We arrived at Airlie Beach in the early hours of the morning. We’d originally intended to visit Mackay for half of the time we eventually booked to Airlie, but there seemed to only be one hostel in the entire town and it didn’t allow check-ins after 10pm. As the only Greyhound with a sensible transit time arrived in the middle of the night, we decided to just go straight up to Airlie. It was not a decision we would regret.
On our first morning we look a look around the YHA to get familiar with our surroundings. The hostel was putting on pancakes this evening, at $10 a head. Sign me the heck up for that! Then we got to know the vicinity of Airlie Beach by walking in the direction of the supermarket, Coles; which ended up being an afternoon adventure across mountains, rivers and beaches (apart from there were no rivers and not really any mountains either) in the oppressive midday heat of mid-Queensland. By the time we’d picked up the shopping, the sky was threatening downpour. We had no idea when or where the rumoured bus to Coles and back could be caught from and were lumbered with heavy shopping. There was that unspoken notion again that, y’know, maybe we could walk this. I then pointed out that we should have learned our lesson by now and suggested a taxi. Lucy agreed and we took a ride from the rank outside back to the hostel. No sooner had we got in and unpacked, a heavy thunderstorm exploded above, raindrops hammering every horizontal surface. We also noted a couple of guys outside that had decided to enjoy the storm in the superconductive vat of the hostel swimming pool. They are probably mental, I thought. As it turns out, I didn’t know the half of it! Continue reading