25/6/2011 - 17:35
Small Canela at the bay.
Airlie Beach is still one of the portals of backpackers (backpackers) and tourists to know a little of the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches from just south of the site, to northern Australia.
Last time I was here with my two friends, Tiago Wender and Tiago Jahn, in 1998, when traveling over 17,000 kilometers by car, searching for waves and seeing the country, after having worked as a labor on constructions sites for three months in western Australia, in Perth.
At that time we went in a boat trip for 3 days on the islands. Cause our lack of funds, we got the cheapest, which promised to sail and visit the Islands. In the end, the boat was a motor sailer, more of a fishing boat with mast (only place to improve the balance and call sailboat) with a bunch of people, sleeping through stacked, and no sail up at all. It was worth it for sure, but I still thought, at that time, coming here with my boat. Destiny brought back.
The city has changed. The marina was much smaller, now has high infrastructure, crowded with boats, not only the chanter boats, but also private boats. The small backpacker village grew and has several restaurants and shops. Bars, heaps. Back in the day it had two, now has more than 8 I think.
Still a small partying town but (call me nostalgic) that atmosphere of a village in the middle of nowhere, kind of out of touch with civilization, changed a little. Still beautiful and wonderful, but ... .... (Maybe I’m getting old).
The main bar, was kiosk that had low light, where crazy things were only seeing there. Today the same bar is big and has even a dance room with strobos lights.
A curiosity at that time we had the wonderful idea of picking coconuts to sell on the beach. We thought we would get rich what did not work as expected. Logistical hitch (no one knew how to climb coconut trees). Got only those that we reached from the roof of the van, which did not stock enough. We try higher, but no coconut and several bruises and scratches
My opinion: I prefer the old, but times have changed. Australia has changed. No use going against, the deal is to adapt yourself to today’s things and take advantage of what now provides. I was lucky to see two times and be able to judge. Maybe if I had not known before, would find the best Airlie now, but as I saw, I could see the difference. Do not get me wrong, it's worth coming, and is a amazing place, but the amazing was more amazing before.
The place is still beautiful. The islands one more beautiful than the other and having a boat here provides endless opportunities to leave the trivial places. There's all kind of islands and scenery to explore. We spent a week which did not give us enough time to see or one thousandth of what we wanted, but as we are in a tight schedule, if there is one sailing, and we had to follow towards Cairns, wich I never been before.
We had a TV and local newspaper interviewing us and told them a little stories of our lifes. We weren’t there to see the repercussion, but we have been recognized on the streets for a couple of sailors who were in Yeppoon and saw us in newspaper there. The crew was already feeling important to be giving interviews, now that we been recognized, the guys are in the clouds, feeling like a rockstar.
Good to be back at sea.
Regards to all.