Yes, it's true............. I am actually about to update my journal! Can you believe it?! I thought I'd never get my arse in gear and sort this one out, and there is no decent excuse for how slack I've been so please accept my apologies and enjoy!!
So...........I'll start with a general summary of my past 3 and a half months in Sydney (i'll just tell you all the good bits and leave out the boring stuff) I know many of you have probably heard most of this through email but I'll recap anyway for those that haven't!
We arrived in Sydney on 15th December and went straight to the Wizard of Oz hostel in Coogee where we stayed for 2 and a half weeks. I had a brilliant time as we made some great friends most of which we spent Christmas Day with and who we're still in touch with now. Coogee was a lovely beach town about 20/30 mins outside of the city centre. The beach was gorgeous, but the I must say the nightlife left quite a lot to be desired as there was only a choice of 2 places to go out (and not good choices either!)
On Christmas Day we had the regulation BBQ on the beach! We all had a great day and were extremely thankful for the sunshine!! New Years was spent down by Circular Quay watching the fireworks off the Harbour Bridge. Although we weren't in the best location to see all the fireworks we still had an amazing time and the atmosphere was like nothing I've experienced before, it was total mayhem!! That was definitely a night I'd like to experience again and again.
So after all the excitement of Christmas and New Year we decided to move to a cheaper hostel while we looked for work and more permanent lodgings. As everywhere was booked up we ended up sleeping on a friend's living room floor for 5 days until a hostel room became available. Not the most comfortable but it was virtually free so I couldn't complain.
After our 5-day stop off in Rose Bay we made tracks to the oh-so delightful Funk House Hostel in Kings Cross. This was without a doubt the most seedy place I have ever visited. Luckily the hostel was pretty good but the streets were simply buzzing with tramps, druggies, prossies and pimps!! It was an experience to say the least!
After 1 week in Kings Cross we finally found ourselves a house to rent in Newtown. This was the Gay town of Sydney and it had a really good atmosphere about it and was full of loads of trendy cafes, bars and restaurants. We moved into a 2 bedroom apartment which backed onto our letting agents and because of this we were only charged $70 p/week each!! This turned out to be such a result as we were able to save more money than expected!! To make things even better.......... a week after moving in the second bedroom became available and our friend Tiff who we met in Coogee moved in aswell!
I was lucky enough to find work pretty quickly after New Year and I got a role in the AP department of Reed Exhibitions in Sydney. At first the job wasn't too bad as I knew it was good to be saving money and it was something to fill up the days, but after the first month or so I began to detest it! The work itself wasn't too bad but I wasn't working with any people my age so after a while I think it started to take it's toll.
The other girls found work too...............Jill got Reception work for a Flooring company, and Alicia got work in Ad Sales for an English Backpacker magazine called British Balls. Alicia's job actually turned out to benefit us all on a number of occasions. She managed to wangle discounted tickets for a couple of comedy nights and even discounted room rates at a great hostel of which we are currently staying. However, the best freebie has to be the free V Festival tickets which she managed to blag. The festival was brilliant apart from the hour long queue for the bar, but Groove Armada definitely made up for it and that was easily the highlight of my night.
After 3 months or so of working in Sydney we decided to finish up with a week and half off before we moved on to see any of the last things that we hadn't already. This original idea changed slightly when one Sunday morning my sis popped out to get some bread for breakfast but instead came back with two of our best mates from back home!! This had been a big suprise which they'd been planning since we left in November and only myself and Jill were completely unaware. Definitely the best suprise I've ever had!! Nice one girls!!!!
When the girls had arrived in Sydney I still had 2 weeks left of work but decided to finish a week earlier so I could spend the last couple of weeks doing as much stuff with the girls as possible. We managed to do all sorts of great stuff such as Taronga Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, Lucy's shark dive, the walk across the Harbour Bridge on it's 75th Anniversary......the list just goes on!! I think a few of my highlights were the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb (we did this at night and the views across the city were amazing!), the Kaiser Chiefs concert (an early birthday suprise from my lovely sister), and of course our very memorable trip to the Blue Mountains!
I should really explain this for those that weren't there but on our trip to the Blue Mountains we thought we'd be adventurous and take a nice long, scenic walk down into the depths of the forest. This entailed walking down a 1000 very steep steps but we thought it was a great idea as we could get a sky train back to the top again. Little did we know that the train stopped running at 4.45pm so when we got to the bottom at 4.55pm and realised that we'd missed it my 10 minutes, we were not too happy. So being the clever bunch that we are we decided to carry on walking further in search of an exit. It was only when we came to a dead end 45 mins later that we actually came to terms with the fact that we would have to walk back the way we came and back up those 1000 steps.
To make matters worse it was getting dark pretty quickly and our friend Laura had forgotten her asthma inhaler. She started to panick which didn't help her asthma and we actually thought at one point that there was no way we were going to get her back up the steps and wopuld have to call for an ambulance. Luckily, after a good couple of hours of walking back up the steps we came to an exit leading onto a main road where we called for a cab and got ourselves safely back to our hostel. It turned out to be a much more adventurous day than we had expected but it was great fun and I can look back and laugh!
Sadly, the girls left Sydney on 31st March which basically left us with a couple of days to sort out and pack up our stuff. We left Sydney on the 4th April and have re-entered the backpacking world with a bang! We have started to make our way up the East Coast and have already visited Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and we are now currently in Byron Bay. We visited Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour for 3 days each and they were both really small beach towns with not a great deal to do other than sunbathe and chill out. As we have only seen one day of sunshine since we left Sydney, sunbathing has not really been an option I can tell you! We went horse-riding in the bush in Coffs Harbour which was great fun but other than that we've whiled away the days playing cards and monopoly!!
It's been pretty good getting back into the hostel scene after 3 and a half months as we're constantly meeting new people. However, it has also reminded me of the many randoms and freaks that meet along the way. In Coffs Harbour we were unlucky enough to be sharing a room with a 40 yr old woman who told us her tragic life story within the first 5 minutes of meeting her. We nick-named her Scary Mary because she was actually that scary! She had told us that she was 6 months pregnant with twins and that she had a cervical spine injury which caused her to stop breathing in her sleep. The first day she met us she said that she got the spine injury from a train derailment accident, and the next day she said she got it from working as a nurse in the Navy???!!! Anyway, that wasn't the worst of it..........the next morning she had told us that she had stopped breathing in her sleep and her pacemaker had sent out a GPRS signal to the nearest hospital who sent out an ambulance for her. The paramedics apparently turned up at the hostel that morning, let themselves into our room and stabbed her with a shot of adrenaline to get her heart beating again. All of which happened while the three of us were peacefully asleep in bed! Needless to say she was soon asked to leave the hostel for causing upset amongst the other guests.
So, we are now in Byron Bay where we will stay for the next couple of weeks. We're living it up in a 3 bed teepee situated on a pond! Very basic and a bit cold aswell but it's a good experience at least. The weather has been terrible for I can't remember how long, and it's only getting worse as it's turning into winter here. We've been told that we should be more lucky with the weather once we move across the border into Queensland so we're making that our next stop! I'm in desperate need of some sunshine..........I'm virtually see through!!!
Anyway guys, that pretty much brings me up-to-date believe it or not. Now we're back on the move again my journal entries will be updated much more regularly! Sorry it's been so long and I hope you're all well back home. Speak to you all soon.
Lots of love to all, Linny XxX