A Travellerspoint blog

Hostels

Haven or Horror?

sunny 35 °C

Having now stayed at a grand total of three hostels I now feel I am qualified to write about this subject. So far each of my hostels has fallen into a different catagory.

1) The inner city hostel (Perth YHA)

2) The workers hostel (Magaret River Inntown backpackers)

3) The why the hell did I come here hostel (Bunbury YHA)

The inner city hostel is generally clean, large, well ran and most importantly has good internet. Unless you pick one that has a 24 hour disco they are usually quiet as there are rules about bringing in your own booze. This means you have to go out to looking for it, but worry not as you are right next to the city this shouldn't be a problem. Now finding people to go out will be a little more tricky. People in this type of hostel don't socialise as much as they should, in my opinion they need lessons from hostel type number two.
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The workers’ hostel is the type of hostel where everyone knows each other, they have lived there so long they have started to mold into the furniture. As a new bee it is hard to sit on the sofas without thinking you will get evils from everyone else in the room. Essentially don't forget your alcohol (if you're in the Margaret river region there is wine in abundance) everyone will share with you so it’s vital you have some to give back. Try to ignore the stains in the bathroom, the flies in the kitchen and the mysterious lack of cutlery anywhere in the hostel. After a day or so you won't even notice go native and kick back with a glass of goon.
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Hostel number three is the worst of the three. In essence there is nothing wrong with the hostel or the people just a total lack of interest in the place. Lets be specific, Bunbury is boring. I was warned but I would go anyway. The beach is amazing soft white sand, crystal blue sea and roasting temperatures.
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After half an hour you begin to resemble a frazzle so off you go in search of something else to do but oh no this is Bunbury, there isn’t anything.
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Posted by x-raygirl 23:15 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Thursday Roast

sunny 38 °C

After two days of trying to sort out my Australian life, fighting with hsbc and queing for health cover I decided it was time to do a bit of site seeing. So I found myself on the 8:45 ferry to Rottnest Island. Rotto (as its known by locals) is just off the west coast of Perth and is home to Quokkas, a light house and loads of bikes. The boat I was on was catamaran style like the thames clippers, so it should have been a speedy ride. Half an hour later we were still puttering up the swan river admiring the millionaires mansions on the river banks. After a further bumby half an hour at sea I got off, got given a bike and snorkle equipment and was sent on my merry way.
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I eyed my bike with some trepidation, you may laugh but I haven't cycled since one sunday two years ago spent in Cambridge wobbling my way round tourists. Once on my bike I was left wondering what to do with my snorkling gear. I tried it under the frame and it fell off, I tried it on the handle bars and it fell off, I was about to throw it in the sea when I remembered the hooks on my rucsac, it still hit the wheels but it was ok, I was off.
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After 10 minutes it started to get hilly. I'd chosen the green route, only 10km easy peasy, I can run 10k in less than an hour, I wizz round and be back to the bay for lunch. I hadn't expected hills! I persevered with the first three but in 38 degree heat I felt I was on fire and sweat was dripping into my eyes. My helmet was on over my hat so I looked like little a strange little red riding hood so it was making me hotter and I was breathing like I smoked 20 a day, this was supposed to be fun!!
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At the third cove I stopped. People kept talking to me about how hot it was, I think it was just to check I still speak and wasn't about to go up in flames. I got out the wretched snokling gear and put it on. The water was warm and clear and I could see reef and sea weed and fish, it was so refreshing and cool. I never did do the full 10km, snokling was the way forward, so I wimped out, headed back to Thomson Bay and spent the rest of the day marvelling at the fish and lying on the beach relaxing.
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Posted by x-raygirl 02:08 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The hunt for the botanical garden

Singapore

overcast 29 °C

I set out this morning with only one goal, to find the orchids in Singapore's botanical garden. Setting off at the MRT station I caused my usual morning havok by standing on the right on the escelator, what is it with singaporians and standing on the left, i can't get used to it.
After emerging at Orchard Station I decided to walk up to the garden. I don't know what it is about being in a new city that pocesses me with the idea that I can walk anywhere. When I first arrived I was determined not to use a cab to get to the hotel, which was fine except for the part where I had to walk from the MRT station, the scale on the map is quite small! By the time I made it I was drenched in sweat, humidity is so much its like living permenantly in Topical world or the Eden project! On my first full day I walked everywhere, on day two i'd had enough of walking and went on a duck tour, yep the same as the london ducks, only I did n't have to book weeks in advance and I didn't have to make duck noises (shame!).
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After walking up Orchard road it stopped. I looked at my map, it was supposed to carry on but the road in front of me forked and changed its name, so I picked the left and kept walking. After losing my body weight in sweat i'd had enough, i flagged down a cab. The cab trip took about 5 minutes but it was worth it for the air conditioning. The gardens were fantastic and I met some other english people sheltering from a shower. We were standing between the doors to the cool house and the outside world unsure which was wetter ( I possibly should have kept the umbrella, it is the wet season here).
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So after 3 great days in Singapore i've visited two forts, the singapore museum, a fire station, the night safari the orchid garden and more shopping centres than i ususally do in a year, all topped off with some swing dancing. I don't know what to expect in Perth but i know i'll miss the double bed, maid and breakfast anyway i'll keep you posted.

p.s sorry about the spelling i don't seem to have a spell checker on wordpad.

Posted by x-raygirl 05:42 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

At the Off

The shoe conundrum

overcast 29 °C

I've packed before for trips. My ususal method is to pack for every possible type of weather. I'm one of those annoying people who packs three or four days before they go away and makes it look like i'm really orgainised. In reality I just want to get the packing over and done with so I pack everything possible then leave it in the corner and forget what's in the bag. This is great but it means when I get to my destination it's a surprise, I bit like opening presents on christmas day I can never quite remember what clothes i've packed. In Nepal this method resulted in a poor struggling muscian trugging up and down various mountains with a rucksac full of who knows what just incase I felt the need to have three changes of jumpers whilst up a mountain. I blame my mother she could pack for every contingency, floods, nuclear attack, raining birds and still think of extra things to take.
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So here I am two days before I go with what appears to be the entire contents of my wardrobe on the bed in my parents spare room. This is actually the prelimary packing, what I want to take if my rucksac should turn out to be like mary poppin's travel bag! In reality what I have is 60l rucksac. In one of my more sensible moments I bought this thinking I would actually have to carry it around australia, there will be no gurka carrying it for me this time (though volunteers would be welcome).
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The shoes are the hardest part, sorry guys but any woman I tells you should wants to go away for a year with less than 6 pairs of shoes is lying. The worst part is I need them all, but they just take up too much room! What to do? I need trainers to keep up my running, normal shoes for being a tourist in, flip flops and sandels because its hot, a pair of going out shoes and a pair of dance shoes (they may not have primark in the outback!). How can I possibly leave any behind?
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After much wrestling with my consience I chucked out a skirt (and added a pair of trousers), 2 tops, a works tunic, a nepalise style wooly hat, an umbrella (they don't get rain in oz do they?), a book and 2 (not just one) pairs of shoes. As it still pains me to think about it I shall now have to go and look around the shops in the airport, wish me luck I've just spotted an Accessorize.

Posted by x-raygirl 05:49 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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