We arrived in Mission Beach after a 4 ½hour journey from Townsville and were met by Sianne who drove us back to the YHA hostel.
Whilst the YHA is a fair way out of the main town, it is worth travelling to! The hostel itself is basically an oversized tree-house!!! It's all open sided (except for the bedrooms), has a beautiful pool and several hammocks to wile away your days. In other words, it's just super chilled out here!
Our room was basic, but we had a whole 6 bed dorm to ourselves. Northern Queensland is still recovering from the effects of hurricane Yasi which hit there in January 2011 and that seems to have kept a lot of the tourists away, meaning that the hostels in Mission Beach are fairly quiet.
Máire and I decided to take a walk down to the local shop, which is a good 15 minute walk away down a road with no actual pavement! Luckily for us, Harry (the owner of the hostel) drove down the road as we were starting our journey and offered us a lift.
The local shop is a bizarre little place. It's a bright purple building, and serves as the local shop, dvd rental store, book exchange, art gallery, restaurant and pub!! I loved it!!
We decided to stop and have a drink before heading back, and before we knew it it was dark outside. Not wanting us to walk back in the dark, Harry had called Sianne to come and pick us up in the van. Now that's what I call service!!
The following day we ate breakfast whilst trying to decide what to do with our day. The decision was....nothing!! (but then we remembered the severe lack of clean clothes, so we added laundry to the list of things to do).
So, with clothes bundled into the washing machines, we retreated to the hammocks on the deck to laze away the afternoon.
I braved a trip to the showers in the evening, which you share with a number of spiders (hopefully of the non venomous variety) a tonne of moths and a grasshopper or five, before slumping off to bed (which I shared with a small gecko! Ah the joys of wildlife!)
We got up early on Sunday to join Sianne and Phil on a trip to the Monthly Monster Market, which was like an oversized car-boot sale, crossed with a small arts and craft fair.
We only stayed there for about an hour, before we all jumped back into the mini-van back to the hostel where we fell happily back into our hammocks.
Knowing that we should actually do something with our day, Máire, Sabine and I decided to go on a walk. We were joined by Paul as we were on our way out of the door and so the 4 of us headed off in the direction of Bingle Bay to the entrance to the Bicton Hill track. The walk was nice and the view from the top was pretty, with views looking out over Dunk Island (which was a popular holiday destination before it was gutted by Yasi) and Bedarra Island (aka Richard's Island) which is an exclusive island for the rich and famous (apparently Brad Pitt has stayed there in the past!)
We stopped in the 'purple pub' on the way back for a drink and some food, before heading back to the hostel....in the pouring rain!
We had a brief pause at the hostel before we had to start getting ready for a night out at The Shrubbery (named for the joke in Monty Python's Holy Grail film) for Phil's leaving party.
We had a really good evening and the band there were amazing. However, we didn't stay out too late since Sianne was our designated driver and had been up since the crack of dawn to clean the hostel and check people in.
Monday was another nice lazy day for us, starting with breakfast whilst still in our pj's before migrating out to the comfort of the hammocks again!
We did however start looking for jobs at pubs in the outback, which I think would be a great laugh and one hell of an experience!
We had a nice evening in with the guys at the hostel and a fair bit of goon for our last night in Mission Beach. I could honestly have stayed here longer. It's a really cute little town and the hostel is awesome, but had we stayed longer, I think I may have become welded to that hammock!:o)
Cairns is going to be a very big change after Mission Beach!!!