Monday 6th July
We left Cairns yesterday for the two hour drive to Mission Beach. Josh, having been out with the other youngsters until 3.30am slept the whole journey, therefore missing the dead kangaroos at the side of the road! Again, driving over here is so easy with virtually traffic free roads, although the speed limit of 62 mph is a bit tame!
Mission Beach is a lovely sleepy little village on a beach of 14km! Beautiful! I started with a 6 mile run on the beach, on golden/white sand. Stunning. I had a bit of a shock at one point where the rainforest met the beach, and I could see crocodile tracks coming from the water! And then I really panicked when I saw a log in the water which I initially thought was a croc! Ruuuuuuunnn! Fast! There are signs all over telling you to avoid the crocodiles! Really? I need telling that???
The hostel is ok, but the guests just don’t seem to be friendly here. Maybe it’s because they’re travelling in groups and don’t need to mix. So, an early night for us!
This morning I woke up to discover the most heinous crime imaginable had taken place! Some bastard had taken my six bottles of beer from the fridge! Quick, set up roadblocks! Call in the army! This is serious! That’s the first time in 6 months travelling that this has happened. Maybe we’ve been lucky before. But it’s bloody annoying. I did ask around if anyone had “accidentally” taken my beer (that was clearly labelled) but of course all the kids just stayed silent. I will get my revenge tonight by playing 70s rock at full volume all night….
It then leads to getting a negative impression about the hostel even though its not really their fault. However, the broken washing machine, broken PCs, broken ceiling fan, and absolutely crap WIFI (which they even have the cheek to charge extra for!) is definitely their fault. As a result we’re spending the morning in a laundrette. See, it’s not all glamour and beaches as a traveller! And the hostel has rules printed everywhere you look! I even got told off by the lady owner for taking up too much space on the kitchen work top whilst making dinner! Not the most welcoming place we’ve been to….
But the rest of the day was spent very nicely on the beach with a picnic lunch. Hardly anyone else on the beach at all, apart from the sky divers who intermittently landed near us. Just perfect!
It has become tradition with me and Charlotte that when we come off the beach we have to go immediately for a beer in a nearby bar – and today we found the Fishbar in Mission Beach, where all bottled beers were $5 each (£2.50)! Including Peroni and Corona, so we didn’t have to drink any Australian cat piss! Fantastic! So good in fact that we decided to return to eat there later. Big mistake…… Having ordered our food at 7.15, by 8.30 it still hadn’t arrived, and I noticed that the kitchen was closing. So I asked the pathetic American girl barmaid if it was coming. She said “Oh, haven’t you eaten?”. Being sat in front of the bar area with very few other tables occupied, you’d have thought she might have noticed. Anyway, it turned out she hadn’t even put our order into the kitchen, but the chef kindly agreed to get everything out again and cook for us. So, we were going to get a hurriedly-put-together meal, which is never great. When we eventually got our food, they started to close the bar, even though it was not even 9pm yet. It all felt very uncomfortable for us and the evening was spoilt. At bill paying time, I complained, and was given one of the meals for free, but not before I got a torrent of abuse from the barmaid! She called me a jackass, and told me never to go back there! Barred!! I’ve never been barred from anywhere, let alone for a valid complaint!! I was totally stunned! Don’t think I’ve ever had such bad and rude service anywhere else before. I thought Americans prided themselves on their service? This girl told me she was just working whilst travelling, and would be leaving in 2 weeks, so she didn’t care!
All in all, Mission Beach hasn’t been our greatest success and hasn’t really endeared itself to us, despite it being an incredibly beautiful place. Not to worry, onwards to Townsville tomorrow then 3 nights on Magnetic Island to look forward to!
Tuesday 7th July
Very slight revenge was had first thing this morning when the hostel gave Josh his $10 deposit back for his key. This was good, as Josh hadn’t actually paid a deposit at all! A minor victory, so we drove away as quick as we could before they realised!
We arrived three hours later in the imaginatively named Townsville, just a stopping off point for us really. Anyway, another day, and another beach for the afternoon. We were given great entertainment for the last hour when a woman reported to the life guard that she thought she’d seen a shark in the water!! So we were all on shark watch! But sadly no further sightings. I’m going to stick to my trusted shark-attack-prevention method – no dry person ever got eaten by a shark, only wet people. Never fails.
Tonight’s hostel seems a lot more relaxed, and we’ve even got a fridge in our room to so there’ll be no theft of beer tonight…….
Rant time :- WIFI in Australia and New Zealand. Basically it’s crap. And you usually have to pay for it. We had massively better service in the 3rd world countries of South America. I don’t understand. And you might ask why wifi is so important to us. Well, everything we do has to be researched, booked and confirmed by email on t’internet.
And service too. Why is service so shockingly bad in so many places? It’s so easy to make guests happy, and it doesn’t take any work at all. Randall, pick a spot, any spot, for our hostel and we’ll wipe the floor with the rest. It’s a sure winner!