AUSTRALIA

Turbo Tourism At Its Best

Tapping That Bridge!

The English Rose and I made a deal – it was do or die on our last day together in Sydney.  We were going for gold or in layman’s terms: we were going to see and do as much as humanly possible and then see and do a few things more.  The day started off at the crack of dawn where we went to the rocks for a little brekkie and a stroll (Rocks – check!) as we made our way to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Turns out we just couldn’t turn up and climb the bridge immediately and so we reserved a spot in the evening vowing to return with all the gusto we could muster.

As we strolled away from the harbour bridge, it became really obvious that our next move would be to

Beautiful but Overcrowded Manly!

jump onto a ferry (we paid a little extra for a fast ferry to go along with our turbo day but shhh, that’s our little secret!) and head over to Manly Beach (Harbour Cruise – check!  Manly Beach – check!).  It was while walking along the boardwalk at Manly Beach that it became apparent that our light breakfast had left us wanting more so it was time to break for food – don’t judge just because it’s only 10am at this point (smoothie – check!).

After we returned back from Manly, the decision was made to head over to the Opera Houseand have a nosy about (Opera House –

Showing Off The Stuff The Opera House Is Made Of!

check!).  While we were there, we caught a glimpse of the Botanical Gardens and thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a wander through that  (Botanical Gardens – check!).  As we spent longer than anticipated on our unscheduled stop at the gardens, it was a quick sandwich for lunch before we boarded our ferry to Darling Harbour (Free WiFi – check!  Darling Harbour – check! Tacky Souvenir Hunting – check!).

It was while strolling around Darling Harbour that we realized that we had just enough time to go to the Aquarium (Sydney Aquarium – check!  Buying Tito the Turtle – check!) before grabbing the ferry back to make our bridge climb time.  When we were on this ferry, we quickly realized that we were pooped.  So the logical conclusion was to stop for a milkshake (protein baby!) to fuel up before the tapped that bridge!

The milkshake did the trick as we tapped that bridge without breaking a sweat (Sydney Harbour Bridge – check!) and had dinner to look forward to.  Starving, we had decided that Italian was the only way to go (I will not go into the details of hunting for the right restaurant as that was another feat all in itself!)  Before I knew it, it was time to bid the English Rose farewell as she went off to pack and unpack her bag before heading off to the airport.  It may have been a rather pricey and hectic day but I couldn’t have imagined a better one.  We were one hell of a team and on that bright and sunny Saturday, we took the gold!

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Trapped Inside A Hippie Commune

Even though someone may have once referred to me as “the girl from the land of the hippie love”, I was gutted when we reached the surf camp.  At first glance, the thought that popped into my head was, “Damn, I’ve just landed in a hippie commune!”  I may have repeated this several times out loud over the two days but that’s either here nor there.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying its a bad thing…I’m just saying that its something that is totally and utterly devastating to me.  Don’t know why but the word princess keeps coming to mind right about now.

You see, I was at the stage where I was tired of slumming it and just needed a touch of luxury and unfortunately, the surf camp was just not the place.  Not only were there spiders (huge spiders!) but everything felt a little too grungy and dirty to be sanitary…in my humble opinion and word to the wise, its best to not ask me about the leftover reside on the dishes.  Anyway, I’m sure it was just my overactive imagination once again but it felt like b.o was wafting through the air as I was eaten alive by the insects roaming about in the night sky.  ICK!

Time to board the bus couldn’t have come quick enough and thankfully I was out of what could only be described as my personal hell before it all took a turn for the worse.  This place is great for what its there for but sadly, I just didn’t have the “ump” left in me to dig deep and find a way to enjoy it.

Categories: au: crescent head, AUSTRALIA | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Phantom Cockroach

When I found out that we were going to stay at a Caravan Park in Byron Bay – horrified would not be a strong enough word to describe how I felt.  I was thinking it would be a dirty and gross trailer park but when we got to our accommodation, I was pleasantly surprised.  My 2 “lads” and I had a mini cabin all to ourselves that came equipped with separate bedrooms and everything.  This was going to be the first time since we started off in Alice Springs that we all weren’t going to be sleeping in the same room.  Can you sense a little bit of separation anxiety on my part? 

Anyway, for some strange reason, that was enough incentive for the 3 of us to start telling each other ghost stories.  Despite the fact that I may have been mildly spooked when the stories were done, we all said goodnight and went off to bed.  Unfortunately, I woke up in the middle of the night in need for a quick bathroom run.  Half asleep, I stumbled into the bathroom only to see what I would describe as a giant cockroach the size of my palm scurrying along on the floor and was throughly frightened.  I had visions of cockroaches covering our cabin as though we were stuck in a movie about the world’s end floating in my head.

After coming back to reality for a second, I thought it was best not to wake the lads and attempted to stuff my duvet everywhere that the cockroach could crawl and tried to go back to bed.  Thankfully, before I knew it, the sun had risen once again and after careful inspection of the bathroom, there was no cockroach to be found.  Not sure if I have my overactive imagination to thank for another sleepless night or if we had actually been visited by the world’s largest cockroach.  Guess I’ll never know.   

 

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These Jandals Were Made For Walking

View of the beach

In a blink of an eye (otherwise known as a super long nap on the bus) I went from the flashy extravagance of Surfers Paradise to the little hippie town of Byron Bay.  Both packed to the gills with tourists this time of year but each sporting a very different crowd.  Regardless, I wasn’t overally enthused with all there was to do in Byron Bay aside from eating scoop after scoop of ice cream (In The Pink is my new second home!) so I opted to do the “leisurely walk” to Cape Byron Lighthouse to help burn off some of the calories I was so quickly packing on. 

After breakfast, the English Rose and I sent off on our journey.  There may have been a quick stop in town

Cape Byron Lighthouse

to get ourselves a little WiFi (strange the things people bond over…) before making our way to the path leading up to the lighthouse.  We made our way from the streets to a boardwalk to a bush area and then to a parking lot.  Yes, I said PARKING LOT!  It took a little searching before we found the track again and were back on track to complete our walk. 

After a little stroll by a beach, we were hitting stairs and uphill slopes like no tomorrow.  Despite the fact that this uphill trek reminded me of heart attack hill, I was throughly enjoying myself.  Photos were taken of this, that, and everything else.  Stops to spot dolphins happened at every other bench we came across.  We were also constantly veering off the track to the look outs for better pictures and possibly shake the Croc wearing stalker who had started tailing us half way through the walk. 

In the end what was supposed to be a 2 hour walk ended up taking half a day but all I have to say about that was it was a perfect good way to waste an other beautiful day in Australia.   

 

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Paradise? Really?

The View From The 20th Floor

Surfer’s paradise on the Gold Coast was the next stop for us and we were staying at the Vibe Hotel.  I don’t know if it was due to the fact that I’m somewhat of a “flashpacker” at best or if it was just the weeks of slumming it but the highlight of this area was the hotel.  After a quick tour of the town, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to spend the bulk of my time in our room and taking in a little luxury before our next stop.

I wasn’t alone on this opinion as the ones I was rooming with (my trusty 2 sidekicks all the way from Alice Springs) felt the same way.  This area resembles Miami a lot more than it does paradise (sorry, for the dig on Miami…).  It has overcrowded and mediocre beaches and was a tourist destination done up in that amusement park sort of feel.  It was commercial and nothing to write home about.  The feeling of the area was best summed up by my Irish lads roomie, “Girl, look at that body!”.  Even though the area was less than desirable, it allowed me to take the time off needed to recoup for the remainder of the trip.  

 

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