It was a full day of driving - 8 hours - uneventful. The Queensland farm fields stretched out around us, reminding me of road trips in the Carolinas. I watched an endless green expanse roll by, broken only by occasional tin roofs, water silos, and windmills to remind me I'm in Australia.
We listened to Triple J, the local non-commercial radio station, when we could get it. I read out loud from "The Book Thief" and we got really into it; I only stopped when the trucks bad suspension caused the words to bounce & shuffle in front of me, rearanging themselves & making a break necessary.
We stopped for breakfast & petrol, lunch & petrol, otherwise driving straight through. Made it to our first stop, 1770/Agnes Water, in good time. Tiny, beautiful surf town.
Nick knows the guys that run Cool Bananas Backpackers, so they set us up with a clean, airy room. The hostel is bright & inviting, with wooden floors & a lushly landscaped garden space that makes you want to spend time outside.
We went around the town & visited the other hostels, dropping off & picking up brochures. I tagged along just to see the places. Besides Cool Bananas, the only other impressive place was Southern Cross, which has nice, clean wooden cabins, ensuite, on 17 acres of land, including a lake. We took the best & worst from each hostel we'd seen and brainstormed how to improve Backpackers By the Bay.
Drank cider. Chatted with the very nice manager of Cool Bananas (he just had a baby named Arctic!). Met a group of Brits & Germans drinking goon (two of whom were traveling north, already booked in at BBB & had been emailing with Nick for a week! Funny) & hung out with them for a bit. It was a good laugh but we retreated to the room early because both of us wanted to read more of the book. Yeah, we're nerds.
My only complaint with Cool Bananas is no pool & no AC; it was a hot, somewhat restless night.
Today I am so grateful & happy for:
~ being able to offer creative ideas
~ reading out loud
~ road trips!