1st Oct 08
So after a very eventful day yesterday we eventually managed to get to bed after waiting for Leannes washing at Midnight! We got up at 3am and caught the taxi to the airport ready for our flight from Brisbane to Mackay for us to start our job in Oz! After arriving the Mackay we found no-one was waiting to pick us up! So we called the hotel and was tols someone was on their way and it was a bloke that looked like Kenny Rogers and was driving a red 2 door car! So after laughing for a bit as none of us had a clue who the hell Kenny Rogers where we waited outside for our lift. Our lift finally arrived and introduced himslf as Kenny and that he couldnt help us with our baackpacks into the car cos he has enpasema! We were then shocked to find that as soon as got in the car he sparked up a fag and started dragging of it along with using his inhaler all at the same time! This was our first insight into the oz people in the outback! All the way to the Hotel Kenny asked us what we had been told about the place and not to expect alot as its not the Ritz! We were slightly anxious at this point as Kenny just kept saying do you know what you have let yourself in for?? After arriving at the Hotel we were introduced to Bobby the owner,Jumbo his friend that helps out with the pub along with Billy and Lenny the lady that practically runs the place as Bobby just sits around getting drunk all day everyday! We had a bit of a chat in the pub before being shown to our room which was more like a stable for a horse. We got in there to find the bed had been slept in the night before and the sheets hadnt been changed and there was a horrible smell. We asked what the smell was and was told that they had had a fire in the room that morning cos someone had plugged in something that was too high a voltage for the socked! So we promptly moved rooms to yeat another stable this time there was no sheets at all a mouldy fridge and shower which was shared with flies and a toilet! We also had a back door which opened onto fields however it had no lock on it and it didnt shut flush to the frame so therefore we could see daylight through it which was reasurring! After having a little look around we headed back to the pub where Lenny told us to go and get some food and lent us her car. This was yet another experience all in itself! We walked out to the yard to find an old banger which didnt look safe at all to drive. Megan hopped into the drivers seat and i got in the Passengers side to find there was no handle on the outside to open the door but just a wire! After having a bit of laugh about the state of the car and how dirty it was Megan tried to wash the window screen to find only the passengers side one only worked! So still laughing with Leanne holding our bags on her lap as we didnt want them on the dirty floor we headed off for the only shop in the area for 30 mins! Here we bought food and then were asked by the shop assistant if we were passing through to do the coast! We replied with no we had just arrived to start work at the Kuttabull hotel, After watching her smile drop to a frown we asked what was wrong and she told us very briefly to get out of their asap as they use the staff. So after having a bit of a chat we thought we would at least give it a shot. Back at the Shack of a pub we worked from 5-10, it was okay apart from the men are on heat and everyone calls everyone brother and sister! After closing the pub up we were invited to a party at one of the locals 'houses' (mouldy caravan in reality). We decided to decline their kind offer and headed off back to the stable they called our room. After having a very long chat about the job we both decided that we couldnt stay there as we didnt feel safe and we would leave asap. So after cleaning the very dirty toilet (which had poo on it) we decided to try and catch some sleep ready to leave the following morning. After seeing a cockroach on the wall we decided to move our beds closer together only to find a huntsman spider beside Megans bed which moved to behind the fridge. So with us both freaking out about the spider and the cockroach we decided to sleep on one single bed spooning eachother with the radio on in the background so we couldn't hear the cockroaches moving about in the night!!! We recieved a text from Numo asking us how we were and we called him and explained about the disgusting place and that we had to get out of there asap, so as a true star that Numo is he booked us our flights for our return to Brisbane for Sat,we dont know what we would have done without him.
2nd Oct 08
After waking up late at 930 we decided to find Bob and Lenny and tell them of our decision to leave today. After a chat with Bob we found Lenny and explained everything to her of the job agency misleading us telling us it was a hotel which infact it was a shack that sells beer to locals. Lenny was really good about it and said she didnt blame us for leaving and that she was thankful we had let her know as usually when people arrive to work their and dont like it they do a runner in the night! After saying goodbye to everyone we headed off to Mackay for the 2 nights staying in a motel until our flight on the saturday night. The motel was the best thing that came out of our time of trying to work in the area as it was like heaven compared to the stable,it had a tv a kingsize bed a single bed and an en suite. The next few days where filled by us doing absolutley nothing and only venturing out of the room to buy food before watching movies on our tv. Just what we needed after our experience in the outback me thinks.
Sat 4th Oct 08
Today we checked out of the motel at 10 and had to wait till 730pm for our flight so we left our bags in reception and then headed to the shopping centre to kill some time. Shopping centres can become a very boring place when you have no money to spend so after a few ours gone we decided to head to the cinema. Along the walk here we came across 2 of the locals we had served at the pub on the 1 night we worked there (Matt & Dave). We had a bit of a chat and then they invited us for a drink, so we thought why not we have nothing better to do, so we headed off to a pub for a drink which turned out to be 6 or 7 so we never made it to the cinema in the end. The next thing we knew it was time for us to head back to the hostel and catch a taxi to the airport cos there was no way we were staying there not for no one. On board the plane we sat next Oliver who told us he was a record producer which we thought was pretty cool (although not sure if this is true). Arriving back in Brisbane we found all the buses and trains had stopped to town so we had to grab another very expensive cab to our hostel. Arriving at the Tinbillys for the night we spent the evening telling our roomates of our horrible few days with the job and bedbugs.
5th Oct 08
We checked out at 10 and spent a few ours at Peterpans catching up on our emails and facebook as we hadnt had any internet acces whilst away and we couldnt do much as we had our backpacks in tow not easy to do any sightseeing with them on our backs as it does feel like your carrying an elephant the whole time. We caught our bus to Byron Bay where we then checked into our hostel (Mainbeach) where we met our roomies James and Michelle. After having tea we all decided to go out for a few drinks in town we started at Lala Lounbge where we played a drinking game until we decided to head off for another bar. We had a drink in the Northern before heading back to lala lounge where by this time it was pumping so we threw some shapes on the dancefloor then headed off for a Pizza yum yum yum.
6th Oct 08
Today with a bit of a sore head we headed off on the job hunt asking in the many restaurants and cafes if any staff where needed to find nothing was available. After walking around all day leaving our cv's at many places we gave one of the hostels a bash and was pleasently suprised to find they where looking for 2 bus drivers starting the following week. So after enquiring about the job we were told to head back the following day to see the boss. We spent the evening with a walk along the beach and then chatting to the Jewish couple Lee & Itay.
7th Oct 08
Today we were woken up by a new room mate at 9am (Jackson) of which was very noisey which none of us were too impressed with so we all headed out in our own directions. We got the local paper and rang up about a few of the jobs before heading back to the hostel and spending the rest of the day on the roof terrace reading and sunbathing.
8th Oct 08
After being woke up by Jackson again we decided we would spend the day doing the walk to the lighthouse only to find upon starting that Leannes camera had broken so we changed our plans and spent the day with James sunbathing by the beach reading and chatting. We went for another walk at night then chilled out with the Lee & Itay again befor heading to bed. Leanne & James got woke up by Jackson at 230am tapping away on his keyboard after both finding this incredibly annoying we went down to the tv room and watched friends for about 45 mins. We then went back to the room where both Leanne & James told Jackson to either stop and go to sleep or leave the room. All in all we got about 4 hours sleep this night!!!
9th/10th Oct 08
These 2 days where spent by both of us just chilling out doing what travellers do best.
11th Oct 08
Today we spent the day shopping in Byron then meeting Lee & Itay for the long walk to the lighthouse to visit the most Easterly point of Australia. After the trek here we took many pics and then spent a bit of time watching whales and dolphins swim about which was lovely as the sun was setting! We then headed back to the hostel where we booked our trip to Nimbin (the hippie capital)
12th Oct 08
Got picked up at 10 by Jims alternative tours to Nimbin.We had a drink in a local pub along the way before heading into Nimbin where we had 2 hours here for us to explore the tiny town and shops. Nimbin was cool we looked around the shops visited the museum had a bite to eat and watched some of the hippies in the street. After taking many pics we then got back on the bus and headed for Minyon Falls where we took many pics of the waterfall and then ate some kiwis. We then headed back to the hostel and packed ready to leave tomorrow for Surf camp.
13th Oct 08
After catching the bus at 8am we arrived at surf camp about 12 and had a tour around the camp site got allocated our rooms then went for a wonder. Our surf lesson started at 130pm with John one of our coaches who told us the do's and dont's of surfing before passing over to Josh who taught us how to look cool heading down to the beach with our surfboards! We were told you only look at someone lying on the beach one, you walk with a bit of a bounce and do the surf sign with a high pitched weeeeep! Very very funny lesson we thought we were learning how to surf not how to look cool! We then put our wetsuits on grabbed out boards and headed for the beach for our practical lesson. Here we told how to count for the wave before paddleing how to move up the board and eventually stand up! Sounds easy in theory! We had some group pics taken then headed for the waves. With the help of the Instructors Leanne Managed to stand up a few times and then promptly fall off whilst Megan managed to get as far as on her knees before falling off. Surfing was soooooo funny we looked like whales trying to surf it just wasnt happening! So after 2 hours we resorted to bodyboarding instead!!! We then had showers then watching our pics on the big screen had tea then watched a dvd.
14th Oct 08
After a very early start we had breakfast at 6 and got on the coach for 7 for our long day ahead of us with the drive down to Sydney. For lunch we stopped for an hour for a bbq by the river which was nice but would have been better if it wasnt raining and the sun was out! We watched a dvd towards the end of the journey before coming into Sydney over the Harbour bridge and seeing the Opera house in its full glory. We checked into Maze Backpackers where we are to spend the next few months here. The Oz experience organised a table at a local travellers pub called the gaff where we had a free meal a free drink and danced the night away- what a way to spend our first night in Sydney hey??
15th/16th Oct 08
These 2 days we didnt do much apart from job hunt on the internet and hand out Cv's around Sydney.
17th Oct 08
Today we heard from Leah who said she had orgainsed work for us with a noodle company called Wagamamas for the night. So at 430 we turned up at Hyde Park where we spent the evening on a noodle stall for Wagamamas seeling noodles and snacks for the festival which was celebrating oriental food. We finished at 1030 and walked back to the hostel stinking of noodles so we had showers then headed to bed!