My next stop after Hervey Bay was Agnes Waters, which ended up being another quaint town. Louise, Claire and I stayed just outside of town at a place called Southern Cross. The bus dropped us off on the side of the road and had to hike up a long, gravel driveway to get to the hostel. Usually this wouldn’t have been a problem, but we still had two boxes of wine from the Fraser Island trip that we were lugging around.
My first impression of Southern Cross was that of a hippie commune. There were a lot of trees, rainbow flags and wooden cabins. There was also a lot of Buddhist-chic décor around the place. We checked in and the room had a country name and not a number. I’d never come across this before and it was a unique touch. However, I was a little uncomfortable that none of the rooms had keys. It was a keyless hostel, which meant there were no locks to any of the rooms. Perhaps this falls in line with the hippie-like feeling about the place?
|Slide Album: Southern Cross|
After settling in, the girls and I caught the hostel shuttle in to town to pick up some groceries. Yes, the hostel ended up being that far away! Had I known this, I might have booked something in the town itself. The weather had become cloudy and cold by the time we finished our shopping, but we still had to wait for the next shuttle to pick us up. To kill time, we ate a late lunch at a small café and wandered around the shopping center. It really is an exaggeration to stay “shopping center” though because there were only about 10 shops in the entire town it seemed. We also stopped at the tourist info center located next to the library.
That night after dinner, the girls and I had a drink at the hostel’s bar and dished about many of the same issues that plague my friends from home. Topics of discussion included ex-boyfriends, getting older and turning a certain age, being single and wanting to settle down. It’s ironic that I’ve come all the way to Australia and made friends from other countries yet the gripes are pretty much the same. And, of course, despite talking for hours we didn’t resolve anything.
I decided to go to bed around 10 pm because I wanted to get up early and visit the library to use their free internet. The girls, however, stayed up and went to the hostel’s bon fire. I don’t want to tell any tall tales, but I’m pretty sure a lot of drinking went down that night. You know how that goes.
The next morning I headed to town while the girls slept in. After booking my next bus and researching accommodation options, I had some lunch at a fish and chips shop because it had Hawaii-related décor. The man behind the counter was nice and jolly, which brightened my spirits a bit. I’ve found that most locals are genuinely friendly in Oz. We chatted about Hawaii a bit while I waited for my food. It turns out that he’d been there with his wife and had loved it so much that he surrounded himself with it through the shop’s decorations. It’s interesting how Hawaii still resembles this magical place in many people’s minds. I guess I just don’t appreciate it as much as I should. But the longer I’m away, the more I realize how truly special it is.
Even though the gloom of the day continued, I decided to walk down to the beach and check it out. It was similar to the crescent shape of Byron Bay. I’m not sure if it was due to the cloudy day or the cold wind coming off the water, but the ocean itself didn’t look very pleasant. The water was a dull green and the sand looked dirty. I walked about half the length of it and sat down to contemplate life (or listen to my iPod, whatever) before returning to the hostel.
|Slide Album: Agnes Waters|