A Travellerspoint blog

Brisbane

The next big city

21th February

Arrived slightly late into Brisbane, but it didnt matter as I was too early and couldnt check in again. So stored my bag and walked around in town. Got some lunch and sorted out my australian mobile internet thing, should come in useful as places like this hostel have expensive wifi, though the rest of the hostel looks really good. My third hostel and i've finally got a bottom bunk, no need to keep climbing to the top bunk.

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Today was probably the hottest day theres been while in Australia, could really. However in the evening it also became the wettest, as a huge thunder storm hit the city, one of the loudest and biggest down pours i've seen. Also finally had a shave after a week of looking homeless. Need to plan stuff for tomorrow and actually eat dinner for once. Had a meal at the bar thats part of the hostel, while watching the storm. It maybe a bit pricey at $10 but a very nice australian beef burger. Went to bed with a full stomach. The Room, as with the rest of the hostel seems clean and well maintained, its a YHA hostel, they seem to be a big company.

22nd February

Got up and went to the local supermarket to do my first load of shopping, one of the main supermarkets here is oddly called 'woolworths'. stored the food in an allocated locker in the kitchen, name tagged. Made some lunch to take out as i went into another part of town. Went across the bridge to walk along the river, there was meant to be a boat taking tours along the river but it seems they havent been running since the floods. The river itself is a merkey brown (pictured below), it apparantly used to be blue. Seems to still be some repair work being done on places around the river, but other than a brown river and a few builders you wouldnt know it had flooded that badly.

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City cat boat, used like water taxi's

Instead i just had lunch and then walked back to the hostel in the afternoon to use the internet to book my next bus and hostel. That night i used the previously bought food to make my first meal since being here, only pasta and sauce, but seems an achievement to finally be bothered. Also probably works out cheaper. Later realised i was slightly sun burnt... a glowing nose and sore neck, doesnt seem too bad though. Slightly annoying as today was probably the coldest day theres been, cloudy and windy, didnt think i'd need any sun cream.

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Wild lizard, which i didnt see until i nearly stepped on it. Looked at me and ran off with a plant in its mouth.

23rd February

Was gonna go up to Mt Coot-tha today, the look out over the city. Decided against it as its raining this morning, and despite still being cloudy i've learnt not to trust the sun. Will be checking out at 10am tomorrow and then getting the bus to Hervey Bay at 12pm. Only a five hour journey this time, still surprisingly long distances between places.

Posted by Stefan.m 16:32

Sydney

Exploring the City

sunny 29 °C

A few photos from yesterday...

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16th February

Still not feeling too great I made use of the free breakfast and later went out into town again. Went over to Darling harbour, where the aquarium and wild life park are located. Had a look inside and saw the usual Australian attractions, koala's, kangaroo's, crocodiles and a platypus. They also boast the most dangerous spider, snake, bird and jelly fish in the world, though your not likely to really see these. Realised a few days later I could have had the touristy 'photo with a koala' for free with a voucher, but didnt know I had it at the time. Sat and ate my lunch afterwards. Went back to the hostel (first time, didnt get lost) and booked a tour for the following day. Attempted to use the 'free wifi' but was useless and barely worked. Again didnt have much for dinner, possibly a banana.

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17th February

Tour into the 'Blue Mountains' was at half 8, so I got up early and went to the local shop to get lunch, which now seems to be my daily lunch, ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches. The tour took a while to get out of Sydney as the congestion is one of the worst. Eventually made it to the first look out, Wentworth falls and the surrounding eucalyptus forest. Australians call them 'Gum trees' because they apparantly cant spell eucalyptus. The tour guide called it Australia's Grand Canyon with trees.

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Was slightly cooler out of the city, but still loads of steps down to the waterfall... and back up again. Took some photos and then off to the next place where a cable car trip across the mountain area was available, I decided not to pay the extra and instead did the walk to the various look out points to get a better view of katoomba falls and other rock formations. Following this we were taken to a small village to have lunch and look around. Also stopped off in a national park and saw a couple of wild kangaroo's. The last few stop offs after this were one final look out and a quick look at the 2000 Olympics site, still in use. From here we caught a ferry down the river, eventually arriving in the city harbour (circular quay), the place where the opera house and harbour bridge are. Met Catherine after getting off the boat and went for a few drinks. Was nice to see someone I knew, as most people in my dorm room (6 bed room) were foreign, not speaking much English or just irritating. Afterwards I set off on the long walk back to the hostel through town... made it back, i'm getting the hang of it now.

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18th February

I had booked three nights at the current hostel and decided not to continue, so I checked out at 11am. The internet didnt work and the people didnt seem too friendly, they were mainly long stay residents who had been there for months/years working. I moved to a smaller place that I was originally going to go to in the first place. No free breakfast but it was quiet and friendly... and the internet worked really well. Put my stuff in the room and sat down after the task of carrying everything 10-15 minutes down the road, was harder than I thought. There seemed to be someone jet lagged sleeping in my room so I sat in the common room and used the internet. Later walked into town, but didnt do much. Actually met some English people in my room, they seemed friendly and were just finishing a 5 month trip similar to mine but in reverse. Spent most of the day researching places to stay in other places and booking my bus trip to Brisbane.

19th February

Wasn’t going to do much today but I had a pass for the Sydney tower to use. Left late and went up the tower, the highest point in sydney. You get a good 360 degree view of all of Sydney. They also had a short 4D ride, a historical tour of Australia. After this I went and had lunch in the parks near by and saw in a guide book that the local art museum was showing the terracotta army. Was quite cheap to get in so had a look. They had various items and tools that had been dug up, followed by 10 real terracotta figures and 2 horses. Spent most of the time taking photos without being seen, they didnt seem to like you taking photos. Afterwards, went to the park opposite and ate rest of lunch, there was some band playing there. Stayed for a while and then met up with Catherine again, both very tired so we just sat in her hostel. She felt bad that I wasnt eating and made me beans on toast... my stomach was surprised by the unscheduled meal, i should probably start cooking now.

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20th February

Had to be checked out of the room by 10am, but I could still keep my bags there and use the facilities until my bus at 6.30pm. Used the internet for a bit, charged things up and did some washing (free washing powder!). Later faced another sweaty walk to the greyhound terminal about 10 minutes away with one bag on my back and the other on the front, with bottles of water within reach. The walk was slightly easier than last time. Loaded my stuff onto the bus and took my seat (which was a double seat as no one was sitting next to me... I probably smelt from the walk). Settled in for the 16 hours journey. Wasnt too bad, enough leg room and fairly comfortable. Stopped a few times for food.... Later arrived in Brisbane

Posted by Stefan.m 03:29 Archived in Australia

Getting to Sydney

overcast 26 °C

13th to 15th February

Flew out of Heathrow sunday evening, found the departure gate easy enough and was seated on the plane quickly before taking off on time. The first flight out to Hong Kong was the longest (around 11 hours). Dinner and drinks were offered after take off, didnt feel like eating much.
The lights were soon dimmed but I didnt find sleeping easy in the cramped seats, although a pillow and cover were given out. The seats were probably reasonably sized, just not suited for my long legs. Slept on and off every half hour, inbetween watching the films and tv shows provided.

Saw brief sunlight when arriving in Hong Kong, but after a quick one hour stop over we were taking off in the dark again. Tried out my prepaid card to buy a bottle of water, seemed to work ok (10 HK dollars, only 80p). Hong Kong security seemed overly high, no drinks were allowed on the plane, even if bought after having gone through security. They hand searched all hand luggage to make sure.

The second flight into Sydney was slightly shorter (around 9 hours) and seemed a bit more comfortable, probably due to my seat being on the end of a collection of three middle seats, with no one in the middle. Slept on and off again, but still only a total of around 2/2.5 hours over the total of both flights. Arrived in Sydney exactly on time at 7.30am. Breakfast was available before landing, this probably helped adjust the body clock. Though I was still very tired.

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More overly suspicious security at Sydney this time. They take their time checking everyones passports along with the slips of paper you have to fill out declaring your reason for staying and what your bringing. They seemed particularly interested in my foreign name and took a while checking me and adding my middle names to the database. They seemed happy to believe I was English.

These checks meant my bag was already out and ready to pick up straight away. Left the airport, after being greeted by “G'day welcome to Sydney”. At first sight it didnt look very different outside, just warmer. Used a pay phone to ring the bus company I had booked, they arrived quickly and took me to the hostel. Glad I booked them in advance and didnt go ahead with my idea of walking from the airport (it was further than expected, and I probably wouldnt have made it carrying the combined 24kg of weight).

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Arrived at the hostel early so couldnt get into my room. They allowed me to store my backpack at the hostel while I waited for the room to be ready. It was taking longer than expected so I went for a walk around the city and took a few photos. Despite looking cold and cloudy, it was very humid and stuffy. I managed to get lost on the first day, trying to head back to the hostel I found myself heading towards the harbour bridge, the place I had just come from. The combination of walking a lot, being very tired and possibly slightly dehydrated meant I didnt feel too well that evening. Didnt eat dinner, instead drank water and fell asleep.

Posted by Stefan.m 00:03 Archived in Australia

The Planned Route

A Rough Guide

This is the route i plan to take, though its only a rough guide, things may change.

Beginning february 13th.....

Posted by Stefan.m 10:19 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged map route plan

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