Monthly Archives: March 2013

On backpacking

So this long Easter weekend I decided to catch up with an old friend. In previous years whenever we had a couple of days together, we would make the most of it and go camping.

I don’t know if it’s that I’ve really changed, or just gotten older and more used to my creature comforts, but I decided that I just couldn’t do our normal camping spot (Lamington National Park) this year because of the envirotoilets (composting toilets). They look like this, and are enough to put you off chocolate for the weekend:

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So he suggested going to Yamba, a place which I had heard was lovely but had never been to. Ideally, it’s all sunshine, beaches and tourists (though it turned out to be grey, dull and mostly closed due to it being Good Friday).

So after a lovely first night at his house where we drank and then fell asleep at about 3am watching The Lion King (just like old times). Before and after shots are below.

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Before. As in before we had those last couple of scotch and cokes.

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What a difference those couple of extra drinks make.

Once my friend was sober enough to drive the next morning, we made our way to Yamba. Yamba is one of those typically Australian beautiful beach towns. Looks like this:

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Being Easter weekend with everything horrifically expensive, the Yamba YHA (backpackers) seemed like a great idea. It was my first ‘backpackers’ experience and it’s actually a pretty classy joint from what I’ve heard.

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Problem number 1: Bunk beds. I just don’t do them. Not top bunks anyway, and of course that’s what I got. It was like sleeping in a tall metal crib because of the guards around the top, and when you are 6ft tall and like to starfish in your sleep it’s not a great mix.

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I don’t know who these people are, but these are the bunks at the YHA.

Problem number two: Being forced to socialise. I am quite a social person when I am in the right situation (read: one I want to be in). But I don’t like having to chat to people when I am tired and cold and feeling like I need some me-time. It’s great that the girl in the bunk downstairs is from Melbourne and is with a friend she met in Cronulla who is sleeping in another room and they couldn’t spend the extra 3 nights here that they wanted and so now they have to go to the Gold Coast instead. Good for her. Don’t care.

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If I make too many friends then I won’t have any time left for me!

Problem number three: drunk people. They yell. They dance. They throw open your door at 1am when you’re fast asleep and think they’re hilarious when they ask you why you’re sleeping. And you don’t even know who the hell they are. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like getting woken up by strangers four times in a night.

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Agree. Drunk people, not as funny as they think they are.

Problem number four: You can only sleep in until the first person in the quad dorm gets up. Pack quietly because I don’t do mornings. Enough said.

It ended up being a great little trip though, especially since we decided to randomly check out a little road off the Pacific Motorway on the drive home, and ended up in a 4WD’ing adventure!

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Yes, that is a 4WD that is not even as tall as I am.

Moral of the story: pay the extra per night to get a private room.

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I’m Brighton bound!

Okay, so I am moving to Brighton, England. In 35 days. On a one-way ticket.

Why, you say? Mainly because there aren’t any good reasons not to!

I’ve been wanting to move to England for about eight years now, and finally I’m single, with no serious career and no attachments. One of my sisters, Sarah, is already over there and I’m just going to go and join the adventure!

I leave at 2.30am on Sunday the 28th April. I have purchased a beautiful leather travel wallet, and I am working on a to-do list and a to-pack list simultaneously!

Would you like to see where I’m going? Here’s my pre-arrival tour around my new hometown….

First off, welcome to Brighton! I’ll be your tour guide for today, despite the fact that I’ve never actually been there.

The English version of the 'Sunshine Coast', Brighton is known for getting the most hours of sun in England per year.

The English version of the ‘Sunshine Coast’, Brighton is known for getting the most hours of sun in England per year.

Probably the most famous sight in Brighton is the Brighton Pier.

Originally built in 1981, the 'Brighton Marine Palace and Pier' (known as the Palace Pier for short) hosts arcades, rides, food, stalls and more!

Originally built in 1981, the ‘Brighton Marine Palace and Pier’ (known as the Palace Pier for short) hosts arcades, rides, food, stalls and more!

While we’re down on the water, aren’t these beach houses cute?

Beach Houses, Brighton Beach
Another beautiful historic building is the Royal Pavilion. Formerly a royal residence, the building and grounds are generally just a beautiful place to walk, sit, picnic, make out, whatever really.

Yes, it does look like the Taj Mahal. That's cos it was built in the 'Indo-Saracenic' style in 1781 for George, Prince of Wales. Thanks Wiki!

Yes, it does look like the Taj Mahal. That’s cos it was built in the ‘Indo-Saracenic’ style in 1781 for George, Prince of Wales. Thanks Wiki!

So you want to know the cool places to hang while you’re in Brighton visiting me in the near future? Check out The Lanes, good for antiques and jewellery shopping and some fancy restaurants. Very expensive, very beautiful.

The Lanes, Brighton

If you’re more alternate, like me, the hippie area North Laine might be more your groove. North Laine deserves two pictures, one for a special shop that I cannot wait to go buy things in!

This area is full of vintage clothes shops, some of the best record stores in the UK, and general hippie merriment!

This area is full of vintage clothes shops, some of the best record stores in the UK, and general hippie merriment!

And the shop of my dreams…

Where I will indubitably end up spending most of my savings.

Where I will indubitably end up spending most of my savings.

Then there is the gay quarter, Kemptown. I’m really looking forward to spending some time here just people watching. Apparently in the early hours of the morning it looks like this…

Morning in Kemptown

However, at Pride festival (one of the largest in Europe) it may look more like this…

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And finally, Brighton is/was home to a few famous people, including but not limited to Cate Blanchett, Paul McCartney, Jordan and Peter Andre, Nick Cave, Rudyard Kipling, Dusty Springfield and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley from Harry Potter). Also, Fatboy Slim lives there sometimes, and owns a Japanese restaurant.

Apparently his restaurant is nowhere near as good as his music.

Apparently his restaurant is nowhere near as good as his music.

So there you go folks, tour ended. I’ll be able to tell you more once I get there, but in the meantime I’m living vicariously through google images.