Last Week in Australia
I think it's the weather, if it wasn't so cloudy I might be tempted to stay for a few more weeks. But it's raining a lot, I have a cough, I miss everyone and it's the longest I've ever been away from the Librarian. So I'm going home.
I probably need to work myself up to solo travelling a bit at a time. A year's stay was perhaps a little optimistic for my first adventure. And the distance. Maybe I should have started in Dublin or somewhere closer.
The time difference has made it hard to keep in touch with everyone in the UK so there were long periods of time where I had to amuse myself. It's harder than expected, I'm actually a tough crowd. I have a new found appreciation for people who are able to entertain me for concentrated periods.
So maybe I'll take it a bit easier with a few weeks round Europe and build myself up to it. Or find someone I can tolerate that wants to do it too so I don't have to spend so much time with me. Either way I'm sure I'll go back but it's out of my system for now.
This is the final entry detailing the last week down under. The plot spoiler is… I'm home now.
Back in Canberra for Christmas I went sightseeing to fully embrace being a tourist. I went to Parliament House, the War Memorial and Telstra Tower. It's like the BT tower and when you reach the dizzying heights of the viewing platform you can see all of Canberra. We even popped into the museum to learn a little about the Aboriginals.
The following day was Christmas Eve and it was surprisingly sunny. I was excited about Christmas but disappointed that after two and a half weeks in Oz I still hadn't seen any Kangaroos. Apparently it's a common misconception that Kangaroos are hopping around all over the place playing with their Koala friends.
Apparently there was a place nearby where you would occasionally see Kangaroos, so in the afternoon we headed up there. I was warned not to get too excited as we might not find one. Luckily I saw one straight away, before we'd even parked. As we got out of the car and walked a little way up the grass verge we saw a mother and baby, then about eight of them hanging out in the shade. There was a massive one laying down, when he stood up he was over six foot and a little bit scary.
I turned around to check if he had any other friends and saw another twenty of them jumping over the fence and running across the grass. It was so cool that there were so many in the wild this close to people's houses. I even saw one with a joey in her pouch. I could have stayed there all day but I was worried about spiders in the grass.
On Christmas Day it was cloudy and rained in the afternoon but it was pretty warm. We sat outside in the morning and had a pot of tea. Just being outside in summer clothes on Christmas Day was so weird. But it was lovely. Even on the other side of the world I played games, drank wine, ate good food and got fab presents. The best present was the one I got myself - a flight home.
On Boxing Day I visited the dam and the observatory. It was the last chance for a bit of sightseeing and I'd definitely seen a lot of Canberra. The observatory was in the area of Canberra where the bush fires ravaged ten years ago (bush fires - yet another thing to be terrified of in Australia). But it was interesting to look round it and it was so sunny my nose actually got a bit pink.
In the evening I had dinner with Erica and her mum at a Thai restaurant on the lake. It was my last evening in Australia and I thought I might be feeling a little bit sad. There was a part of me that was disappointed I was leaving so quickly, I could have stayed for a few more weeks. Maybe a couple of months and got used to living away from everyone.
But I was just so pleased to be going home and seeing everyone. I couldn't believe I had actually made it to Australia in the first place. And my time there had exceeded my travel time, so I was okay with only doing three weeks of my years visa. I knew deep down that I wouldn't have done it for a year anyway.
The trouble is as soon as I decide I don't like something (or someone). Then that's it. And the people that know me best won't be surprised that once I was bored I came up with a new idea for my life and flew home.
The following day I had a coach booked to take me to the airport in Sydney. My flight home was that evening. I was only doing two flights this time. Fourteen hours (eurgh) to Abu Dhabi then seven hours to London. It was my first time flying on my own so I was a bit scared I'd do something ridiculous like board the wrong plane, lose my passport or fall asleep in Abu Dhabi airport and miss my flight.
At Sydney airport they were obviously suspicious of me because I was all twitchy nervous and travelling alone. So I was sent through the full body scanner. Although I knew I didn't have drugs taped to me I was terrified. Could anybody have done that without me noticing?
Luckily I was clear and went through to the airport to enjoy a glass of wine. I sat writing my final instalment in the departures lounge with a big smile on my face. I couldn't wait to get back to England. I heard it was snowing….
List of achievements from my brief adventure:
- Cleared immigration in Australia.
- Didn't get bitten by a deadly spider/snake or a crocodile.
- Saw a lot of Kangaroo's and didn't get punched by one.
- Learnt some Australian terms (I'm a winging Pom).
- Flew on my own and successfully reached Heathrow without any mishaps.
- Spent Christmas away from my entire family and didn't cry … honest.
- Travelled back in time (left Sydney Saturday night arrived in London Sunday lunchtime despite twenty seven hours travelling time, if that's not time travel….)
Stay tuned for my blog about Dublin ; ) Xx