The end of the great Oz adventure
Trip Start Sep 02, 2009
72Trip End Oct 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
world square hostel
Everything seemed a bit dirtier and visceral than Melbourne or Perth, and there seemed to be more and more homeless people the further east we had travelled across Oz. After encountering a few drunk people who made us join in a game of 'guess what the billboard says with only having 5 seconds to look at it' our train arrived into Kings Cross where we discovered, to our horror, hordes of people (and an equal amount of police, both on foot and on horseback, which is always worrying) along with sick stained floors and drunken people fighting, plus a general feeling of anarchy in the area
With ease we found our hostel and knew that things would be better in the daytime. We were greeted by a seemingly friendly Irish person who yelled out 'Welcome to De Palms' (Irish accent). We were told we had no booking (but we had booked over the internet) and we were offered a 10 bed dorm which was cheaper, so we accepted. When Amy explained that we had already paid a deposit so we shouldn't have to pay the full cost of the room we were told that we had to pay the full amount and couldn't have our deposit back until the manager had arrived. We were told that the people in the room were really good, really quiet and that they were clean, so we thought 10 bed dorm seemed okay.
As we were being led upstairs I began to think that a 10 bed dorm wasn't such a good idea and as we entered the room... well the only way I can describe what I saw would be to say a bunch of apes had escaped from the zoo and set up home in this room: It stank of feet and was littered with clothes, makeup and everything else people seem to leave around when they have been living somewhere for a long period of time.
We woke up in the morning after a good sleep and, after using the one shower provided for 10 people, we went downstairs and had breakfast
The first day we did as all tourists do: Wandered around to the main attractions, had a good look at everything and took loads of pictures. It was a very beautiful, sunny day and, to our relief, everything did look much better in the day. We walked through the botanical gardens and saw some noisy parrot like birds flying around causing mayhem which was funny. After that initial amusement we noticed that we could see the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, which were much more impressive in real life. That was a bonus because, as we've learned on our travels, things don't always look how you expect them to look, which is sometimes disappointing. We got closer and took yet more pictures, sussed out the harbour area, then Amy bought some aboriginal art and we walked to the other side of the bridge. We walked through the Sunday markets and it turned out to be a really chilled out day.
That night we went to get some food from Kings Cross. We decided to get a Large pizza, and the only vegetarian pizza was a very elaborate sounding one which had asparagus, walnut, goats cheese, aubergine, zucchini (courgette) artichoke... and many other interesting ingredients. It was actually quite gross in the end.
The second day we went to Darling Harbour, but on the way we bumped into a lady dressed as a bat. First instincts were to avoid her but she said we could see a live bat which seemed like fun. Little did we know it would be a 'mega bat' called a 'flying fox', which basically looked like a fox with wings. It was pretty insane looking and it spread out its wings which were huge. After that detour we headed to the harbour where we saw a guy standing on an unsteady platform talking about how he was going to swallow or juggle some fire, but he never stopped talking and after about 10 minutes we got bored. We went a bit further down to see some break dancing which was led by a very enthusiastic and comical man from the Bronx who, after building up the crowds expectations, ACTUALLY delivered something spectacular with his group of dancers... and a pretty unnecessary tap dancer.
The next day we finally checked out of the De Palms! We moved to the much more organised and much, much friendlier World Square Hostel, which brought immediate relief. It was closer to the centre of town which was useful for food and tourism. We did our laundry and went to Bondi beach for 2 hours, where we had some pizza on the beach and then decided to come down the next day as well, when the weather had improved. That night we watched a film called Salt in the cinema (an alright film, maybe wait for the DVD though) and went to bed ready to get up early to go to Bondi the next morning
We arrived early at Bondi beach and did a Coastal walk (Becca's Dave had suggested doing it in an email he sent Amy before we left Perth). The walk was amazing and beautiful helped by the fact that it was a really sunny, hot day. We went looking in rock pools for crabs and things, and after that watched the surfers for a bit, before getting some lunch and heading back to the hostel, where we drank in the cheap bar ($3 a drink! Whoop!) and played table football and cards (Amy thrashed me at both). That evening we went to see the harbour at night where we walked around and saw the bridge and the opera house all lit up.
The next day we went to the Aquarium and saw all the sharks native to Australian waters and the great barrier reef. It was a great place and we spent hours there. There was a tunnel that you could walk through under the water to see sharks and massive rays swim above you. That was really cool.
On the last day we had a proper look around the Botanical gardens and had a look for some of the flying foxes we saw a few days earlier. It turns out they weren't hard to find at all: Hanging from the trees like giant coconuts. It was a really hot day and we were really excited about going to New Zealand (we had booked our 'Jucy crib' a few days earlier and were ready for some new adventures).
Our time in Australia had come to an end and, even though it felt like that when left Perth, it was still good to have seen the East Coast before we left. Thanks for having us to stay Australia! (That last sentence was written by Amy...)