So it all started in quite a rush on monday morning about 10am with Harrison calling me and asking if I wanted to fly tonight to Australia, such is the unpredictability or flying on standby tickets. So I threw everything into a rucksack I thought I might need and hit the road or the air, whichever way you want to look at it.
Our flight was at 9.30pm from Heathrow and sadly we both only ended up with Economy tickets, we has aspirations of Premium Economy, which is sweet, and Harrison of first class, but sadly this would have to wait for the flight from Hong Kong to Sydney. Flight was pretty good, ended up with an emergency exit seat so had loads of leg room. Landed in Hong Kong about 6pm local time and hooked up onto a connecting flight to Sydney. Harrison flew first class, b******, I had to do with Premium Economy, not complaining to be honest!
We landed in Sydney after 23 hours in the air on Wednesday 23 March to 30oC+ heat, nice. Hopped on a shuttle bus to WakeUp! which was $15, should've got the train, would've been much much cheaper! We stayed in a 10 person dorm and were pretty damn jetlagged by this time, but headed to Bondi Beach with Rachel, who knows Kris Siva from Kent, I think, and Julia, a German girl who has just been jamming round the southern hemisphere for the past year. Bondi is sweet, about 1-2km of white beach, full of Aussies who don't seem to need to work even though their country is probably the most expensive place to live on the planet! Spent the day body surfing the massive waves and wandering round exploring the city. Our room went down to SideBar, a club adjoining the hostel, but I was too tired and passed out on the bed until 8am the following morning, just about starting to get used to the time difference, dissapointed we didn't make it out though, sounded like a good night!
On Thursday the 24th we headed up to see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House - both are amazing, favourite has to be the Bridge cus its just so huge and classic, the Opera House is pretty cool to though! We wandered over the Bridge to North Syndey where you can look back at the city and get some wicked pictures, before heading back over to walk around and check out the Opera House - classic touristy stuff that had to be done! Headed back to WakeUp! for one more night, thinking we had managed the hostels the wrong way round as we missed another night out due to the lag and passed out by about 7pm.
On Friday we went to Centennial Park to try and cook up the barbie, but we couldn't find a barbie so settle for checking out the SCG - where we hammered the Aussies in the Ashes during the winter and Aussie Stadium where the Waratahs and Sydney Roosters play their home games. After this we went to Harrys Cafe De Wheels next to Finger Wharf. This place is a bit of a Sydney institution, a small trailer that serves some pretty epic hotdogs and pies. By this time we were shattered as we hadn't slept in WakeUp! too well so moved to the YHA in Sydney Central with a pool and sauna and got a pretty solid nights sleep for the first time in Oz.
On Saturday we headed to the Olympic Park where the Games were held in 2000 and had a gander round their checking out the Tennis Arena, Pool, ANZ Stadium - where Wilko kicked THAT drop goal in 2003 - and the Hockey stuff - hopefully this will be what Stratford will be like after 2012. That night we cooked at the YHA cus their kitchen is awesome and stayed at the 790 on George cus everywhere else was booked out as it was a Saturday. Here we met two top Irish blokes on a years working visa, Niall and Bernard. Who cracked out some classic lines such as "Our mates pretty strange, half a window licker you know?" and "As Irish, we have a reputation to uphold in this fine establishment". We went to watch the Waratahs v Brumbies in a bar with them and drank quite a few Scooners - some s*** beer measurement that the Aussies use rather than a pint, its about 380ml and $6 (4 quid) a pop, hideous. Anyway we hit that Cafe de Wheels again and headed back, earlier than Bernard to came in s***faced about 5am having wandered back from Kings Cross, about 2-3 miles cus he had no money for cab, swearing he watched the England game but couldn't remember the score.
Sunday we went back to the ANZ to watch the Bulldogs v Roosters in the NRL, rugby league is crap, end of. No discussion - however it was pretty cool to be able to go and catch a game in the ANZ which is a pretty raw stadium and the fact that is was a Sydney derby. The game was good and the Bulldogs won 24-20. The Aussies freeken love their league, passionate is how I'd describe one fan who stood on his chair all game relentlessly insulting all the Roosters players c*nts, f*ckers and c*cksuckers in the family enlosure... hillarious! That night we got the overnight Greyhound from Sydney to Byron Bay.
Got into Byron Bay yesterday, Monday, to 27-28oC heat thinking this is pretty nice, until it chucked it down for the rest of the day. We chilled at a pub with a few Scooners and free pool, before deciding to go and book our Fraser Island and Whitsundays stuff with a company called Wicked Travel. Managing to get quite a good deal with the bloke who served us we went for the self drive Fraser Island trip which gives us two free nights accomodation at Nomands in Hervey Bay and a 3 day, 2 night, 4x4 camping trip on Fraser Island, which looks raw. You can check this out here (we got it LOADS cheaper than the price quoted here, due to use being scappy travellers) http://nomadsfraserisland.com/ We also booked the Whitsunday Islands, a sailing tour of a massive group of sand islands off the coast of Airlie Beach. This looks even better spending time on a Championship Winning Maxi (Americas Cup Type) 90ft yacht called Matador for 2 days 2 nights. We're gonna dive the Great Barrier Reef and stay on the boat, can't wait! Our boats Matador, you can check it here: https://www.ozsail.com.au/ Finally last night we headed out to the infamous Cheekey Monkeys bar after meeting a couple of guys from Kent, Ollie and Chris, as well as two Aussies and a German who have been living here, surfing all day for the past 6 months! Cheekey Monkeys was good, probably better than Revs. Just.
Today we've just been chilling and hunting out info about changing flight dates thru STA cus Oz is so expensive and we need to try to save some money by getting to New Zealand and Thailand a little earlier than planned. So thats that up till now! Ran into the girls again, after seeing them in Sydney in WakeUp! for a couple of days and might go grab a box of Goon (no idea how to spell it!) and check out Cheekey Monkeys again and a bar called, fittingly, Woody's for a bit tonight.
More to follow in the coming days.
Peace and Love xx