RECAP, RECHARGE AND ROUTINES
After returning from my 3 day, 3 night sailing trip on the Whitsundays (see Sunsets, Sailing & Secret Missions) I decided to stay in Airlie Beach for a few days to recharge and get a bit of routine back in my life. It was hard keeping up with my blog posts, keeping a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine with all the multi-day trips, long bus rides and late nights out. So, in Airlie Beach, I got a job at one of the hostels working for accommodation to save some money whilst I got back into a bit of a daily routine and recharge my ‘batteries’ for a bit. Before letting you know what I got up to whilst in Airlie Beach, here is a recap of my three week journey since leaving Byron Bay (also see Barefoot in Byron Bay):
3 days exploring Coolangatta and ‘the Goldie’ (see Caught in the clouds in Coolangata);
3 days cycling the streets and parks of Brisbane (see Big City Blues);
2 days in the quiet coastal town of Caloundra (see Curious about Caloundra);
4 days falling in love with nature in Noosa (see Nature-loving in Noosa);
1 day wandering the small town at Rainbow Beach (see Raining in Rainbow Beach);
3 days ‘4×4-ing’ on Fraser Island (see Staying Dingo Safe);
2 days in Hervey Bay (see St. Patrick’s Day in Hervey Bay);
3 days sailing the Whitsunday Islands (see Sunsets, Sailing & Secret Missions);
and about 10 days in Airlie Beach.
During my time in the small backpacker town said to be where ‘humanity celebrates its close proximately to natural beauty by partying very hard’ (lonley planet), I steered clear of the party scene for most of my time to save money, my liver and my waistline. Other than participating in Airlie’s throbbing night-life, there was not that much else to do, so I spent most of my time going for long walks or runs along the marina, doing yoga on the beachfront or swimming in the man-made lagoon.
Work-for-stay at Magnums
As I mentioned before, I decided to work at a hostel for my accommodation as a way of saving some money. Many of the hostels around Australia offer work-for-stay programs that allow you to work in exchange for free accommodation. The number of hours and the type of work varies from place to place; the work I had to do wasn’t difficult and also added some routine to my days. I had to open the luggage room every 30 to 60 minutes over a 4 hour period for people storing their luggage whilst on their sailing trips or whilst waiting to check-in. I was also in charge of keeping the kitchens clean between 12 and 4pm – not that difficult.
One of the best perks of staying in a place for an extended period of time is meeting other people that were staying for a long time instead of meeting new people every day. When I started working at the hostel there were just three of us, but after I ran into a couple from my Fraser trip they decided to work at Magnums too and then there were five. V was the morning ‘bus driver’, but since there wasn’t actually a bus to drive she was expected to walk to the greyhound stop to “pick people up” on foot and then show them where to go. J helped with maintenance for a couple hours each day and when M also eventually joined us, he became the evening ‘bus driver’.
Before leaving Airlie Beach the ‘Work for Accommodation Crew’ (V, J, M and I) rented a car and took a day trip to Cedar Creek Falls, Hydeaway Bay and Dingo Beech – find out more in my next post.
Staying in one place for a few days afforded me the time to get back into a regular exercise routine and attempt a healthy diet. Every morning I would head to the beach with my yoga mat for my morning yoga routine, sometimes followed by a swim in the lagoon. I also managed to attend a local gym for a few evening sessions.
In the evenings I would alternate between going for a long run or a sunset walk along the Bicentennial Walkway to Cannonvale. The route was fairly flat, but I was always spoilt by the amazing views over the bay.
Whilst in Airlie Beach, I also managed to make it up in time to watch the sun rise over the bay.
Swims in the Man-made Lagoon
I would often take a dip in Airlie Beach’s beautiful man-made lagoon either before or after completing my daily chores. The lagoon is located in the centre of Airlie and was built to give visitors and residents a place to escape the heat whilst steering clear of the jelly fish infested waters off the beach. There are also a few designated swimming enclosures that have stinger nets to prevent jelly fish from entering their boundaries.
Meal Times Chats
Meal times where enjoyed in the smaller, more-private kitchen in the far corner of the hostel grounds. One of my favourite times of the day as this is when I met many other travellers of varying ages and backgrounds all with the common interest of travel. I heard stories of how two girls had broken-down in Agnes Waters and had to hitch-hike the remainder of their trip, and how they hadn’t booked their accommodation in Airlie Beach and had to sleep on the beach. I also heard a story of an English girl’s mission to travel ‘around the world in 80 lays’ – she was just joking, I think.
But after 10 days in Airlie Beach I certainly felt it was time to move on. I had managed to plan more of my trip, catch up on some of my blog posts and ‘recharge’, so it was now time to continue my journey northward. I booked a bus and headed for Townsville and Magnetic Island.