Arrival in Oz

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September 3rd 2006
Published: January 2nd 2007
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The flight from Auckland to Sydney was ok, not as nice as some of the other flights we have taken but we got to Oz ok. When we landed it was quite sunny and we managed to get a shuttle bus right to the hostel we had booked. The hostel is on Williams street, half way between the city centre and Kings Cross (the red light district). It is a good hostel with a roof terrace that has a nice view. Another bonus was the bar below to the side that had a great deal on steak, we had it twice while there. When we got to our room we were surprised to see that there was only one bunk in it - we were expecting a five bed dorm. The room was big enough for five beds. As it was nice and spacious we could spread out and not have to re pack every five minutes, we were really quite pleased with that.

Our walk that evening took us to the Opera House and the harbour. It was weird to see it in person. We sat down on a bench for a while and just watched the people round
Wet arseWet arseWet arse

Under thommo's instructions i sat down on something to have a photo taken. It was wet so my arse got soaked!
it. Even on a murky night it is a popular place. There were people using the steps for exercise and of course a lot of tourists taking pictures. So after we joined the picture taking we walked back to the hostel for some well earned rest.

When we got up we decided to go and get all the boring things done, like activate bank account, get tax number and Medicare. The day was nice and sunny and we actually managed to get nearly everything we needed to do, done. This also involved sitting in a travel agency for nearly 3 hours trying to decide what to do with our time here. The agent was really nice and very patient with us (cheers Sylvia!!). We are really not decisive by nature so after deciding on what we wanted to do we took away some information to decide the best way to do it. It was already evening by the time we left there and we walked back into the city centre and did some food shopping. By the time we reached the hostel we were both so drained of energy we headed straight to bed.

The following day we
Sydney Opera HouseSydney Opera HouseSydney Opera House

Bit of a glummy day!
ventured into the city again, this time so Thommo could get his retail therapy out of the way! After a few hours of shopping we had a welcome break and met up with Titley from Uni. After going into a few more shops we went to the pub for some food, a cold drink and a catch up comparing travel experiences. We then booked ourselves on to the Opera House tour for the next day, it was recommended to us by several friends that have done it before

I can honestly say that I agree with their recommendations, it was a good tour and so strange to be inside such an iconic building. We were lucky enough to go into the main room, apparently this is not often possible. After the tour we decided to purchase a discounted ticket for a performance that evening - no not an opera! We walked around the Circular Quay area in the afternoon, taking in the views and getting a few more snaps. The play at the Opera House was called Honour Bound and is about David Hicks and his treatment in Guantanomo Bay prison. It was very moving and a powerful reminder of the things that go on in this ill world.

I joined the library in the morning. It made such a difference to be able to use a wireless network and it was even better that it was free!!! I spent several hours trying to make bookings and update this blog - sorry everyone I am still very behind! In the evening we went to visit Titley at his flat.

Once again I headed to the library in the morning and then chilled out in the afternoon before going to Titley’s flat for some pre going out drinks. Managed to drink a fair amount of goon (cheap boxed wine, just in case you didn’t know) and have a laugh trying to follow instructions from a magazine about palm reading! Once we were all a bit drunk we left his flat and headed to a few bars near the central station. It turned out to be a very very messy drunken night. It all started to go wrong when walking back. One minute Thommo and Titley were right behind me and then when I looked a short while later I could not see them anywhere. Anyway after walking in
Me and TitleyMe and TitleyMe and Titley

On our night out in Sydney
the wrong direction for a while I managed to get a taxi back to the hostel. I would not normally get lost even in a new city but I think the drink must have fried that part of my brain. At the door to the hostel I discovered that my swipe card was not working, I had told reception before going out and they had said it would now work. Anyway, so there was very drunk me upset about being lost and alone in a newish big city and now locked out of the hostel. I had seen an intercom over the past few days but it was not there. So for some reason I started pushing things, there were a few buttons, I ended up pushing the fire alarm and setting it off!!! Whoops! I could not believe the noise and don’t even thing the glass broke on the unit. I stood there and just waited for the chaos to begin. First of all the hostel workers came out and then the fire brigade turned up! I was so embarrassed when the hostel worker told me to just go to bed, I do not think I was making much sense at that point. My phone was in the hostel so when I got in I text Thommo to let him know I was home safely. We still don’t really understand how we got separated.

In the morning I went to say my apologises to the girl, at first she didn’t really except them but when I carried on she was ok about it and just said she was so surprised I just stood there and waited. Apparently it gets set off a fair amount but normally the people push it and run away. Well I just didn’t see the point as I needed to get in and thought it would be best just to tell the fire brigade it was a accident. That has to be the silliest thing I have done since being away, actually I would say the silliest thing for a long time! Anyway, as you can imagine I was pretty hung over the following day so we just sorted out washing and read for most of the day. Then in the evening we visited Titley again and got another large dose of TV. Of course I had to live through the embarrassment of telling the boys what I had got up too.

We finalised our plans for the following month with Sylvia on the Monday. Again this took a fair amount of time. She was so helpful and patient with all the questions we, well I, threw at here. As we had only put aside a month to complete the entire East Coast we wanted to book the whole thing so we didn’t have to spend time thinking about where we would stay etc. So everything was booked up and paid for and there was lots to look forwards to.

We visited Kings Cross in the early evening and found a lovely shop selling nice sweets and lots of things from England. We also looked around for a hostel to book for NYE, this was not a easy task. Even though it was only the beginning of September most of the hostels were booked up already, some booked up from a few months earlier! We visited Titley one last time that day and then went back to the hostel to pack.

We managed to squeeze in quite a lot of things after checking out in the morning. Including the Sky tower
Me up the SkytowerMe up the SkytowerMe up the Skytower

Yet another tall building that we went up, nice views
and the Oz trek. I think the view was great from the observation deck but the lift up there was amazing slow. It palled in comparison to any of the tall buildings we have ventured up during our trip. We also took a walk around the Rocks and brought lunch. We still had a few hours left before we were due to catch the train to Windsor so we went to the cinema to watch Snakes on a Plane. It was then time to catch the train out west to see Nathan. We had first met him in Canada and he had so kindly offered to put us up for a few days. The train station was busy but we managed to get tickets and get on the train with all of our bags. It was crowded and awkward to begin with but we had plenty of stops to go so we eventually got seats. When we arrived at the station in Windsor Nathan’s girlfriend kindly picked us up and took us to his house. That evening we had dinner and caught up.

Nathan has an Xbox so for the following day we spent a long time getting reacquainted with Halo! I really like that game. In the evening Rachelle picked us up and we went to her parents house for a roast dinner!!! I couldn’t believe our luck! Only been in the country for a week or so and we were having a roast cooked for us. They made us feel so welcome and the food was really nice, Rachelle’s mum even made roast puddings for the first time. We also got to see our first Huntsman spider, it was massive and really orange. Luckily it was between the window and the screen so we were safe. After eating such a large dinner I just crashed when we got in.

In the morning Nathan kindly took us to the Blue Mountains, its not too far from where he lives. The first place we stopped at was Walls lookout, we were so lucky to have the whole thing to ourselves it was fantastic. The area is more vast than I ever expected, the views were fantastic. Anyway, after taking it all in and getting some pictures we turned around and headed back to the car. On the way we saw some black cockatoos and a black spider with a red head, strange creatures in this land. I was in front and managed to walk into a spiders web, which I didn’t mention was strange as there shouldn’t have been any after we had walked the track a while before. It turned out we had come off the track we were on and were lost. It only took us about 3 mins to find the right track but it made us realise just how easy it is to get lost there. We then headed to the very touristy area known as the Three Sisters. We went for a short walk around the area and then after taking some snaps we went for lunch in Springwood. We played a few games of Halo when we got back and then went to watch Rachelle in a five aside match in the evening.

In the morning we chilled out for a bit, yes playing Halo again. We were heading out that evening so we decided to have a few drinks at Nathan’s house before hand. Then Rachelle kindly drove us to the Mean Fiddler Pub. This is no pub by English standards! It was massive, it had several dance areas and a big eating court. The only thing we were really surprised by though was the number of cars there, there must have been a few thousand. But then again we had a driver with us.

We recovered in the morning and once again played way too much Halo. In the evening Nathan put on a good old Aussie style BBQ. Both Thommo and I tried Kangaroo steaks for the first time, I actually quite liked it. Nathan’s police friend came over too and we got quite a colourful view on the crime in Sydney. It was a good evening and it was great to once again be fed so well.

We spent the morning packing and having a our last hit of Halo before we took the hour train ride back to the city. We were booked on the overnight bus to Bryon bay.

Onwards up the East Coast…………

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


Reading handsReading hands
Reading hands

The boys tried to follow a mag's instructions for palm reading
Me and RachelleMe and Rachelle
Me and Rachelle

Quite drunk

2nd January 2007

Happy New Year and hope its a good one xxxx

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