Across Continents

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Room at the inn

Final piece of the jigsaw. Somewhere to stay in Cairns, at the north end of Australia’s eastern seaboard. Palpable relief. The thought of arriving late on New Year’s Eve, having flown overnight from Hong Kong, without a bed secured, not an attractive idea. What normally passes for wit and repartie likely to be a bit thin by then.

I’d envisaged no room at the inn. Being New Year and all that. There was the tent of course. But at close to midnight? And a boxed up bicycle. In pieces for transit. All told about fifty kilograms of baggage. Not an attractive prospect for the sleep deprived.

Part of me was working on the principal that as I’d pretty much cuffed campsites, hostels, lorry cabs, truck stops and cheap Chinese hotels, I’d eventually find something in Cairns. Hadn’t failed yet. Besides, you will sleep somewhere. And I’d booked my air tickets, got the cheapest deals I could find. I was going.

Nevertheless, I stoically ecstatic when I did find somewhere. Small hostel. Own room. Chance to self-cater. Reminded me a little of the Ramplas Hostel in Malta I’d stayed in back in the spring. And Rowan the manager very accommodating to my expected late night arrival. Marked the occasion with a fresh cup of tea.


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