I haven’t blogged as much as I thought I was going to on this trip. This is mostly due to the fact that it does take a while to blog and I’d rather be out there doing things! Plus the Internet is not always available, can be costly and sand plays havoc with your PC! I’ve also tried to concentrate on uploading the photos as it seems more people look at them then read my blog – well, it’s quicker! I can take my laptop on the bus and blog whilst travelling between towns, which, as you might guess given the size of Oz, gives me plenty of time to do this.
Two and half weeks into Oz, I’ve seen a number of places now to compare.
Sydney was good. Everything close to each other, lots to see and do, world famous landmarks, chilled atmosphere, nice beaches. I’m not sure I saw the best of it in my week there, though. The weather was mixed, and most of the time was spent on my own, as I wasn’t backpacking in hostels then. The places was like any big city – crowded at times. If I’m honest, it didn’t totally blow me away, but would like to go back with someone else, especially in the summer.
Surf Camp was a dive, it pissed down, but was fun doing the surfing at least!
Byron Bay was pretty fantastic. Cool beach, lots of places to walk to, and a fun environment.
Brisbane – I liked this a lot. Had the skyline of Sydney but was more chilled, plus a fantastic river. Wouldn’t mind spending some more time there. Very beautiful.
Rainbow Beach. Damn, the place is small! Beach was ok, but currents were so very strong. Ok for one night.
Hervey Bay. Not as bad as some people reckoned Just too spread out. Beach was huge, and pier made for some good photos.
1770 – Well, we stayed nearby this town. Not much there except a nice beach. Cool Bananas hostel was ace, though. Very chilled. Took a minibus to the pub up the road to see a live band, play pool and sink a few cold beverages.
Fraser Island. Hmmm… what do I put about this? Everyone I spoke to before coming away said it was the best thing about east coast. But….well, I think a lot of us were disappointed. We did the guided tour, which involved two days and one night, travelling on a 4WD bus of 40 people. I think we were slightly mis-sold the trip, as I thought it was the same as the self-drive 4x4s except with a tour driver. We were also screwed by nature as the tides stripped some rocks of sand cover and we couldn’t pass over to the best bits of the island. Heard stories of people getting stuck in the rocks and water, and buses breaking down. You may have heard that a few days two UK people died on the self-drive version, so there were a few problems on the island recently. Plus we didn’t see any wildlife and were made to walk through miles of boring forest! Still, the sand dunes were fun (when I wasn‘t tumbling down them) and the beach was wild and interesting. The best thing was probably the people – we all got on great and had a laugh.
Which brings me to the people. It’s funny to think of me just a couple of weeks ago and how I was meeting new people. Big bus of strangers, most of whom are travelling in pairs or groups, some foreign, most younger than me. But you soon realise everyone is here doing pretty much the same thing and to have fun. How things change when you get into the swing of it. I’ve met Norwegians, Irish, Scottish, French, Swedish, Belgians, Americans, Canadians as well as many northerners and southerners. I think I’ve got on really well with most of them and it’s been good to meet everyone.
Most people have travelled a lot already. Thailand seems to be a popular choice, but it’s nice for me to say Norway and Japan as hardly anyone else has been there, so I share my experiences with these. Many are on gap years just before or during university. A lot of people have been here for a few months, some planning for a year.
So what types of people have I met?
Well, there’s the English Lads for start. Usually in a group of three or four, they’re out to get drunk on local goon and chat to all the ladieeees.
Then you have the Stoners. Chilled blokes, happy to roll a joint and space out for a bit.
Princesses – the girls who are so used to their home comforts, make-up and who are often very fussy. You wonder why the heck they are doing the backpacker thing! But they’re travelling now, so gradually they accept where they are and begin to rough it.
The Girl Group. Like the English Lads, but less in your face.
The Lone Foreigner. Often from a small town in their country, they’ve upped sticks and decided to see the world so they can go back to their folks and amaze them with their stories.
The Hardened Traveller. Been there, done it. Just doing the Oz thing to tick it off their list.
The Holidaying Couple. Having fun seeing the world together.
The Work Avoider. Had enough of work and have quit either permanently or just for a while. Guess that’s me, then!
The Typical Aussie. “No worries!”
Interestingly, few speak the common world language: football. A female Leicester City fan, a few Scousers and a couple of gloating Mancs is pretty much all I’ve met. I’d just love it – love it – if Liverpool pip Utd to the league…
Music. A lot of the music on the bus, in bars and hostels is usual pub/club music you hear in England. Surprisingly, a number of people have said how much they hate it, when I‘m quite happy to listen to it. Enough of the Red Hot Chilly Peppers, though!
Food. Only one or two vegetarians on each bus or trip. Would have thought there’d be more.
Ethnic Background. Almost everyone is Caucasian.
Clothes. Shorts, thongs, t-shirt. All day and night, usually.
So it’s been great meeting everyone, having drinks, playing cards and hearing about the different lives people have. Apart from one girl who actually works in my local hospital, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever see any of them again. But you never know in this small world!
Whilst we’re talking about people, I might as well shout out to a few of you back home:
Everyone at work – stop reading this – haven’t you got work to do?
Si – Stop leaving lame Facebook comments on my photos!
T – How were the ladyboys in Bangkok?
Chief – Is Vegas sorted yet?
Mikee – Hope all is well.
Dan – See comment about Chelsea below.
Steve – Cheers for all the chats.
Denise/Nicki/Richard – not sure if you’ll ever read this but cheers for meeting up in Sydney and Brisbane
Rebecca the random American girl who lent me the tripod in Sydney – Hope you can check out my photos, too.
Wendy – Hope you, TB and the bump are doing fine.
Pamela – Keep running! I’ll beat your 10K time when I get back, I swear!
Olive – I know you probably won’t ever read this but thanks so much for looking after the cats. And happy birthday for the other day!
Alli – What the heck are you doing in Africa?? Get your arse back soon. Ps Chelsea suck.
Big Sis and family – Enjoy the 9th of May and let’s hope we win at Wembley again!
Claire and family – Take care and I hope things improve soon. Thoughts are with you all.
Mum and Dad – Hope you’re ok. Love to you both, and see you when I get back.
If I’ve missed anyone, then sorry. It’s not the Oscars, you know! Send us a message and I’ll say hello next time.