I've been away almost 4 weeks now!
So from Coogee I moved into the city centre for five days. We visited Manly, which was definitely the nicest part of Sydney, took in a bit of shopping and spent too much time in backpacker bars! I completed my RSA...just! After waking up 14 minutes before the course was due to start! And that was it! On to Spot X...
Spot X was the compulsory stop on the Oz Experience bus to Byron Bay. A night stop-over in a container-come-bedroom with spiders appearing at every glance! Even after drinking games and a lot too much goon, the only way I was sleeping was with a can of insect repellent spray right next to me! Well the goon led to a no show at the free surfing lesson, but to be fair that was probably for the best!
Next came Byron Bay. First impressions were good - it's a nice little seaside town with lots of shops and restaurants, the hostel was social with a pool and right by the beach. I think first thoughts were to find a job there. But there just weren't any. And so the job hunt began and Emma and me started applying for some jobs.
One evening a group of us decided to take a walk to the lighthouse. Perhaps a mistake in the dark! On the beach there were crabs, in the carpark were flame-throwers and in the bush were jumping spiders. It was altogether a little traumatic! But two hours later we made it to the top and it was worth it to lie gazing at the stars and watch the moon appear from behind the sea.
Australia Day came and so did further abuse of goon. Partying on the beach in true Australian style!
We also made a visit to Nimbin - home to socially acceptable marijuana use. Well it may be the norm but it wasn't for me. Totally grotty and the people were crazy. Couldn't wait to leave.
And that was pretty much Byron Bay! A huge proportion of the time was spent on the beach and the rest recovering from the Cheeky Monkeys experience!
I left Byron with Emma, Graeme, Nicola, Paul, Lauren and Alissa and caught the Oz Experience to Surfers Paradise. Surfers Paradise is a beach with a high-rise background. Lots of shopping to be done and expensive nightclubs to visit - but we're backpackers so we ended up in the Irish pub where only half of the food we ordered ever turned up.
Surfers was where me and Emma were to receive not one but two job offers. So it looks like we're heading 2000km north west to Mount Isa to work in the Overlander Hotel.
We spent two days in Surfers Paradise but the Spanish beach resort atmosphere wasn't me for. Brisbane was a nice change. First was a walking tour of the city, noticing the effects of the flooding with a damaged lagoon and a boat tipped totally on it's side. A really fab city and somewhere I'd like to spend more time - not too dissimilar to Sydney.
And today was Australia Zoo. And I would go as far to say the best day I've had in Australia so far! Feeding kangaroos, cuddling a koala, having a snake wrapped around my neck, feeding more kangaroos, watching the tigers in training and feeding elephants. Plus watching an amazing wildlife show in the Crocoseum! Loved it all! Didn't even mind coming home smelling like a stinky koala! Actually could have happily stolen Minty!
Tomorrow we fly to Mount Isa to start work. Will be interesting to see the effects of Cyclone Yasi. Wish us luck, we're heading into the outback! X