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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Day 48 “Using the Travel Card” (Tuesday 23rd April 2013)

Unfortunately for the diary’s sake the last week has been so good- I have made loads of friends in Sydney and then begun a road trip to Perth with my cousin Mick. Starting with Sydney we were always busy in the day with little plans and then most evenings it was more social to drink and play cards than write a diary, plus they were late nights so I really didn’t feel up to it however what you need to know is I had such a great time and agreed to go back to the same hostel before I start my east coast tour. Once I left Sydney and headed to Melbourne it was all go… First a 12 hour coast journey that I though would be perfect to write this but I ended up texting people and trying to sleep which was a nightmare. Then since meeting Mick we have been sharing the driving on this massive road trip and I haven’t had too much spare time until tonight although I do feel a bit anti social. (He’s on Facebook etc so its all good) Even with the above excuse I will write some vague diary entries for each day but don’t expect them to be as detailed as the others (probably for the best!)

When I woke up I knew that it was the last day that I could use the free (I’d already paid for) public transport ticket so I decided to try and make the most of it by going somewhere quite far out on transport I hadn’t used. David and Helen, Becky and Jo were going to do there own thing today which meant it was perfect for me to go out and explore again. (Toni had her own plans today and the 2 German girls and boys left my room today but there’s now 4 lads from England and a new German girl in my room)

After breakfast, speaking to my new friends, getting ready and chilling for a bit, I decided to go and get the monorail in Sydney (as people advised it was a good way to look around) but it turned out my ticket was for the light rail rather than the monorail so I just went to one end and came back on my ticket. (maybe I should have checked out a few places but I had no idea what was at each place and because it had taken a while to leave the hostel I didn’t wanna get stuck in the middle of no where) The journey only took about 25 mins to one end and on the way back (I was texting Luke my friend back in England) I got off at Darling harbour because I’ve wanted to see it for a while now. The harbour itself is beautiful and I took a fair few photos before walking around it towards the ferry. (Another use for my ticket before it expired tomorrow) I had to wait a bit for the ferry but it was sunset as it left to bring me back to circular quay (I did plan to take the ferry away from the city a bit but time had pressed on so I didn’t bother in the end) which meant I got more photos of the bridge and opera house. Only this time I managed to get them in the same photo because of the direction I was coming home. I also sent Mum a Skype message using the free Wi-Fi on the ferry!

Back at the quay and I got the train back to the hostel, I seem to have learned that journey home well but I wouldn’t be using the train from tomorrow onwards… Oh well always useful in case I get another MyMulti in the future, but from tomorrow it would be more about the walking. From the train station and on the walk to the hostel I stopped off at dominos pizza because they have money off pizza on a Tuesday which meant it was only about $6 for a large one! Went I got back to the hostel I met Becky, Helen, David, Jo and Alex (an English guy in Helens room) so we went to the roof for a drink and for me to eat. (Mitch joined us for a bit too) We also finished off the cake we bought for Emma the other day before a few of us went to Coles for more drink but when when we returned the roof was shutting and I lost the rest of the pizza I was saving for tomorrow’s lunch! Gutted! (David had bought up cheese, crackers and grapes early which I had eaten along with the others so it wasn’t all bad)

When the roof shut we went back to social area and played cards while continuing to drink… Soon Becky called it a night as she was heading to New Zealand tomorrow early (I felt bad because I didn’t known it was her last night) then 2 German girls came back from a night out and 1 joined in our card games despite being drunk but when some other English guys came back from the pub her intentions changed and she went off with them. The rest of the night was just spent talking and playing cards before we headed off to bed once some other people in the room put on a horror film! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Day 47 “Watson’s Bay” (Monday 22nd April 2013)

When I woke up this morning I went straight down for breakfast feeling a little worse for wear after the lack of sleep. I made some toast and there were loads of people I knew in the kitchen and seating area that I knew so we all had a long chat about our day plans. I was going to head to Watson’s bay because I wanted to get the most out of MyMulti the travel card I had where as Helen, David, Becky and Jo were going to go to Bondiย  beach. Another English guy who I know but not his name was talking about both saying how nice they were but I’m not sure what he was doing today and Toni (the new girl in my room) said she might be going Crab racing tonight! Helen, Toni and this other guy are all from Manchester so the convo turned to that city back home so I decided to go and get ready.

I wanted to do some more diary but thought it best to leave early and find a nice view to do some more diary when outside. So I packed up my things and headed to Kings cross station, from there I got the trains to circular quay. (I’m getting quite good at the change over now and tend not to get lost so much/ at all) When at the quay I found the ferry to Watson’s bay which was leaving in 5 minutes, perfect timing! (unlikely the Manly one I caught the other day) The journey over was only 20 minutes and I spoken to Mick on the phone for part of this to find out his plan of Perth, because he’s happy to stop on route I said I’m happy to go with him, so I now need to book a cheap way back to Melbourne. (lets hope this change of plans is worth it… Not many people get to see the south and west coasts and being with Mick should make it a laugh anyway)

Once in Watson’s bay I checked out the map of the area and the Manchester guy this morning had told me roughly where to go, I was aiming to find the beach walk. However I didn’t look at the ferry timetable which proved to be a mistakes for late, I did see the famous fish and chip shop though but it was only about 12:30 and I wasn’t really too hungry plus it was expensive! As I made my way to the beach walk I realised the beach was near the harbour and small, I would actually need to do a cliff walk in order to see the pretty sites of Watson’s bay. As I walked across to the other side of the bay (it was only about a 3 minute walk across it) I saw the path upwards and took some postcard worth photos. From the map I had realises there was a dead end on the right so I headed that way first because it went really high and gave a spectacular view of the Sydney centre skyline, Harbour Bridge and the town in Watson’s bay. Although a dead end, it was quite a walk and I had built up an appetite by the time I got back to the start point (a T path) so I head back down to find a backpackers cafe. (otherwise know as a supermarket because its so much cheaper than buying ready made food) There wasn’t any places near by so I decided to trial the famous fish and chips despite the price. It was so popular I queued and waited a while before I got my box, which I took along the beach and sat on a wall to enjoy it. I found it delicious and there was so much battered fish in the box… Not sure which one though and plenty of chips. It also came with a plum and chilli drip which I found nice to start but then a bit too sweet. All in all a decent lunch and it was something different. (Plus the view I got out of the bay while eating was pretty special)

After my food I took a slightly different route back to the cliff walk and this time headed right, it was a steep walk but gave some great view over the bay, I was taking photos almost every other step. As I continued the walk I saw some lizards so I had to take a photo… I even saw one catch a flying ant which had landed but then the lizard couldn’t fit it in its mouth so amused I watched that for a while. The sun was out in full force now and it was a lovely hot day but walking, especially up hill and stopping in the heat to look at the lizard had taken its toll so I went in search of a shaded bench. While on route for a bench I realised the short cliff walk ended but I bumped into am America who say a marker had been placed near by because of one of the boats at Watson’s bay had sunk claiming all but 1 persons life. I found that plack with her, took a photo before carrying on up the hill now on my own unofficial walk and the American headed back to a coach right at the end of the official cliff walk. I soon found another path that may have been the start of another walk but there was a bench there in the shade with a nice view out to sea, so I stopped there to get back some energy and write my diary.

I had stopped by what looked like a cool radar weather station so I took a photo of that before enjoying the break, I also rang Luke my friend back in the UK to find out how he was and we had a decent chat before he started work. After my stop I headed up to a lighthouse (for a photo) not far from where I was and realised this new walk went on further but it didn’t look as nice plus it was getting towards 5pm anyway so I headed back to the harbour. I decided to take my own route there which was much quicker than the walk I’d just done but back at the harbour I realised the last ferry was at 3:50pm so I’d missed it by over an hour. In a slight panic I thought I’d have to walk to the next ferry stop (52 minutes according to Google maps) as that had more frequent ferry’s. But then I remembered the bus and another couple had missed the Ferry to so I showed them the bus stop.

The bus we got on was going to circular quay (exactly where I needed to go coincidentally) so I stayed on for the full route which took about an hour while the couple I was with got after after a few stops. During the bus trip I text Helen to check where she was and she was still in Manly so I decided to get the ferry over to meet them. I also looked up bus, train and flight information to try and find the cheapest route back to Melbourne. Flying for $80 still seems like the most convenient and cheapest option unless I wanted to do an overnight bus trip for $60. I need to book the flight soon though as its this Saturday. Back at the quay and off the bus, the ferry to Manly was leaving in 10 minutes, not bad timing either. Now 6:30pm and on the ferry I decided to write some of my diary… Somehow I’m managing to keep somewhere near up to date.

The journey didn’t seem to take too long and wasn’t to rough either and in Manly I headed for the bar that David, Helen, Becky and Jo were at. They were all about half way through a drink so I decided to just sit with them and talk about what we planned for the rest of the even amongst other things. It transpired that we had missed the barbeque on the roof tonight which should have been free food and drink so we were gutted. We then planned to get some alcohol for an evening drink back at the hostel so after the drink we headed to a bottle’o (off licence) where the girls bought things as David and I already had some booze back at the backpackers. Then on the way back to the ferry we aimed to go shopping but Aldi was shut so we headed to Coles only to realise we wouldn’t get back to the hostel in time, before it closed at 9:30pm. I decided not get anything as I had some grapes and biscuits back in my room and David was going to get a take away. But everyone else got snacks that didn’t need cooking. On route to the ferry (we missed one by 5 minutes- hence we had time to shop but heading there again now) I got a 30ยข coin or 20p from McDonalds and to be honest is was pretty good especially for the price.

The journey back over the water went quite quick as well, David and I sat inside with the girls opting to be outside. Once back at the quay I decided to get the train back to the hostel to make the most of my travel ticket while the other 4 walked. (I did feel bad not walking with them but part of me thought I could get back before the kitchen closed) After my train rides I realised I wasn’t going to make it back in time but at least I’m pretty good at catching the right trains now! In the hostel the kitchen was closed so I headed to my room but bumped into the 2 German girls sitting on the floor outside. They were waiting for the BBQ to finish on the roof before heading up there. I dropped my things down got my food and sat with them before heading up to the roof together. Turns out the gas ran out on the BBQ and only about 10 sausages were cooked… I now didn’t feel as bad that we had missed it. Just before I went up to the roof I saw David and Helen separately but not Becky or Jo and from the roof I text David to let him know I was up there but only he came up… It later came to light that all the girls fancied an early night rather than drinking like we arranged meaning it was just me and David from about 10:30pm onwards.

The roof shuts at this time so we went to the social room which was dead so David went for his takeaway while I spoke to people in the stairs area and corridor. When David returned he ate his burger and joined me in the corridor with some other German girls. (there are a lot of Germans staying here) The 3 girls were nice to speak to and we chatted (about there plans, our plans, what they’ve done since being here, Facebook and one girl added me and their boyfriends back home because one girl was dating the other girls brother and that how the 2 girls knew each other- The other was a new German who had arrived today) until 2am when the girls went to bed… David and I stayed up til about 3am when I saw a room mate just coming home, it was his last night in Sydney so had gone to the casino. David and I had been talking about the Man United game on at 5am and David stayed up to watch it but I went to bed at the same time as my room mate. Once in the room he turned on the light waking everyone in there so I told him how could do that but had the giggles that he apparently always does it! Afterย  turning the light out and then cleaning my teeth, I got into bed and called it a night… But of an odd day today, started off well but had a funny middle patch before all coming together nicely. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 46 “How very English” (Sunday 21st April 2013)

I managed to miss breakfast this morning by a few minutes, I remember waking up at 7:30 thinking breakfast is at 8 but I had two hours until it was over. I then rolled over and didn’t wake up again until 9:35 so I didn’t bother leaving my bed and thought I’d just sleep some more. By the time I woke up the new girl in the bunk above me was just stirring to so we started to chat without ever seeing each other, she sounded really friendly but quite young. We chatted for some time before she got down from the bunk and I finally saw her. She was from Manchester, was 25 and was a slim blonde nothing like what I had imagined from just the voice. While she got ready I was writing (typing) my diary and then she left to go to Australian X-factor as her Oz friend had got her a ticket, which gave me chance and I finished off the day I was writing about.

Once I had done this it was now about 2pm and I headed into the social room where I happened to bump into Helen, Emma and David. The four of us wanted to do something today and it was quite a nice day so Helen said we should go to a cafe and Emma suggested going to play cards in the park. We all agreed on cards and strolled down the road to Hyde Park at the end of the street, during this walk I got a phone call from Mick asking if I wanted to travel from Melbourne to Perth in his car. This would mean flying back to Melbourne and then taking about 10 days to drive to Perth and from there I’d be on my own as Mick plans on working while I explore… Its something to consider but might be too rushed if Mick wants to get there for the job. After the call and at Hyde Park we sat on some steps and played 31’s. (We played the Dutch rules first- from what Emma was telling us and afterwards we played the Australian rules via me because Vanessa had taught me the other week) After that we had a game of cheat and then a games of something random where you pass cards in a circle, one by one trying to make 4 of a kind and when you do u put your hand down and stack hands, last one to do it loses. As the sun went down and we were getting bored of cards we headed back to the hostel.

The 2 girls went into the hostel while David and I went up to Coles on the way back from the park and bought a cake for Emma as it was her last day today also David got a ready meal lasagne. When we got back David and I both bought extra nights stays at the hostel (I’m now there until Thursday morning) and then he cooked his food as the girls were eating and I waited for Ben to appear because he was cooking my dinner tonight. After David, Emma and Helen had eaten, us 2 lads severed up the cake and the 2 girls loved the surprise. Ben then appeared and cooked up some pasta with cheese and tomato sauce and sausage which was really nice. (he also cooked for his friend Tom tonight who was a decent bloke as well). Emma left for Melbourne (she was going by bus) while I was eating and said good bye but Becky (the new girl from yesterday) had now become part of our group and the new 4 of us said we would go to the pub tonight to watch the English Football. (It would be on at 10:30pm which is much better than the usually 12am)

We watched TV for a bit before heading to the pub at about 8:30 thinking the game was at 9:30pm Sydney time (thanks Helen) and just as the 4 of us left I thought we better invite Jo, the girl I was with yesterday. I went back to the hostel while the others went to the pub but couldn’t find Jo however Mitch said he would come down for one. At the bar I ordered a Tooey’s New which was tasted pretty good and was only $6.40 (cheap for Australia) but it then dawned on us we were there a bit early for the 10:30pm kick off! Oh well it was good to socialise with Becky, Helen, Mitch and David and we all had another drink before the game. Mitch then left and we chatted some more about travel and families and sport before the game started. During the game we were still talking a bit and I was the only person that wanted City to beat Spurs. (Arsenal could finish 3rd if Chelsea and Spurs drop a couple of points and we don’t lose)

The pub we were in advertised showing all 380 premier league games but we found out it closed at 12am so at half time (11:30pm ish) we moved to another bar up the hill (after we tried the one at the bottom and it was closed) and watched the second half there. This bar had a man singing songs of the 90’s which was fairly entertaining and we got another drink (well I didn’t because I was trying to conserve money) then watches the game. Spurs scored 3 quick goals and won the game so everyone was pretty happy apart from me but I’m glad I’ve watched the beautiful English game while I’m out here. While is this pub and during the game one guy playing on a punch bag machine thought I was talking about him (clearly he’d had too many because I was chatting to David) so got annoyed and pushes me but his friend calmed him down and apologised to me.

After the game finished we were heading back to the hostel when Helen said she wanted to stay out for some more drinks. We turned around and headed into Kings Cross’ main bar area but after a look around (and trying to find an open bottle shop/ off-licence) we decided we should go back to the pub we were at. Back at the Irish bar, O’Marleys we enjoyed the music and each others company plus as a bonus the Liverpool v Chelsea was on TV. We stayed in the bar until it closed at about 2am but still didn’t want the night to end so went back to the hostel to play cards.

Back at the hostel’s social room (which was empty) I went and got my vodka and brought some down for everyone, we turned on the Liverpool game and played 31’s again. We played for about 40 minutes before Helen called it a night and only about 10 minutes later when the Liverpool v Chelsea game had finished Becky, David and myself went to bed which was around 3am. I had had another great day and I really like the group of friends I’ve made… They all leave soon though and I could go to Perth, so I’d be sleeping on that decision. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 45 “Walk and Talk” (Saturday 20th April 2013)

This morning I got up just in time to get some breakfast at 9:30am which was coco pops which made a nice change. I then had a shower and got ready into warm clothes because it was raining and I didn’t have a rain coat. I then had to decide what to do today but first went to the social room to try and write some of my diary. In the social room I must have written about 2 sentences when the girls from yesterday came into the room and we all made conversation again.

The girls names where Helen (an English girl from Manchester who turned out to be 30 and I couldn’t believe it) and Emma (a girl from Holland) but today were joined by 2 new girls, one called Jo who seems really friendly and the other I didn’t get her name but she had landed in Australia this morning! (Both of which were English) We all spoke about how anti social this place was which made me happy because it had taken me a while to settle in but at least I wasn’t the only person whom thought they. The girls also said other hostels were better and this isn’t what I should expect on my travels. We spoke about other things too like backgrounds, prices of things here and where to go etc. Mitch and Mark then came into the room (the first 2 guys I really spoke to and were a good laugh) some all spoken some more… It was really good to chat and especially because it was raining and I didn’t really wanna do much.

Helen, Emma and a new girl (who had landed in Oz today) then headed out and Jo and I stayed back with Mitch and Mark eating some of the free food that had been left. The conversation then moved on to travel and we all spoke about the routes we had done or planned to do. Quite a few people crowded the map in the social room including a German couple and another pretty girl that I don’t known where she was from and we all spoke about cool places to see or do. After some more socialising and the time about 4:30 I then mentioned I needed a beard trimmer and Jo had some shopping to do so we decided to go to Oxford street just a 10 minute walk from the hostel. As I was leaving I bumped into David who said he was going to do the Rocks walk tonight and did I want to join him, I agreed which meant I had just over an hour to go shopping.

Jo and I walked and talked to Oxford street and went in a few shops looking for a beard trimmer but the only ones we found were to expensive and not really what I needed anyway but as we had walked slowly chatting I already had to head back leaving Jo shopping on her own. She had work later tonight so couldn’t come on the Rock’s walk. Back at the hostel David and I started our walk down to Sydney quay where the rocks is. After about 30 minutes and slightly late for the start of the tour we made got to the quay but couldn’t see the tour. I then proceeded to Google the route so we could catch up but it wasn’t available online! David and I just walked around looking for it and after 40 minutes were about to give up and headed into a pub to look for them from the rooftop bar… No such luck but as we came down the stairs the Irish bloke: David saw a walking tour heading down the stairs behind the bar and it was the right one! Only about 45 minutes late onto the 1 and a half hour tour we decided to do the last half with Helen, Emma and the other girl.

The rain held off for the rest of the tour (which went around some [there is a longer tour twice during the day- 3 hours] of the sights plus views of ‘The Rocks’ talking about the start of Sydney, the pubs that were built first and the terrible journeys of the convicts) which finished at the bottom on the stairs that take you up to the walking part of Sydney Harbour Bridge. (which I had struggled to find on my first day in Sydney) After the tour the 5 of us headed back to the hostel and picked up some food from Coles supermarket on route. I got a pizza then Helen remembered that the oven wasn’t working at the hostel so as we arrived back I decided to cook it in the microwave. The others had a pasta pesto dish but I had declined it because I was meant to have Ben cooking for me tonight. However he remembered that he was going for a meal tonight with the company (Australia Backpackers) he had booked though, (they organise a phone, bank account, job, Medicare, tax, few nights accommodation and activities such as blue mountains and meals out… All for a price of course) so would cook tomorrow instead.

Once I’d finished my semi raw pizza and the other 4 had eaten too I went back to my bedroom because the social area looked a bit busy. Back in the room I started to chat with the couple of girls and boys in our room having a very funny conversion despite there English not being the best. (All four people were German) at about midnight we decided to all call it a night and I got into the bed. I did get woken a few time (but that’s usually me waking people so I wasn’t too bothered when the tables were turned) but got straight back to sleep and I think it was my earliest night so far at the hostel. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 44 “Manly” (Friday 19th April 2013)

Today I woke up at about 9am and went down for the pancakes that were meant to be served until 9:30 but when I got there I found out they had stopped due to popular demand meaning they ran out. Oh well warm UHT milk and cornflakes for me then. I then got ready to go out to Manly beach again using my special ticket which leave me other on the ferry.

I caught the train fine to circular quay (I say fine I still get a bit lost at Town Hall station) then headed to the Manly ferry which I had just missed so I decided to wonder around the quay side until the next ferry arrived. Now a bit hungry I sat at a nice bench which overlooked the the Sydney Harbour bridge. I then wandered back to the ferry and began the 30-40 minute voyage across the sea, at points it was a little bumpy but I did managed to take some photos of the opera house and bridge as well as some scenery shots.

When I arrived at Manly I followed a short walk past some shops and came to a beautiful beach, not sure which I prefer now Bondiย  or Manly but this beach seemed bigger and had less people on it. I found a bench half way down a path and away from the main walk, that was in the sun and looked out to sea. Here I ate my lunch and enjoyed the tranquil setting before I decided to find a free activity to do in Mainly.

The best thing I could find was a free art gallery so I decided to follow my nose rather than rely on Google maps. (they say the best things get found when you’re lost) I did occasionally check I was heading the right way but I found this walk to be pretty mundane… It was through a house estate but at least it was off the beat and track. It also came out at a bowls green and park but then I had go head up a massive hill and down the other side to get to the art gallery. The Art gallery was next to another beach which sat beside the harbour of Manly but they was no one on the sand or in the sea however by now the weather had worsened and was quite cold and windy with overcast skies. The perfect time to head into the gallery. It was strange and set into 3… The beach section where some guy had taken photos of nostalgic beach items… Is that art?! (This room also displayed the progress of swim wear for men and women from the 40’s to the 00’s) The next section was a school competition where young and old students had draw pictures relating to everyone being equal. In my opinion the best area, some of the drawing was top draw, with epic pictures of shaking hands and world’s of country landmarks, even the junior school pictures seemed crazy good! The last section was about the Jewish holocaust but it was more about the reading than art, so I rushed round and found a bonus small room of pottery the gallery had bought, some of it was pretty fascinating.

When I finished in the art gallery I walked along the path of the beach near by, taking some photos as I do and headed to check the ferry times, I wanted to head back to the circular quay at 5:15 each so I could see the sun set over the bridge and opera house. Luckily there was one at this time but it meant I had an hour left on manly so I looked in a few shops (for a beard trimmer… It really is getting out of hand now) and went for a stroll on the beach.

While relaxing the time flew past and I headed back to the ferry and managed to find myself a slightly strange but friendly lady who told me all sorts about her life in Australia, she was originally from Japan but moved over loads of years ago when there was an offer. While crossing choppy waters we waited behind a screen (still got a bit wet though with the bouncing the ferry did) then headed onto the deck ready to take some photos. I must now have hundreds of pictures of the opera house and bridge but I at least now had them with a lovely orange background something I had wanted to do since I had been here.

Back at the quay I headed to the hostel via train and on the walk from the station I stopped to pick up some food to cook at the hostel. I grabbed some chicken mince, bacon ‘style’ pieces, pasta and a carbonara sauce. Back at the hostel I started to cook it and realised I was doing too much but thankfully Ben, a guy I know at the hostel came down so I said we could half it if he cooked for me another day. He agreed and we are the meat which I had made… It was pretty tasty considering my lack of cooking in the past and we ate it all between us. After dinner I went to the social/ TV room and chatted with some more people and watch TV with them, it was quite a good group of us down there so we all decided to watch a film. ‘The Boat that Rocked’ was what we wanted but it was so scratched it didn’t work so I suggested the toothpaste trick but it didn’t work on the disc. (just made it minty fresh) So in the end we watched Kill Bill volume two and I tried to write some diary. When it finished everyone went to bed so I did the same which was around 1am. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 43 “Bondi Beach” (Thursday 18th April 2013)

Today I woke up at 6am because the girl next to me woke up at 6am she was packing and getting ready to leave by the looks of things. I went back to sleep but was up each half hour or so until 8:30 when I got up and went down for the free breakfast. There was toast, cornflakes, tea and coffee on offer so I had 2 slices of jam toast which i you make yourself and then was up after ur done. I then came back to the room and packed my bag for in preparation to go to Bondi Beach, I have subsequently been to the toilets and cleaned my teeth where I bumped into the first English guy I chatted to yesterday in the social room. He said a group of them were going to Bondi beach did I want to come and I said that would be perfect because I planned to do that anyway.

I’ve now come back to my room and am currently waiting for him to get ready. (he hadn’t even had breakfast yet and he had 3 minutes until it was meant to finish) While waiting I decided to start this diary (might be out drinking tonight on the pub crawl so I may not be able to do it tonight so any now is a bonus) and book some more accommodation because I’m only meant to have one more night here. I’ve been looking online but I’m just about to go down and check there prices here… Its 11am now and I haven’t seen that guy since, hope he didn’t forget me, oh well to Bond I beach I go anyway.

I caught the train to Bondi junction and then had to find what bus I needed that was a mission cos once again the signs make no sense but at least they put them up everywhere! Then when on the bus had to guess when I had arrived, (Never really caught buses back home- Thanks Mum) luckily the clue was in where I was going beach, so when I saw the sand and sea I got off. The beach was far more vast than I thought so after I crossed the road I decided to go and sit on the beach to take in the sight while basking in the sun. The weather was warm at times but there was a really strong wind and mixed with sea breeze it was also chilly. I stayed on the beach until the sun disappeared behind the clouds which was about 30 minutes then walked along the long sea front paddling as I went. After I did that I googled some sea walks and saw there was an East coast walk so I thought I’d go and find it, but before I headed out I went and picked up my first backpacker lunch… Anything on offer in a supermarket. (Brown bread, ham and a banana. I also picked up so biscuits and soup for later) I then ate my lunch at a picnic area before heading off. The walk was really good and gave some stunning views so I took load of photos, it went round to an extra beach which was beautiful but empty. (I do realise it was a week day and I heard it rained too but I was still surprised) From there you can make the decision to carry on which I did and it was another spectacular route and ended an another beach this time with a few people on it. (and in a sea pool, which I noticed at Bondi beach too) After this the marked out route was finished but I wanted to carry on and found a sort of route (over some wooden steps and walkways) so followed that right round to another little bay where i took more photos. However fearing it was getting later and the fact I was in the middle of nowhere I decided to catch a bus back to Bondi Junction. (There was one on the hill just before going down to the bay and I didn’t know when I’d see another one) While on route back I googled the sunset times in Sydney and at about 5:30 it goes down so I thought I’d try and see the Opera house in sunset before going back to the hostel.

The journey from where I was to circular quay (where the opera house is) via Bondi junction (plus the fact I couldn’t find the right bus stop or understand the signs again) took longer than I expected so the sun had set and it was more dusk, but while I was there I thought I may as well take a quick boat tour using my pass. (meaning it free) After a quick look at the guide and working out which boat route got closest to the opera house, (not sure I could directly get a tour so I was just getting a boat past it) I boarded ready out on top deck ready to take some more photos. (as if the 100 I already have wasn’t enough) The boat trip was only about a 15 minute ride to the other side then a similar wait before coming back. I’m glad I did it but I do want to go back and do it at sun set if I can.

Once I’d finished on the boat it was about 6:30pm and there was a pub crawl at 9pm that I wanted to be on so I came back to the hostel to have a shower the packet soup I bought earlier. I had to catch the train back and I worked out I could stop at Town Hall (the stop before central) but this new station to me was another complex affair that I wondered around in ages before finding the right platform. (its got 2 floors of stations!) When back I made the cuppa soup and then went to buy a padlock for a locker at the hostel (only about 8 lockers here and 60-70 people, but I had seen an empty locker) and alcohol to pre-drink on the cheap before going out. With time getting on I rushed around getting showered, dressed and getting my contact lenses in with 2 minutes to spare. Now about 9pm I headed to the meet point downstairs but no one was there and the person on reception (a fellow hosteler) said they now meet on the roof so I went up there only to find people don’t usually leave til later! Gutted I rushed around. This did at least give me chance to get dressed smarter and pre-drink with Mitch (the guy from yesterday) and his mate Mark. (There were others to but I didn’t really speak much to them)

At about 10:30pm we headed to the first pub and got free entry, 1 free drink and $5 drinks up to midnight. A lot of the people on the pub crawl knew each other or were with new roommates and were making friends but my room mates don’t seem to make the effort so having to start from scratch on a night out is hard. I did try and join it but when it came to dancing I left them to it and at midnight we moved to the next club. Again it was free entry and $5 dollar drinks but nothing free however it was bigger and more full than the other place. After a few drinks and speaking to a few people I was ready for a dance. The night just seemed to fly by after this and before I knew it the time was 2am and I was there with just one person I knew in the hostel. He had lost his driving licence so we looked for that for a bit and I found $20 on the floor so I said I’d get us a souvlaki. The bloke got the clubs number and said he would come back tomorrow to check again. (Technically today but you known what I mean) We then walked up the main street in Kings Cross which was an experience… Prostitutes and bouncers every other step but we did eventually find a souvlaki place and I haggled them down in price in my drunken state.

From there we walked back to the hostel eating out kebabs in a wrap and managed to walk past the place before turning back to it and going straight to our rooms. I bumped into a room mate on the stairs waiting for her boyfriend so I didn’t feel to bad I was going to wake my room, now the 3 of us had shared responsibility for waking the other 4. (yeah there is now 7 of us an extra German bloke came earlier today but like the others in my room doesn’t seem to socialise well) Not that waking people up seems to matter, its just part and parcel of sharing a room. (I got woken in the morning early than I would have wanted for example) I then got ready for bed in the dark and went to sleep, overall it had been a good day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 42 “Here I Go” (Wednesday 17th April 2013)

Today was the day I would be leaving and believe it or not I was pretty ready. Bag was pretty much packed and clothes ready to get dressed into, but I still wanted to wake up early just in case. Avril woke me up at about 9am but I didn’t actually get out of bed until 9:40 when I had a shower then made my last minute packing adjustments. I then ate some breakfast, cleaned my teeth and that was it, time to leave Avril and Peter in peace!

I said good bye and thanks to Peter as Avril took me to the airport (I would have let that car journey go on forever… I was so nervous) and once in the airport I realised just how heavy my backpack was as I checked it in. (It was 15.4kg and was only meant to be 15kg but I got away with it which I’m surprised about because Jetstar usually charge for anything!) Avril came right to my gate, (through the sensors which I didn’t even think was allowed- but apparently you can for domestic flights here) where I then said good bye and thanks to Avril and that was it I was on my own… Here goes nothing!

The flight (when it finally got called- we left about 30 minutes late) wasn’t to bad, slight turbulence but the flight was over just as it was beginning I did manage to write some diary though. Once in Sydney I though I’d go looking for the Hostel even though it wouldn’t open til 4pm but it was nearly 3pm because of the delayed flight. I also made a slight mistake in the airport and found myself at departures instead of the trains. (Departures upstairs Train were down… Easy mistake!) Then at the trains I had to pay to leave the airport, about $15 and then I bought a multi card for a week, which means I can use as much public transport in Sydney (Ferry, bus, train, light rail and tram) for the week and that was only $40.

Getting on the train was easy at the airport but I then had to know where I wanted to stop so I began to use the saved files I had on my tablet while on route. I found the station I needed Central but that was a minefield of lines so it took me a minute to discover what platform I needed- think there was 25 ish to chose from. The trains here were double storied so you go in and can go up or down from there, it wasn’t too busy so I had a seat and from central made it to Kings Cross. (has a bit of a reputation for being sleazy) When there I turned out of the station and walked along the street a bit finding a McDonalds where I planned to use their free wi-fi. Unfortunately it wouldn’t work so I just had some food instead and decided to use my phone for Google maps and find the hostel. It was the opposite way I had walked from there station and then the opposite side the road to where I looked but after crossing the busy crossroad 3 times (3 sides of the square as the 4th wasn’t available) to get to the hostel I had made it! By the time I got there is was about 4:30pm so I checked in and went to see my room, there was a slight feety smell but nothing I can’t deal with. When I arrived there were 2 girls inside how said hello but that was it, (I later realised they weren’t English or even speaking it to each other) I then sent a few texts, whatsapps and a Facebook update to let people know I had made it… They were all telling me to go out and explored so I took there advice and headed to the one place I’d heard of, Sydney opera house.

I headed back to Kings Cross station and headed back to central where I got around the minefield again, also to make things a bit harder it was now rush hour though and people finishing work flooded the trains. I had a seat not that I really needed it for the few stops up to circular quay. As I exited the train the opera house was in front of me and I couldn’t believe I was seeing it, I was in a state of shock and happiness but I managed go get a few photos and asked a couple to snap a picture of me there too. I then decided to walk around to Sydney Harbour bridge, so excited down to the street and snapped loads photos while walking alone the quay. I meet some people that helped me take picture and the second couple (elderly- best people to ask to have your photo taken) had been to Australia loads so I asked where to go and what to see they recommended Bondi beach and a fort where the convicts were kept. It then transpired the husband was originally from England (some where near where I live) and that they had lived in many countries like England, Australia, Canada and now live in Florida.

After this I carried on along the quay taking photos and videos, then some joggers went past so I thought they would be doing a bridge run and followed them. (there was hundreds going past the whole time) I walked for miles before realising they weren’t doing a bridge run, on the upside I did have photos of the opera houses from all sorts of angles. I then took the decision to go looking for a route onto the bridge and I finally got up high enough but was the wrong side to walk so had to walk a really long way around just to find the footpath. Just as I was getting close it looked like you couldn’t even walk the bridge but out of nowhere a new path appeared and I was walking along the Sydney Harbour bridge… It was high, very high and the sweats had kicked in but I did still manage go get 10’s of photos of the Opera house from this vantage point. Once half way across there was a look out a cage around so I had to go close to the edge to get unobstructed photos. I also asked a bloke to get a photo of me with the cool architecture of the opera house in the background. He turned out to be from close to Brighton and he had heard of Tunbridge Well’s! (Crazy to think I could come around the other side of the world and on my first day travelling me a guy that lives that close to me) We chatted for a bit looking at the great view before heading back down to the train station, he had come up the quick way so could show me how to get back down just as fast. (It was much quicker than the route I had taken!) He then went to get a bus as I headed back to the the station and caught the trains back to Kings Cross. I was already getting used to the trains but still found the signs and navigation more confusing than they needed to be. (Like telling you what line to catch but not telling you were it was or even what stations a were on the line and didn’t put a train map up either!)

When I walked back to the hostel I decided to check out the social room but there were only about 3 people in there and 2 of them were foreign but could at least speak English. It wasn’t particularly social so I started to have a nose around the room and notice board outside the room then went I went back in and heard the English guy speak so asked where his accent was from. This started a convoy, he was from Cheshire but had been travelling Asia before coming here and today was his first night in Sydney too. As he had caught a flight into he was tired so went to bad before me. I stated in the room where I started this diary. Later another guy came in who also had an English accent so I asked him too, it was just south of Birmingham… Turns out he had been hear a month already and he knew a lot of people in the hostel. There’s a pub crawl tomorrow that I’m thinking of joining them on. His name was Mitch and he had started at Perth went up to Darwin, down to Alice springs, into Adelaide, across to Melbourne and then up to Sydney. An incredible journey all using something called vehicle relocation which is like car hire only much cheaper and he was lucky enough to get a mini camper, (guessing a VW shagwagon) which he shared it with a mate. (not sure where he is now) He then went to bed leaving just me and 1 foreign guy, others had been in and out of the room, some drunk but had all left. As there are a lot of foreigners here most with friends it can be quite excluding but this last guy had also been on a laptop all night booking his plans for tomorrow. Turns out he’s last day is Thursday to fly back go Melbourne and then Friday out of the country and he had booked a blue mountain tour to do before he flew back in the evening. We chatted on the way back to our rooms and we wished each other well before I came into my room at about 1am where the other 4 backpackers were sleeping (this room could sleep 8!) I tried not to make much noise as I got into bed but it was a very creaky metal bunk bed… Not the most comfortable but it will do, I had now completed my first day of travel. ๐Ÿ™‚