Hi all, can't believe it's been over 2 weeks since I last updated. It's so easy to lose track of time. Luckily the weather has decided to change its mind and do what it's supposed to! The sun has been shining for pretty much the last two weeks. It rained for a couple of days after I last wrote, leading me to do very little, maybe go to the post office and into town but that was about it. Saturday the 1st of March was Mardi gras which was fantastic! I met these two Aussie girls while I was waiting for a bus into town, and they asked me if I wanted to join them as they were going to a party, well, they looked normal enough, so I thought why not! We went to this guy's house, who lived just on Oxford Street, where mardi gras is, and as I was getting out of the lift my bloody flip-flop broke. Annoying but not the end of the world I thought. But this guy was like 'there's no way you can walk around barefoot', and spent the next 40 minutes fixing my flip-flop. I did protest, but walking around barefoot on oxford street, especially on mardi gras, ther was a high chance i would come home HIV positive. We went to the parade about an hour after it had started, we could hear it from the apartment. I was getting a little restless with all the shoe fixing, and kept saying, we're going to miss the parade, etc, but kept being told not to worry. They were right, because after finally going to watch, it still went on for another 2 and a half hours!We couldn't see the first bit because the crowd was about 6 people deep, and half of those were stood on stools. I know I'm tall, but evidently not tall enough. Anyway, this nice lady gave me her stool eventually (she wasn't that nice, she wanted 10bucks for it to start with) and then I could see!! It went on forever!We went to this overpriced club afterwards where I found out that Aussie measures are only 20 ml! That's almost half of a normal measure in the UK! What a rip off!On the Sunday I caught the (very expensive!) ferry to manly and had a bit of a walk around. The weather wasn't great but manly seemed like a really nice place, some really nice houses on the beach.
Had a busy day on Monday the 3rd. I stopped arsing around and decided to change my ticket to New Zealand, and after sta wanted to charge me the price of a small house, I thought I'd better ask New Zealand airlines directly. God talk about hard to find! I walked round and round this circular building about 80 times before finally seeing an aeroplane sign through slightly dizzy eyes.It was worth it in the end though as it was much cheaper. So I now spend 3 weeks less in Australia and in New Zealand instead, and fly out of cairns not Brisbane, which saves me going back on myself.
I caught the train up to Katoomba that afternoon too, up into the Blue Mountains, which took about 2 hours. The train ticket was only 12 dollars which I thought was pretty cheap. I booked into the YHA which was great. It had a huge kitchen and outside area, two telly rooms (which was a bit of a novelty seeing as Geoff and jocie don't have one!) They have room keys as well, which I didn't understand at first. The lady handed it to me, and I was like 'er, what's this for?' I think she thought I was a bit mad and spoke to me very slowly, 'it's your room key dear'. I laughed it off and quickly made my way to my room. How was I to know, no other hostels had room keys?!I felt a bit better later because somebody else told me they'd done the same thing. The hostel was very clean and despite the initial setback, the staff were more than helpful. I stayed for two nights, and did a couple of walks, one to the three sisters, and one around the 'grand canyon', not quite Arizona but still impressive. (Two were definitely enough, my poor legs) I wanted to go riding too, but it was ridiculously priced.Almost 100 dollars for two hours! I'll wait till New Zealand and Fiji so I can ride on the beach.Although the Blue Mountains were fantastic, I did say to Geoff that the locals (not to generalise) look a little strange. It's sort of hillbilly-ish, like there's a touch of inbreeding or something. I'm sure it's not the case, maybe it's just the mountain air...
On the Thursday after I got back I hit Bondi again, but unfortunately it was ridiculously windy, and I couldn't lie on the sand, and had to join the sunburned masses on the grass instead. Still had a nice day, but to go all the way to Bondi to lie on the grass is a little stupid.
Over here they have lots of outdoor swimming pools, most of which are saltwater, and on a sunny day, busy translates to 'more than 4 people'. Not quite the UK. Any outdoor swimming pool in the uk on a sunny day can barely cope with all the children peeing in it, which is probably why they're so pumped full of chlorine. There's one pool 15 minutes walk away from Geoff and jocie which I've been to a couple of times. Its right on the water's edge so has nice views, and has a grassy bit to sunbathe on, so I've been there if I haven't fancied the beach again. I went out on Friday with this English girl called Kate who works in the pub up the road. After copious amounts of drink, we ended up in the local 'nightclub'. It's the saddest place I've ever been!Full of pissed single blokes. OK we were pissed single girls, but we were there because we were pissed, we weren't there to pull! Terrible! Anyway I stumbled home at half one-ish, after a much needed phone call to Fran. (I have very little recollection of this. She, however, thinks the whole thing was highly amusing)
ON Saturday Geoff had a race in the Blue Mountains, called the 6 foot track. It's a 45k cross country run. I had said I was going to come, but this required surfacing at about half 5 in the morning, and after the previous night, there wasn't much hope of that. I went to the pool again to sweat out the alcohol and came back feeling much better. I did manage to get up at 5 the next morning to go to Jocie's race though. She had an hour long triathlon and came 3rd in her age group which was very impressive. I've become quite the expert with all these triathlons, not that I'd ever take part, I just go to watch the good looking guys. I told mum she should start doing triathlons so I could go and carry her bags and continue to watch the guys, whilst pretending to be interested in the races.The race was all over before ten o clock, which I couldn't believe. I'm not normally awake before that time, so to be awake, do a triathlon and have breakfast seems quite incredible.
On Monday, 10th, I went to the cinema to see a film called 'The black balloon'. It's an Aussie film so I don't know if you'll be able to see it in the UK, but it was amazing! It's about this autistic boy and his family. If you can get it in the UK, make sure you see it! Tuesday, yesterday, I went to Bondi again, where this time there was no wind fortunately! There's very few actual Australians on Bondi during the week, it's just full of backpackers, normally irritating Swedish blond girls. (They're only irritating because they're as blonde as me, yet somehow manage to have the most perfect tans. b****es)