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My 30th Birthday in Port Macquarie, Australia
Monday 25th April to Monday 9th May 2011 – Port Macquarie, Australia
The next two weeks were mainly about working in the hostel and enjoying my free time afterwards. The idea was to stop my money from disappearing whilst using the time to find paid work. The two weeks were hard work, but a great experience.
The next day or two I spent down by the beach after work, body surfing and swimming in the ocean. There are few better ways to spend an afternoon in my opinion. In the evenings I hung out with the other guests in the hostel, playing pool, watching movies or just chatting. It’s nice to be able to get out and about after working hard in the hostel, but the forecast for the coming days is not good.
The following days were spent inside due to torrential rain, day after day. I finished work and had to sit about doing not a lot. There were few guests coming in or out of the hostel during this time, and so boredom was my closest friend for most of the week.
My birthday came and I wasn’t too upset with not being able to celebrate it. The truth is I didn’t have the money for any night out anywhere, and being the same day as the Royal Wedding back in England, nobody wanted to be anywhere other than in front of the television screen. Indeed this was how the few people in the hostel spent the evening, glued to a television screen with only the colour green being displayed. It wasn’t the most rock n roll birthday I have ever had.
A few guys got wind of my birthday and wanted to take me out the next evening, and so I was literally dragged out the door and taken to a bar in town. There was live music at the bar so I wasn’t angry about being dragged from the hostel. I was, however, quite annoyed that nobody had thought to bring any money out with them, and so it was up to me to buy the first round of drinks. This was money I didn’t have, and when everybody wanted another drink, this was my queue to leave. It was nice to get out for my birthday even if I was the one paying.
May Day came and finally the sunshine returned, just as well really as today was the Iron Man competition down by the coast. After work I took myself down to the town and watched as many competitors swam, bicycled and ran back and forth along the stretch of coastline. Some competitors looked exhausted, and I felt for them as they fought on, hour after hour. It was late in the day when all competitors had either finished or given up, and having started out at a very early hour, it’s no wonder that many had fallen by the wayside. It was good entertainment, and the whole town was buzzing with the action in the dry heat of the day.
The rain returned and stayed for the next week, and so produced another boring week of work, boredom then bed. For two weeks now there have been quite brilliant sun sets, and on many occasions I have grabbed my camera for a picture down by the harbour, but every time it either rains or comes over so cloudy that the sunset vanishes. It was on my penultimate night in Port Macquarie that I finally timed it right and managed to snap a few pictures of the sunset, much to my joy and relief.
It was this same night that I took a long walk all along the coast for a change in scenery. I found a lovely spot by the water where I sat and witnessed a turtle coming up for air, and a pod of dolphins dancing about in the cool, calm water. A tour boat trudged by ready to drop off its load of tired customers, then the evening was still and quiet. I watched the sun disappear and admired the colours that trailed off over the horizon. When the sky was drained of all colours I began the long walk back to the hostel in the cool evening breeze.
Monday 9th March was the last day working in the hostel. I have been working in the hostel garden for much of the week – after completing the cleaning chores – and have been cleaning the walls, digging up tree roots and tidying the flower beds. Today I was mostly finishing off all the things I have started. It was a great feeling once I had clocked off for the final time. The sun was shining and I felt completely relaxed as I soaked up the rays on the beach, regaining some colour to my skin.
The evening was spent as it always is, chilling out with the other guests whilst watching a movie. I am looking forward to seeing my friend Katie again, especially after a nice phone call to her today. I am looking forward to the next part of my trip now.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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