Higher States of Relaxation – Mission Beach, Australia

On Friday night, we had a big goodbye party with everyone from the boat. Dinner and drinks then I played the tambourine with the band. Everyone donned my Canada tattoos and I felt special. It was such a great send off, I don`t even know how we made the bus at 1am.

After a long restful bus ride, we arrived in Mission Beach. I remembered being recommended a hostel here with “Shark” in the title. But then, there was nothing like that as I looked at what was available. Perhaps they meant Beach Shack?

Elliot from Beach Shack looked so relaxed and comfortable it was hard to resist getting into the bus with him. We arrived to huge dolphin statues in the front yard which happens to be right across from the beach. As I walked in, I noticed that this was like a big house with an reception area.

The little fishies in the fountain in the front entrance greeted me with a warm welcome. The walls are painted vibrant shades of blues, greens and every color in between. The internet and laundry area are pitch black except for hundreds of pairs of eyes staring at you. Cute.

They have cut shapes of palm trees, fish, turtles, sailboats out of the doors replacing with stained glass giving it a very cozy effect. There is a big screen TV with cushy leather sofas and beanbag chairs where I watched Moulin Rouge which just happened to be on the movie channel.

The spacious and well-equipped kitchen looks out onto the patio area where I drank many a tea. There is a glass and cup shortage in all the hostels in Oz. I looks like they are all here in this kitchen for a cup convention of sorts….and they even all match! Bob and Ina got a huge 12-foot pine Xmas tree which is less than a foot from the vaulted ceilings. We all got together with our Santa hats to decorate.

The bathrooms (if you know me at all you will understand how happy this made me) are gigantic with Jacuzzis lined with wall size mirrors. There is the odd frog in the most inconspicuous places, reminding me that nature is always watching us. The lagoon style pool in the backyard has a waterfall pouring into it that I would sit behind and meditate.

I am not sure if it`s the fact that they use only freshwater but I actually float in this pool with no effort whatsoever. It is like the weightless feeling of scuba but with no equipment. I was so glad that it was overcast yesterday so I could imagine that I was flying with the clouds that were not so high above me. I breathe deeply and slowly flutter my wings to ride the dragon in the sky.

We played many record breaking LONG games of pool at which I just couldn`t lose. From this second floor room, you can watch the ocean while listening to great tunes. The bar area is actually a killer wave in which you will find a little surfer dude coming out if the crest. Now and then, there is a cute cooing sound coming from the rafters which I discovered are home to a few adorable pet geckos.

Every other day, the staff put on a mouth-watering BBQ, complete with their famous homemade Apple Crumble, custard and all. I felt completely spoiled when they came and cleared my plate for me.

When I was a little girl, my parents made a desk for me out of a map on a tabletop. I still remember the big blob of pink nail polish to remind me where I lived. Here, they have a world map under the glass on one of the tables, where people give geography lessons to each other. It`s much easier to just point to where you are from.

Perhaps one of my favorite part of the Beach Shack is the beds. It is the consensus that the beds here are like sleeping in soft fluffy clouds. I can`t remember the last time I slept so well. In fact, I have reached a deeper state of relaxation in the last 3 days than in a month of travelling up the coast. It was never my dream to travel but I have to tell you that right now, it feels like a dream.

I have walked through the thirsty rainforest (even saw an elusive Cassowary!) and visited with a brand new baby bird that fell out of the tree trying to find his wings. The beach was serene and the sand softer than dust. There was an amazing fireshow the other day which has further inspired me to begin twirling with fire.

Just above the arch between the living room and the reception, there is a large stunning picture of two dolphins frolicking just above the ocean floor and written below in large letters, HARMONY. Wow. What do you do when you find a place that feels more like home than home?

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