Before I left for Australia I felt like 3 weeks would be a long trip, but after meeting so many other travelers, it seems like nothing. The shortest amount of time anyone has said they are traveling for is 5 weeks, and he complained about how short that was. Generally it's 2 months, 4 months, 9 months, etc. A lot of these people area also going to New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the US, etc. as well, but most are spending at least a few months traveling around Australia.
Friday morning we boarded the Oz bus heading towards Airlie Beach. We didn't make as many stops because we had quite a bit farther to travel compared to Thursday, but we stopped for morning tea at a roadside cafe overlooking the ocean and stopped in Townsville for lunch. Townsville wasn't too exciting, we just walked around a bunch of shops and ate at a fast food place called Red Rooster for lunch. Then we had a pretty long ride until we arrived at Airlie Beach.
Driving into Airlie Beach was beautiful, there was a clear blue harbor with tons of boats. We were already booked at the Beaches Backpacker hostel (one of the recommended hostels by Oz) and got a great room - our best room yet! It's a 6-person room but they let us only have 4 people, so no one had to sleep in a top bunk (some of these rooms had 8 people in them, so we were very lucky). Our own bathroom too. The bus driver told us we could get a discounted dinner at a nearby bar called Morocco's, which ended up being a lot of fun. We finally had an American on the bus, a guy from Minnesota who had been living in Sydney for 7 weeks before he traveled around. Over dinner we learned that the English call Jell-O "jelly" - consfusing when they asked us if we ever made jelly shots. We had to explain that jelly is jam for us. The bar turned into a dance club later on, which was also fun.
We're leaving in a few hours for our 3-day sailing trip to the Whitsundays Islands. More later!