I had left Cairns feeling a tad sorry I hadn’t gone back to Gili T instead of attempting an Australian holiday for this Christmas break, and this sentiment strengthened as I found myself heading out alone the next night in Airlie Beach. After a long bus ride I had found that my well-reviewed hostel, Nomads/Base, had no central common area or easy way to meet people. The Australians in Airlie Beach gave new meaning to the word ‘bogan’, and I went to bed exhausted and dreaming of South-East Asia.
It is a good thing, however, that a disappointing travel experience often proceeds a wonderful one. Travel luck, as I have now coined it, was suddenly back on my side the next morning when I received a message from David, who had arrived in town with Adam after their apparently exhausting overnight bus ride. You’ll remember I had met them randomly in Cairns, where we were on two of the same tours. David and their German friend from where they were completing a university exchange in Sydney, Fredo, met me right away as I finished my tasty cafe breakfast.
We then roused Adam from his nap and proceeded all four to spend the rest of the day eating and drinking at one of the many outdoor pubs and jovially hanging out at the beautiful sunny lagoon. Indeed, the weather gods were being very good to us: by the lagoon we met others from Fredo’s just-returned Whitsundays boat and they lamented that it had been raining for them for their entire trip, which really put a literal dampener on things. Not so for us: sunny blue skies abounded, despite it being rainy season.
We kept right on through to dinner and headed out that night, crashing the after party of the Whitsundays sailing boat from which Fredo had just returned. There was also a foam party at one of the bars – although it was hilariously pointless and we were unable to walk through the watery sludge.
The fun was just beginning however, as the next morning was David’s, Adam’s and my embarkation on our New Year’s Eve Whitsundays sailing trip on the Tongarra. Stay tuned!