Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Newcastle


Day 1

An early start today, the coach left Port Macqarie at 5.50. But that’s nice, at least I don’t have to figure out what to do while waiting for it. The coach was so full that a guy had to sit next to me, which is fine, but then he started talking to me. I know I sound unreasonable, but I don’t like it when people talk to me on the coach, or the plane... I don’t know why, I just like that time to chill out with my own thoughts. And it’s not because it was early because I don’t like it at any time of the day. And he wasn’t really saying anything interesting either, just talking to talk.

Turns out Mr Chatterbox is staying at the same hostel as me. We got to the hostel, Cambridge Hotel Backpackers, and all the doors were locked! Again the door wasn’t properly marked. Another girl with us had to ring them to get them to come down and open the door for us. The girl that opened up for us did not know how to hold a door open properly. And when we got inside we saw that we had to get up a flight of stairs! No lift. That’s fun with a 20kg suitcase…

Usually when I’ve checked in at hostels they’ve only needed to see my passport if anything, sometimes nothing, but this time she needed BOTH my passport AND my credit card! I don’t like it. I can’t remember if that’s how it usually is at hotels and stuff, but I didn’t like seeing her type in my card number and security code… And it didn’t help that she’s not the most smiley and happy person in the world.

The room is okay though, the bed creaks, so I hope I’ll be able to sleep in it. There is only one other girl in the room and she’s had it on her own for the last few days, it’s a 4bed dorm. Apparently there isn’t many guests, maybe 6 or 7… The bathroom doesn’t look like they’ve had anything done to them since the building was built, which is kind of charming, but at the same time not… As long as the showers work it’s fine. And there is only one toilet and two showers in the ladies, one of the showers has a bathtub in it. So really it’s a good thing that there isn’t many people here. The kitchen looks like a kitchen in a flat or small house, not the usual hostel kitchen, but at least you get free cereal and milk. You also get 2hrs free internet a day, but by the looks of it you have to spend it all at once. Because when I tried to log back on after dinner it wouldn’t let me.  And if you want to buy some it’s only $5 for 12 hours, which is the cheapest so far.

Anyway, I think my rant is over now.
 Mr Chatterbox and I walked to the lighthouse together, we were both headed that way, and he did grow on me, so you see I don’t mind him, just him talking to me on the coach. Saying that though I don’t even like talking to my mother on a coach. The walk was nice, I got really sunburnt, I kind of wish I had taken the FREE bus back to the hostel, but I wanted to see more of Newcastle, and I actually found a place that sold two books for $10!
 That’s one thing I like about Newcastle already, if you take the bus in a certain region, it’s FREE! It also seems like it’s a really good city for cyclists, they’ve got their own lane on the roads.

The girl staying in my room is German, she is really nice and we walked to Coles together and got some shopping done, Her, Mr Chatterbox and I went out for dinner. $5 Pizzas at Pizza Hut, 2 vegetarian options, yay!

Oh, and the TV here is a really big screen, but it’s blue! And by that I mean the picture not the “frame” or whatever.

Day 2

Today The German Girl and I spent most of the day walking around Darby Street. I really liked it, I would love to have a house or apartment (and loads of money), just so I could fill it with items from that street. They have loads of little shops with interesting items, you know the kind that you don’t really need but looks really cool, or that you do need but looks so cool it’s 5 times the price it would be in a normal shop if it looked the usual way. Notebooks, pens, useless trinkets, useful trinkets, books… There were also loads of interesting jewellery and clothes, and people wearing it. I love those kind of shops, which I guess is why I love York and Carnaby street and Camden in London. We didn’t buy anything, it’s a bit too expensive on a backpacker’s budget, but it’s nice to just go in those shops and look.

After we had walked all of Darby street we headed to the Cathedral. It’s a beautiful building. I’m not a religious person, but I do like to see religious buildings and learning more about religions, their history and things like that. I actually wear a St. Christopher necklace that Nicky gave me all the time as he is supposed to keep travellers safe. We walked around the Cathedral on our own first and then as we were going to leave one of the guys working there asked if we had noticed the dog. Which we hadn’t, so he showed us, and then also led us around the Cathedral again telling us the history behind different things and very interesting facts. I like that he let us walk around on our own first, that way we could do it at our own pace and just look.

 It was also possible to go up the tower for a $5 donation, and we would probably have gotten a nice view of Newcastle that way if it was sunny, but the weather was so bad we decided against it. Although when we got outside again it started clearing up. But we were starting to get hungry as it was past lunchtime, so we went back to Darby Street and got some lunch at one of the many cafes there.
 I also found a couple more books at Big W, less than $4 each, which is good as I will just leave the books at the hostel when I finish them anyway. I can also pick up new books at hostels when I leave one, which I should start remembering instead of buying new books all the time! I gave “Water for Elephants” to TGG.

Day 3

The German Girl left this morning. I now have the dorm all to myself. There are still some people at the hostel though, but I think it’s only maybe 5 or 6 other people.

After saying goodbye to TGG I walked to the ocean baths and from there walked along the beach to the obelisk. It would have been nice if it was sunny, would have made a much better picture, but at least it didn’t start raining until I was back at the hostel.
 Other than my morning walk, which was apparently 5kms, I have written some postcards and read a book today. I could have managed with only 2 nights here as well, but it is nice to have a day extra just so I can relax and not have to rush around and try to see everything in a short amount of time.

Although it was a rocky start at the hostel, it’s been fine to stay at. The shower is actually one of the best ones so far as it actually gets to a comfortable temperature and stays there. The kitchen is very small and not really made for socialising like most hostel kitchens, but apparently they’re working on another one that should be ready soon. So the worst things about this place is that there is no lift, the TV doesn’t work properly, there is hardly ever anyone at reception except for one hour at check-out time, the doonas were dirty and the bathrooms are really small and old. But it’s fine, it works, I get free internet, just 2 hours a day but that’s enough. I’m sure there are places that are much worse.

By the way, does anybody know why there are unicorns at random places all over Newcastle??
Next stop: Sydney!

3 comments:

Kaby said...

Fantastic photos as always. Your eye is amazing. Can't wait for the next post.

Leslie said...

Gorgeous!!!! I love these amazing tours.

....Petty Witter said...

I was so excited when I saw your heading. Newcastle? One of my blogger buddies is in Newcastle? Alas not my hometown of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. Do let us know if you find out the connection with the unicorn, perhaps it makes up a city shield or something.

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