A Travellerspoint blog

Hell on Earth - Worst hostel EVER

I'm not a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here

sunny 32 °C

I'm pretty sure my bed has given me Aids.

I'm not entirely convinced it's possible, but if it is, I've definitely got Aids.

Imagine the scenario if you will - you caught the red eye, as it was a cheapy flight at $190 (£95) and arrive in Darwin in desperate need of sleep. You're convinced that, like many of the hostels before it, This one's bunk beds, doors shutting at unexpected times and the noise of other people might disturb your slumber, but none of that will matter tonight because you're so tired.

But I'm now writing this wide awake in bed, mainly because I fear that if I fall asleep, I may never regain consciousness - something animal, human, or bacterial will kill me in my dreams.

Let's start with the bed.

After being promised the sheets and pillowcase, (which are usually collected from reception if you check in during normal hours), would already be on our beds, we realised problem number one - lying members of staff.

Problem two - the lack of sheet highlighted the itchiness and uncleanliness of the mattress below.

Problem three - vicinity of bed to fan. Now it was 25 when we landed and highs of 32 during the day. So don't get me wrong, the room fan is a great idea. However, the one in the ceiling is accompanied by two others - which rattle like mad. The one nearest me is making my elbow freezing and doing nothing to the rest of my body.

I'll now move to the hostel itself.

The dorm doorway steps out onto a balcony where buckets are collecting condensation from the air con fans, so you have to mind your step as you walk. Everyone seems to also leave their shoes outside, which I'm not sure whether is meant to be a sign of cleanliness by not bringing outside dirt into the room, or they are expensive trainers and don't want them near the Aids-soaked bed. (As I typed that last sentence my thighs started to itch really bad. I think something is eating them.)

Downstairs there are two small fridges chocked full of people's food, so I'm pretty sure there is no way in hell we'll get anything in there.

We are in a room of ten, so at a rough guess I would say this hostels sleeps at least 80ppl - how can there only be two fridges?

Outside there is a lagoon-shaped pool. You'll find it next to the picnic benches stacked full of empty beer cans, ashtrays and forgotten dreams.
I must say the water does actually look clean, but this may be a trick of the eye - my mind willing there to be a plus in this puke-ridden hell hole.

Did I not mention the puke yet? Sorry, meant to say. As I was washing my face and having a wee in the ladies (these were two separate tasks you understand) I could quite clearly hear the girl in the next cubicle being sick. I hope for her sake she was p*ssed off her face on alcopops and vodka fishbowls and wasn't being sick because she'd caught something off her mattress.

Back downstairs, in the "living room" there are two moth-eaten leather sofas, a wooden shelf which looks like someone has attempted to either kill, rape or eat, a depressingly-dingy floor and views overlooking the road (from now on referred to as the tarmaced escape route to the realm of planet Basic Human Rights).

As we arrived at an unsocial hour, our keys were left in a safety deposit box, which I was given the code for. I find it ironic that they think people would try to break in and sleep here.

I think this is a pretty decent summary of the place and hopefully I've painted a clear picture in the mind's eye. If not, check out the picture gallery.

I'll now sign off, not because for one second I think I'll fall asleep, but if I at least shut my eyes and pretend, I can at least say I've tried. (How very British of me).

Morning update: after a terrible nights sleep, we found somewhere else to stay, thanking the heavens we didn't pay upfront for the week. I was considering naming this hostel, but as I mentioned a few flavours of the above, the manager was willing to let us off without paying for the night.

When I look back in this, I'm sure I'll laugh and say flippantly that at least it was a free bed for the night. But for now, I'm ready for a sunbathe by the pool and a large glass of cider.

Darwin - you'd better up your gain me lad!

Posted by emmaabroad 01:37 Archived in Australia Tagged hostel pool darwin beds "northern nightmare awful territory" Comments (1)

Mooloolaba - up to August 25

Non-hostel accommodation

rain 14 °C

Greetings from the Sunshine Coast - hope the people who named it kept their receipt for the plaque.

Because for the last few days (and nights) it has CHUCKED IT DOWN.

And I'm from England, so I'm not exactly a stranger to rain. But this never seemed to stop!

It started well when we arrived- sunshine and a welcoming host. We have been staying with a lovely lady called Betty who knows Fay's mum.

She was incredibly warm and welcoming, as was the weather to begin with.

We took a stroll around the marina and then sunbathed on the beach listening to the waves crash as we soaked up some rays.

We took a trip to Noosa on our second day here - we had been planning to stay there, but I think a day trip was enough to see everything we wanted to.

The rest of the time has been spent in shopping malls, at Betty's beautiful house and in the cinema (watching new inbetweeners film- awesome film!) because it has been raining lots.

Ironically today (the day we leave) it has been sunny and Fay and I went kayaking around the waterways which weave between the streets here. Saw a very different view point.
It was also a good chance to get some exercise - I haven't kayaked since I was about ten, and it really works your arms.

The weather forecast for the east coast isn't great for the next few weeks, so in a change of plan, we are now heading to Darwin.

It's about 32 there and full of crocs. So think it will be a real change of pace to what we are used to. Know two friends from Hull (brothers) who are living there currently, so will probably be in touch with them at some point.

We plan to find our first jobs in Darwin, so It will be strange to be in a place more than a few days! We will be there probably a month - eek!

Already booked the first week's hostel- which will be the longest time we've stayed somewhere since Sydney. May actually be able to......dum dum dum.......UNPACK. ( you appreciate the small things when travelling).

Love n hugs to everyone. Will see you in the north (Darwin that is, not Yorkshire just yet).

Em xxxx

Ps- special shout out to my friend Kate, who is about to move house! Good luck sweetheart x

Posted by emmaabroad 22:21 Archived in Australia Tagged water coast beach kayak darwin east noosa sunshine mooloolaba Comments (0)

Brisbane baby! August 19

sunny 16 °C

Arrived in Brisbane yesterday and already seen a LOT of the city :-)

Beautiful place full of incredibly healthy people- running and cycling tracks everywhere. To the point where you are scared of getting run over on the path, never mind the road!

We dumped our stuff at the hostel and went for a wander. Crossed the beautiful Kurilpa Bridge and then wandered down the river photographing pretty skies peeping between the skyscrapers.

We headed to the Queensland Museum and spent an afternoon being big kids- playing a spy game solving clues and puzzles. Hehe!

Also went round the body exhibit and tried out all the weird tests etc. Something a bit different after soooo many zoos!

After a walk back to the hostel, we decided it was about time we had a massive night out.

Walked about 40mins (healthy) to Just past Chinatown and drank wine and cider (not healthy) until about midnight.

Then headed to this club called Down Under which was packed out with backpackers from all across the globe.

Got chatting to a guy from Kirk Sandall which is really close to where I lived in Doncaster. Also met a guy from Chesterfield which is also near my neck of the woods.

Everyone was really chatty and friendly and wants to know where you are from. The answer "hull" did sound a little boring when two guys from Argentina were chatting to us, but I guess everything sounds exotic in a Spanish accent! Haha.

Danced our little socks off and got back to the hostel sometime after 3.30am.

So today has been a lazier one. Been out in the sunshine and now Lazying in the TV room at our hostel (which, incidentally, has a roof top pool).

Halfway up the east coast now which sounds a lot for such a short space of time.

Over a month into our journey now too, which also sounds odd.

Hope everyone is enjoying this blog, whether I know you or not.

Please leave a comment as to where you are from and how you came to find this page, as I'm very intrigued to know. Getting more hits than I thought I would, but can't see who from or where.

Take care and happy travels x

Posted by emmaabroad 19:50 Archived in Australia Tagged sky museums views river pub friends travellers bars brisbane drinks backpackers countries skyscraper downunder spy kurilpa Comments (0)

Coffs Harbour - Surfers Paradise August9-17

Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise

Catch up on about ten days worth of stuff, as haven't been able to write in a while, so here it goes.....

On our checkout day in Coffs Harbour we walked along the beach and bumped into a local lad Peter Rake.
He is a writer too so I know he'll be made up he got a mention. I'd met him yesterday on the beach with his two dogs Elsie and Cindy who were adorable.
As we had time to kill before the train, he offered to take us up to a lookout point in the mountains.
On the drive up I cuddled Cindy and saw the amazing views of the banana plantations. It was absolutely stunning. When we reached the top, we could see all if Coffs Harbour including the little jetty near where we stayed. Very picturesque and something we wouldn't have even known about if we didn't talk to the people we pas everyday. Was a lovely treat.

Unfortunately, it was soon time to leave and then we were on the train and bus to Byron Bay.
The long journey and the random awkward chat with a stoned guy was all worth it when we got to Byron though.
What can I say?
No words will say exactly how much I love this place. Just epic.

On the first day we walked up to the lighthouse on the top of the hill and watched whales playing in the water. This was also the most easterly point in Australia. Exciting!
I was a fat cow and had a Mars bar icecream which I can honestly say is the best icecream I've ever eaten! Nom nom nom.

The next day Fay went for a surf lesson while I booked myself into a dive to "the rock".
The dive was truly breathtaking- I saw two turtles and two sharks!
We also heard the whales singing, although didn't see them. It was almost unreal- I couldn't believe how much fish etc we got to see.
Unfortunately my underwater camera couldn't capture the turtles and shark, as it only goes to 10m. But when we got out onto the boat again the turtle came to the surface!
I got a video and a few pictures of it! I couldn't believe it. This will sound corny, but it was truly magical.

We decided to stay a few more nights in Byron as it was so pretty - I think Fay and I both fell in love with it on day one.
The next day we had a laze on the beach and got chatting to a guy who worked at the diving centre. He is from America and was explaining how he got an apartment and what to do to get work etc. He was incredibly helpful (and a bit cute too!)
In the evening we went to see Lucy at the cinema (the film, not a girl). I strongly recommend it if you like sci-fi thrillery stuff.

On August 13, exactly one month into our travels, Fay has her second surf lesson and I had my first.
I'd had one before in Newquay and was rubbish, so I didn't hold out much hope. But it was AMAZING!
I was standing up by about the third wave and twice I rode it all the way into shore. It was epic!
On the last wave I rode the wave all the way in until the board came to a slow and I just hopped to the side. Probably my coolest moment in life EVER and no one saw it. Haha!
As it was our our one month anniversary, Fay and I went for a drink in the evening and listened to some live music at The Railway pub.

The next day we were dragged kicking and screaming from Byron (very sad times) to head for Coolangatta.
Here we visited Currumbin Wildlife Reserve where we got to cuddle Morton the koala!
It was amazing (using that word a lot, sorry) and had our photos taken too!
We also saw some aboriginal dancing and met a snake and saw a sheep shearing demo.
A packed day but well worth it. Another one to add to your lists people!

After "Cooly" we headed to Surfers Paradise - dubbed the Ibiza of Oz as it is a real party town.
Unfortunately, we were cursed with the weather as it rained the majority of the time. Could have stayed in England for that!
But we decided the day is what you make it, so headed to Seaworld and rode roller coasters and watched dolphins regardless of the soaking wet.

The next day we went to Movie World and rode a VERY scary Superman roller coaster. It shoots you really fast and there is 4.2g-force on you. ARGH!
Loved the whole day of a theme park as it was like being a kid again. It also took our minds of a bit of stress we've had with some accommodation, which I won't bore you with.

So now I'm typing on the train to Brisbane. Abusing the free wifi and wishing I had eaten something, ANYTHING, since lunchtime yesterday.

We have met some amazing people on our trip, as well as some weirdos, and I love hearing about their own adventures and lives. It's true what they say- everyone has a story to tell!

I can't wait for the next little leg of our adventure to see what other chaos lies round the corner.

Love to everyone back home!

I'll end on a joke from Peter- why do the French eat snails? Because they hate fast food!

Bye xxxx

Posted by emmaabroad 18:55 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

8th August - Coffs Harbour

New South Wales, heading up the East Coast

sunny

Wow! So a lot has happened since last time, including becoming a PROPER TRAVELLER!
We've left Sydney and have so far been to Newcastle (why-eye-man it wasn't - beautiful coastal town) and Coffs Harbour.
Newcastle was the least touristy place we've been, which made a nice change from Sydney. Gorgeous lighthouse, coastal walks, watching the world go by etc.
We went to a lovely nature reserve and met some koalas. Had our photos taken with Chloe and Jack ?
Then we had a six hour train journey to Coffs Harbour and I'm currently writing this while sunbathing in a cafe.
I've just been kissed by a dolphin and had the most amazing day at Dolphin Marine Magic. Met a seal too and also fed some penguins.
Strongly recommend Coffs Harbour to anyone- it's gorgeous.
Going to dash for a walk along the beach now before packing and sorting the next stop- Byron Bay.
Sunshine = smiles

Posted by emmaabroad 22:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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