I didn’t really do a whole lot for a week, It kinda felt like I was taking a “vacation” from my vacation! We went out to a couple different malls and out for dinner with some of their friends. We went to a place called “Ribs and Rump” and first thing they didn’t have the wine they ordered, next they had run out of pork ribs!!! I ordered a $40 plate of beef ribs and some potatoes, which were not very good and not to hot! If I had been by myself I would have complained and just left, but I was just meeting people for the first time and didn’t want to be “that” guy! So I just ate my food and dealt with it! It was nice to relax for a week, but it was time to move on! I decided to book a Greyhound “hop on hop off” bus ticket to take me from Sydney to Cairns over 90 days. The bus stops at all the hot spots along the east coast such as, Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Noosa, Hervey Bay, Arlie Beach, the Witsunday Islands and many more! The first stop is Newcastle, just north of Sydney, where Veronica’s Mom and husband live, Shane and Pam.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I took the train to where she told me to and picked me up. I must have picked up a flu bug in Canberra or the hostel because once I arrived at Chani’s I was all stuffed up and not feeling so good. Chani lives with her room mate, Lauren. I apologized in advance for getting them sick because I figured it was inevitable, but they said not to worry and she said at least I’m sick with some friends and not all alone in a hostel. We just chilled out and I got to finally play a nintendo wii!
Monday, April 25, 2011
I managed to get on an early bus back to Sydney and went to the wrong hostel when I arrived! There must have been a misunderstanding in Canberra and booked the wrong one! No worries though, the one they booked was just one block away and I hadn’t been there yet so now I’ve been to all the YHA hostels is Sydney! Not sure exactly where I would stay the next night I called Chani, one of the sweet Aussie girls I met on the way over on the ship. She said I can come stay there for a couple days which is great, except for the fact that she has 4 cats living in her house! I’m usually ok as long as I don’t touch my eyes while I’m around them so we’ll see what happens.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The war museum was within walking distance too, a little closer then the other museum yesterday. I was told it was great, but WOW!!! This place was amazing! I spent the whole day in there, I seen everything I think! But there was no way you could read everything in there in 2 days! It was definitely the most spectacular museum I’ve ever been in, and probably the most disturbing too. A must do for anybody who visits Canberra.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
There were three things I wanted to make sure I did while in Canberra, the Australia National Museum, the National War
Museum and the Canberra Nights ice hockey team home opener game! I walked to the museum in about 45 minutes, it was right on the water and was a nice walk. The museum was very neat with lots to see and was “free”. I spent most of the day there and after I was finished I wanted to catch the bus back to the city and everyone at the museum said buses weren’t running today! That was how I was planning to get to the hockey game so I was a little bummed out, I didn’t want to dish out $30+ for a taxi. I started walking back to the city when about 10 minutes from the museum a city bus past me coming from the museum!!! So that gave me some hope and I started to see more of them and ended up talking to a driver who said getting to the arena wouldn’t be a problem, sweet! I got back to the hostel, put on some warm clothes and was on my way to my first AIHL game! When I got to the arena I realized there would be no bus to bring me back so I was talking to a guy in the line, Dean, and he said it would be no problem to bring me back to the city, so that was great. It was the Canberra Knights against the Newcastle North Stars. The Knights lost 2 to 7 but I still bought a beer cooler with the team on it. I figure they have the coolest looking mascot out of the three of them!
After the game Dean said he had nothing to do so he offered to take me up to the top of Mt Ainsley for a great view over the city. It was a nice view of the planned city and he did his best tour guide impression to tell me about the city. He offered to take me across the city to the “Telstra Tower” also, which was a observation tower/restaurant which you had to pay to go up so I payed his way for taking me all around the city. After the tower he dropped me off at the hostel, it was very nice of him to take me on a little tour!
Friday, April 22, 2011
The night before I was messing around with my ipod and turned the volume right down. So I have never done it like that before and it also makes the alarm silent! Live and learn, won’t do that again! So when I was awoken by the light at 7am my train would have just been leaving the station!!! I knew the next train was at noon so I went to see if I could get on that one, it was fully booked but one was leaving at 6pm so I was able to get on that one for only an extra $5.50, which was unexpected. I just went across the street and chilled out in the hostel and charged up my electronic and did some cpu stuff. I was seated to a nice lady for half my train ride who was nice to talk to. There must have been a 15c drop in the temperature because it was freezing when we got there. I made it to the Canberra YHA about midnight and hit the sheets!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I went for a walk around town a bit and in the afternoon went for another jog the opposite direction and past the opera house and around the bay in the botanic gardens out to the point for the sunset and got more pictures of the opera house and bridge. I made my way back through the gardens to hopefully see all the bats come alive and take to the skies. It was truly amazing to watch them after the sun had gone down, thousands of giant bats with like 2 foot wingspans were flying everywhere you looked! Some came swooping down pretty close to me, I got some really good pics and a couple great videos. Back at the hostel they were having a rooftop BBQ for $5 again and there was some sponsors from a bar handing out free beer so that was good too!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The guy on the train made an announcement in the morning that woke me up before we entered the mountains so the ride into Sydney was very nice scenery. I said goodbye to my train buddies, hopped on another train into the harbor and checked into my favorite hostel, Sydney Harbor YHA! I was put in a 6 share room all by myself. After getting settled I went for a jog across the harbor bridge and took some nice pics from the other side of the bay. The hostel had “Mexican night” with $5 burritos and played bingo! They had some good prizes but the numbers weren’t going my way, and I even had a nice british girl across from me playing for the surfing prize for me cause she doesn’t surf!
Some of the pics from the day before are also for this day.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
When I woke up this morning we were in Adelaide, my home away from home, kind of! We were there for a couple hours and all the passengers had the option for tours or whatever, I just hung around the station and caught up on my hockey highlights. The train was behind schedule and when we reached our next stop, Broken Hill, in the night instead of day, we were given just 30 minutes to check out the town a bit. It really wasn’t that special anyway. Our cabin was filled in Adelaide so we had to slept in our day/nighter seats which weren’t all that bad to sleep in. So off into the night we went with our next stop being Sydney.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I had a nice slept in on the train that night and our only stop where we were able to get off the train was a town named Cook. It was really nothing special with a small strip of structures about 3/4 of a block, with houses and a education shed!!! There was a gift store with a ARFD(Australian Royal Flying Doctors) book store shelf, so I donated a book I had just finished reading about war torn Africa. It was a very touching book and got me thinking about a number of things, including what I should be doing with my life! After Cook we just road into the afternoon and night across the Nullarbor plain!! Playing card games and having a few cold ones!!!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Perth to Sydney, one of the worlds greatest train journeys of the world, from the Indian ocean to the Pacific, 4 days and 3 nights, 65 hours, 4352km’s, the longest straight stretch of railway in the world at 478 across the Nullarbor Plain, is approx. 3/4km long with approx. 25 carriages and weighs approx. 1,375 tonnes. “The symbol of the Indian Pacific is the wedge-tail eagle, Australia’s largest eagle. Its massive two metre wingspan symbolises the epic journey of the Indian Pacific, the adventure that spans the continent.” (Straight from the onboard magazine, haha) So I made it with plenty of time before departure because I didn’t want to take any chances on missing the train. I try to never judge a book by it’s cover, but the first person I see is this lady sitting across from check in and she doesn’t look to mentally healthy, talking to herself out loud and whatnot. So I say to myself “I hope I am not sitting next to her” the whole trip. Well sure enough she is sitting right across the isle from me when I find my seat on the train, R47, a handicap seat at the back off the carriage with metal armrests and no pop-up dinner trays like the rest of the seats in front of us. On the other side of her is a fellow Canuck and we started chatting over her. She never joined in on the conversation and the whole time was not really acting appropriate to be comfortable around her. I felt bad for her but I could do nothing. I was told be my buddy Lenny that buying a pass for the “Lounge Carriage” was essential to a enjoyable trip ($25) and even more so now! In the lounge there is “free” coffee and tea, comfy chairs and just a great place to meet fellow travelers including, Rebecca a fellow Canuck who is a permanent resident of New Zealand. Adam from Perth, Fiona from England. The girl I was chatting with between the lady was named Pia, she was a bit of a weirdo herself but talked to the manager of the train, said she was worried about the lady(and her hygiene issues) and they said she could have her own room. There were rooms that they hadn’t booked and were offering them to us(day/night red day seaters) for $150 per night. So this was one of the rooms she got, and there were two beds in a room so he situation being what it was and as friendly as I am I got to sleep horizontally!!! For two of the three nights!!! Sweet, eh! I had to be a little sneaky bringing my stuff into the room but it turned out A OK!!! We still had to stop at Kalgoorlie that night which is the largest gold mining areas in all of Australia and I am not one for tours but I spent the $30 to see the largest pit in all of OZ, the “Super Pit”!!! The tour was at about 11pm and the guide was an older gent who tried to to make the bus laugh at every opportunity he had! “Super Pit”, being 3km long, 1.4km wide and 330m deep was an impressive site at night with all it’s floodlights but I would have like to see it in the daytime still. Annual production for the mine is about 800,000 ounces of gold at about $1 billion!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I went shopping for some food to bring on the train, bought another book to read and went back to the hostel to watch NHL playoff highlights. I worked up the motivation and hit the gym again and instead of running all the way back to the park I hopped on the “free” CAT bus and got a ride to the closest stop, which was still over a km away from the park. I jogged to the park and around the park, which was very beautiful with an elevated walkway over a part of the park, very cool! I went back to the hostel via the Cat bus, don’t judge me!!!