Today was one of those days that make you wonder why you even rolled out of bed. I was leaving my beloved Parrots in Paradise and heading for Sydney, and was feeling awful all morning. I’ve really enjoyed my time here – and I hate leaving the little hand fed bubba’s before they’re fully grown, and all the other birds. My hosts Dail and Mark, have been so welcoming and kind, I’ve honestly started to wonder if I should look more into bird keeping as an occupation from my time here.
Of course, with my mind in such misery, life decided to try me, and try me hard. First off, when I went over to the Alexandrian’s to give them a snuggle goodbye, I completely forgot to take off my necklace (I haven’t been wearing it the last 2 months since the birds destroy them). Jeana managed to get to my shoulder, and ‘snip’ – silver chain snapped in 2. It was already a replacement, but it’ll be a devil to replace, and means I can’t wear my little lucky charm until it is. This was not a good omen of things to come.
When I finally do set off (with a teary farewell and a promise to come back if the opportunity arises), I hike up the train station steps and start putting some more money on my card…when the woman at the station walks out her office asking what train I was after.
Now here’s the thing, the last few days has been me checking and checking and checking the Translink website figuring out what train will get me into Brisbane on time. And even last night, the website told me there was an 8:42 train. However, I forgot to check this morning, and the woman breaks the news – there is no train. Just a bus in about 40 minutes that will get me to another bus…which in turn will not get me to the airport in time.
(The ONE time I give myself the recommended time instead of the several hours and THIS happens).
Naturally, I go through several stages of panic. There is no bus that will get me there in time, I have to either get to a better connected station or fork out for a taxi. In a panic I call my hosts and rather frantically beg for a lift to one of the connecting stations – she warns I’ll never get there in time, but promises to contact services to see if she can help.
About 15 minutes later I’m checking my phone and trying to figure out if I get a taxi to Caboolture I can get a train to Northgate and leg it there via another taxi, when Dail calls again. She’s going to have Mark drive me to the airport. Words cannot express how grateful I am to them about this – I don’t like taking blame for this incident because I swore blind I had checked and checked the site, but I should have been OCD and checked this morning. Will have to send them a thank you card and the fuel money.
However, I’ve always been a strong believer in the saying ‘bad luck comes in threes’. I’ve had it happen to me a dozen times – so now I’m left with a ball of nerves in my gut wondering what on earth number 3 will be.
Thanks to their help, I make it to the station just in time (quite literally), and get to enjoy a relatively comfortable flight before landing in Sydney. The original plan was to save cash and use public transport, but after the morning I had I just wanted to get to my hostel. So instead tried to call up the line I was given to organise a shuttle bus. Bit of a problem since the numbers weren’t working, and ended up having to call up the sister hostel on Bondi Beach, but wrangled up a service that was waiting at the Horse Shoe Pickup.
I knew I’d wanted to go to Sydney for New Years – it was an idea that turned into an expensive compulsion that I kind of wished I’d stamped out, but regardless, I felt I had to make sure I’d done it once, and at least this year I knew I had the cash. The biggest problem was finding somewhere I could afford.
My original plan was to find a short term flat – I figured it would probably cost less than a hostel…only it failed miserably. Despite dozens of people telling me you could find accommodation this way for a cheap price, I found myself being quoted more money than the hotels, or being denied because I could only guarantee a week.
So instead I turned to the hostels, which were an utter nightmare since the majority had 10-15 mandatory stays over the Christmas period. Stays that made me coming financially impossible. It took several weeks of searching before I FINALLY found one hostel that had no minimum stay, and was JUST in my budget, if still ridiculously expensive for what I’d get.
Surfside Backpackers at Coogee Beach. A door in the side of a road that has a staircase spiraling 3 floors and a pretty spectacular view of its namesake. It generally looks quite nice, if not the greatest designed space (the kitchen is right next to the reception), and I’ve stayed in worse.
However, they had 2 housekeepers up and quit that day, which means the place is a mess. Most of the reception area is due to people not following basic protocol and cleaning up their own mess, but my room has a rather irritating layer of sand on the floor, and the bathroom is just a little bit messier than I would have liked (it doesn’t actually get cleaned until 5pm). The beds also have a very irritating problem – the supports underneath the mattress are not fixed. They move around, creating large holes were the mattress slips down and creates an awkward lumpy mattress – and it’s not a particularly soft mattress to begin with.
Normally these things wouldn’t bother me that much – and if I was paying normal hostel prices they wouldn’t. But for $600 I kind of feel cheated.
I never really planned what I’d do with my first day. I knew I’d get there late so I’d have limits on what I could do, and tomorrow would be the same considering the crowds for New Years. Eventually, I just decided to wander round Coogee Beach and take in the views – and where I could spend New Years day since I plan on swimming then hell while I can. Turns out Coogee has this great sections called ‘the baths’ where rocky walls protect the crystal clear water within from the waves. Need to get some decent goggles and maybe snorkel there.
However, while I’m wandering, the final chunk of bad luck finally hits me on the head. My iPod stops working. I wonder if it needed charging so plug it in back at my hostel. I’m not even getting the apple symbol to appear on the screen. Its completely dead.
Honestly can’t believe it. My first iPod lasted 5 freaking years with only a few tiny problems. I’ve got through 2 in the last 2 years while travelling. No clue if it’ll be fixed or it Apple will just replace it – meaning I wont have one since I have no way of putting music on it right now – another reason to start considering buying a laptop.
In the evening, I decide to fall on old habits and hunt down a cinema so I can finally (FINALLY) see Big Hero 6, which only got released in Australia Christmas Day. Unfortunately, I’m a good walk from any cinema, and when I finally do get to the closest (the Ritz), the queue is literally out the door! Do manage to get in, and just in time to see the decent trailers.
Big Hero 6? I’m still forming my opinion on it. Thought the opening was one of the most jumbled and awkward set ups I’d ever seen, and saw the villain reveal coming pretty much from the start. However, the supporting cast are pretty damn fantastic, the scenery orgasmic, and the ending solid and heartfelt in every way you want it to be. Gonna try and catch Hobbit and Night at the Museum when I get the chance too.