Well, I can safely say that Jetstar’s staff aren’t anywhere near as good as Virgin Blue’s but that’s mainly because Virgin’s are so good. The flight was comfy enough, but noisy. I reckon the 320 I was in was the most rattly ‘plane I’ve ever been in. Every time a servo kicked in, the entire cabin shuddered in sympathy making a noise like a washing machine full of ball bearings on final spin.
Having said that, I still managed to snooze for an hour towards the end of the flight though my contact lenses felt like they’d been dried in a furnace when I opened my eyes.
Queueing for the Australia Coach to the hostel (419 Caravella, which will be on the accommodation page shortly) I got talking to a very nice youg lady (damn, I sound old saying that) from Bristol, called Kerry. She’s pretty much done the “other way round” from my trip having already gone through Japan and Hong Kong. Certainly someone I hope to be chatting to and getting information from over the next couple of days!
We’re both staying at the same hostel and sharing a room, as it turns out. The reception was actually still open when we arrived after midnight, as Gloria (I think one of the owners) busteld about behind the desk. She’s a real character and knows how to make you feel part of the place within moments of walking in.
First impressions of the hostel as slightly mixed, as the character itself seems lovely but the facilities slightly lacking. The room we’re in has en-suite bathroom and only two bunks which is nice. It has a (very quiet) fridge, which is even better. And aircon which works very effectively. But there’s no secure storage within the room, the only spare plug sockets are halfway up the wall near the door (i.e. far away from the beds) and the only light switch is the main one for the room. No little shelves or personal bedlights which can make things so much easier.
You do get what you pay for, though, and this was the cheapest hostel listed on HostelBookers in the Cairns area. This includes dinner at a local restaurant, though I suspect it’ll be one of those teeny portions upgradeable for $5. I shall wait and see! They also offer free nights’ accomodation if you book certain tours/activities with them. With any luck, one of those will be a 4- or 5-day Open Water course.
I was up at 8:00 this morning and went for a run into the town (only two blocks). There’s a nice little “exercise station” on the grass nearby which is good for situps and leg stretches on the return route, too. It seems very quiet, though this could be the time of year. This could work in my favour when it comes to haggling prices for courses.
The weather’s not too bad, despite the reports on television. It certainly chucked it down last night, and was a little overcast when I went out. However, the sun is very definitely up there and can be felt right through the cloud. I’m glad I picked up some factor 30+ sunscreen in Brisbane. I’ll certainly need it once I get out on a boat.
Oh, and I’ve located no fewer than five free wireless spots around the hostel. Whoop!