City Life, Beach Life, Bus Life

20th March

Connie and I ventured into the city centre together. We went in one of Melbourne’s many adorable coffee shops to have a delicious beverage and a muffin, before saying goodbye. Never will I forget the time I worked with such a hilarious, energetic, strong girl who has helped me to have the time of my life.

I spent the rest of the day cruising around coffee shops and catching up on diary writing. Also mentally preparing myself for the 12 hour bus journey to Sydney.

Yes, you read that correctly. TWELVE.

As my Dad would say it’s character building: All part of being British and growing up.

***

I slept most of the way but it was a very disturbed, light sleep – constantly waking up with uncomfortable aches and pains. Some rat of a man behind me had his stinking feet poking through to my seat, so I did loads of short, sharp reclines to tell him to sod off. Before I knew it, we had arrived.

Arrived in central Sydney before 6am. It was dark and weeing it down with rain. Luckily, I found my hostel pretty quickly but you couldn’t check in until 1pm. LONG.

That evening I went for a jog and stumbled across the opera house and harbour bridge. How surreal.

***

Second morning in Sydney was still cloudy but not raining. I took the bus to Bondi beach and from there did the beautiful Bondi to Coogee coastal walk (but I ran it. Classic). It felt very cool to be on Bondi, but I going to be honest with you: it’s just a beach. Bondi itself, in my opinion, is not memorable at all.

I was going to spend the afternoon checking out Darling Harbour. I’m basically there but will come again on Thursday when the weather is better. It’s chucking it down with rain, so I’m in a cafe enjoying a Nutella hot chocolate.

***

I really get on with two guys in my dorm – Dirk from Germany and Marvin from Switzerland. Today the three amigos will catch the ferry to Manly beach! It’s a very cool 30 min boat ride, seeing the opera house and harbour bridge fade into the distance. Our day consisted of ice creams, falling asleep on the beach, and then accidentally leaving Dirk behind! Good job the ferry runs every 30 minutes! Marvin and I took a long walk back, climbing trees on the way. I felt like a 7 year old. It was great. Then Marvin slipped and grazed his arm pretty badly. It was conveniently on his bicep so he kept showing me and tensing his muscles. He makes me laugh. Such a boy.

Guess what I’m up to tomorrow? Taking an 18 hour bus journey to Brisbane (EIGHTEEN, not a typo). Can’t wait.

Goodbye New Zealand, Hello Australia

10th March

Alarm goes off at 4am. There were big hugs with Julie at the airport (come with me!) I thought to myself.

I can’t believe how quickly the last 6 weeks have gone. I’ve seen the bluest lakes, the greenest hills. I’ve hiked over volcanoes, almost lost my voice watching the Rugby Sevens, done a bungy jump off a 400m platform, gone black water rafting, seen glow worms, baby dolphins, experienced some of the most beautiful running routes, seen the Haka performed by Maori, eaten food that’s been cooked under the ground, been in a helicopter over the mountains, hiked across a glacier, gone horse riding through rain forests and met loads of incredible people. Like I said in my last post, New Zealand has been all I had hoped for and more.

And she’s alone again: let’s go. The whole boarding process was quick and straightforward. I sat next to a nice lady on the plane who, by glancing over my shoulder at my itinerary, saw that I was going to Bali. She loves it there. But she warned me several times to be careful because of the past bombings and terrorist attacks. Cheerful lady. How exactly can you be careful about a bomb!? No matter how I act, if death and destruction is going to happen, then it will. If she wanted to scare me, she’s succeeded. Good work. She gasped in horror when I said I was travelling by myself. “Oh do be careful” she said for the 17th time.

Safely touched down in Melbourne. Going through security, a big banner overhead read “UK passport holders 16+” …Whilst waiting in line, a security guard approached me and said, “Excuse me, how old are you?” I cleared my throat and then confidently replied, “18.”

“Oh. You look younger,” he said.

My voice raised an octave higher. “Ha, actually I’m 21!!! Mind blank. Good lord, no idea why I said 18!!!”

Guard then looked at me as if I was an absolute psycho and he slowly edged away.

Thankfully, my head was screwed on enough to get me from the airport to South Yarra (bus and two trains). Here I met a couple of friends from my old school – Jess and George and their friend Rosie. What a treat to see their smiling faces!

Whilst waiting for them I popped into a little coffee shop. Melbourne is famous for its cafe culture and my oh my, it didn’t disappoint. Bold statement, but it was he best cappuccino I’ve ever had.

It doesn’t feel like I’m in Australia at the moment. It feels like London. It’s raining. I spent the afternoon chilling in the girls’ apartment, making myself at home. With a mug of tea on the arm of the sofa, and a bowl of cereal in my lap, I let out a storm of panic when Rosie got off the phone and shouted, “the landlord is coming up!” Act casual, act causal I thought. Pretend I’m just staying for the evening…

Without warning, Connie Thompson (one of my best friends from home) pops her head around the door. SURPRISE! I almost wept a tear of joy.

***

The next day saw me and Connie have an ace, speed tour of Melbourne. It’s such a cool city. It’s got a very arty, chilled, let’s go for brunch and drink coffee all day kind of vibe. Also, everyone is beautiful – they’re probably all famous on Instagram for being a beauty blogger or the ultimate foodie.

Firstly went with Con to a doctors appointment. We’d got the wrong address and we were accidentally sitting in the waiting room of a Plastic Surgery Clinic. Classic.

Then we explored the CBD and St Kildas and went into a travel shop to get my East Coast route sorted. Bye bye money.

Today has been fab. But you know what the best bit was? Organised Liv makes a spontaneous decision to leave the city centre TONIGHT and go with Connie to work on a stud farm for 10 days. WHAT IS LIFE!?

TO BE CONTINUED