I was afraid I’d forgotten how to travel. I spent three months in only two locations, so I was a bit nervous to get back on the road so to speak.

The weather and transport gods were with me, thankfully. I arrived at the airport to the longest line-up I’ve ever seen at an airport check-in. I patted myself on the back for being one of those crazy-early people and I made it through without much hassle. I then proceeded to hold my breath as flight after flight was cancelled due to extreme flooding, cyclones, and all that Australian weather.

Airlie Beach- hot, humid, and under construction.

Airlie Beach- hot, humid, and under construction.

But mine was fine. I managed to fly over all the devastation and road closures and land on the shortest runway in Australia (at the fancy resort of Hamilton Island), take a ferry to Airlie Beach, gasp and dissolve into a puddle in the intense heat and 90% humidity, get to my air-conditioned (and therefore difficult to leave) hostel room, meet a bunch of stranded travellers, and attempt a walk through the small, tourist-driven, under-major-construction main street to the lagoon.

A man-made, jellyfish-free pool on the edge of the beach, the lagoon is like a massive bathtub you can sunbathe around. The water is hot, but still more refreshing than just bathing in the humid air.

So humid the lense of my camera insistd on fogging up. This picture of a bird is for Sarah.

So humid the lense of my camera insistd on fogging up. This picture of a bird is for Sarah.

Despite my fear of seasickness (aka hell), I had booked a three-day sailing trip around the Whitsundays as a reward for getting through my first week at the farm/retreat. But every last one of the other passengers hadn’t made it to Airlie because of road closures, and so the boat was cancelled. I was put on another trip, on Silent Night, the “sexiest boat in the Whitsundays,” as Sammy the captain, never let us forget. And I go and forget to take a picture of her, slick and fast as she is.

Boat after the storm.

Boat after the storm. A boat, not my boat.

Apart from broken boats peppering the shoreline, you’d never have guessed there’d been bad weather, ever, here. The skies were blue and the sun shining (meaning my lip and knees got burned), the stars were out in multitudes at night, and I never felt seasick, not even a little bit. I’d bought all that ginger ale for nothing and I was glad to drink it like champagne rather than medicine.

My things drying at sunset.

My things drying at sunset.

The days were filled with snorkelling in the reef, being hypnotised by the water, and applying sunscreen. I loved the stinger suits (infinitely small and deadly jellies are out there) because they help you float (either that or I’ve suddenly become a very good floater-in-the-water) and they protect you from death and the usually inevitable sunburn (I still have the marks from my snorkelling day in Lamu circa December 2010).

A nice group of people slowly cooking in the sun.

A nice group of people slowly roasting in the sun.

One highlight was stopping at Whitehaven Beach or rather, stepping into a photoshopped postcard. White sand of the purest silica (98%) that squeaks under your feet, turquoise waters, and lots of girls in bikinis posing in the surf.

Whitehaven beach, just like on the postcards.

Whitehaven beach, just like on the postcards. They used that sand to make the Hubble telescope.

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Posing like girls pose. In my sexy stinger suit.

Sammy made us lick green ant bottoms (taste like lime) and taught us about exploding trees.

Sammy made us lick green ant bottoms (taste like lime) and taught us about exploding trees.

The nights were hot and sticky inside the boat (the deck was too slanted to sleep on, sadly), but there’s something to waking up at 6 am, being surrounded by water as you have your instant coffee and then being able to jump in 20 minutes later.

There were only 11 of us on board and after just two days, it was a bit hard to leave everyone. Luckily I’m planning on going through Europe on my way home, so hopefully I’ll get to meet up with some of the crew then.

Working hard! Ha. Hardly working.

Working hard! As if. Just rolling up that flappy thing.

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