After all waking up at 3am and then again at 4am and then again at 5am and then again at 6am we decided to stop trying and bit the jet-lag bullet. We breakfasted and sat patiently waiting for what was billed to be seven hours of 'orientation' - Power Point presentations. Although anyone who knows Maz knows she loves a bit of Powerpointing this was PAINFUL. Lissie fell asleep midway through taking notes and Amy and Maz were maturely writing naughty notes to each other throughout the whole thing... this is probably why we have not got jobs or anywhere to stay.
We were let go 'early' to have a four hour nap before heading back to the harbour (our favourite place in the world) for Fish and Chips. We finally made some friends! These seagulls have not left us alone since and even Lissie has grown quite fond of 'Gully'. On the walk home Maz realised that her cardigan was covered in an ominous brown cream... someone had generously shared their ice-cream with her without her knowledge and she had to carry it back in a subway bag.
On our romantic walk home we were discussing linguistics and Amy pointed out an easy way to acquire an Australian accent. This was to repeat over and over again 'Where is my Clover?' We are sure Lissie will get the hang of it soon enough.
As we loudly practiced our new favourite phrase Amy was distracted by a dark shadow swooping through the air. Maz and Lissie, unsuccessfully, tried to convince her it was a bird but as it got directly overhead, there was no deny it was a four foot long BAT. Hello Australia! Funnily enough we decided to miss 'Scubar' that night and ran screaming all the way home.
We checked out of YHA Central, ditched Sydney and got on the first ferry to Manly. It was a rainy grey day, our spirits were already not at their best. Out of pure desperation we hoisted our heavy bags up the road to Manly backpackers and handed over whatever they were asking for a night in their establishment.
As we approached our room, which was wedged open with a dirty Fugg we entered the 'party room'. Six lovely beds covered in empty bottles, sun oil and pants. We just closed our eyes, dumped our stuff, moved the Fugg and walked into town.
On the way out we inspected the toilets to find free Chlamydia testing kits. Comforting.
Manly is a lovely seaside town with charm and character. The wharf is all of ten minutes from the beach and they are connected by The Corso which is a great stretch of shops and bars. We bought phones to feel more connected and then had our first mini-meltdowns in the Internet Café. We had obviously bitten off more than we could chew. We couldn't find accommodation, no signs of jobs and everything was looking to be too expensive for us. We left the internet café in very low spirits and sat on the cold windy beach wondering what the hell we were doing there...
On the hunt for some dinner to fill the gaping hole which had now formed in our chests, we bumped into Katy Spencer (who went to Exeter with Liz and Maz). She was like an angel sent from above. She reassured us about the chances of getting jobs and she was going to grab the paper for us in the morning and help us find a flat. Hunger now replaced anxiety and we were soon tucking into the best $10 steak we have ever had.
Fulfilled we went back to our hostel and had a sweaty night's sleep, determined to find somewhere new in the morning.