It’s, oh, so quiet

In an unexpected change of pace, yesterday was very peaceful in Alana World.

I wrote a ton of stories for Drinks Digest, upped my LinkedIn game by asking some of my contacts out for coffees, applied for a few jobs, ate lunch on my new deck in the autumn sunshine, discussed how much my house might be worth with another real estate agent who is gagging for my listing … was slightly tempted until I searched on domain.com.au for what I could buy instead and discovered … not very much … had a chitter chat to my sister on the phone, got a little emotional looking at the photos of all the travel bubble reunions after 400 days apart, picked the youngest up from the train station and dropped her to skipping training, took delivery of a four-pack of a drink called a Pineapple Slider from a bloke who spruiks it – who happened to be passing by my place and who’d snatch the Gold medal from me in the Talking Olympics – and made lamb satay skewers for dinner.

As an added bonus, I feel less crook, which may be related to me slowing down slightly and giving myself time to recover. But my ear still hurts so I must chase the ENT about my swab results.

Today will be a bit crazier because I need to show Centrelink my driver’s licence at 10am (something about proving I’m me), return the rental car at 12pm and meet with one of my freelance clients at 1pm. I also have everything crossed that I get a courtesy car at some point during the day so I can pick the youngest up from skipping, which will require a bit of a trek to the service centre, but it will be worth the walk if it means I don’t have to pay for a rental car any more!

Ooooooh that travel bubble has transfixed me – I’d love to get over to New Zealand again at some stage, it’s such a beautiful place. But what I’m also thinking these days is how lucky we are to have so many amazing Australian destinations.

I’m not alone. Qantas now expects its domestic capacity to reach beyond 90% of pre-COVID levels by mid-2021, with Jetstar set to exceed 100% due to strong leisure demand. And my wistful searching of travel websites backs it up. Many destinations are virtually booked out for the rest of the year.

Exmouth in Western Australia – the closest town to Ningaloo Reef – has asked tourists not to visit without first securing accommodation.

Accommodation provider Sheila Beer told ABC News that last tourism season proved the town could not handle massive numbers.

“Last year, a lot of people came up, and for a lot of people, it wasn’t that good an experience because there were just too many people in town,” Beer said.

“We just didn’t have the facilities to cope with thousands and thousands of people.”

“At one stage, I reckon there were about 20,000 people in town, which is a huge amount — there’s two and a half thousand normally.”

Beer said tourists camped illegally last year because campgrounds were packed to capacity.

“People woke up and found people camping on their front lawn,” she said.

So that’s Ningaloo crossed off my bucket list for the immediate future.

Ah well, I need to sort out all my current dramas first anyway … before the next lot land.

Song of the day: Bjork “It’s oh so quiet”

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