For the past 2 weeks I have been lounging comfortably in a small town 6 hours north of Sydney, it is called Port Macquarie and has a compact town centre and best of all, plenty of beaches and sea views. I am living here in a hostel in a work for accommodation set-up that has me working 5 hour days 3 days a week, the work is seriously easy; cleaning, housekeeping, and checking people in/out with the cleaning only taking a hour allowing around 3 hours for me to read my book and just chill out…. after work we all go to the beach and chill…. this is the life that is dreamed of when stuck in a office doing a boring 9 – 5 job!
I have thus far been in Australia a little over 4 months and have yet not made up my mind whether I like it or not. Don’t get me wrong, there is so much that’s amazing about it, for example the blue mountains, wild parrots just sitting in the trees, blue ocean, so many beaches, bush walking a culture built on everyone being equals and a Ozzy fascination with how ‘old’ everything is here…… but I miss the old ruggedness of the English countryside, the historic buildings in every town, the changeable weather (everyone really appreciates the sun when it is out!), I actually miss drizzle and being able to wear heavy winter coats and lots of layers because it is so cold.
Port Macquarie reminds me very much of places I visited on holiday as a child, it has that holiday feel, maybe like Cornwall. The weather, as I have experienced it, can either be very sunny and hot or very sunny with freezing cold wind. Although we go to the beach a lot I have only taken two dips in the water because it has been so cold, one of my colleagues (a English girl from the midlands) is quite able to dunk herself under the water. I will wait until the spring to do proper swims in the sea, I will actually be further up the coast then too so it will be much hotter! 🙂 I have found myself being really suprised how cold it is in Australia in winter, the main reason for the cold is because there buildings have no heating and the walls are really thin as they have been built to be cool in summer, my words of advice, bring a jumper!
My favourite place in Australia so far are the blue mountains; my first day there I did a 6 hour 10 mile hike, it was so beautiful, every where you go you get the most astonishing views! At the YHA at Katoomba I had met an another lone traveller called Sara in my dorm room so we decided to start the hike together with us going our separate ways at the giant staircase, Sara was carrying with her a new hiking rucksack that she had weighed down with clothing in order to practise carrying a full load for her month long trip to New Zealand in October, a splendid idea!
Since I last wrote I have been to Berridale in the Snowy Mountains to work at a motel, Canberra where I did tours of the parliament houses and enjoyed a sauna at the YHA with one of my colleagues from the motel, Sydney where I stayed with my lovely friend and hiked in the Royal National Park after a road trip down from Canberra with a lovely girl that we met in the Canberra hostel, then the Blue Mountains where I spent 3 days exploring and wished that I had longer, then arrived in Port Macquarie on a Greyhound bus from Sydney that arrived at 12.30am!
I have 2 more weeks here before I travel up to the famous Byron Bay, am looking forward to it!