the place 2 be, Aussie

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I_ should have planned to spend more time here to stay longer in Australia. It is also a really nice place to visit. In a different kind of way than New Zealand is, But also great in its own way. Or maybe I had such a great time because of the people I met here. Up to now I had a blast and it was so good. I’m looking forward to what comes next and be happy to travel further. To do more stuff I didn’t do up to know and enjoy my round about last two month as much as possible. Until I have to head back into reality. Until then have a read about my last second week in the Land of Oz.

 

Last Night in Sydney - 7.8.2012

IMG_0473My last night in Sydney is tonight. I finally decided to leave the most iconic town ever behind. I realized I already spent way too much time here. Even though every day was unique, special and worth it. But I have to carry on and leave one day after, but at night. The bus ride will take 7h so I thought its worth it to save money for a night in a hostel and spend it in a loooong bus trip. But now about today. Everyday I get up later. Its not good cause I missed the brekky again. Fortunately Moritz isn’t better, actually even worse. But he is smarter and bought his own toast and cereals and shared them with me. So we had breakfast and then left with his guitar to the botanic garden nearby the Sydney Opera. To get some nice pictures of us in front of it. Moritz is on a pretty good way to become a professional musician. That’s the main reason why we went for to this place with a nice view on the Opera and the Harbor Bridge. We took some pictures for his website and afterwards I convinced him to shoot a video of him doing a live session within this beautiful environment.

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IMG_0480Afterwards we went back by bus to dropped the guitar there to leave again by bus to Watson Bay. Not too far away from Kings Cross, kind of on the opposite of Manly. It is the other side of the huge inlet, also called the gap, leading to Sydney’s harbor. We did a small walk there to the nearby viewing points had a look at those old defense weapons from the 2nd WW and had a late tea break without tea. But cookies, sour worms and apples. We passed Lady Bay, a nude beach where some people shot ads, movies or just pictures and went to the lighthouse. Then we headed back to the bus cause the ferry we wanted to take back home stopped already for that day.

 

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IMG_0503Back in the hostel we where hungry like wolfs again and I ordered the hostel meal deal for 5$. A Thai Curry. And a really good one in my opinion and while eating I chatted with a very funny group of English girls named (H)arriet, Maddy and Tasha. In the evening most of us went out to the backpacker Globe Bar in KX. The girls gave us free drink vouchers cause they somehow started to work for this club. At least they tried to get the job. But they had to master to sell 40 tickets for a boa(t) par(t)y like English people say. They failed quite badly but still somehow seemed to got the job to do public advertisement for this club. They wanted to go swimming for the last three days. And every evening was the same procedure. If or If not we now should finally go or not. But until I left we never went SmileyAnyway, very nice girls.

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So we went in a big group to this club then, had our free drinks and in addition some more I shared with a very nice girl from Perth. We head a great chat but we went home at 1am because of tomorrow morning. Moritz and I wanted to visit the Fish market and we thought we should go there “early”. I should have taken some pictures of KX at night. Ridiculous people, weird people, anything but normal. IMG_0489

Last Day in Sydney - 8.8.2012

Mo and i planned to get up around 7am to go to the fish market. Of course we didn’t, After I left 1am the night before the club we had a nightly guitar session in our room. Andrea our babedi bubedi bibedi babedi (Family Guy) Italian roommate played and sang some typical Italian songs and Moritz some of his songs. So we ended up sleeping at 2:30am and realized we may wont make it to wake up as early as we planned to get up. So we got up around 9:30. Not too bad. Just in time before they remove the free breakfast stuff from the kitchen. But then we finally left the hostel and headed via Circular Quay to Darling Harbor and made our way from there through the town to the fish market.

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IMG_0511We had strolled around through all those shops where you can buy the freshly caught fish from the early morning in fresh or already prepared as food. They had all kind of sorts e.g. local fish, squid, prawns … and even NZ Snapper, Kingfish …. We also had a good insight view how they take the guts out and filet the fish just in time when somebody orders some. Very interesting. But because we just had breakfast and the grudge of being backpacker and not a flashpacker we didn’t had any of the fancy delicious looking food like all the others, mainly Asians, in the food courts. Instead we drove by using the light rails (like a tram) from there to Darling Harbor and went to the Chinese garden for 6$.

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IMG_0539Actually not too good 3$ would be ok but 6$ in my opinion too much?. It had a nice lake, we’ve spotted a, damned I forgot the name, the thing Thelma and Louise in Simpsons have. After half an in the park hour we’ve seen everything and left this place a bit disappointed. We took the ferry to Circular Quay and I continued alone by boat to Manly. 30 minutes later I had to take a bus and then another one for 1h to get to Palm Beach far out in the north of Sydney. I left the bus a couple of stops too early and so had do do a small walk. Everything there is quite nice but to be honest not as nice as other spots I visited later in OZ or any in NZ. IMG_0549Anyway it is the beach where they shoot a famous tv show here, they also did that evening. But I have never seen it so the reason was just to sea a beach called Palm Beach. And this was disappointing too. I had another impression of a beach called Palm Beach. Its like one land spit with two beaches on the sides and the head of the spit is a elevated in foliage covered area. Don’t get me wrong it is nice but not more than that. The ride back took even 1:30h in just one bus to the city center. I did fall asleep a couple of times when I wasn’t freezing my arse off because of the shitty air con. This shitty freezing climate probably cause my cold I got and still have to cure now two weeks later.

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IMG_0568After that annoying loooong bus ride back in the hostel I had ordered another Thai meal, but this time stir fry. It took ages until it arrived at the hostel. And to late to eat it before leaving to the Greyhound bus terminal. So I had it on my way there and it wasn’t as good as the curry but still delicious. So I said good by picked up my stuff from my room and drove to the Central Station to catch my bus at 10pm to Coffs Harbor. The bus ride will take 8h fucking . OMG.

Ho(l)ey Mo(l)ey Coffs Harbor - 9.8.2012

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IMG_0597How convenient that that the Greyhound bus was way less then half booked. So everybody had the luxury of having more than one seat. I even used the two from the other side of the corridor as well to lie down over the gap. But no matter what, it wasnt comfortable at all. Somehow I got some sleep but only until 5:20am when we passed Coffs Harbor and I had to walk to the hostel with my backpack and daypack for around 1 1/2h. 3.5km later I reached the Hoye Moey Motel/Hostel and the beach. The reception wasn’t opened yet so I went to the beach to not miss the beautiful sunrise. The beach here is amazing beautiful. I spent some time sitting in the sand until I was bored too much and took a seat in the huge restaurant/bar area where they had some construction work going on. I was very curious why this area is so big for a motel … I found out later.

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IMG_0622The distance to the bus stop made me even think about changing the hostel. I only went to this one because the Jolly Swagman recommended it. The Hostel/Motel/Hotel seems to be good. I just wanted to be in one closer to the bus stop. So when the reception opened I checked in for just for one night and see tomorrow how I feel about moving. The receptionist a German immigrant again chatted with me a while about Thailand/Malaysia and the highlights of Coffs Harbor.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0631IMG_0629So I ran around the whole day within and around Coffs Harbor. So i went back to the beach right behind the hostel and walked from there along at the beach shoreline towards town center. It wasn’t too bad there, they had a market going on but mainly just old people around. Somebody at the Jollys Swagman backpacker already said so. I grabbed a sandwich at Subways and a coffee to wake up. From there on randomly went through the center of the town and back in to the direction of the beach. It was a great day again. Sunny and warm. just perfect. I spent two hours in the library, for free WIFI of course, not reading books, haha and went from there into the botanic garden.

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IMG_0652It was for free and nice too see the different vegetation from the different parts of AU. In the north more tropical, in the south a bit more NZ like. I guess when I wouldn't have been in NZ I would have been stunned by all this. I spent quite a while there but then carried on back to the beach. The harbor to be more precise. I went to the end of the loooooong jetty and back off again over the harbor breakwater barrier to get to a from there connected small natural island. Called Mutton Bird Island. But unfortunately this place was closed for placing traps against raccoons for the next couple of days. So I had to turn around and miss out on my chance of seeing whales from up there. IMG_0658So I went all the way back at the shoreline, took my shoes off and walked within the water. On the way I decided i shouldn't swap the Hostel but also not spent a second night here.Even though it is okay here I decided to carry on right away next early morning at 5:25am to Byron Bay. I realized I spent way too much time in Sydney already. And now should hurry up just a bit to make it up to Brisbane and also to may stops in between somewhere else too. I already realized the idea of maybe getting a bit further north to make it to Fraser Island is impossible (in the end it even did work out).

 

 

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IMG_0626I actually should have planned more time to stay here in OZ. Even though for the "short" distance of just 1000km between Sydney and Brisbane consumes a huge amount of time. There is just too much to see. And I also start to regret that I didn’t do a year here as well. I should have. And actually I should have done it one year before NZ. But you can’t change the past. And I’m happy to do what I do now, so no complaining no more.

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So I booked my bus trip in for the next district to Byron Bay, It is really easy with this flexible Greyhound pass I have. It allows you to travel within 90 days from Sydney to Brisbane one way with as many hop on and offs as you wanted. I also called my chosen hostel the Aquarius just for the next two nights. Maybe I will stay there 1-2 nights longer. I’ve heard BB is mean and you can get easily stuck.

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After I in finally done all preparations for the next day I went to Aldi at 4pm. Yes Aldi, Yes I am still in Aussie. I was very surprised when I’ve seen that they have it here. They even have the same colored crappy tiles and beep at the counter. They sell the same cheap crap. It just feels like home. Anyway, the Hoye Moye is more of a motel than a Hostel. And it seems that they just put more beds into on room than usually. I even had a HD LCD TV with sky in my room I didn’t share with anybody. And the last episode of Greys Anatomy was on later that night. But I had to go to bed early to get up again very early at 3:50am to walk 1 h back to the bus stop like the night before.

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IMG_0675Then I went to the Hoey Moey Pub Party whatever place in the middle of the complex. Actually just to to get the 7.50$ meal and a drink. I was surprised again. This huge area I mentioned before was now very busy and packed with people. Minutes before they had even almost undressed girls serving and live music in the bar area. But I missed that. Most of the guests where way older than me. So i just had dinner which took a while until I got it and went to bed after that.

In the middle of the night I woke up because of 4 stupid assholes chatting very loud about god, animals and if we are different and other interesting topics you can talk about for ages. And the best time for doing so is of course when you are pissed and its midnight in front of the crappy motel room with walls thin like paper. At least it was over after an hour and a few random answers blessed with wisdom about life.

Byron Bay – 10.8.2012 – 15.8.2012

IMG_0684IMG_0689The night before I prepared anything took a shower … just to make sure to be able to get up as late as possible without the need of doing much before leaving. Actually I just had to change my cloth, closing my bursting bag pack somehow and left. It took me around 50 minutes to get there so right in time including the obligatory safety time. I caught my bus and enjoyed another long bus journey from 5:25 am to 10:20am to arrive in Byron Bay. I was very keen to see it after all those tips and information I picked up over the last year. How awesome it is …. So I very much looked forward to get there. I guess I will have a great time there.

 

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IMG_0691I did arrive on time as always and got picked up by a nice fit funny and a bit confused Canadian girl with only 100$ left. She drove me around to show me the town and chat a bit. Actually there is not much around here. Its small, neat, there is the beach a grocery store, heaps of bars pubs and clubs, and people, nice hot chicks everywhere. Pretty much like Queenstown in NZ. And like Queenstown I didn’t like it in the beginning as well. But it changed after I met my room mates and all the fun we had.

 

 

 

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But first I did arrive in the Hostel unharmed after a couple of misinterpreted give way rules and almost collisions with trees or walls. The Hostel made already a good impression. I just had to sign some weird papers about that I am fine with staying with other people in a room, no drinks no drugs, bla bla …. And I had to borrow for the first time in a Hostel ever a set of crockery for a 20$ deposit. I made fun of all that but the reception lady wasn’t too amused. Haha. But every evening had a complementary dinner which is really comfy. I dropped of my bags and went out to stroll through town and get some grocery’s for breakfast and a padlock for the lockers..Never had that before too. Back at the Hostel I had my breakfast and met afterwards most of my roommates. By name Aaron, original from Ireland working as a Marketing manager in Sydney, Alex from Germany who went away before studying, Angel a Spanish guy on holiday and another Swiss/Spanish surfer bloke named David... all really chilled out friendly and funny.

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IMG_0700I went around for a long walk at the beach to the Lighthouse and some other viewpoints. On the way I met a nice Dutch girl with the same idea and we did a pretty long walk together than. We tried to spot whales from up the lighthouse but weren't lucky that day. It was anyway a enjoyable trip. And it was again warm enough to take of the shoes and walk back the shoreline to have a rest at the beach nearby Byron Bays Center. I relaxed the rest of the evening in bed until I Aaron, Alex and another really nice Dutch girl went downstairs to the bar to get our free dinner and pissed pretty much. The trick is you have to order a drink in the bar (also non alcoholic) to get your dinner. That’s how they get the bar area crowded evening by evening and also earn a bit money buy backpackers like us who drink usually alcoholic drinks and order more than just one.

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IMG_0738We had three jugs of beer and cider Aaron and I 5 rounds of Vodka bombs and some gin tonics. I was pretty much pissed but he still fine. He used to mange some bars and restaurants in London so his drinking experience is way advanced. We found our way still to Cheeky Monkeys everybody goes to in town in the evening. It’s the nightclub to go to when you are here. I drank one more, but feeling a bit sick of my saw throat I left earlier with the Dutch girl to bring her after a short stop at the hostel to the bus stop. Why do always the nice girls leave. She was perfect. After the bus arrived and she went in I picked up some other girls who just arrived and didn’t know how to go to their hostel. A gentleman like me of course helps out. And I even leaded them to the right one right next to the Aquarius Hostel. There I met Alex again and the Spanish guys on the balcony smashed and stoned. Only Aaron was missing. He still had his fun at Cheeky Monkeys. What a great first day. IMG_0739

But I still need to find somebody to go to Nimbin with me. I don’t wanna go to this a bit dodgy hippy town alone. But everybody I asked so far already have been there or don’t wanna go there at all. Well, I’ll see if it will work out or not.

BB Day two - Surfing like a pro
SexySurferToday Alex, Aaron and I had the awesome Idea to rent a surfboard. We only needed it for half a day because nobody was ready before 12am because of the mean night before. We had just to pass the small street to make our way into a surf board rent shop. A half day was just 20$ plus two dollar for a wetsuit. It took us more than 30 minutes until we had our stuff. Not because we had to wait but because we had such a funny situation there. The funniest conversation ever with the rental guy. Alex was fancying the food of a women in there until she felt really uncomfortable. We discussed what size our boards should have, got the advise to get the biggest one 9” but Aaron said we don’t want to have a shitty looking boards we are only doing all this for Facebook pictures. I was the only one who had a credit card with me and pretended its not mine. And poor guy who it belongs to when we don’t come back. In the end the rental guy probably wasn’t sure if I really was the owner of it. Another food thing was the discussion about the short wetsuits. I mentioned something like they are with legs and it started a whole lot of more silly stuff about surfing without legs, best fun ever.

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IMG_0769So we finally got our boards and headed to the beach. Trying to look good with our boards under the arm. At the beach we directly started to jump into the wetsuits. We are all so professional it just took us 30 minutes to get them on. Not just because I tried to get my left where the arms belong to also because when we got them almost on the didn’t sit very well. It felt like they bent us forwards. But the zipper needs to be on the front right. Of course not, after all the effort to finally have them on we had to get out of them and wear them the right way around. Alex then had this weird stain on his suit on the back which made more sense, haha. We where just hoping nobody did see us idiots failing already at putting the wetsuit on.

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IMG_0770Puh but that was done by then and the first groups of girls passed by and we started to get them over by pretending we want some pictures of us. At least we didn’t lie about our plan of just taking pictures and look good. We had some more funny conversations with heaps of girls strolling by. But we waited at least until one group passed bye to ask the next one. And then we went finally into the water. It wasn’t too cold because it was soooo sunny and also you have to quite move a bit on the board to catch a wave. Actually I wasn’t too bad at catching waves but on these small pro boards, haha, I wasn’t able to get on top of it ones to ride a wave. I used it the whole time more as if it is a big boogie board. But the others didn’t do way better. we all have been pretty much hopeless.

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After a few tries, in and out, more pictures of us on boards, girls on our boards and funny chats we where hungry. Real surfers have to eat. We went cool as in our wetsuits back to the hostel our board under the arm to have a drink and a nice 7$ burger at the bar. We chatted about our experiences and how good it is to pretend to surf to meet nice girls. Even in the water I talked to heaps of them. Its just good fun.

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IMG_0822So after having a feast we went back and chilled out at the beach on our boards talking crap with without and about girls and even continued trying to catch more waves until we had to bring them back before the shop closes. But first we went to the beach showers to clean everything and met a stoned surfer dude there who wanted to wash his strawberries. We had a funny chat with him. He even noticed us as the silly armature surfer guys who got girls to take pictures all day long and failing at trying to surf properly. But he wasn’t the only one who recognized us. Also a group of Asian tourists took heaps of pictures of us idiots trying to surf.

 

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We had shitloads of fun best winter weather ever, good waves. If we only would have had a slightly idea what do to with them. We brought the boards back to the rental guy and informed him about our amazing tales from the sea. Everybody needed a rest of all that until we got our free dinner, some drinks. But only some, cause even they are cheap (3.50$) it is cheaper to just buy a bag of gun (awful but cheap wine) and orange juice to make it drinkable. We also went to Cheeky Monkeys early to get some stamps to get back after midnight for free. Backpackers are so smart and cheapskates. Haha. We went just there for the stamps and went back to the hostel to get smashed by finishing the gun and by doing that chatting with our new double room mates sharing the bathroom with. Two nice females. Tracy and her friend (forgot her name). We all drank quite a bit and went tipsy back to the Cheeky Monkey Club. Good we had our stamps to get in already so we missed out on waiting in line and also on getting checked if we are intoxicated. But it wasn’t too bad anyway. Just tipsy. We had our fun there. I chatted with some nice Brazilian girls and after spending quite a while in the club we went late at night back home. What a great day again.

BB Day three – fucking headache

IMG_0709The idea was to get up early to take the bus to Nimbin. We didn’t make it. Everybody at least had a small headache, Alex a big one. I was glad I drank a lot of water after drinking all this and continued this morning as well. But in addition the cold isn’t helpful either. Anyway instead of doing nothing Aaron and I went to the lighthouse again. It was shitty weather but we went there anyway. Okay not to shitty, just a bit cloudy and just fine spills. On the way we met Tracy and her friend. Poor girls sharing one bathroom with 6 guys. But Tracy’s friend leaves this day anyway but Tracy is bringing another one for that night. Louise from Wales. Anyway we walked for a while together looking for whales again and eyeballed at least some dolphins and huge waves. On the way back it began to rain properly so we had to go under a roofed bbq area where some guys and a group of children had a huge bbq. I was this time the one fancying somebody else food soo much like Alex did the day before. At least we were looking forward to get our free, this time lunch, BBQ at the hostel around 2pm so we hurried up to get there. On the whole way we met some nice German girls and stalked them a bit. Funny coincidence that we met them then back in our hostel chatting with Alex. What a funny coincidence. We again had a funny conversation about the typical backpacker questions and how bored they are of that until I tried to make the effort to mix it up a bit and asked which color their under ware is. They didn’t answer but it was worth trying, aye. Even though we kind of arrange to meet up in the evening with them. Which didn’t happen cause we where to busy already and also too lazy to go to their hostel that evening. I met them later again by coincidence anyway in Brisbane later.

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So actually we already started drinking at 2pm this time with our food. Also Tracy introduced us to Louise from Wales a nice girl who is for the first time in a hostel and just wants to have a nice time before she leaves Australia back to Wales. We somehow lazed around the rest of the day until we where hungry and went out for getting a burger all together and instead of of gun and orange juice we bought this time coke and vodka. Alex didn’t want to join us drinking this time so it was just between Louise, Tracy and Aaron. Louise and I had a lot of funny communication issues the more we drank. I didn’t got most of what she was saying that night. She started to talk to me like a baby.

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It was so funny and Alex even though he wasn’t drunk always titled himself to be a victim. It became more and more ridiculous. So the right time to go altogether down to our hostel bar and continued drinking and hitting on girls. There was also a really fit looking group of American and Canadian Girls (and some guys, but who cares) who did altogether a weird dance to this famous Mumford an Sons song. They ran around dancing pretended to be elks. Weird, and I wasn’t drunk or anything to make this up. But they where fit and nice girls so we did forgive them Smiley. Tracy, Aaron, Louise and I had a good time and decided not to go to Cheeky Monkeys again. But Tracy wanted to go out to this Lala Bar, a supposed to be gay bar. In the end it fortunately wasn’t. Just the only club still open on a Sunday after midnight with a bit of mediocre house music and a floor carpet sticky and smelling like shit. We still had our fun there. After a while there we went back to the hostel but grabbed a tea on a detour to the hostel.

BB Day four – The Retreat

After the exhausting last days and nights nothing much was going on and everybody pretty much spent quite a long time in bed. Before that, Aaron and I and Tracy and Louise went out for getting a nice brekky. They had their girls talk and we our guys talk while having a manly bacon and eggs, sausages and baked beans meal with hash browns. Delicious but too much to finish for me. Jeah and then everybody went back to bed to have a good rest.

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Except that I just made it to book my bus to Southport, the next district to Surfers Paradise and my Hostel. I continued writing this post and enjoyed my last day here in Byron Bay. Aaron is leaving back to Sydney tomorrow as well so everything kind of dissolves here. Well maybe I meet Louise in Brisbane again. She offered me to stay at her place until she leaves back home on Friday. So we roughly planned it like that and we went later that evening together to the beach while Aaron went out dining with Tracy. We all met back at the free dinner in our hostel bar and later even Aaron and Tracy joined us. It was Jelly Fight Monday and a few girls, around 8 attended. It was stupid for just 50$. But they seemed to have fun. So good on them. We didn’t stay too long down there and went instead of that just back upstairs onto our balcony and chilled out there, listening to music and talking crap. A typical nice Byron Bay night.