Kat and Em's Travels
Sunday 29th October It was another early start today. We got on the ferry back to Townsville and then got on the Greyhound for the 4 and a half hour journey down to Airlie Beach. We checked into Airlie Waterfront Backpackers and were pleased to find out that the 12 bed dorm was full and we'd have to sleep in the 4 bed. Damn! After we had checked out the amazing view of the ocean from the balcony we went to talk to Joey on reception about our Whitsundays sailing trip. He sorted us out a package which included our Fraser Island trip. Then it was time to look around Airlie. The first stop was McDonalds! Yes we know it's bad for us and that we're backpackers and should cook our own food, but we've done a lot of that and we fancied some grease! That evening Joey invited us round to his flat to watch films. It was so nice to be able to relax in comfy chairs. We didn't leave until 1.30am! We got back to find one guy snoring and farting (not having much luck with that) and another random who woke up, said 'G'day' and then fell asleep again and disappeared in the morning. Monday 30th October This morning we moved next door to our own room which cost the same as a 12 bed dorm. It's useful beiing friends with the guy on reception! We had to do our washing and then went down to the lagoon to sunbathe. It was really pretty, the swimming area on one side of us and the sea on the other. Roshni and Kav arrived in Airlie so went for drinks with them at Beaches. We were on the look out for Fit John, Joey's mate who works there but he wasn't around. Who was most disappointed we will never know. Tuesday 31st October Checked out of the hostel leaving our backpacks behind as we were going sailing around the Whitsundays! The backpacks haven't actually been too much trouble at all as most hostels tend to pick you up from the bus station so we really don't have to carry them far. The problem has been the 3rd or sometimes 4th bags we end up carrying full of food and other items that don't seem to fit! Met Rosh and Kav for a bit as they were going on a different boat, went to the bottle shop to stock up for the evening aboard and then went to meet our fellow passengers on the S V Whitehaven! We set off at 1pm and were slightly disappointed with the weather as it was quite cloudy. But that didn't affect the snorkelling, we saw a huge turtle. Kat even touched it! As it's stinger season at the moment in Australia we had to wear head-to-toe stinger suits. Very sexy as the photos will prove! We made friends with Jimmy, the deckhand from New Zealand who let us steer the boat, that was fun! practised my German with a girl called Lisa from Cologne. I think the Irish and the Germans might even outnumber the English around here! We enjoyed the hospitality on the boat, tea and biscuits after snorkelling which we fully appreciated as it was so cold after snorkelling and with the wind. Dinner that evening was chicken curry. No more backpackers' pasta and sauce! There were toilets and showers on the boat which were a bit minging as it was a tiny room and you couldn't wear shoes and as you may guess it smelt quite bad! Unfortunately our cabin was directly opposite but by the time we got to bed we were so tired we didn't notice. The drinking games and beers had warn us out! Wednesday 1st November We woke up at about 6.30 as they started the boat up then and it was well noisy. That morning we sailed to Whitehaven beach. It's one of the top 5 most photographed beaches in the world and it really was beautiful. I've never seen such white sand and blue sea. Jimmy and I entertained ourselves by burying each other and making a sofa out of sand. We then had lunch back on board and sailed to our second snorkel location and pulled on those sexy stinger suits again. The coral was yet again. The whole of the area is a National Park so we had to be careful not to touch or damage the coral. It grows only a matter of centimetres in decades. Jimmy taught Kat how to tie knots. She is very proud of herself. I think she should take up a career in sailing. That evening everyone realised how burnt they were as in contrast to the previous day, today was a scorcher! The skipper gave us a talk about the stars as it was such a clear night then we had lasagne and a few drinks. Jimmy seemed to take a liking to both of us. I don't think that man is fussy. Unfortunately for him neither of us were interested in sleeping up on the deck. Our boat sounded quite tame in comparison to Roshni's, drugs and gays and allsorts on theirs. But we had to admit we were glad not to be on that one. I don't tend to get seasick but the sea was a bit rough at times so I dread to think what it would've been like with a hangover! Thursday 2nd November We woke up early again and a few people, including me, went for a pre-breakfast snorkel (7am). This time we got to jump off the boat as the other times we went out from the shore. It was fun! Then it was back to Airlie. The wind was lacking and at one point we couldn't move. Kat pulled the sail up though. We spotted sharks and turtles and then got back to land. We went for a nap which went on all afternoon! And then got ready for a night out with the people we'd met on the boat and Joey and Rosh and Kav and their boat. We enjoyed the free wine and the free beer and then made a real effort to stand up straight. Then it all becomes a blur! We moved on to another bar called Shennanigans. I remember going to the pie shop. Kat remembers talking to Fit John. Conversation unknown. Friday 3rd November Met Rosh and Kav for a bit as they were leaving in the evening. I think I must have bumped nto about 10 people we knew in the 2 minute walk to the cafe. It's like a little community in Airlie! Then we went to Beaches to meet up with the people we'd met at Mission Beach and Howie who was in our room at Magnetic Island. Today was the start of the Reef Festival so we watched the fireworks from the balcony and then went to meet Chris, Matt, Frank and Howie at Beaches again. Noone was really drinking that much for a change! Saturday 4th November We chilled out today and explored the Reef Festival Market which was right in front of our hostel. Didn't buy anything though, it's annoying having to carry extra things! We sunbathed by the lagoon, met up with Frank who didn't go to the Whitsundays with everyone else and discovered that he had booked the same bus and hostel as us for our next destination. That evening we went to the lagoon to the open air cinema as Finding Nemo was meant to be showing. Unfortunately it didn't work!