Airlie Beach

It didn’t take us too long to pack this morning and we left a few things behind that we just couldn’t carry any further including fins and books. The Moke has to be back at 10am and the timing is good as we want to catch the ferry back to Townsvillle at 9.45. We pile all our stuff in and set off. Maisie and I wait at the terminal while Simon and Ali return the Moke and by 1030 we are back on the mainland waiting for the Greyhound bus to Airlie Beach.

The bus ride takes around 6 hours. Unfortunately Ali has had some bad luck over the past few days, first leaving his PSP case with 2 memory sticks on the bus from Cairns to Townsville and then yesterday snapped the joystick on it. This means he has to read or listen to my MP3 player on the bus and he’s not a happy bunny. We stop off on the way for an hour and have some sandwiches and sweets.

We arrive at Airlie beach with nowhere to stay and follow a fella up the road to Magnums Backpackers. When we arrive they tell us we can’t stay there as it’s licensed and “no kids allowed”. What a pain. Our stuff is really heavy and as it’s hot we just sit at the bar and have a pint before deciding what to do next. We have also been given a card from another place slightly out of town and give them a call. They tell us they will be down to collect us in 10 minutes.

Bush Village Backpackers Resort turns out to be great. More expensive than we have been paying at 156 dollars (65 quid) but worth it. The accommodation consists of decent sized cabins with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and best of all a bathroom. We realised last night that this is the first time we haven’t had a shared shower and toilet since arriving in Australia and although it’s a simple thing it seems like a real luxury.

We sit having a few beers with the manager Greg. We have decided we are going sailing and after much discussion eventually decide on a 2 night/ 3 day trip for 600 pounds. This still sounds a lot and it did hurt, but that is on a smaller yacht (Only 12 people) and includes the reef taxes, all food and activities. Greg also gives us tomorrow nights accommodation here free and they will store our gear and take us and collect us. When we broke it down it worked out that each day will cost 50 quid per person all in. (Doesn’t sound quite so bad put that way!)

Simon and I walk up to the supermarket and get some food, leaving the kids watching Neighbours and then Home and Away! We get back and eat quickly before I crash out on the bed with a few magazines and a glass of wine. Simon goes off to update our website but comes back unable to do it. I have found the crappy internet service here in OZ a real pain in the arse. Some places won’t allow you to plug anything into the USB and it can be very expensive. There also seems to be a distinct lack of wifi which means we haven’t been able to make any telephone calls home on Skype either. Very frustrating!

Off to sleep now we have to sort out a few things tomorrow before sailing on Thursday morning.