The sound of “Let’s all go to the lobby” ringed past our hotel room door at 8am, which was our signal to go get breakfast with Chris and Drew. A luscious buffet was awaiting downstairs in the pool terrace restaurant – they even had an egg chef! Not unfamiliar to the way a buffet works, chris totally ignored the guys explanation, waiting around long enough for him to show us our seats and then he was off! We had the usuals to choose from, cereals, bacon and eggs etc, fruit and bread. What was unusual in an Australian hotel though was the congee ingredients – I’ve only ever seen that in Asia. Coffee was shit though, came from a stale machine, but we had the choice of purchasing real coffee. Ripped off, but understandable since it would be tough to make unlimited coffees.
It was raining in a drizzling kind of way, so after breakfast we walked over to hire a buggy for 24 hours. While Chris and Drew were waiting to sign their lives away, we overheard that a guy wanted to hire another buggy because their’s had flipped and their mate was getting fixed at the medical centre. Chris and Drew decided to pay the extra $10 to get the insurance after hearing that. A quick lesson outside, then Pauline and I hopped in the back, Chris and Drew in the front and off we went.
The island isn’t that big and within about two to three hours we had seen most of it. It was a good idea to do our tour then since it was raining and there weren’t that many people out and about. We pretty much took every left hand turn we could and found that a lot of the roads looped and met up again. There are some really expensive looking houses on the hills and that was confirmed by the for sale signs outside wanting $3 million for some of them. The only place on the island that didn’t seem to have water views was the staff quarters, everything else was beautiful. We found golf driving ranges, flying foxes, go cart tracks and toilets. We even watched a jetstar plane take off at the airport, which this uneventful youtube video proves:
We also found the gate to Qualia, the most expensive resort on the island and adored by many travel magazines. At $1700 a night you’d want it to be good and judging by the quality of the gate, I’d say no expense is spared. When someone drove out on their rich electric grey buggy, Chris covered his face and said “Don’t look at us, we’re poor!”. The guy laughed and said it’s like Fort Knox in there. 🙂
After covering the entire island we headed back to the Resort Centre for a swim in the main pool. This pool is in a circular shape with an island in the middle which includes a swim up bar. Bridges cross over the water which made it fun to swim under. We bought some cocktails and I managed to convince Chris to get alcoholic drinks on the condition I paid for them. I readily agreed and his first one an “Illusion” was a success (mainly because the alcohol taste was hidden). We each drank a few and watched americans yell at the bartenders and generally be drunk and obnoxious (only one really, and he had a straw cowboy hat on). After hanging out in the pool for a few hours we decided to drive back to the marina and get something to eat.
At the marina we picked up some food at the bakery and sat by the water to eat it. There were a lot of cockatoos and lorikeets hanging around scavenging and Pauline decided to sit in the middle of them all. The lorikeets were pretty brazen and ended up jumping on Pauline and actually eating the food out of her hand – she wasn’t even offering it! She didn’t mind though since she loved birds and thought it was fun.
Back at the room we all had a nanna nap for a while and decided to be meet at the reef lounge for cocktails in happy hour. Pauline and I wanted to see the gym first, so around 5pm we walked over and checked out the squash courts, bikes and punching bags. That took about 5 minutes, so we walked down to check out the beachside pool and sat by the beach watching the tide go out and the crows get drunk on someones cocktail glass that was left behind. I also watched a wedding party get their photos taken on the beach. People watching here is fun.
Back at the lounge we ordered our cocktails as soon as happy hour began, not waiting for Chris and Drew because we wanted to make good use of the time. They arrived a few minutes later and suggested to us that we should do sunset cocktails at One Tree Hill (outside overlooking the ocean) but we had ordered and it was too late. 🙁 I had a mount gay mojito which was brilliant, but I liked my second drink – the Isla De Flores even more since the raspberries seemed so fresh.
After cocktails we headed to the marina once more for a dinner at the steakhouse. $38 for a steak is Norman Prices, so although it was expensive, it was still on par with Brisbane prices. You only got a jacket potato with the steak which was a let down, but they did have a good selection of sauces to go with the steak. Chris and Drew chatted up the movember chef who was leaving to go home to Toowoomba in a few days (said it was too hot to work here) and then pointed out some good breasts at the next table. We also did have some highbrow conversations at the table too, I’m sure of it. What was great about the restaurant was that they don’t care that we rocked up in shorts and thongs, they fed us anyway.
After dinner we went back and had a dip in the beach pool. It’s really shaded and made of pebblecrete but has a really deep hole in the centre. The wedding reception was happening at the other end of the pool to us, so Chris snuck down and listened to some of the boring speeches. The deep part of the pool scared Drew cause it took a few goes to reach the bottom and being dark made it scarier. We had the pool to ourselves which was fantastic.
After a swim we headed back to the room and bed, agreeing to a 7am breakfast meetup the next morning.