Sunday, September 25, 2005

blue seas, blue skies

Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is undoubtedly the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. It was absolutely incredible. Swirling white sands, turquoise waters, and absolutely deserted when we arrived, which was also amazing. The only drawback was the fear of swimming because of the pesky jellyfish (box and something else incredibly evil), which if they stung you could render you paralysed, or in intensive care. Not so fun. Some girl (not in our boat) did get stung whilst we were out sailing, and was vomiting profusely. Poor thing.

Anyways, back to the fantastic time I had sailing around the Whitsundays. We were on a 53' boat called Ragamuffin II, and used to be sailed in the Sydney-Hobart race. She was gorgeous. 53' isn't a whole lot of boat compared to the 80' maxi-yachts we saw, but she was nippy, and it was fun to sail her properly, and feel her keel come almost entirely out of the water when the wind was just right. Tons of fun. Plus, the people I was sailing with were excellent fun - 2 med students from Cardiff, who were a blast, an American exchange student, a South African girl who's next stop was India, two OC girls, an Irish couple, and a warring German couple. Furthermore, our crew were just two people, Ian and Andrea, who were engaged, and we were also able to spy on their relationshop as well - nothing like a bit of gossip to draw people together! The first day we sailed to Whitehaven, the second we sailed around a bit more (sorry, don't remember any names) and had the best steak I've had whilst travelling done on the barbie, and the third we went to an incredibly swanky resort on South Molle Island where we were able to swim in a pool, hike to a viewpoint, play golf in our bikinis (but we didn't do that one) and drink cocktails, before heading back to harbour and a night of fun in Airlie Beach. We all came back tan as anything, not so hungover, and in fine, fine spirits. The ebullient mood continued right into the early hours of the morning, possibly due to the free jugs of sangria provided by the yachting company that night. One dodgy club, a wet t-shirt competition, and a trip into an Irish bar made for a fun night out, and I crawled into bed for 3hrs sleep before getting my flight back to Sydney. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get anyone's email address, and so all my new friends are gone forever again.

Yes, back in Sydney. Well, Bondi to be exact, for my last days in Australia. Australia is a funny place, and I haven't exactly loved it. Places have been incredibly beautiful, and I have loved them individually - Melbourne is a great city, Byron has an awesome vibe and good surf, the Whitsundays are truly beautiful, but so much of backpacker culture on the East Coast is purely obsessed with getting drunk, and I am rather over getting drunk all the time. Don't get me wrong - I still love to party, and that's exactly what I did in Airlie, but it's not why I travel; its not the be all and end all of why I'm here, and for a lot of backpackers it does seem to be the case. Furthermore, it does sometimes seem to be a little Britain, which is a million miles away from where I want to be. I have been told that New Zealand is completely different, and I'm really looking forward to meeting backpackers who aren't travelling just to wreck their liver.


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