Saturday, 28 April 2012

Uluru - Part 3


I woke up at 05.30 today. I wasn’t very happy about that as I’ve had so many early mornings lately and I wanted a lie-in. But then I realized that since I had woken up so early anyway I might as well walk up to the lookout at the hostel and watch the sunrise, because the sky was actually clear today. It was beautiful, and I would imagine it would be amazing at the sunrise lookout nearer Uluru, but the one near the hostel was enough for me.

 An Irish Girl I met on my first day here is leaving today, so I went and saw the camels again with her and to a couple of the lookouts. We also saw a lot of centipedes! At first we saw a few on their own and then we started seeing ones that were hanging on to each other! Apparently they do it because they’re blind, so they play follow the leader. I felt sorry for the really long line I saw that was crossing the road. I tired putting a stick down to turn them around, but they just went under it.

Yulara is a nice small resort. You can walk everywhere, but there is also a free shuttle bus every 15 minutes that goes anywhere within the resort. It’s nice that they actually have some free things since everything else is so expensive.

It’s really nice here, but I’m glad I’m not staying much longer. I could have probably left today but it’s nice to have a day where I’m not doing anything special as well. There isn’t much to do in Yulara, so if you book all your tours: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon etc., you can just leave when you finish them. But I guess that’s all the resort was built for, so people wouldn’t have to stay as far away as Alice Springs.

When The English Guy came back from his tour of Kings Canyon we went and watched the sunset from the lookout at the hostel. It was really nice, it would have probably been even more amazing if we had been closer to Uluru, but I think it was lovely anyway.

Shame about that pole there...
 After EG and I had some dinner we walked back to the lookout and watched the stars. I LOVE star gazing. I told EG he had to tell me when he wanted to go because I could stay up there all night. It’s amazing how many "shooting stars" you see if you just look up at the sky long enough. While we were there we talked to a couple from England that had done the Uluru sunset tour that night. They complained and said it was the worst $150 they had ever spent! I thought that was a surprise. But maybe they had built it up too much in their minds so that when they finally saw it, it didn’t meet their expectations. I think that might have been what happened to me with the Whitsundays. It’s always best to try to not have any expectations at all, or at least not too high, when it comes to tours etc. That way you won’t get disappointed. EG and I ended up star gazing for a couple of hours before we finally went down to the hostel bar for a couple of drinks and then retiring for the night as we were both leaving the next day.

25. 04.12

I woke up early again... So, again, I watched the sunrise from the lookout. I was the first one up there at first. While I was the only one up there I could hear music in the distance. Then I realised it's ANZAC Day, and the monument was just over a few of the hills. I have to say it was amazing. Watching the stars slowly give way to a lighter sky and sunrise, while listening to the birds and the music in the distance, while everything else was completely quiet... There are worse ways to spend a morning... It would have been nice to share the moment with someone, but it was nice to have it all to myself as well. To not share it with the people attending the dawn service over the hill, just stand there all on my own... Best morning so far in my life I think!

The Account

The Account
By Roderick Mann

Outer back cover: Julia Lang is a winner - beautiful, vivacious, publicity director of London's top hotel. Robert Brand is charismatic, handsome - with his vast fortune he can work magic. Together they make a golden couple, the world at their feet.
Together they can almost forget Robert's unhappy marriage to Grace, a union bound by secrets a generation old... until, suddenly, Julia's world is shattered by tragedy, and she begins to realize that her perfect life with Robert may have been built on a lie...
Determined to uncover the facts, Julia hires private detective Guy Ravenel to track down the truth. His plan is daring and dangerous, but not even he can foresee the horrors they will uncover, or the ruthlessness of Julia's enemies...

I wasn't sure if I would like this book, I only picked it up at the hostel in Adelaide because it was in English and it appealed to me more than the others. I really enjoyed it actually and it was really exciting!

In the beginning I was a little bit confused. There are so many people and places to keep track of, and I would mix the names together a few times, but after a while I started to remember who they all were. There are a lot of people to keep track of, but they are all interesting characters and it was fun to find out what would happen to them all. It was actually a bit scary at times too, and I held my breath for parts of it,

There are so many secrets and things to find out, and it's really interesting because most of if you don't find out the answer until the end of the book. I did struggle to put it down, and I'm happy for the rain today, in a way, just so that I had an excuse to sit down and finish it.

Uluru - Part 2


So I got up early and went on the Uluru sunrise tour today. It was cloudy so it wasn’t really as amazing as it could have been but it was still good. There were some clouds over Uluru when we came and instead of watching the sunrise we got so see the clouds slowly lift.

 After the “sunrise”, we drove around the base of Uluru, before stopping and going for a short walk along the base. It was amazing and I still can’t believe I’m actually looking at Uluru.

 After the walk we went to the Cultural Centre. We weren’t allowed to take pictures in there, but it was really nice. It had lots of history about the Aborigines in the area and art made by them. I also found the cheapest postcards (for the Uluru area) in there. Only $1, in Yulara they were $1.50! It’s amazing how expensive things are here, just because there is nowhere else to go.

As we were walking along the base I started talking to a guy from England that has just come over to Australia to work for at least a year. We chatted for the rest of the tour and when we got back to the hostel we went for a walk together and looked at the camels before his next tour.
Super cute and cheeky 8-month-old camels!
 When we got back to the hostel after our walk I decided to sign up for the tour that the English Guy was doing as well. He was doing the Kata Tjuta gorge walk and Uluru sunset; I figured I might as well see as much as possible while I am here.

Kata Tjuta was amazing! The look of it changes SO much depending on which angle you see it from. The gorge walk was estimated to take 30 minutes to the lookout and then 30 minutes back, but EG and I made it back to the bus with 15 minutes to spare. I’m really glad I went on that tour; it was just amazing to see. In the gorge I also saw the greenest plants I’ve seen in this area, I guess the water coming down from the Kata Tjutas just stays in that gorge and helps the plants grow. It’s a shame that people seem to focus on just Uluru when they come here (as I was going to do), because Kata Tjuta is brilliant as well.
Kata Tjuta Gorge
View from the Kata Tjuta Gorge
Kata Tjuta seen from one angle....
Kata Tjuta seen from a different angle. Looks completely different, doesn't it!
When we went to the viewing area for the Uluru sunset we got free drinks, wine, champagne, beer or juice I think it was, and nibbles. The clouds had lifted a tiny bit in the horizon so we saw a little bit of colours, and it was beautiful, although I can imagine that it would be even better with a proper clear sky.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Uluru - Part 1

Written on: 22.04.12

As we flew to Yulara I could see Uluru! I only saw it for a few seconds out of the plane but I saw it! There is free transfer to Yulara from the airport as, unless you rent a car, there is no other way to get there.  

And I can see Uluru from a lookout at the hostel!! It’s just amazing! I had a really “blond” though as I looked at it: It looks just like the pictures!! Uhm.. well, duh…
 It’s just so amazing seeing it with my own eyes after seeing it in pictures and on tv, it feels surreal! The flat landscape and then suddenly the rock! Since the weather isn’t that great it looked kind of grey-ish blue-ish today. I’ve heard it changes colour depending on weather and what time of day it is.

I’m really looking forward to my tour tomorrow. I was originally just going on an afternoon tour, but when I called to reconfirm it they said they weren’t doing them anymore, so they upgraded me to the sunrise one!! Free! I’m hoping the weather is better tomorrow, but I think it will be amazing anyway.

Uluru YHA

In Yulara, when I went to see Uluru, I stayed at Ayers Rock YHA, which is affiliated with the Outback Pioneer Hotel Lodge.

It was okay.  What I thought was best was that there is a lookout at the hostel where you can see Uluru and Kata Tjuta!

I stayed in a dorm for 20 females, but it felt like a much smaller room because there were 4 beds then a small wall to separate them from the next 4, so the dorm was kind of divided into 5 “rooms” of 4. I did find it a bit cold at night though as we only got a thin sheet and then a thin blanket to put over it, but since I wasn’t staying long I didn’t bother to ask for an extra blanket.

The showers and toilets are big with lots of stalls, but they’re cold because they’re “outside”. One morning I didn’t get any hot water at all so I just finished my shower as quickly as possible, but it was fine on the other mornings, but it was cold to get out of the shower. The shower stalls are big and they’ve got hooks as well as a small shelf. Even though there is a small wall in front of the shelf, the water in the shower comes out in such a way that your things still get wet on the shelf. But the shower pressure was really nice.

I didn’t actually use the kitchen because I was only staying there a couple of days so I didn’t look very closely at it. There is a bar at the hostel which was nice in the evenings, people from all the other hotels at the resort came to our bar as well.

There are lines to hang clothes on so that I didn’t have to pay for the dryer as well as the washing machine. There are quite a few lines but they’re also quite low, which made me worry a bit that some of my clothes would touch the ground and get dirty all over again, but it was fine.

There is no free Wi-Fi. It’s $1 for 6 minutes! It’s ridiculous! I put $1 on one of their computes one night because I was just going to quickly check something and I knew I could do it in less than 6 minutes, but the computer wasn’t just expensive, it was SLOW as well! So slow that I never actually got to check what I wanted because I refused to put more money on it just to have to wait another half hour for one webpage to load.

There is a common room and a small bookshelf where you can swap your books here.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Around the World in 80 Dates

Around the World in 80 Dates
By Jennifer Cox

Outer back cover:  They say there’s someone for everyone. But what if “The One lives in Winnipeg rather than Wimbledon? Or Port Stanley instead of Livingstone? Or even in Eden… New South Wales? How far would you go to find them? Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco?
As a seasoned travel writer and broadcaster, Jennifer has embarked on plenty of epic adventures before and explored some of the world’s most remote regions. She’s bonded with people the world over – but she can’t, for the life of her, seem to find a soul mate in London. She’s tried every dating technique known to womankind, all to no avail. And so she decides to set out on the trip of a lifetime, dating her way around the globe to find the man of her dreams.
And date them she does: from the Skate Date in Paris to the High Roller in Vegas, from the Love Professor in Sweden and the Dead Date in Italy to the Penguin Ranger in Australia. But just as she crosses the international dateline one more time, juggling doubts and excess baggage, the impossible happens – has she finally met Mr Right?

A book about travel AND men? Does it get any better than that?

Jennifer Cox is really funny, I really enjoyed reading her book, it’s a really funny concept and the fact that she really did it is amazing. The dates she goes on is amazing and it would be fun to do something like that, but it’s something you need to have the right contacts and mindset for.

It was interesting to see if she would succeed on her journey to find a soul mate, especially as she only spent a few hours with each person. But that’s the thing I guess, women know almost straight away if someone is “The One” if they just think about it and don’t fall for the first man that shows them some affection.

I think this book was really good, and I would recommend it to all my female friends.

Adelaide - Part 3

Written on 20.04.12

Last night there were some girls talking in the dorm, at 11pm! I don’t mind people talking in the dorm during the day of course, but at 10pm, 11pm and later and if people are trying to sleep then I think it’s just rude to have a conversation, especially if you’re not even going to whisper, although that’s annoying too. Go outside in the hallway or to the common room if you’re going to talk! Or if you’re on the phone, same thing applies.

This morning, like every morning in this dorm, someone put their alarm on snooze 5-6 times… Also rude. Just because you can’t be bothered to get up when your alarm goes off doesn’t mean you should wake everybody else in the dorm up! Set it for later and learn to get up the first time it goes off.

Anyway, rant over.

I walked to a lolly shop today; it’s very close to the hostel. I managed not to buy anything, amazing, I know! But I would have if they had what I wanted. The shop is called Blackeby’s, and I’m glad I went, just to see how amazing it looked. There were figures on the wall outside and a display in the window… It just looked amazing. If you’re ever in Adelaide, just go down James Place off Rundle Mall and see it for yourself, it’s worth the 5 minutes it takes just to look around.
 After I had been thrown out of Blackeby’s for drooling too much and not buying anything, I walked to the Old Adelaide Gaol. I paid $11 concession to get in and do a self-guided tour and I’m really glad I did. It was really interesting and I learnt a lot. It’s definitely another thing you should see if you’re in Adelaide. I have to admit, though, that I didn’t feel very well as I was walking around seeing how the prisoners had lived and reading their stories… It was horrible, and it was used until 1988. Just the thought of people living that way, in those conditions… It’s horrible. But then again I’m sure some of them  deserved it.

The hanging tower
Inside the hanging tower
This totally creeped me out when I first saw it out of the corner of my eye!
It didn’t say anything in the visitor guide that I couldn’t share the pictures I took there on a private web page, but I still don’t want to share too much. You should go and see it for yourselves. 

Our House Backpackers

The hostel I stayed at in Adelaide was called Our House. I stayed in a dorm for 18 females and the room was quite big and it didn’t feel “cramped”. The floors are wooden so they’re quite noisy, but at least there was no one over us in the dorm I stayed in.

Instead of room numbers the dorms have names from places in Australia. I stayed in Surfer’s Paradise. I think it’s pretty cool, different and a nice way to make the hallways look a bit prettier. There was, however, nothing inside the rooms that reflected the names of them.

When I checked in I got a key for a locker in my room, this has never happened before. The times when there has been a locker in the dorm before, I had to use my own padlock or rent a key, but most of the times there isn’t a locker at all. Inside the locker was a bag with the bed linen and crockery which I just return when I check out.

The bathrooms are clean and big, there are plenty of toilets and sinks and the shower stalls are big. There is no shelf to put your things on in the showers, only hooks, but at least there’s more than one hook.

The hostel also has free breakfast. It’s just toast with butter and jam and tea or coffee, but at least it’s free!

They have not got free internet, you have to pay $3 for 75 minutes, and they don’t have Wi-Fi at all, you have to use the computers provided. There are however plenty of places in Adelaide you CAN get free Wi-Fi, I walked to the library.

The hostel is close to pretty much everything in the city, including stops for the free tram and city loop bus and the central train station.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Adelaide - Part 2

Written on: 19.04.12

This morning I got up early enough to get the free breakfast the hostel offers. It’s just toast and tea or coffee, but it’s free! The reason I managed to get up early is because there are some other girls in the dorm that’s not very good at turning their alarms off or being quiet when they have to get up early!

After breakfast I went on a free city walk arranged by the Tourist Information Centre. There was a big group of 11 Polish people, 2 New Zealanders and me. There were two guides. The female guide told the male guide to take care of me and the New Zealanders while she handled the Poles. She had to tell him three times. I don’t know, maybe he hadn’t led the tour before. He was a nice man, but he seemed more interested in talking to us about Norway, where he is going in a few weeks, and New Zealand. He didn’t say much as he led us around. I’m glad the “tour” didn’t last more than 30-45 minutes, but at the same time I’m disappointed that I didn’t learn much more about Adelaide. But it was free and I did learn a couple of titbits. The main street that runs through the city is called King William Street, the streets that cross it have different names on either side of King William Street because “no one crosses the king”, I thought that was funny.
 After my city walk I went to Adelaide Central Market. There was loads of fruit, meat, baked goods etc. there. I bought some fresh fruit to eat while I’m here.
Tempting, but I managed not to
 After I had gone back to the hostel to put away the fruit I went to the Migration Museum. It was really interesting, I suggest anyone that goes to Adelaide to visit it. I especially liked the exhibit called “Behind the Wall”. It’s the history of the site which originally operated as a “Native School” where Aboriginal children were boarded and educated, and then as Adelaide’s Destitute Asylum. It was really sad to read the stories of people that had been there, but also very interesting It’s history and we should learn about it and learn from it.

I had a very quick look inside the “normal” Museum as well but I think there must be something going on in the city today, because it was filled with children and extremely noisy and with a long line that I have no idea where it led to, so I just gave up and walked out. Maybe I’ll try again another day.


By: Ally Condie

Outer back cover: On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life.
Except he’s not.
In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they will have. Where they work. When they die.
But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.
And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel…

I really enjoyed this book; I struggled with putting it down, which luckily I only had to do once. “Unfortunately” I found out at the end that it’s the first book of a trilogy, which wouldn’t be too bad if all the books were published, but the last book isn’t due to be released until November this year, so I guess I’ll have to get them all again and read them then, at least I’ve got something to look forward to.

Anyway. I really did enjoy the book and it made me think a lot. The society described in the book could easily be our future, it’s very realistic. And the part of it that made me think a lot was “would it really be so horrible if that’s the way the world worked?” There are some positive and negative sides of the society described in the book, and I guess a lot of people would compare it with communism, but there are positive and negative sides of EVERYTHING. But enough about “politics”, it’s a dangerous subject, read the book for yourselves and form your own opinion.

I really liked Cassie as a character, she grows and changes quite a bit in the book and starts to notice more about the world she lives in. The love story is kind of intriguing, but more because of the background of it than what’s actually happening. It’s hard to explain without giving anything away.

I’m already looking forward to re-reading it in November when the last book in the trilogy comes out, if I can remember. I’m not going to bother to try and find the second book until then as I will have to wait for the last one anyway.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Adelaide - Part 1

Written on: 17.04.12

As I was flying towards Adelaide and looking out the window of the plane I thought it looked so lovely. Nice little hills, cute country roads, cute country homes… I’m looking forward to my days in Adelaide, although for all I know I might spend the whole time in the city.

I got a map of the city at the hostel. I arrived too late to go to the tourist information centre, but according to the map it’s just around the corner from the hostel, so I will go there tomorrow after I have found a place where they can (hopefully) fix my camera. Also included in my plan for tomorrow is going to Adelaide Central Market and get some cheap food for my days here.

Written on: 18.04.12

My new camera, at least it works!
To fix my camera it would cost around $100, and if they saw something more that needed fixing, other than just the sand, that would be extra. Since I know the lens has a scratch on it, I figured I might as well buy a new camera. I got the cheapest one they had for $98. Hopefully it will last until I go back to Norway. I told the sales-guy about my bad luck with cameras, he suggested I get a shock-proof, water-proof etc. camera once I get back to Norway… That’s probably a good idea. Maybe I shouldn’t get a DSLR after all… Yeah, right!

After I got my new camera I went to the Tourist Information Centre and had a look at the brochures. I found some for free bike hire so I might do that one day, and they also gave me a map of the free City Loop bus and tram.

As the hostel I am staying at in Adelaide doesn’t have Wi-Fi I decided to go to the library for a bit since I had 3 new posts to publish. Unlike the Brisbane library there are not many places to sit, and the seats that are there are very hard and uncomfortable. I ended up sitting on the floor. At least it means I won’t spend more time than I have to there as my bum and back starts to hurt.

After the library I decided that it was a bit late to go to the market so I walked up and down Rundle Mall again (I’m getting plenty of exercise today!) as I had seen some things there this morning I wanted to take pictures of.

 I have also had a look at the maps I got at the TIC and found some things I would like to see in the next few days. The TIC also does free guided city walks at 9.30am so I think I’ll do that one day.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Hobart - Part 4

Written on: 16.04.12

Yesterday I went to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). Actually I biked there! I got a free bike at the museum and art gallery in the city and then I cycled the 10kilometres there. I think it’s around 10 anyway, I can’t remember what the signs said, someone said it was 13. Anyway. However far it was I could definitely feel it in my legs. Getting back on the bike after I was finished at MONA to go back to the city was absolute torture!
Outside MONA
 MONA was really good. I absolutely loved it! I was able to get a concession ticket for $10, a normal adult ticket is $20. But it would have been worth the $20 as well. There seemed to be more new art than old, and usually I’m not good with new art (completely white canvas with one red line anyone?), but it was actually really good. It’s completely uncensored and some of it I guess is quite controversial and it makes you think. There is a lot about sex and death, but also some funny things like a water feature that makes words and a fat car and plants growing in plastic. If you ever go to Hobart, or anywhere in Tasmania, you HAVE TO go to MONA. Someone also told me that they change things around and get some new thing every 3 months or something, so even if you’ve been it’s worth going back. I’m not allowed to share pictures from it unfortunately.

There is one exhibit at MONA you have to line up for: the Gallery of death, or Death Gallery. And you’re only allowed in 2 at a time. I had to wait 30 minutes to get in.  There was another girl on her own further back in the line, so when it was my turn I asked if she wanted to go in with me so she wouldn’t have to wait. The exhibit, was good, but wasn’t really worth waiting that long for. The thing is; they were just wasting space in there, if they had set things up differently they could have let more people in at a time.
View from outside MONA

Today a girl from the hostel and I rented a car (she drove, I was the map reader) and went on a mini-road-trip. I didn’t really want to have to spend more money, but as it meant I got to see a little bit more of Tasmania for less than it would cost to pay for a proper tour I decided to treat myself (I tend to do that a little too much….).
 We went to Richmond first. There are loads of beautiful buildings but, as usual, you have to pay if you want to go into the gaoul or the model village or anything, so we just walked around and looked at the buildings and then we walked to the oldest bridge in Australia and the oldest continuously used Catholic Church in Australia.

 After Richmond we went to see the Tesselated Pavements. It’s so impressive that it’s all made by nature, it looks like it’s man-made!
 At the Tesselated Pavements I managed to drop my camera in the sand… Yeah… It’s not working anymore… It’s only 9 months old! Oooops!! Hopefully I will be able to take it into a shop and get it fixed, they should be able to just use one of those air machines or whatever and blow the sand out of it. I borrowed my friend’s camera for the rest of our trip but didn’t take many pictures anyway.
After the Tesselated Pavements we continued driving toward Port Arthur, stopping at the Tasman Blowhole, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen on the way. I have to say: one of the best things about driving your own car is that you can stop wherever you want to.

Since you there is nothing to see at Port Arthur unless you pay to go in, we just went to a lookout and saw it from a distance. We’re poor backpackers! I would have loved to go there, but I just couldn’t justify spending even more money today.
 After Port Arthur we went to White Beach before heading back to Hobart. White Beach is nothing exiting; we only went there because the name made it sound a little bit interesting, like it would be as white as Whitehaven Beach.

All day we saw a lot of road-kill!! It was horrible! At one point I saw a wallaby that had been hit and I swear I saw its ear twitch!! I regret not stopping to check, but I didn’t have any gloves or anything. We actually stopped at a chemist’s about an hour later and bought some disposable gloves, just because we felt so bad about going past so many dead animals without checking them. I found the number to call if we found anything alive, and then we stopped and checked the road-kills that looked fairly fresh. When I went to BonorongWildlife Park there was a baby wombat there that had been found alive in its mother’s pouch after the mother had been killed by a car. However, all the road-kill that I checked had all been dead so long that if there had been anything in the pouches that would have been dead too as the babies can’t survive that long without milk. I felt better about checking them, but at the same time I’m glad they had all been dead so long that I didn’t have to check the pouches. I wish I could have gone back to the one I thought twitched its ear, but it had been so long and we couldn’t remember where it was we had seen it.

We drove a total of 255 kilometres. For the car and fuel we only paid $45 each altogether, and I think that we got too see a lot for that amount of money. It was a good day trip.

Like I’ve said before I would love to come back to Tasmania. Maybe I’ll get a 3-month tourist visa one day and use all that time just to explore Tasmania. I have to save up some money first though so that I can pay for all the various attractions. Hobart also has the best tap water so far in Australia.

By the way, if you find any hurt animals or orphaned baby animals in Tasmania, especially around Hobart, you can call Bonorong Wildlife Park 24/7 on: (03) 6268 1184. I’m not sure how big an area they cover, but at least if you call them and it’s outside their area they can probably give you another number to call or something. And always carry disposable gloves in your car. 

Tassie Backpackers

Well, I’ve decided to put what I write about hostels in a post on its own because it takes up so much space most of the time, which can make a post seem a bit long and “daunting”. This will also make it easier for people that have Googled the name of a hostel I’ve stayed at and just want a review of the hostel and not the place I’ve been to.

When I was in Hobart I stayed at TassieBackpackers at The Brunswick Hotel. There was no lift at the hostel, so I had to carry my suitcase up a flight of stairs; they weren’t too long though so it was fine.

The hostel has loads of doors open and in a way part of it is outside so it gets really cold. I found a heater in the dorm that I turned on when I was in it during the day and in the evening, but at night we had to turn it off and open the windows so that the air wouldn’t get to stuffy.

The dorm I’m in is alright, it’s a 10 person one, just ladies, there isn’t a lot of space for luggage or anything but it seems to work. The bathrooms are really old (and freezing cold) and could use some renovating. The shower is either scorching hot or freezing cold and has hardly any pressure (usual hostel shower).

There are no signs towards anything in the hostel so I just had to guess my way to places or get people to show me.

There is a courtyard outside, so it’s cold, where there are some tables and chairs and you can connect to the free Wi-Fi, and there is a roof over the courtyard so you won’t get wet if it rains. There is also a small common room with a TV and a small bookshelf where you can swap your books instead of spending your money on buying new ones.

The kitchen is large, but hasn’t got much bench space so it’s better to go when there is nobody else in there if you need to cook. There are two ovens, I was actually quite impressed by that, it’s the first place I’ve been to with an oven.

There is one washing machine and one tumble dryer but the hostel doesn’t seem very busy so I don’t think they need more. It’s $3 to use each. The washing machine isn’t very large though, so if you have a large amount of clothing that needs washing you might have to do 2 loads.

The staff I’ve dealt with has been very friendly and helpful.

The hostel’s location is great! It’s just around the corner from Elizabeth Street, the main shopping street, and there is a Woolworth’s literally straight across the street!

My stay at Tassie Backpackers has been nice. Yes, it’s cold (that’s just the season as well) and the bathrooms needs renovating and they need to put signs up to make it easier to find things, but at least the location is good, the staff is nice, and there are no bedbugs!

Web of Dreams

Web of Dreams
By Virginia Andrews

Outer back cover: On their return to Farthinggale Manor, the mystery-shrouded luxury home of the Tatterton family, Annie and Luke believe that they will be putting the past finally to rest, and bringing peace to the spirit of Annie’s mother Heaven.
But Annie discovers a diary at Farthinggale. There she finds the story of her grandmother Leigh, and of her great-grandparents. Born into the privileged life of Boston’s wealthy classes, Leigh hopes for happiness. Her dreams are shattered, however, when her parents divorce, and her mother marries Tony Tatterton. The awful shadow cast by the Tatterton family over the lives of the next three generations begins to spread…

This is the fifth and last book in the Casteel family saga.

This is supposed to be a kind of diary, but it’s not written as a diary at all, it’s pretty much written just like the other books. So, to get through it without being too annoyed, I just had to imagine that it was just kind of based on what Annie was reading in the diary and that she was in a way “filling in the blanks” or something, I’m not sure how to explain it. There are some inconsistencies with the earlier books and, as with the earlier ones; you can’t fix it to a certain year and time in the real world.

Since this book is about Leigh, Heaven’s mother, Annie’s grandmother, it answers a lot of questions. There are also some new questions because of it, but not important ones, which is good since it’s the last one. I did feel very sorry for Leigh and her situation, and I can understand why she made some of the choices that she did.

It’s interesting to see how all the drama started. Which ones of the rumours in the earlier books were true and not. It was also very interesting to see how Tony and Jillian was in the start, as well as reading more about Jillian’s first husband.

I did enjoy the whole Casteel Family Saga and, although there was an exceptional amount of soap-opera-style drama, it’s a series that I know I can read again and again. The first book, Heaven, and the last book, Web of Dreams, are by far my favourite books in the saga.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Hobart - Part 3

Written on: 13.04.12

I paid for the tour of Theatre Royal today. I was actually the only one doing the tour and I felt a little bit like I was in a library because the guide was talking so quietly. It’s a beautiful theatre, it’s very small so I’m a bit surprised that they still use it, but at the same time it’s great that they do instead of just getting something new and bigger.

 My main reason for going was because I wanted to see the basement which, according to my Hobart’s historic places-map, incorporates remnants of the original theatre, including the tavern commonly known as “The Shades”. We did go into the basement, but I only got to see some of the old dressing rooms that were now used as storage. The part where “The Shades” is, which is right under where the seats are now, is closed off, which is a shame. So I’m a bit disappointed that I spent money on that tour when I didn’t get to see what I really wanted to, but at the same time the Theatre is beautiful and I didn’t have to pay for a show, and the money from the tours goes to bring disadvantaged children to the theatre, so at least it’s for a good cause.
"Grafitti" on one of the walls in an old dressing room.
 After the Theatre tour I walked around Hobart to see the rest of the historic places on the map.

One of the places on the map is St. David’s Park, which used to be a cemetery. The cemetery closed in 1872, and by the turn of the century its condition had become a public disgrace. In 1926, the area was converted into one of the City’s most attractive parks. It was fun to see the massive gravestones, has anybody ever seen a modern version of those?
 There were also some walls with loads of gravestones on them. I had a look at some of them, and it was so sad to see how young people were when they died, and there were quite a few for young children. Although I do have to admit that many of them are much prettier than the modern ones.

Written on: 14.04.12

I went to the Salamanca market this morning. It’s on every Saturday from 8.30am to 4pm. I went with one of the other girls from the hostel as soon as it started so that we could do that and then still have the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted.

 There were so many nice things at the market. I would love to have an apartment here and loads of money just so I could fill it with things from the market! Haha! There was also loads of food stall, many which did free samples. Needless to say I got a free sample from every stall that had something vegetarian.
After the market I walked up to Anzac Parade.

When I got back to the hostel I played some cricket with one of the guys in the courtyard… Not really the best idea as there is tables and chairs there and people sitting there with their laptops, but we managed to not hit people with the ball. I almost did, but only once. I have never played cricket before, and although we were just pitching (or I guess it’s called bowling in cricket?) the ball and hitting it with the bat to each other it was really fun. It’s also quite tiring; how the professionals can play for a few hours I don’t understand. I wasn’t very good at hitting the ball to start with, but after a while I got better, and it’s always fun when you can tell you’re getting better at something.

Tomorrow I am going to borrow a bike at the museum and art gallery in town and cycle to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), I have heard it’s really good, and I saw the pictures one of the other girls took there and it does look amazing, so I’m really looking forward to that.

One of the girls at the hostel and I went to Dumpling World for dinner tonight. We ordered vegetarian dumplings and stir-fried noodles. The noodles were really nice, but we both agreed that the dumplings had too much garlic in them. I quite like garlic, but with these I had to dip them in a lot of soy sauce, which I don’t normally like, just to try and get rid of some of the garlic taste. Maybe the meat dumplings are alright, but I would not recommend the vegetarian ones.


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