I woke up at 5 am today…all because of the jet lag. Got out of bed, got some coffee (btw..brewed coffee is extremely hard to find in Aus..it’s all about espresso here)…. and walked across the street………………to Coolangatta beach. How the hell did I get here?????
There is no question is my (our) minds that this is definitely gonna be our home. You would think that the beaches of Coolangatta (otherwise known as Cooly) were natural preserves….protected by the government…and would cost a few bucks to even walk on the sand. Nope…environmental awareness just happens to be a top priority here in Australia and they have A LOT to show for it. It doesn’t cost a penny to park by the beach, nevertheless actually be on the beach…and it’s PARADISE. This whole trip so far has been a dream to me..mostly because I’ve been delirious from all of the traveling. But when we took our southward trip from Brisbane and arrived in Cooly..I was convinced that I was in a dream that I wouldn’t have to wake up from for at least six months. You wouldn’t believe how clean everything is..and no, there aren’t county workers trying hard to keep this place clean…everyone just pitches in and “sweeps their own front porch” to maintain this place. What a concept..
Ok, so about this place they call a “hostel”. I think they made a mistake..because this place is actually a “resort” for only $33 bucks a night. Yes, cheaper than Motel 6..but at the luxury level of a resort. We couldn’t believe it when we walked in. I had never stayed in a hostel before, so I know this experience is going to make me pretty spoiled. This place has surfing written all over the walls.. not literally..but you can just tell they have a lot of pride in the surf lifestyle.
First and foremost..this place is about 100 ft from the beach. They have a full patio including a pool, Jacuzzi, bar, bbq’s, outdoor projector screen for movies all day, hammocks, big lounge areas with big pillows, etc etc. Inside they have more lounge areas, restaurant/bar, and free wi-fi (which is unheard of throughout Australia). There is free b-fast every morning..and we have two rooms, a bathroom, and a washer. Despite all the luxury..I still would describe it as simple, in a hippie sort of way. Everyone is really nice, as I expected...
As far as Brisbane goes (went)...we quickly decided that although the city was awesome...it was definitely a huge city and far too many people. We DID have some memorable experiences before leaving, though:
We visited the Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane which is pretty damn far from our idea of a "zoo". I've never been able to have such close contact with exotic animals before..somehow Australia is pretty trusting of the public..even Americans :)
Hanging out with "Nivea", the Koala.
Got to feed tons of Kangaroos....there was no fence in between ourselves and the "roos" and they were the sweetest animals!
We also got to see Dingos, huge lizards that Alyssa almost stepped on, tropical birds, crocodiles, etc.
The rest of the day we roamed around Brisbane, got our first Australian beer, and found an awesome girl named Kate. We were crossing the street to a Thai food place and I asked her about jay walking....and from then on she was our personal tour guide. She proceeded to show us some night life around Brisbane after some of the best Thai food I've ever had. Our first stop was the casino...and I had the best luck I've ever had in a casino! 1 dollar turned into 70 bucks..I've never been so excited in my life!! ( I know you're proud of me, Julie!)
Kate ended up taking us to about 3 different clubs/bars...and showed us our way home. I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide!!!
So now that we're in Coolangatta..we're gonna start finding a place to live (which seems pretty easy so far) and we're all going to find jobs hopefully asap. Stay tuned....
Word of the day: "MACCA'S".. (MACK-UHZ)..Otherwise known as the infamous Mc Donald's! You should've seen Kate when we looked at her completely confused when she told us, "There is free wi-fi at "Macca's".