I’m wearing a new pair of black boxers at the moment. I’ve been traveling with them for 4.5 months and purposely never worn them. The running plan has been that I would only put them on when I had nothing else that was clean. Today that day has come. As a result – today is laundry day. Fortunately for me, Arlie Beach is a great little town to do laundry in, since I’m not sure what else there is to do here…
I left Rainbow Beach on the 7:30 PM bus that stops outside all three of the hostels in town. The trip to Arlie Beach was scheduled to take 14 hours and arrive at 9:30 AM – it arrived exactly on time. Compared to South East Asia bus transportation this could be considered a small miracle. Even more contrasting – there was a bathroom on the bus AND it had a well stocked supply of toilet paper. I truly am back in the ‘developed’ part of the world.
Arlie Beach as a town is primarily used as a jumping off point for people traveling to the Whitsunday Islands. (Similar to Rainbow Beach and the Fraser Islands.) With its purpose established as a place where people visit just to go somewhere else, it shouldn’t have surprised me that there just isn’t much to do and see here. The main strip in town has 7 or 8 bars – half of which that double as nightclubs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. There are two or three dozen other shops on the strip – most selling beach clothes, food, and tours to the islands (and other places around Australia and New Zealand). You can also go skydiving, buy a flyover tour of the islands, rent jet skis, or do a one day sailing trip around the area.
There’s also a McDonalds, since no backpacker should ever be too far from a BigMac and fries. Ironically, since Australia seems to be obsessed with them, the McDonalds here sells both macaroons and meat pies. I’ve been told that because of the strict food regulations in Australia the food at McDonalds is actually pretty good to eat. As an English person told me yesterday, “I’d eat at a McDonalds here way before going to one in America.”
As I mentioned, there isn’t much to do here. So far the most entertaining (and free) activity I’ve found is to walk (or run as I did this morning) the 3.5km trail around the water and take pictures. I’m not the only one who feels this way – since you can find almost lounging around a manmade lagoon during the day. For a town named “Arlie BEACH” I have to say that I’m not sure how I’m still looking for the beach.
What the town is lacking in a beach, it makes up for with its boats. As a port town used primarily to ferry people to and from a series of islands, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are boats everywhere. Some of the boats are absolutely huge as far as personal boats go. While there isn’t a yacht club anywhere, it’s clear that there’s some money floating around in this town.
With another day in town before I leave and (most likely) head to an even smaller town named Ayr, the plan was to rent a car with some people and head 35 miles north to a place named “Dingo Beach.” With one of the people involved in those plans still sleeping at 11 AM, I’m not sure if (a) that’s still happening & (b) if it’s worth the money at this point. Depending on how things go I may use the day to get to the 50% mark of the 3rd Game of Thrones book and just relax.