04.04.2011 25 °C
Sorry for the delay in our next instalment. As you are about to discover we have been very very busy!
Turned out out plane was actually delayed by 4 hours as they had to land in Kuala Lumpur instead where it suffered from a 'bird attack', needless to say I have never been so eager to get in a plane when it finally arrived. The flight was mediocre, the food bog standard and not really long enough to sleep. This didn't matter however as we were finally Australia bound. Paul Rathbone kindly picks us up from the airport and I can not tell you how nice it was to in a car and not have to think about where we were going. Not as nice however as going into a proper house for the first time in 2 months, an actual home, with a full fridge, sofa's, computers, beds, hot showers and so forth. Consequently we have spent the last week being spoiled rotten to which we are beyond grateful for! Lunch on Monday was Sushi, Blin'd first try and she is now hooked on the amazing revolving restaurants! Then home for a nap followed by games in the garden with Ben and Pheobe who seem to love having us to stay! Despite having visited England they do keep checking that we understand what we are talking about, have had to point out we are not aliens just live on the other side of the world. BBQ'd lamb for dinner is our first home cooked meal since our roast beef farewell dinner. We feel like we are in heaven! Struggling, we go straight to bed, despite being knackered I can't sleep till 3am which is horrible but the lie in makes up for it....
Missing the 10.30 bus Paul had given us all the information for we are left to deciphering Sydney's bus and train system. With the help of the bus driver we managed to make our way to the city centre for the open topped bus tour which takes us past all the sites and we stop for a bit of shopping and photographing! Yet again, Paul is remarkably kind and collects us from the centre taking us home in time for dinner and finally getting round to uploading photos to Facebook. (If anyone does not have fb but would like to see them please email me and I can copy you in with the folders, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org)I then decide the way to cure my sleeping issue's is to stay up till 2.30am on skype. The next day I missed the entire bus tour to Bondi beach as I was asleep in it. Question Blin if you want to know any of the interesting information we were told. I then relocated to sleeping on the beach. Bondi beach is quite something and arguably the most famous beach in the world which is odd seeing as it's not that big and in a city. WE HAVE BEEN THERE NOW SO WHO CARES!?!?! Slightly sun kissed we make our way back to the centre for a spot of shopping, Blin needed an outfit for a job interview and I thought it best to make use of the fact that Ugg's are from Australia and therefore really cheap!!!!! Choosing to explore the waters of Sydney we take the ferry home and then the bus. Public transport is definitely a new skill I have gained, still would have no clue about a bus in Bury however!
Thursday brought around an epic shopping trip with Paul for all my scuba gear, i will look nice in my matching pink gear if nothing else. Whilst all this was going on Blin was at her interview for a Call Centre........(I think it best she fills you all in on this)....
I turned up to a door to a sexy massage parlour with the same address I was told, but was then told to make my way upstairs where things looked considerably more pro. Scarily so infact. I feel very inferior with my blouse hanging out the bottom of my skirt heading down the corridor to the boardroom for my one on one interview with the manager Tony. After a few minutes grilling it turns out I have been invited back for another interview at 10. So in the break I go and find Gaby and Paul shopping and when they ask me what the job includes I could not say as I didn't think to ask this crucial question. I came back at ten to find myself dragged off with Tod the pro salesman for some 'on the job' observation. Here i find that we have to knock on doors and persuade people to convert their electricity supplier to Australian Power & Gas! 500 hours later (and alot of angry, door slamming Australians) I return to the office for 'devbriefing' with Tony where I am forced into agreeing to the job and a return to the office tomorrow morning for a 'training day'. Anyway, now on Monday and I can inform you that I am vaguely clued up on Australian Power and Gas and have my company shirt and lanyard on it's way to me (after a very hilarious photoshoot for by ID badge)
Also in the job pipeline, babysitting on a yacht, life modelling and call centre opportunities! Anyway back to Gabs..
On Saturday I took to the wheel and we 'road tripped' to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. (Ben is welcome to the car I think a 4by4 automatic suits my driving far better?) We arrive safe and sound, but soon realised we maybe should have booked somewhere to stay as everywhere was full and our non existent map reading skills/lonely planet providing a faulty map meant we had difficulty. Eventually the lady from the YHA rang around and found us a room which turned out to be very nice. Kitchen, sitting room and tv so we were equipped for the evening! Before that we took a walk down to admire the views and even thought it appropriate to tackle the 900 down staircase that you have to climb up again next to the famous Three Sisters Rocks (I'd never heard of them before but owell) The weather turning cloudy and cold we move into 'Aldi'... Yeah I know , not quite my beloved Waitrose but it does sell massive packs of the snakes by The Natural Confectionary Company and Blin stocks up on cheap cheap cheap super noodles, pasta, sauces and noodles, determined to make all $7 worth last 12weeks, ready to start her new life down under!!! That evening whilst watching TV I manage to land myself in conversation with a very odd man who is staying there. Apparently he runs hostels around the world but is working in a grocery shop in Katoomba at the minute where he is 'very well payed'?! He absolutely hates the Irish and according to him 500 Irish were deported in January and just all German visa's have been stopped for the last year. So yeah, not quite the long term friend people say you can meet whilst travelling, quite the opposite actually. Sunday was our horseriding adventure which was so so good! Picked up from our hostel at 12 by the stables run around boy who decides to take us on his run around job too, so we visit the petrol station, bank, pick up lunches and so forth which is highly entertaining! When we arrive our horses are distributed between us apparently on experience... Blin gets Jimmy and I am on Apollo. Jimmy likes to take it easy we soon discover whereas Apollo likes to keep right next to Jimmy at all times which can become quite difficult when Jimmy wanted to trot and Apollo wanted to canter... Nevertheless our two hour trek through the undergrowth at the base of the mountains was very relaxing and unbelievably nice to be back on a horse after 2 months. It's weird to think it is now April and we are still not quite half way through our trip!! Had my first subway for dinner after horseriding which was nice, managing to cause a lot of drama in the sandwhich shop, apparently Tuna and Turkey is NOT allowed together this side of the world... Through much persuasion I obtained one however. This morning we departed early for Sydney again, my driving now tip top and made it back in a mere 1.25 hours, no speeding!!!!
Spent the afternoon in Sydney finding Blin a place to stay which was very successful, she is now in an 8 bed dorm, all very modern, free internet, breakfast and so forth which is very exciting! I managed to get accused of shop lifting in a Chinese run supermarket however which was not so amusing. They didn't have any suncream so we just walked out again, security pounced on us rooting through my bag of plasters and bandages etc I had bought for Fiji at the pharmacy but I have no receipt for it!!! Little Chinese man try's to confiscate it not believing my story and insisting he sells Hydrogen Peroxide and gauze plaster type things in his shop. Turns out he doesn't suprize suprize, but he does have some of the plasters I had. After lots of packet studying and barcode comparing with me demanding a CCTV search he decides I haven't stolen anything from him and that my story of there being a lack of sun cream in his shop may actually be true. All very much of a palava and a waste of time made worse by the grounds his English was shocking and he kept saying 'bandaid'. Urgh.
On an even more minging note, I have managed to win the award for first person to get a proper illness whilst travelling. I have a skin infection which the doctors reckon is a 'Staff' Infection, basically any scratch, bite etc gets very badly infected and can't heal, so my arms and head are covered in bandages etc. Antibiotics are doing the trick however. We both also have colds as well, Blin's is far worse than mine but hopefully that shall clear up soon!
Anyway, as of tomorrow Blin moves out into the big wide world of Sydney and 9-6 work, whilst I spend a few days on the beach before heading to Melbourne then onto Fiji with its lack of shopping facilities and Internet! (I have packed lots of supernoodles and anyone can have my postal address as all letters will be much appreciated :-) )
Lots of love and hope everyone is well?