Journal bought to you by Sophie
Saturday 10th March
The plane journey went surprisingly quickly despite the fact that I woke up with a crick in my neck due to sleeping at such a funny angle. No one pushed their seat back on my head so that was a good sign, instead Tami had to suffer it. Talk about a role reversal. Tami was a legend and nearly beat Jon’s record by watching 4 films. The plane food was also delicious, although breakfast wasn’t as good... We had delicious cous cous and roasted vegetables with cheese and crackers and a salad followed by Solero icecream (now we’re talking!) and hot chocolate with a marshmallow in! Breakfast was this random cheese thing with tomatoes and an omelette which wasn’t too good but we had been brought a bag of snacks earlier with dried fruit and crisps and chocolate in it so I was happy. Yes, I am eating chocolate before you say anything.
Our first sight of Australia was a vision of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House from a bird’s eye view. Breathtaking. (Tami took a photo from the plane which you shouldn’t expect to see anytime soon…) We arrived at 2:30pm and were waved through customs like royalty. They bowed down to us and everything. OK slight exaggeration. However we were being stared at a lot. They were clearly amazed by our radiant beauty.
I nearly had a small heart attack when I realized my sleeping bag had been ripped off and was mid rant about how I was going to sue the authorities when I saw it being held on by a small thread. Thank God for miracles. We changed the last of our Rand notes at the exchange (and got an amazing 7 dollars for it!) and then called the shuttle bus to pick us up to take us to the hostel. It was quite hilarious as Tami and I messed up again by waiting at the wrong pick up point like we had done in Cape Town! Clearly following instructions given to us by the locals is not our strong point…Eventually we were found by the driver, crammed into the front seat next to him and were given a short tour of the posh hotels we could not afford in a million years as we dropped other passengers off. We were then told our hostel called ‘The Pink House’ was in actual fact situated in the red light district. Clearly that is why we were dropped off last.. We could spot our accommodation from 30 miles away as it was exactly as the name proclaimed…pink. It reminded me somewhat of an abandoned flamingo, lost from its flock. Anyway enough of the poetic notions. We grabbed our bags and went to check in. The place itself is very nice. You get free breakfast, free internet access for half an hour everyday, a spacious kitchen that has olive oil that you can actually use (you do not know how frustrating it was not having it provided at the Ashanti Lodge) We had opted to be in a 10bed mixed dorm as it was the cheapest option available. Tami and I were required to share a double bed bottom bunk, very cosy.
These are our room mates;
¬ Katie and Katie AKA Evil Katie and Good Katie – two lovely Nottingham lasses who have reached the end of their 6 month trip of Australia and New Zealand.
¬ The Godfather – an Israeli girl who has been named The Godfather as no one can pronounce her name…
¬ Simon and Emma – an English brother and sister planning on working further down the coast, fruit picking, for the next few months.
¬ Richard and Paul – the lucky English guys who get to sleep above us in a double bed. Very cool and laid back.
¬ A Spare Bed
The hostel is situated, as said in the red light district, called King’s Cross but is extremely safe to go out in. There are, it must be said strip clubs every other shop but there is a very pretty fountain to make it a bit less sleazy and a bit more cosmopolitan.
Once we had dumped our bags we went to find the local supermarket called Woolworths (I cannot believe how many countries have shops called Woolworths – I have had to take a picture of me outside every single one demonstrating my disbelief). We couldn’t find it anywhere and on asking the third person were told to turn around and found we were actually standing right outside it. I blame the jet lag, the ozzies clearly thought we were mad. I never knew that pommies were English people, I have been calling all the Australians it so no wonder they were going mental. Apparently Australians hate the English. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because we beat them at cricket or maybe it’s because we dumped all our convicts on them. Either way so far all the Australians I have met have been as nice as pie. Once we had stocked up on food, we cooked dinner and then pretty much went to sleep, exhausted from the flight. We made it though and that’s the main thing! Congratulations to us! WOOOOOO!
Love to all xxx
PS Matt, I hope you are feeling a bit calmer now that we are out of South Africa, Australia seems a lot safer so don’t panic!