So our last day in NZ/first day in Oz turned out to be a bit of a disaster! We had quite a lazy morning and killed time until we went to drop our car off at about 1. We got charged $350 for a little chip in the windscreen that we thought we were covered for under 'wear and tear', but apparently this was not the case. The worst thing is it was impossible to avoid as the roads are so shoddy and most of them have not been covered.
The day got even worse when we arrived at the airport and had the longest check-in ever! Before you are allowed on the plane they check that you have a visa to enter Australia, which makes sense, but the lady was having problems finding Sam's, so went and phoned the Oz government who told her that his working visa had expired! When he first applied for it in September last year the travel agent told him it would start in May, so he would have 12 months from May to enter the country, but it actually started in September, meaning that he can't work here and can only stay for 3 months. He managed to get a tourist visa at the airport so he could at least get in but was a bit gutted, as you can only have one working visa in your lifetime unless you work on a farm for 3 months.
So we sat feeling a bit sorry for ourselves on the flight, but it turned out our day could still get a little bit worse...When we arrived at immigration I was expecting to be granted a working visa, as about a month ago (the Travel agent said a week in advance would be fine) I applied for one and paid about a hundred pounds to do so. When we got our passports stamped, however, it seemed that the application had not been processed and so to get my working visa I have to leave Australia and then re-enter, which I'm sure would cost a lot more than i could possibly earn in a few months, which means I have literally just thrown about a hundred quid away. We had planned to come back to Sydney and work for a few months after Melbourne, but now we can't because it would of course be illegal, and we only have 3 months in the country unless we want to get deported, which wasn't really in our plan.
So we gathered our bags and headed to 'Original backpackers' hostel, which seemed pretty naff for the money we paid, as the 10 bed dorm was pretty cosy and very messy. We met up with John in his hotel (which is a palace) and had some food and a few drinks before heading back to our dungeon, which was ok until about 4am when a couple sleeping in the bed under Sam started something which seemed to last all night, and was just traumatising the whole time! At least they had sheets round the bed, so I didn't want to claw my eyes out like i did in Chile.
Needless to say we woke up feeling very tired and grumpy, so we after walking round sydney trying to find a cheap private room (the only ones that existed were all fully booked) we changed dorms. John's Aussie 4th cousin offered to be his tour guide for the day so we tagged along-we headed to a little bar which sort of overlooked the Harbour bridge and had some fish and chips, then we went to Bondi beach which was very nice indeed-it's been quite warm since we've been here which is awesome! Once we dropped his cousin off at home we went to the Opera houise and Harbour-very nice indeed! It looked grey and we were all a bit shocked that it wasn't white, but then the sun shone on it and it just seemed to glow! That night we went to the world bar with the people from our hostel-it was quite cool and we got quite a few free drinks, plus I got champagne for being a girl which is always nice. They had some half-drunk half-crazy people singing kareoke very badly, but the DJ guy had an awesome voice, so we had a little dance until about 2 when we headed home.
The next day we had a rather long lie in and an uneventful day-headed to McDonalds, then Starbucks and we watched 'Australia' which is an awesome film!!! It pretty much gives an 'idiots guide to the history of Oz' so I felt a bit more educated. It was a bit odd a everyone clapped at the end which they never do at home-but it was a very good film so we nearly joined in.
Yesterday we used John as out driver and explored a bit of the blue mountains-we saw the Three sisters (3 rocks) and had an awesome view of what we think is 'the bush', and even saw some Kangaroos! We drove to the 'red hands cave' which is a cave with Aboriginal art work on it, but there was a big bit of plastic protecting it so it was a bit of a let down, as we were expecting just to walk into a cave and see it. On the way back we had a bit of a crash with a Korean guy (who seemed to be driving on our side of the road)-John's rental car seemed to be ok but the other guy's car had a dent in the front. It was pretty unbelievable as the first thing he said when he got out of the car was 'How far to the caves?'-stupid tourist. john thinks his car may be leaking something now so may swap it for another at the rental company-courtesy of work.
Today was meant to be our beach day, but it seems to be quite rainy so we may have to give it a miss. Tonight we're going to join in the BBQ at our hostel and hopefully the pub crawl too.