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My First Taste of Airlie Beach
Wednesday 6th April 2011 – Airlie Beach, Australia
With Townsville and Magnetic Island ticked off my to-do list, I had no reason to stick around in this hostel. My onward trip was booked for today and I was looking forward to meeting up with friends in Airlie Beach.
I had time to kill this morning but still wanted to get out the hostel as soon as possible, so I took advantage of the good weather and walked along the side of the harbour. The heat was making my backpack feel all the heavier and I soon stopped for a rest outside a small café. Here I sat with a nice coffee and toasted sandwiches for a while. At this moment in time, with the sun shining and the birds singing, and with the water glistening around the boats in the harbour, it didn’t seem like too bad a place.
I had plenty of time to get to the Greyhound station, and arrived early, but had to wait for over an hour as the bus was characteristically late. In the mean time I had the familiar experience of being spoken at for an entire hour by somebody who did not interest me in the slightest. This guy was explaining to me his life story in detail, and failed to realise I was sitting with my eyes closed, and not actually listening to him. I took great measures to sit as far away from him as possible on the bus when it finally arrived. I don’t know how I always manage to attract these people, but I seem to be a magnet for them.
The bus was slow and took a long time to get to Airlie Beach. It arrived very late and I had to find my way to Beaches Hostel. Once there I was thrilled to see the reception had closed, but after a few minutes the receptionist turned up to book people in. I was the first to arrive at the hostel, yet somehow I was the last to be booked in, and as it happened, my room had been double booked, and was unavailable to me. A double room was offered to me at no extra charge and so I took this instead. I wished I hadn’t.
When I arrived at the room I found it had not been cleaned since the last guests. There was rubbish all over the floor, cigarette butts on the window sills. The toilet was broken and the shower and sink leaked constantly. The bed had no sheets on it, which revealed the stained mattress underneath. The receptionist walked in a little later to say he would get the room cleaned and provide clean sheets. I had my reservations. This hostel is my idea of hell. It is a dirty, party hostel with its own bar.
Airlie Beach is a very lively place with much going on at every bar. It felt like a fun place to be, but I do like my creature comforts, of which this place offered none. I took myself to McDonald’s for my dinner and later met up with my friends. It was great to catch up and have a few drinks whilst listening to live music. We chatted into the night and visited the bar in my hostel. Drinking games were in full swing now, and I think a large number of people had no clothes on. It was entertaining, but hugely cliché.
When I returned to my room late I was not surprised to learn the room had not been cleaned. The bed sheets had been dumped on the bed for me to do myself and there was still rubbish all over the floor. When I fitted the bed sheets I had to laugh as they had given me sheets to a single bed, and not a double which is what I had. Needless to say they didn’t fit. I slept on half the bed that night and worried I might catch something from the disgusting state of the room. This is easily one of the worst hostels I have ever stayed in, but I guess it’s what you should expect from a place like Airlie Beach where it’s all about the party.
Hopefully tomorrow would bring more joy, and I could be put in a clean room.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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