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Published: February 19th 2008
I'm starting to get a decent idea of the ideal hostel. For a start, it needs to be empty.
The first was Cairns Beach House, paradise, though I didn't know it at the time. Choice of bunk, ensuite that you could walk into without catching anything, aircon keeping the temperature pleasant and a light switch that people knew how to use. (for some reason, the light has to stay on till everyone has come to bed, and there are quite a few vampires in Australia - sleep in the day, make moise at night. Then you're made to feel guilty for turning the light on during daylight hours - after 9am, stop caring after a while) This place even had cheap pool tables, nice bar, internet that even friends could sneak into use, and a very nice pub down the road.
Went down a bit from then onwards.
To be fair, I got a bit spoilt on the boat. Tiny room, but shared with friend who kept the same hours as me, view of the ocean in the morning, clean bathrooms and oh, every half an hour, we got called for food so had nothing to worry about but getting sleep and recovering for the next dive. (and suntan obviously)
Townsville Hostel (Reef Lodge) was a dump. The first room they stuck me in, on reflection, wasn't too bad. No fridge, bathroom scabby, aircon on full blast but too cold, showers cold, but I was sharing with girls, so they were tidy enough to give me somewhere to store my bag.
After that, since I had the cheek to try and leave the hostel, (3 times) I got stuck in rooms with pigs. Stuff everywhere. Having shoved their rubbish out the way to put my bag down, I had the problem of getting up onto my bunk. Impossible without stepping on their belongings. Dangerous getting down as not able to see what I'm doing. (eyes not open for half an hour after alarm makes noise).
Brisbane was amazing.
First room they put me in was still full. Way to keep track of the guests. I'm assuming that either someone hadn't left when he was supposed to, and no one bothers to check who's coming and going, or they have no idea how many people they have in each room. Superb way to run a business.
Second room was almost as disturbing. At least it had a spare bed, a balcony (with a fabulous view of the hill - pretty city on the other side) ensuite bathroom (shared with next door, so 10 people to 1 shower, the sort of bathroom where you feel a bit dirtier when you come out, ick - shower was hot though, and failed miserably to keep to their 4 minute limit - not designed for anyone with hair), even had lockers, but couldn't get to them. Quite a large room, but the 4 blokes had seriously nested. Stuff everywhere. To make matters worse, I got stuck with a snorer. Grunting like a pig all nights. Turned out to be quite a nice oldish bloke. Had to be, otherwise he'd have been strangled in his sleep by everyone else trying to get some kip.
Before I get any abuse back about my own bedroom, the blokes out here make me look tidy. Seriously. I've decided it's the first time they've been allowed out without their mothers to clean up after them so they don't know how to organise their belongings.
At the time of writing, I'm awaiting a bus to take me camping for the weekend. May actually miss the 4 walls, even they are surrounded by squalor.
Ok, so I was right, the camping was preferable. My own space, campfire and BBQ in the evening. Woke up natuarally at 6 nicely refreshed.
Tinbilly's Hostel, right next to the station, was where I decamped to after camping. Sadly only for 1 night. Ensuite, clean, really nice girls also staying in the same room, huge TV showing Simpson's and massive sofa's to colapse into... Fantastic.
Sydney, Mountbatten Hotel - bit scruffy, and only 1 loo, 2 showers for the whole floor, approx 30 people. That's going to be fun in the morning.
Staying next at the Flying Fox - chosen entirely for the name. we'll see
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