Eleven hours on a Greyhound bus. Dozed on & off but no real sleep. Cracked my eyelids at sunrise & thought, I should take a picture, but I couldn't stay awake. People got on & off, lights went on & off, voices faded in & out. My knees hurt bc my feet didn't touch the floor.
We stopped in some nowhere town & T and I went in search of coffee & chocolate. The chocolate melted instantly in the 9am sun. Back to the bus.
Finally arrived in Airlie Beach at 11:30am & we were shattered. We stumbled off the bus & looked around, preparing to lug our heavy bags around town to find a hostel, but -lucky! - there were vans from 2 hostels waiting at the bus stop for tired travellers like us. We chose Backpackers By the Bay (highly recommended - its beautiful) & were thankfully whisked away.
Settled in, did a load of laundry - wet mildewy bathers & towels - considered a nap but it was just too gorgeous, new & exciting to sleep the day away.
Instead of a shower, we opted for a jump in the pool - I can't tell you how nice it felt. Slowly, the pool started to gather a crowd & we started making friends. Guys from the UK, yet another Daan from Holland (yes girls, more dutchies!), a polish girl, and heaps of aussies including Nick, whose family owns & he runs the hostel. Everyone was talking, playing pool games, there was music on & the bar was open. It was so fun. We all ordered pizzas & played card games, Nick & I had a good talk about music & LA, dutchie Martin stole my camera (got some funny pictures), and it was one of those perfect lazy afternoons. With everyone swimming, laughing, drinking, it felt like a 4th of july party, except there were no fireworks at sunset & its almost Christmas. Weird.
Later that night, they set up deck chairs around the pool & projected the movie "Pineapple Express" onto a screen, so we all sat around & watched it, laughing. Then more drinks & chatting, and I stayed up way, way too late. But who needs sleep anyway? It was fun.
Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ stumbling onto a great hostel
~ pool parties in December
~ a beautiful place & really cool people