Well, i have made it to Sydney. As i write this i am sitting at Wake Up!, the hostel of all hostels in Oz. Having been here since Friday, i have already fallen in love with the city, it is just BRILLIANT!! However, there is so much to tell since we last spoke....i believe that was back in Brisbane??? Let me enlighten you.......
Having left Brisbane in a bit of a panic (the Oz Experience had messed up our reservations, so we weren't officially on the bus, but there was enough room in the end!!!), myself, Shez and Ad's were heading down to Surfers Paradise. Before this though, was a stop at a Zorbing track. Now for those of you that have no idea what this, it's basically a big ball that you get into, and then you roll down a hill, having lots of jovial fun all the way down. Jolly good chaps!!! It was made up by the Kiwi's, and is a pretty big thing to do when "travelling", so i had to get involved.
As you can probably see from the pictures though, it is not the most flattering or "manly" thing to do in the world. Shez, Luke and I were put together, so Shez was a little worried that he was going to get squished by two guys much larger than him. The track looked like a golf driving range, but just with this hill in front of it. So we get into our borders - thats Oz talk for swimming trunks - and head up the hill! Having been hosed down (i know, there are a few "dodgy" elements to this whole experience) so we could slide into the ball easier, we each took a run-up and jumped head first into oblivion, or the Zorb! Inside we were met by warm, blue (???) water. Now with 3 guys all rolling around in this, we weren't doing our macho image any good. Homosexual temptations put aside, we were told to crawl forward off the launching platform, and the Zorbing would begin. Problem is, i don't have the most mobile of frames, so i immediately stacked it and ended up taking out Luke and Shez straight away...we ended up rolling around in this ball all the way down the hill. It was a great laugh though. When you exit the ball you have to slide out legs first, and the guys helping you out then pour some water onto you - making it seem l;ike you've been re-born. Well, i cam out last, and Shez thought it'd be great to tip the ball up completely so that every last drop went on top of me! Thanks Shez!!! It looked like a Blue Whale being born!
Having dried off and got changed, it was onto Surfers. It's basically another party town, but the one i've enjoyed the most. It has the highest residential building in the world (84 floors), and a huge amount of skyscrapers. We got there on the Sunday, and headed out to a place called "Fisho's". This was a bar on the pier, and it was fantastic fun. A live band at one end, and a DJ at the other, it suited all tastes. The next day we decided to go to Warner Brothers Movie World. It's a theme park, quite small compared to the ones back home, but it was so quite that we got to go on everything. We went on the Superman ride first, which goes from 0-1000km/h in 2 seconds. Needless to say, my hair was decidedly windswept! After this we watched Shrek 4D - a short film that you wear special glasses for so that the charcters on screen actually feel like they are coming out towards you. At one point, Donkey sneezed, and little sprays of water spurt out from the chair in front, making you think you've been boogered on! It was very funny. The whole park looks like a film set, so it was pretty cool to walk around. They had the batcar from Batman Forever there, and other cool stuff like that.
That night was my last night with Shez and Ad's, so it had to be messy! And it was. Started at 7ish and finished about 4ish. Was a great night and a great send off. Put it this way, i had to check out by 10am the next day, which i got up for and did no problem, but Ad's and Shez surfaced at about 3, half an hour before i was meant to leave. So, with brief goodbyes, i was off to Byron Bay. Byron is a cool place, lots of surfers, and a cool bar called Cheeky Monkeys. I stayed at a place called the Arts Factory, where i met up with Marc, Luke, Danny and the rest of the gang. It was great to see them all, and we celebrated in style on the first night.
The next day was spent at a place called Nimbin. Now, this is basically Hippie town, Australia. It's the only place where Canabis is smoked openly, and even though it's illegal in New South Wales, the locals are all just so "mellow" all the time that the police seem to turn a blind eye. We were warned about the cookies here, that have marajuana (is that how you spell it??) added to them. It was just a really surreal place, a town that you could walk from one end to the other in 5 mins. I felt sorry for the locals by the end of our 2 hour stop there, simply because they ahve nothing to do but smoke weed. It just is not a good life, and looking at all of them it just made me want to get back to civilisation!
Having got back to Byron, we spent the evening having a few beers, getting ready for the trip to the surf camp on Thursday! Marc, Danny and Luke had already left, so i went along with Rosie and Jim (Helen), two girls i had met on my first night out in Cairns and had kept bumping into all the way down the coast. In total, the group has been up to about 15 people, which has been great because as soon as you leave one group of people, at the next stop is everyone else. Anyway, SURFING IS SO MUCH FUN!! Got to the camp at about 1, and headed straight for the waves. I did manage to stand up, and i have got the evidence to prove it incase there are any doubters out there! However, the photographer did very well to catch it as as soon as i was up, i was straight away over. It was so much fun though, and i would definately do it again. It does get frustrating when you think you have mastered it, only yo nose dive straight into the water, but it was great exercise and i thoroughly enjoyed it. The night was spent round the camp fire, with the north bound Oz Bus having pulled in for their overnight stop. There was 38 people on the bus, compared to our 13. Was a good night, and very sociable.
Up at 6.45 to be on the bus for a 7.30am departure. Needless to say, the 10 hour drive to Sydney was spent mostly in silence, with the majority of the passengers sleeping to get over their hangovers. But it was all woth it. As we left the freeway and headed into the city, everyone started to get excited. Suddenly we started to drop down a hill, and there she was to our left. Sydney! Straight away we were driving across the Harbour Bridge, looking at the Opera House - it felt so unreal. It was like a feeling of "i am looking at stuff that i've only ever thought of to be on the other side of the world, and i'm here, looking at it!". It was mad! But i immediately loved Sydney's vibe and culture.
We got a text from the group, who had been staying out in Bondi next to the beach. So Rosie, Jim and me grabbed a tube and a bus, and met up with the gang. It felt like London on the transport system, which suited me just fine. The trains are three levels though, how wierd is that???? Our first night was spent not in the usual manner though. Oh no! For my first nigth in Sydney, i went to see an opera at the Sydney Opera House! OH YES, HOW GOOD IS THAT! But before you start thinking it was something like Phantom of the Opera, it was called Play!, and was basically the scores from computer games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Brothers being replayed by the orchestra! Very weird, but at least i can say i have seen an Opera at THE Opera house!
So today it's Sunday, and having spent 5 glorious weeks in Oz, i am now back to where i started, on my own and in a city! It's not too scary, i mean the Brother is on his way out on Wednesday, and Rosie and Jim are back in the city on Thursday. Danny, Luke and Marc are off to Fiji today, and Shez and Ad's are somewhere back along the coast. It has been an amazing journey, and i'm so glad it's not over yet.
I'm in Sydney for at least a week with the brother, so i will update you with all my stories when i can. But i've got loads to tell you already.
Take care everyone, love to all,