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Day 50 “Anzac Day” (Thursday 25th April 2013)

Today was Anzac day so when I woke up, I ate the free breakfast before getting ready and heading out with Helen and Catherine (she was a German lady with dyed red hair and she had checked me in on my first day in the hostel) to the parade just on from Hyde Park. Toni had checked out this morning and was heading to Asia so now it was just 4 English boys and a German girl in my 8 bedroom dorm. Anyway Helen, Catherine and I had arranged to meet David who was already at the park and I was also going to meet Preston (the guy I met on my first night in Sydney- he took my picture from the Harbour Bridge) so I dragged the 2 girls along with me. After we had Preston and then David the 5 of us walked down the road to see the parade coming through.

Preston was running out of money and has a job and girlfriend back home so was thinking about leaving Australia so I was going through the options with him… This was off as only about 7 weeks into the travel I felt like a veteran. While I was talking Helen and Catherine were enjoying looking at the guys in uniform, while David took some photos. Jo then arranged to meet us and while she was talking to Preston I was taking a fair few photos and the odd video.

After the parade finished about 1pm Preston headed back to his hostel with the intention of moving to ours, the rest of us headed to the shops to fix Catherine’s phone. On route we were given a card for free entry and cheap drinks to a club at 4pm so to kill the time we thought we’d go for some drinks in the park. First we bought some cheap booze from the liquorland attached to Coles as well as a cheapish ($4.50 and $5) chicken nuggets/ goujons and chips then went to Hyde park. Catherine then went off with some other friends while Jo, David, Helen and I chilled in the park. The weather was pretty nice today and we sat in the sun for a few hours talking, drinking and eating. Before we knew it we realised it was an hour into the cheap drinks at the club we had the card for so we rushed off to look for it.

Something I discovered is that the street names also have the shop numbers underneath the name so you know which way to head down a road. Even so we got a bit lost but eventually got to the roof top bar (we almost weren’t allowed in because David has lost his wallet before coming to Australia so only had a copy of his passport for ID) where there was a swimming pool and we then realised the card had said pool party! It was now heading to the end of the 2 hours of cheap drinks so we bought a couple each and went looking for a table. The bar was so posh and nice looking making us all feel a little underdressed (more so than when I was at Naked for Satan with Hannah and Mick a few weeks ago) but we stayed to soak up the atmosphere and take some photos. I had a really good time there and it was something a bit different but once the drinks were finished the 2 girls headed off to go shopping quickly, while David and I held back a bit so I could finish my drink. (bit slow I am! – some things never change)

On the walk back we saw some people playing chess in the park so watched them for a bit before getting back to the hostel. With the four of us reunited we decided to carry on drinking ready for the pub crawl tonight and none of us ate anything substantial because eating is cheating. We meet Mark, Mitch and Nick (another long termer) on the roof so stayed with them drinking for a good couple of hours but were only allowed on one side. The other side had a BBQ for people that had booked a package usually through the Australian Backpackers. We asked for some leftovers and were given a sausage or 2 each but it didn’t really fill me up! When the BBQ had finished we went to the bigger half of the roof top and played ‘Ring of Fire’ drinking game which descended into chaos but a good and funny drunk chaos. So many people joined in with us and I really am starting to feel like a familiar friendly face around the hostel. Stuart an American who has been here a while (he looks a bit like Clint Dempsey, who plays football for Spurs so we have nick named him Clint) some other people he knew as well as some German girls all joined in.

After the game ended we head to go and get showered and ready for the night out… Back in the room the German girl and English lads were asked by Helen (who had come to see if I was ready) if they wanted to come out… Barbara (the German girls name) agreed to come out but the 4 English boys didn’t want to and instead peer pressured me into finishing my drink in one. This is where the night began for me… Now pretty drunk I headed off with David who had waited for me to get ready while everyone else including Barbara, Helen, Jo, Mark and Stuart (Mitch was too drunk and had stayed back at the hostel) had gone to the first bar.

At the first bar I got a free drink but was really in the mood to dance so got my groove on and really went for it on the dance floor. For some reason David took his top off and danced like a mad man and soon got asked to put his clothes back on! I continued to drink and dance as much as I could while also speaking to some familiar faces. Helen was intent on getting a photo with a guy in uniform (Anzac day means anyone with a forces uniform wears it I think) and managed it much to the jealously of the guys girl mate who instantly ran over and kissed him. (I don’t think they were a couple she just wanted to stake her claim (also in uniform but kissed other guys later that evening) I managed to get some people together for a pretty big group photo and the organiser (who gave me the free entry and free drink) also took some. After a while Mark helped clear a circle (my manic dancing helped make it too) and one by one, starting with me people entered the circle to do some crazy moves while people around the edge clapped… It was an amazing experience started by Mark and myself! I had two goes in the middle and was having a great time! Loads of people from the hostel saw it and thought I was funny and a bit of a legend, I’ll take that! I also made a little fan club of a couple of people just randomly on a night out and one in particular wanted me to dance with him and his mates but all being guys it was only for a bit of banter… I still agreed in my drunk state and the guys were actually well alright so I tried setting them up with the girls from the hostel.

The group then moved on to the second bar (just next door) so I tried to round up some people but ended up losing the people that rounded me up. I then tried to queue jump a few times but kept being sent to the back of the queue. One thing I did manage to get from my friends was my bracelet back… I didn’t even know I’d lost it but I was pleased Stuart had picked it up and Helen realised it was mine. I was in the queue with Barbara but she wanted to go back to the other club so I soon found myself alone so once in the club I went looking for people. This club is bigger and people tend to split up more so when I did find people they were different from who I was looking for… In the club I also decided I wanted a drink but had no cash and the minimum spend was $20 on card so I decided to buy 4 drinks for $5 each! (hostel discount) I tried to give David a drink when I saw him at the bar but he didn’t want it so down’d one and text Helen as I found a table. I managed to find a seat but was pretty drunk and still had a few drinks. Luckily Mark and a couple of his friends walked past so I gave him a drink and another one to this German girl so just had the one left, which I drank while sitting with them. Marks friends then bought a teapot of shots (this clubs speciality) and shared them with me. (As if I needed more alcohol) After this my memory is a little hazy but I remember going for a dance and seeing Jo as well as my fan club from the previous club and the German girl I sat with was with me too. For the rest of the night I didn’t see anyone else I knew so I figured they must have gone home (I even remember going back to the first club to check and couldn’t see anyone) and at about 2:30am I called it a night but Jo stayed out with a random. The German girl then decided to walk me back and thankfully she did because I wanted to stop every 5 steps for a rest but she stopped me… As I may not have wanted to get back up!

I remember checking in the Irish Bar O’Marleys on the way to the hostel but there was no one in there I knew. We eventually made it back to the hostel and my room where I collapsed on the floor and thanked the German girl. I had woken everyone in the room including Barbara who had come back earlier… But I did find out the following morning it was funny rather than annoying. I couldn’t make it to my bed despite trying, so I ended up sleeping on the floor. (a guy in the room chucked me a duvet and pillow) It was a great day and I had had a decent evening too… Passed out on the floor I slept until about 8am the next morning. 🙂

Day 49 “Shopping” (Wednesday 24th April 2013)

For some reason although I wake up at 9am for the free breakfast I don’t seem to leave the hostel until about 2pm. Not sure what I do in between other than chat to people and get ready. That said half the fun of being in a hostel is socialising with the people but I also came to Australia to see the sights as well so I always like to do something. Today I went to see Sydney’s Westfield (shopping centre) as I still need this damn beard trimmer- the facial hair isn’t looking to pretty at the moment!

Anyway Helen wasn’t about today I think she was trying to sort out getting a job but Jo, David and I decided to go out before Jo had to go to work. (she has a job in a bar not far from the hostel but has to work some crazy hours- 7pm til 5am) Jo and I wanted to go shopping and David was coming with us but planned to write his CV first before joining us. Jo needed some new work clothes and me some things (flip flops) so we looked around at clothes and shoes first. Jo went in a lot of girly shops so I had to pretend I was her boyfriend rather than a weirdo looking in girls shops! She actually late that day said my advise and helpfulness was good for a guy and she would willingly shop with me again in the future. (considering Jo is female and there’s a cliché that surrounds women loving to shop, she hates it [which is how I feel about it too] but she appreciated having me there)

While she tried thing on in one of the shops I walked around looking at other clothes/ shoe shops but I didn’t buy anything and ended up texting Luke again while I waited. After the girly shopping in which Jo bought some work clothes (none of the ones I helped pick!) We headed to Myer to see if I could get a beard trimmer. I spent so long looking that Jo went for a wander on one of the other 4 floors! David had finished his CV and rang me then came to find us… after deciding not to get a trimmer again (much to Jo and David’s dismay) we had to head back to the hostel as Jo had work soon.

On route home we stopped at IGA supermarket as I though it would be cheaper than Coles but this one wasn’t but David and I still bought some bits for our dinner. Jo had now gone back without us as it had taken so long for us to find good and cheap meals… I settled for omelette with ham, cheese (that I had bought off a girl in the hostel for about $4 for a big block. The person selling it just got know as Cheese Girl but I later found out her name was Katrina) peas and sweet corn while David went for potatoes so he could mash them with some canned chicken mayonnaise. Back at the hotel we began to cook and my food turned more into scrammed eggs with things in it because omelette was too hard to cook in the pans when it stuck and the gas wasn’t even! Anyway when my sick looking meal was cooked it actually tasted pretty good and Helen was in the kitchen area too so I chatted to her while I ate.

After dinner Helen went out with some other girls and I decided go off to write my diary because David wanted an early night. When I got back to the room the new English boys were sitting in the corridor all looking bored so I suggested playing cards. They agreed and because we were by all of the rooms (I think the hostel has 15 rooms) people kept joining in while we played and the game kept getting bigger, we ended up having about 12 people play including Helen and her girl mates who got back from there night out. I had a really good evening and enjoyed playing cards with more mates that this time that were from my room. 🙂

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! 🙂

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 Bondi  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 30¢ 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! After  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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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 Bondi  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. 🙂