Sun, sea and bed bugs
30.04.2006 27 °C
We arrived in Airlie Beach on Tuesday morning after an overnight bus trip from Hervey Bay. We'd both managed to sleep on the bus so didn't feel the need for an afternoon snooze which was just as well as the places we were staying in, Koala's, was a dump.
We spent the afternoon wandering the streets, I bought a new bikini and we ate pies. In the evening we were going to cook but the kitchen was just too awful so we went out for dinner instead (any excuse!).
The next morning we were up early and straight down to the jetty to catch our boat, the Waltzing Matilda, for our 3 day/3 night tour around the Whitsundays.
We all climbed aboard, 2 crew and 13 guests and I sussed out the other travellers. Mostly girls, 2 of them, Fiona and Sian, we had met briefly on the bus in Noosa. Only 3 boys and 2 of them were in couples. We set off and all got chatting and I was pleased to find out that all the other travellers were really nice, we all gelled immediately which was lucky seen as we were not on the biggest of boats and therefore couldn't excape each other easily!!
About 10 minutes of easy sailing it suddenly got a bit rougher and we sailed right into a rain storm. Waterproof jackets were put on and we all secretly prayed that this weather wouldn't last for the whole 3 days. The captain explained the rules which included flushing the toilet many times to make sure it all went through the tubes in the boat and not to shower for more than 3 minutes... Most of us retired below to escape the rain and play cards. Emma and I learnt 2 new card games.
Luckily after about an hour or so the rain stopped and the sun came out so bikinis and shorts were put on and we all sat out on deck.
The first day was spent cruising around the many islands. We stopped to snorkel but captain Wayne decided that the swell was too rough so aborted the plan. That evening we anchored in a quiet spot just off Whitehaven Beach. Emma and I were sharing a tiny 4 berth room at the front of the boat with Sian and Fiona. It was so small that only one of us could be in the room at one time, unless we were all in bed, there was just no room to stand!! I took the top bunk again (I am soooooooo kind, I've taken the top bunk most of the time so Emma doesn't have to climb up and risk hurting her back - take note of what a great friend I am!!). I was a little worried that I would fall out of bed in the middle of the night and break my neck so spent most of the night awake. This was to be the least of my worries.
The next day we all woke quite early. I went to the bathroom to put my bikini on and noticed that I had some bites coming up, on my stomach and on my thighs. I assumed, due to the special relationship I have with mosquitos, that they were all mozzie bites. Some more to add to my 29 bites from Fraser Island - nice!
We spent the day sunbathing on the beaches and snorkelling along the reef. Saw some amazing fish and reef life but have to say the water wasn't as clear as I was expecting, in fact it was pretty murky. It was an enjoyable day though. I kept an eye on my bites too and noticed that they were growing in number and size and spreading all over my body. Somebody quietly suggested it could be bed bugs but as none of the other girls in my room had any bites I assumed that they were mozzie bites.
We mored up again in the evening, this time it was much calmer, and we spotted some pilot whales and a big turtle. The evening was spent chatting away to everyone whilst deck hand Karsten russled up another lovely dinner. Fiona and Sian guessed Emma and I were 24 - I love hanging out with young people!!!
Emma says - "The food was amazing, lots of fruit and veg and lovely dinners of roast chicken and pasta. I had seconds a lot"
The last day we all woke up early and set off for some more snorkelling. I noticed a small brown insect in my bed which I would later look up on the internet and see that it was a bed bug, eurgh!!By this time my bites were really numerous and itching a lot. Emma counted 100 on my right leg, and that was the leg with the least bites.... I kept out of the sun as much as I could and applied itch cream liberally all over.
We arrived back in Airlie Beach around 4pm after a great 2 days. It was a nice experience to cruise around the Whitsundays on a boat and everyone had really enjoyed themselves. We had a nice group of people on our boat and we saw some great coral and fish on the Great Barrier Reef.
Emma and I headed straight to the pharmacy and the pharmacist confirmed that my bites were bed bug bites, apparently it happens a lot on the boats.... I bought some super strength itch cream and went back to Koala's (our room this night was even grimmer than the one before and smelt of dirty wet dog) to wash all out clothes to make sure we'd not bought any of the little critters with us.
We went for dinner and then met the others for drinks in a bar. I told Karsten that they were bed bugs but he wasn't too interested so not sure whether they will fumigate the boat before the next guests!! Will have to write and complain!
That night Emma was a true friend and smeared itch cream all over my back and bum!!!! We estimated that I have more than 500 bites all over my body - looking really good!
Next stop, Magnetic Island