Thursday, February 5, 2009

Last Days in Australia

4th - 6th Jan


The plan was to go out for a couple of drinks for my last night in Melbourne but because everyone got rat-arsed the previous night nobody was in the mood to go out. I did go out for a very nice Greek meal with my friend Katy which was only spoiled by me managing to crack a tooth on an olive pip (I don't even particularly like olives)
When I say crack what I really mean is break completely in half a tooth - Some urgent dental work will be required!

On the way back to the hostel we popped into a bottle shop and I picked up a 6 pack.

Back at the hostel rather than go out and get drunk a group of us managed to get rather happy drinking on the balcony thanks to Welsh James coming back with a crate of cheap booze. I managed to roll into bed at 2ish for my last nights sleep in Melbourne.


For my final day in Melbourne I did some work on this blog then went to the supermarket to get some ice cream for everyone in the hostel as a goodbye thank you (I risked taking some myself - even with a broken tooth). Then at 2:30 I said my final goodbyes to everyone at the hostel - hugs, handshakes and from Xenia (warrior princess) a 'you are like a father to me' statement which made me feel happy and really old at the same time - thanks Xenia!

Then it was off to the city and the CVA office with more ice cream to say goodbye to Prue. Finally at around 4pm (after another bowl of ice cream) I got the shuttle bus to the airport. On the way through security they put my carry on bag through the x ray machine for a second time. It was as my bag went through for second time that I realised that my Secret Santa Sucking tit was in it. Luckily they did not ask to search it - that could have been embarrassing!

Arriving at Sydney airport I went and bought a return shuttle ticket and headed to the Central YHA backpackers. I had looked at staying in a hotel room for my one night in Sydney but they were all too expensive so I decided to pay $40 as a treat in a good dorm at the YHA hostel.

The place was massive - 9 floors in total with its own cafe attached downstairs. I was in a 6 bed dorm on the 5th floor. I tried my swipe card in room 502 only for it not to work. After several more attempts I gave up and went downstairs to check with reception. There I was told I was in room 506 not 502! So with an embarressed look on my face I went back up again - only for the bloody card to still not work. Down again I went to get a new card and thankfully this time it worked. The room was very spacious with large lockers and beds that didn’t creak like badly oiled wooden doors (though I was stuck on a top bunk). I went back down stairs and ordered a meal in the cafe before ringing up my shuttle bus to book my return trip in the morning. The ignoramus who answered asked me if I had a return ticket to which I replied yes then said that you had to book the shuttle 24 hours in advance - not at 9:10 the previous night. He then hung up. Sure enough it said on the ticket about the 24 hours in advance - but they never said anything about that at the airport. I was furious. I had images of me having to get another expensive taxi to the airport the next day. Fortunately I was able to buy and book another shuttle through reception.

After the meal I was in two minds weather to out for a couple of pints but instead had a late shower and an early night (I still remember - or rather DON'T remember the time I went out for a 'couple' of pints before leaving South Africa!)


I got up at 6am and was dressed and outside the hostel by 6:20. The shuttle bus arrived 5 minutes later. For the next 15 minutes it went around just about every hotel in inner Sydney. At each hotel the bus driver would jump out, run into the reception then run back out again without anybody being picked up. He had a very silly run too - holding his arms out like a kangaroo - I thought he was going to start hopping at one stage. After 25 minutes of doing this we were still in the centre of town and had only managed to pick up 2 more people. A French guy started to get very irritated at this saying he was going to be late for his flight to Paris.

After another 10 minutes and at precisely 7am the shuttle bus arrived BACK at the YHA and picked up more people. At this point everyone including myself went berserk. We had just spent the last half hour going nowhere. Thankfully the bus then made a Bee line for the airport and we arrived at the domestic terminal at just after 7:20. The people getting domestic flights and the French guy jumped out. I didn't have a chance to tell him he was jumping out at the wrong terminal!

Luckily I still had plenty of time to get booked onto my flight. Once through customs I went to the security and placed my bags and other items through the x ray machine. I had forgotten to take the tit out! They gave my bag an extra long look (probably trying to make out what that funny dome like object was in the middle of it was) before letting it through (phew).

After the security I went on a vending machine spree. Over the weeks in Australia I had accumulated alot of change and this was my chance to get rid of as much as possible. I put $2.50 and selected a chunky kitkat. I then watched with slight annoyance as the packet of sweets next to the kitkat dropped - wrong bloody number Raymond. I tried again to discover that the kitkat came up as sold out. I did manage to find another vending machine to get a kitkat and some chocolate. It also had a precariously perched packet of hoy chicken crisps which had not fallen properly. All I had to do was enter the change and get two packets of crisps for the price of one. Except that I didn't have any change left. I sat looking at the machine thinking 'Just one well aimed kick would dislodge it'. I decided not to risk alerting security just as I was about to go on the plane so instead made my way to the boarding queue.

The air journey to New Zealand was only about 2 and half hours long but the seat behind me turned out to be occupied by a renilin candidate kid who spent the whole flight either shouting to his dad or kicking the back of my seat. I never came so close to murder in all my life! Finally we landed in Christchurch and after a bus ride into town I could start my New Zealand leg of my journey.

Things I have learnt:
Always carry a cheap pen with you:

As part of the check in at Sydney I was given a form to fill and as I had no pen on me I had to go and buy a pen for from one of the shops for the extortionate price of $3.50! I was slightly annoyed at this. I was even more annoyed when I went through to the customs area and discovered they had tons of pens attached to cables for filling in the bleeding form.

Things I have lost / broken

Fleece: As I went to sit in my seat on the plane to New Zealand I realised that I had left my fleece back at boarding gate. I had one of those head caught in railings panics as I checked frantically to make sure I had not left any valuable documents in the pockets. In the end all I left in the pockets was a baseball cap - thank God!

My Lumix camera does not seen to work anymore which is a bit of a bugger! No more drunken shots!

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