Travelling down the east coast 10th - 23rd October 2010
I'm currently sitting here on my bottom bunk in our hostel in Adelaide trying to find the will to write these Blogs. I've written bullet points and the odd paragraph along the way, but if I'm honest I'm so ready to leave Australia that I'm finding it very difficult to motivate myself.
I'm actually getting pretty bored of travelling down the East Coast and cannot wait for our road trip along the great ocean road, and also when I get to Asia. I know that sounds really ungrateful, but we've been travelling for nearly 6 months now and everywhere we've been have been the most Westernised countries we could pick. I've loved every minute of it, but now that we're travelling down the east coast, every town looks the same and I just cannot wait to get to Asia. I feel like I'm more just bumming around from town to town rather than travelling. Each town is pretty similar to the last and we're spending an absolute fortune as Australia is the most expensive country I've been to (yep, it's even more expensive than England and America). I have an overwhelming urge to be out there exploring different cultures and customs, different foods and languages and right now it's pretty much like being at home - just warmer and with some decent beaches. Don't worry, I know I'm going to want to b**** slap me too when I'm home and I'm reading this, but right now that's just how I feel.
Brisbane, 10th - 13th October 2010
Brisbane was bit of a mixed bag. We caught up with Lisa who's a girl who I grew up with from back home a couple of times which was great, we went to the Oktoberfest, and I booked my flight to Malaysia.
We got to Brisbane on the Wednesday, checked into the hostel, had a mooch about town and then got the train down to Lisa & Kenny's for dinner. They moved out here nearly 2 years ago now and have a gorgeous 3 bedroom house positioned by the Marina. It was so nice to have a home cooked meal (thankfully Kenny is a Chef and has done a rather good job of teaching Lisa how to cook ;)). It made a welcome break from the normal back packer food, and we all sat around the dining room table eating, drinking and laughing the night away until we had to catch the last train home. It was pretty strange having gone from being toddlers playing in our back gardens in Blackfen, to meeting up for dinner and drinks in Australia. Strange how life turns out. :)
I booked my flight to leave Australia on 2nd November. This was a very strange day as we've been travelling together for 6 months and we haven't had so much as a single falling out. We still spend most of our days laughing at or sometimes even with each other, taking the piss and constantly saying the same thing at the same time, or coming out with really random comments at the same time too. It's probably a good thing we're going our separate ways as we've clearly spent far too much time together, but it's really sad too. There's a really funny picture I have of Selena when we were up the coast a bit in Noosa, where she was sulking cos it was raining and I was finalising what day I was going to book my flight from. I love that pic, and it still makes me crack up! I think I'm going to feel like I'm missing an arm or something.
Last but certainly not least was the Oktoberfest.I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea as I don't like beer and have realised that I seem to dislike more Germans than like them, but it turned out to be a really funny night. It started off really slowly, it was raining, it absolutely stank (we found out they had the Brisbane show there 2 months beforehand and the cows and pigs were put in the same field we were currently standing in. Which meant that with all the rain they'd had, we were literally walking around in cow and pig s*** - nice!), so where was I? Oh yes, it absolutely stank and the music was awful. It slowly started filling up, we started drinking more and more wine, we bumped into some girls we'd met further up the coast, we drank some more wine, the terrible music became bearable, we took lots of funny pictures, we drank more wine, we stole some hats, aprons and glasses, we drank even more wine and then all of a sudden the music was actually pretty good and we were all up and dancing. Strange how that happens! :) Hahaha. It turned out to be a great a very random night. We were given a load of free food as we were leaving - a whole chicken, corn on the cobs and chips and we ate all of these whilst hiding under a giant pub umbrella trying to get out of the rain. We said goodbye to the girls on the walk back to our hostel, and as I recall we were all stood there waving sparklers around til the pack had run out. Selena & I decided to wash our dirty feet in the rain water / mini river flowing down the road. A couple of guys who walked past were mortified at what we were doing, and we not so politely put it, what would you rather, pig s*** or rain water on your feet? Exactly, so let us be!
Then it was onwards and downwards to Surfer's Paradise.
Surfer's Paradise, 15th - 18th October 2010
Personalised Ugg boots & a day out with Selena, Lisa & Kenny :)
Surfer's Paradise will forever hold a special place in my heart. It holds something that is every girls dream. No not Daniel Craig - actually even better, ladies and gentlemen I give you custom made Ugg boots!
Lisa & Kenny drove down to the Gold Coast so we could spend some more time together before we went further down the coast, and they eventually found us hiding out in the Ugg shop that we had 'just popped into'. We ended up spending 2 hours in the Ugg shop and all I can say is I was completely willing to walk away, but Kenny convinced us both to buy them! Yep, seriously. He also convinced Lisa to get a pair - think he may have regretted that part when he realised he would be paying for them! Lol.
I've ordered 2 pairs and they are going to be made tomorrow. The first is a knee high pair of dark grey / slate boots, with a baby blue croc skin style heel swatch and a black tag. The second are a pair of dark brown calf high boots with 3 buttons up the side which can be undone and worn at different heights and has a cow patch stlye heel. All are on their way to not so sunny England for my formidable return - my god it's actually going to be like Christmas when I get home. :)
After our Ugg fest we all went down to a place known as 'the Spit' sounds disgusting but was very scenic and we could see the whole of Surfers Paradise city which comes right up to the Seafront - not a sight seen very often, and we could even see as far down the coast as Byron Bay.
After that we all went to play crazy golf which was really good fun. I was as usual completely awful and we all discovered that Selena had never even played crazy golf before (and yes she even beat me!)
Byron Bay, 18th - 21st October 2010
We spent 3 nights here, bumped into Greg who we'd met in Cool Bananas and again in Noosa and spent the time dosing around. We did a bit of sun bathing, hiked up to the Lighthouse, had 'the best fish and chips in Australia' (not a touch on London tho) and went to a town called Nimbin where it's legal to buy pot. We'd been warned about this place, apparently the pot is awful and the cookies will knock your socks off, and thankfully we didn't buy any. The town was really funny and everyone (including the pets) were stoned. As expected it was really chilled out, sold a load of hippy clothing and had some wicked coffee shops. There were street artists drawing on the pavements telling us to take the 'colours and the love home with us'. After a couple of hours in the town we headed off for a BBQ and everyone started eating their cookies. Then the fun began. We had 2 people pass out on the coach, a couple of people lips went purple, a girl who couldn't feel her legs, people falling over left, right and centre and a girl being sick. Wow! We were catching the Greyhound that night and there was a girl who'd been staying in our dorm, and who'd also come to Limbin that day that was also doing the same overnight coach with us down to Sydney.She'd eaten a cookie at lunch, and she was absolutely f***ed. This was 5 hours after she'd had only half of it, and she was from Amsterdam and she said she did them all the time.When we saw her she was almost in tears, shaking and could barely stand up. I went and sat with her at the front of the coach for a couple of hours until she fell asleep and kept checking on her during the night.She was fine the next morning, but seriously a word of warning, if anyone's planning on going to Limbin - leave the cookies well alone!
Greyhound, 21st - 23rd October 2010
We then did a 2 day journey down to Melbourne. The first journey was a 13.5 hours overnight Greyhound to Sydney (where I had a maximum of 3 hours sleep). We both took herbal sleeping pills that night and spent most of the next day in Sydney walking around like Zombies.We sunbathed in the park / fell asleep, I tried Sushi for the first time and once I'd pulled it apart, removed all the seaweed and covered it in Wasabi it was palatable. We then got another overnight Greyhound bus which took 13 hours down to Melbourne. You'd think being absolutely knackered from the night before would mean we'd sleep well, but alas no. Had roughly 3 hours of disturbed sleep again on a coach with legroom clearly designed with hobbits in mind.
We could have flown down for the same price, but we thought this way we got 2 nights accommodation on the Greyhound and we got to see Sydney again. A word of advice for anyone planning on doing this - take the flight! We got to Melbourne, absolutely knackered and barely able to string a sentence together, and laughing at how we thought it would be a good idea.
Melbourne, 23rd - 25th October 2010
Oh my God I'm Ill! I've been fighting off this cold (more like ignoring it and carrying on like normal) for a couple of weeks now, and now it's hit with full force. We got to the hostel that Greg had recommended and if he was within reaching distance I don't think he'd be breathing any longer! The first room we checked into we checked straight back out off as it was an absolute state. The second room wasn't any better but we were so tired we weren't going to try every room in the hostel. However, the two girls that were in there were 'longtermers' and had their stuff everywhere. All over the floor, sides, shelves, they'd taken up all 4 lockers between the pair of them with clothes, and the floor was covered in more clothes, makeup, documents, you name it. Now there's a certain etiquette you live by when staying in a dorm - you keep your s*** tidy and in one area near or under your bed, and quite frankly they were taking the piss. If they wanted a room to themselves then they should pay for a twin, not a 4 bed dorm. As there was literally no way to even get into the room, let alone put anything we proceeded to clear a square area by the door so we could get into the room. One of them then got up and had the cheek to say we should put our stuff under the bed (quite how we could even get to the bed was beyond me) and leave her stuff where it was so she could see it all. Now anyone reading this who knows me well probably just cringed at this and would already know what my reaction would have been. Quite frankly it was I don't bloody think so, we exchanged some heated words and we said she had more than enough of her s*** all over the room our stuff was staying where it was. Seriously, don't f***ing mess with me on stuff like this, especially when I've had no sleep for 2 days and feel like s***! She went to the shower and when she came back realised she really wasn't going to win with us, and proceeded to clear some of the shelves and sides of her stuff. Glad we're all agreed on that then.
Melbourne was a nice city and we were staying in a central location so everything was within walking distance. We sorted out our Wicked van for our road trip along the Great Ocean Road, mooched around town, went to an awesome Sunday Market, had lunch in a lovely suburb called St. Kilda where Selena to only ate a vegetarian meal but a Vegan one!Never thought I'd see the day, hahaha. I was getting pretty ill now and still not sleeping. I use to suffer with insomnia and it is the most frustrating thing in the world. Being absolutely knackered all day, crawl into bed exhausted and then just lay there awake for most of the night until you have to get up again. I spent virtually the whole of Sunday in bed, expect for getting a freshly squeezed juice and half the contents of the chemist. Selena went out and got us a Thai meal as it's my favourite and I felt like s***, worked a treat :) - absolute legend.