I'm now staying in dorm room at Sydney City backpacker's hostel in the centre of Sydney - which means that I can now walk to work in only 30 minutes (which makes a lovely change from having to commute!!)
The hostel is basic to say the least, but it's a fairly quiet place (which is good when you have to get up for work in the mornings) and the rooms are clean (with the exception of the 10 bed dorm which was disgustingly messy and smelt of unwashed men...and socks!) and they provide free breakfast (which, if you're sneaky, you can use to make a free packed lunch as well!)
My first full day in the hostel was a Saturday, so I decided to head down to the Rocks Market which is on every weekend and sells anything and everything Australian. I didn't actually buy anything there, but it was a nice way to waste a few hours!
There were a couple of new people in my room when I got back - Stefanie from Hamburg and Beth from Cornwall. I got along really well with Beth and we all went out for 'one beer' (Beth had to be up early for her flight to Uluru).
Stefanie went home after 2 beers, Beth and I went in search of a bar that had cocktails (which is harder to find down this end of the city than you might think!). We found one in the end - it was dead in there (even on a Saturday night!!) so after one drink there we decided to head back.......and then decided to stop for a nightcap in the Mountbatten (which is the pub that the hostel is above!)
So, we sat there with our baileys and milk and our free popcorn watching AFL (which is awesome - it's kinda like rugby except that it's a little more violent.....and all of the players have necks!!)
Beth came back on Tuesday and I met her after work and we headed to 333 Bar near Wynyard Station for dinner (Tuesday is $10 burger night - and the burgers there are good!!). From here we headed to the Three Wise Monkeys (which is fast becoming our 'local') for a schooner. Then it was on to Mother Pancake's in the World Centre for a crepe before deciding that we needed more for dessert, so we headed to a cake shop that Beth knew of in China Town called 1st Cake Cafe. The cakes there are sooooo good!
Now contentedly full with cakey goodness we headed back towards the hostel........and made what was to become our usual detour into the Mountbatten for our nightcap of baileys and milk and a basket of free popcorn (although there was no AFL on tonight! Bah humbug!)
On Wednesday I met Beth after work and we headed to the original Harry's de Wheels Cafe near Finger Wharf. Harry's started as a pie van that was always parked somewhere around the Naval Base and was very popular with the guys. They got so tired of trying to move the van on that they finally gave in and gave Harry his own little plot of land - and this is exactly where Harry's now stands.
They serve something called a tiger, which is your choice of pie topped with mashed potato, mushy peas with gravy in a pool in the middle! I have to admit, I was sceptical - but I am a Harry's convert! Definitely going back again!!
We sat on the wall by Harry's to finish our tigers before walking to Circular Quay where we stopped to snap a few pics of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. After that we headed back to Three Wise Monkey's (3WM) for another beer (XXXX beer - really isn't bad for $3.50!!). Next on the schedule was...cake! So we headed back to the cake shop in China Town before we finished out last night out as we finished all nights out - with a baileys and milk and a free basket of popcorn in the Mountbatten!!
The following weekend I met a new friend - Cyrille. We decided to head out for the day to walk the Manly Scenic Walk which takes you from Manly to Spit Bridge.
We walked to Circular Quay and jumped on the ferry over to Manly where we stopped briefly to have a look around the town before setting off round the bays along the sign posted track. The Scenic Walk takes you round several bays, through lots of bush and across several small secluded beaches. We finally reached Spit Bridge at around 4pm and decided to head back to the hostel before we started losing light (sunset is at around 5pm at the moment!)
The rest of that evening was spent avoiding the 21st birthday party that was happening in the hostel (which wasn't that difficult since the birthday girl was already paralytic by 7pm and had thrown up all over her bed - I'm so glad I moved out of that room!)
The following day Cerille and I decided to make the trip up to Palm Beach aka Home and Away's Summer Bay!
We jumped on the L90 bus from Central Station for the very long journey up to Palm Beach (the journey takes about 90 minutes, but does dump you right on the beach front!!)
We walked down the beach, which is a deep orange colour, watching the surfers and enjoying the sunshine. Then we headed to the surf club. This is the surf club that they use in the show, so in true tourist fashion, we had to get some pictures in front of it! We stopped for a bite to eat here before we had to head back to the city in time for Cyrille to meet up with relatives of her au pair family who were going to give her a lift home.
I made it to Bondi too - of course, in true Pam style, I didn't exactly take the easy route there. Instead of getting the bus, I decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and walked there (only took me 2 hours...each way!). The beach is stunning, with picture perfect golden sand and fantastic waves! Thankfully it's not that busy during the week, so you could choose your spot, lay out your towel and chill the day away under a perfect blue sky! And to think - the Aussies call this winter!! Ha ha ha!
Doubt I'll be having many more adventures for a while since I'll be working in Sydney until the end of June.
So I'll catch up with you then.