the place until check out at 10am. Sweet!
I find my way into downtown to get a place to stay.
I opt for another party hostel, this time itâ€™s Magnums another massive hostel complex with a big bar facing the street. Iâ€™m in a 10 person dorm room. When I enter my room first thing I notice, its empty, Iâ€™m the only person staying here so far! Then I really look around, wow this place is a site to been seen. Itâ€™s not exactly the apartment I just left, but for $18 a night is awesome in my books! I settle in, get into bed and rest. I really donâ€™t feel like going anywhere. My first roommate arrives. Her name is Justyna and sheâ€™s from Poland. Sheâ€™s traveling alone around Aus. We hit it off instantly. We both lounge in bed, talking and talking. We donâ€™t get moving until 2pm.
The view from their place
I checked out the town, do laundry, get groceries. I meet Justyna, and friend from Ayr that I ran into, named Tasha for dinner. Fish and chips baby! Then I escape Tashaâ€™s nonstop talking to spend my evening emailing with family. :)
Airlie was on my list of places to potentially stop and start working for a few months. Iâ€™m here to just sit, let the place consume me and find out if I want to stay. I do yoga in the morning, ready to face my new city, knowing Iâ€™m going to find out the answer soon. Justyna and I get three new roommates and together the five of us become a team for the next week. Nolan, Toby, Luke, Justyna and I party and hang out all day. We go to the lagoon during the day, playing cards, get wine, start parties, eat, close bars, dance like crazy all night and drink too much.I did fit in a day trip to the Whitsundays through this time! The Whitsundays are the main reason people come to Arlie so I need to check them out! The Whitsunday Islands are beautiful sandy islands that provide some of the best resorts, beaches and views in Aus. Some of the 74 islands have accommodations which are usually luxury hotels, which of course Iâ€™m not staying in. Iâ€™ll do a drive by on a boat though, waving at the lucky people who get to stay at them. A lot of people go on multi-day trips but I just want to see a few special spots, do some snorkeling and just be out on the water again.
I loved being on the boat! Loved the hum of the engine, the lap of the water on the sides of the boat, and the views. The islands are beautiful. We take the boat around some of the Whitsunday Islands stopping to get out and take a hike to a lookout overlooking Whitheaven Beach, a stunning estuary (and a highlight of the Whitsundays). The water is a perfect blue here and the sand a sparkling white. As the tide goes out more white sand is revealed. Weâ€™re there around noon, when the tide is still high and the view is still spectacular! I spend time taking photos, hiking the trails on the island, reading on the beach, swimming in the hot water (stinger suit on of course). The sun is hot, and the beach is full of people basking in the rays. I read for a while under the shade of a tree. Life could not be better. Back on boat we head out to another island to do some snorkeling. It was surprisingly good. There were lots of fish, plenty of new coral formations of me to see and a huge maori wrasse that came to visit. On the ride home to Arlie I stayed on the top deck of the ship. Riding with the captain, watching the world go by. Who knew I loved boats so much!
What a good time!
Inside our hostel room