Archive for November, 2013

One month in, we’re still alive.

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’m on vacation dammit! In a few more weeks I’m going to be broke and crying in a ditch, forced to sell Cam’s organs for quick cash.

I’m sitting here on the Greyhound from Brisbane to the beach town of Noosa and figured maybe I should try and write something, so here it goes:

As far as I know I’m still alive, despite that 3-litre beer I drank.

Mmm beer.

I might think I were in heaven because this country is that awesome, but seriously, I’m sitting on the damn Greyhound, there’s nothing heavenly about that.
Having said that, the buses here do seem to have a bit more leg room so maybe this is the heaven I’ve earned.

Meh, I’ll take it. Moving on.

Since we’re about a month into this crazy trip of ours I thought I’d do a bit of a review of things we’ve done and places we’ve seen so far.

While in Sydney we stayed at a little hostel called the Blue Parrot. For our first hostel experience I don’t think we could have done much better. Despite hilariously being located on a stretch of road with almost a dozen strip clubs and liquor stores, and takeaway joints with seedy names like “Opium Den”, the Parrot was a really cool little place with some awesome people, and was an easy walk from Circular Quay where the Opera House and Harbour bridge are located.
We spent our time here in full on tourist mode, aimlessly wandering, map in hand, letting ourselves be distracted by anything and everything. Ooooo shiney object!

This is also where we began to notice an awesome trend: Canadians everywhere! We really are the biggest beauties in the world.

With November right around the corner, Cam tried to convince me to grow another of my delightful mustaches. If you were around me last November you know this was a terrible idea. I told him I’d try, but he was on daily Hitler detection duty. Again, if you saw me last year you know exactly what I mean by this.

Just as we were starting to get too comfortable in Sydney we packed up and took a nice long bus trip North to Port Macquarie. And by long, I mean 8 hours long. Yeaaah. Australia is kind of a big place.

Port Macquarie is basically an old person beach town. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many optometrist offices in so small an area before. It is also home to the “third worst club in Australia”. Yes, we went (“For science! “). And yes, it was spectacularly awful.

We stayed at a place called Beachside Backpackers, which was just a short walk from the beach. This was another really small, chill place. The owner was a very cool, very stereotypical surfer dude. Apparently he once tried to sell his entire life on eBay. Made newspapers all over the world too. Australians!

While in Port we started seeing some cool Aussie wildlife. I’m talking about actual animals by the way, you perverts. The other Aussie wildlife was pretty nice too I guess #bikinis
Speaking of pervs, the stach experiment ended pretty much how I expected. Cam was slacking in his duties- I think he was trying to sabotage me with the ladies. Crafty bugger.

Anyway, flying foxes are these cat sized fruit bats that hang around in the trees all day and fill the skies once the sun goes down. They are really neat.
We also saw koalas. They aren’t that interesting. Seriously, all they do is sleep. And poop. In their sleep. Neat trick guys.

There are also these crazy ninja-turkeys. It’s like something out of Assassin’s Creed. They can’t really fly, but they jump from one object to the next, bench to fence to roof to tree to taller tree… It’s insane! Damn things are fast too.

If the world ends at the hands of the animals these guys will be right at the forefront, I’m telling you.

People-wise, we met some more cool (obviously) Canadians, some “sneaky” Germans, and some other beauties. Also an Irish guy named Patrick. I laughed. He didn’t. I think he gets that a lot. Tough crowd.

We were probably in The Port longer than we should have been, but we finally left, hoping on a Greyhound at 2am and headed 6 hours north to Byron Bay. Big country! We were thinking this would save us a night of paying for a hostel. My advice? Just pay for a damn hostel. Trying to cram my lanky body into a comfortable sleeping position on a moving bus proved to require a level of yoga mastery that I’ve yet to achieve.
Byron Bay is… Pretty much the definition of awesome-sauce. It is the prime example of a young person beach town: beaches as far as the eye can see, great surf, beautiful people, and within easy day-tripping range of a delightful town called Nimbin.

We stayed at a large hostel called the Byron Beach Resort. The big hostels have a different feel from the small ones. You don’t really have a chance to meet and get to know everyone. We still met some cool people, including a trio of German dudes I have dubbed “Craaaaazy Germans!”, and two English girls that kept giving us food. In return we named a sandwich after them. It’s called the Essex and it is fantastic. And no I’m not telling you what’s in it, a magician never reveals his tricks. That’s right, this sandwich is magical.

The first day in Byron we spent most of our time at the beach pretty much passing out from lack of sleep. Pro tip about Australia: the sun is really hot so don’t forget sunscreen. Or suncream as the English say. Weirdos. Anyway, sunburn. It’s kind of awful. The beach may seem like a great place to nap, but it’s a trap.

We spent a few of our other days during our week in Byron attempting to surf. The less said about my efforts the better. Cam was slightly more successful, but one of his nipples may never recover. Another pro tip: surfboard wax is dangerous. Don’t grow too attached to your chest hair if you’re planning on surfing.

On another of our days we went to the weed capital of Australia, Nimbin. Jamming out to Born to Be Wild while riding in a rainbow-coloured bus on our way to Hippyville Down Under was highly entertaining.

I’ll be honest, I’ve now been off the bus that I started this post on for about two days now. Don’t blame me, this blogging and adventure-having is tough work!

Next post: post Byron Bay tings

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First Days’ Impressions

After arriving in Sydney last Saturday Cam and I spent the next seven days there.

Here are some of my observations:

Firstly, Sydney is a beautiful city.


Seriously, Toronto, figure it out bud.


But despite it’s beauty, Sydney has a dark, awful side. Two words for you: pee troughs. Wut.

*no picture because… come on, what’s wrong with you?

I shit you not (sorry). Despite being a world class city, if you use a toilet at the harbourfront, in a bar, or wherever, you will get the live Free Willy experience every time you enter the restroom.

Point number 2 (lol)
I don’t know if it is just me, but I had always assumed that the toilets in Australia would flush in the opposite direction to the one back home. Wasn’t there a Simpsons episode about that? Anyway, I have been disappointed to notice that this is not the case at all. Life is a lie.

Okay, enough with the toilet humour. Here are some other things I’ve noticed in my first days:

After about an hour of Cam and I awkward crab – dancing around people on the sidewalk to avoid being walked into, we clued into the fact that people walk on the opposite side of the sidewalk. We then realized that none of the other tourists picked up on this so walking down the sidewalk very quickly degraded into something resembling Red Rover. My hockey skills have come in handy. Bah, tourists.

Speaking of walking on the wrong side, you know what’s more dangerous than jay-walking in Toronto? Doing it in Australia. A) they drive on the left side of the road B) roundabouts *shudder*

Beer is expensive here. Like, $16 for a six pack of Corona expensive. Shenanigans. What kind of sad world have we entered? There is, however, a delightful beer substitute called Goon, which is basically cheap boxed wine. Doesn’t taste too bad going down, but Cam will have to let you know how it is coming back up.

The first time I broke a $20 I had to laugh. Australian coins are so insanely large, you’d think they were designed as an object of last resort self defense against the numerous deadly creatures around here. I’m pretty sure you could deflect tank rounds with some of these suckers.


Anti-shark 50 cent coin?

Our first day in town we went on a free tour of Sydney ‘s downtown and the harbourfront. Free tours have got to be the best idea I’ve heard of, aside from free drinks of course. There were a couple young German women on the tour with us that Cam proceeded to chat up in his own Cam – ly way. Next thing you know we’re grabbing dinner with them in one of the many parks in downtown Sydney. We discovered that apparently German slang for cell phones is “handy”. That was an awkward moment.

The next day we went to Bondi Beach with one of the Germans and her three friends. I’m not even kidding. Cam. What a beauty. Anyway, pretty decent first couple of days in the land down under.


Next post: hostel living, leaving Sydney, and some interesting people we’ve met.

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