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The Good, the Bad and the Outrageous – My Trip from North to South

13 December 2012 No Comment

Saturday 9th April 2011 – Melbourne, Australia

I had spoken to a lot of people these past couple of weeks about the availability of work, and where I might find it. A number of these people spoke of Melbourne in a fond way, explaining there is ample work in the city for those that want it. I wanted, so I made a decision – however rash – to fly south to the city and prey for work to be available.

My last night in Airlie Beach was an experience I shall not forget in a while. To say it was the night from hell would be an understatement. A guy returned to the room at around 2am with a girl and had an audible conversation in the doorway for about 30 minutes. He then entered the room alone – or so we thought. He actually had a dog with him and brought him into the hostel dormitory. He then began another conversation with another guy from the room about how he came to have the dog. This conversation also lasted about 30 minutes as the guy explained he was walking past the bus stop when a girl literally gave him the dog, a laptop and mobile phone before jumping on the bus and taking off. It sounded ridiculous, yet here he was with a dog, a laptop and mobile phone.

I couldn’t see if my friends were awake at this point, yet I couldn’t see how anyone could sleep through this. The guy took the dog out onto the balcony and I asked him if he thought this was a good idea. The guy assured us the dog would be quiet until morning. I was too tired to care anymore. As soon as the drama had ceased and everyone was back into bed, two girls entered the room, drunk and loud, laughing and screeching as if there was nobody else in the room. They then found the dog, and yet another audible conversation followed between the girls and this guy. The lights were all on now and I could see my mates were as angry as I was.

When everybody finally got into bed, the fun and games didn’t stop. Throughout the night, numerous alarms sounded in the room. I had to get out of bed and turn one off at one point, whilst whoever owned the alarm was still fast asleep. Various other noises from drunken guests running up and down the hallway banging on all the doors, was enough to ensure I didn’t sleep at all. Arguments broke out in the hallways, youths screamed and shouted outside the hostel, and all the while the alarms kept ringing. I was so happy to be leaving this hostel the next day.

As morning came I made no effort to be quiet as I packed my bags. I said my goodbyes as I was leaving my mates behind in Airlie Beach, and boarded the mini bus destined for the airport. The drive this morning was exactly what I needed. The route took us all up into the mountains, overlooking the sea, through lush forest and picturesque resorts. We picked up a guest from one such resort and I wished I had stayed here during my stay. Most houses in this area were extremely large and had ample land attached. The sky was blue and the sun shone brightly. This was the perfect way to unwind after a bad night.

Ferry to Hamilton Island AirportWe eventually made it to the ferry, and boarded ready for our ride out to Hamilton Island where the airport was waiting. I sat out on deck and marveled at the glorious scenery. The ferry took us through parts of the Whitsunday Islands, and it was easy to see why the place was so popular with tourists. There were islands after islands, beaches after beaches. The views were stunning.

Ferry to Hamilton Island AirportThe sea was a little choppy today, and the momentum of the ferry sent jets of water onto the deck periodically. At one point a mighty wave of water towered above the deck and showered down on some of the guests on board. They did not appreciate it at all and shortly after made their way inside. I had the perfect seat and enjoyed the ride.

The airport on Hamilton Island was my refuge for the next hour or so before boarding the plane and flying to Brisbane. From Brisbane it was a two hour wait before a flight to Melbourne. Whilst on board the plane the sunset was spectacular. Orange, red and violet filled the sky as the sun vanished over the horizon. The water below glistened and small islands appeared and then disappeared from sight. Today had been a real feast for my eyes.

The plane arrived in Melbourne and I instantly felt the shift in temperatures, I had left Airlie Beach in the heat, but arrived in Melbourne in freezing cold rain. I didn’t think Australia could get cold. The skybus took me into the city centre and I stopped for food before doing anything else. It was already evening and many people were beginning their night out. I had spent most of the day travelling, yet still had to get to the hostel, and so I put on my wet weather gear, threw my bag onto my back and set off in the direction of the trams.

The information I had just received from the information desk – regarding which tram to take and in what direction – appeared to be good information as I found the tram I was looking for. I boarded from where I was told to and the journey continued. After a while I became aware that I was actually going in the wrong direction. I asked someone and they informed me I should get this same tram back the way I had come from. I had gotten the tram in the wrong direction and needed to be on the opposite side of the road that I was told by the information operative. Upon getting back to the station, it was clear that this tram also began to veer off in another direction. I got off and decided to phone the hostel

After the phone call I felt happier about what I needed to do. I had been given false information and required another tram altogether. I waited at the stop the hostel had told me to, but there were no more trams tonight in this direction, so I had to walk to another tram stop. The rain continued to dampen my spirits and my back ached from the weight of my bag. I just needed to get there now.

I walked to the junction where I could get the correct tram, but again I was unsure as to which direction to go in. I asked a local also waiting at the stop and he said I needed the next tram, and showed me which side of the track to wait. I got on this tram and said my thank you to the helpful guy. As the tram pulled away the guy banged on the window, gesturing I needed to go the opposite way, but it was already too late. Once again I was headed in the wrong direction. It was nice of the local to help, but I had to laugh to myself at the apparent lack of knowledge from all involved, mostly my own.

I laughed again when I realised the tram was now moving back the way I had just walked, and it wasn’t until the tram had gone past the station when it made its first stop. I got off and had to walk back to the junction again, in the rain, with my heavy backpack. Once at the junction again, I got the correct tram in the correct direction, waited four stops as I was told and just got off. To my delight I could see the hostel over the road. I had made it.

Just Another Hostel DormI checked in and got to my room, and as I opened the door, it was like I had just walked into a teenager’s bedroom. There were clothes all over the floor and hanging off every bed. I had no room to walk, let alone put my bag anywhere. There was just one top bunk free and I threw my bag onto it. This is where it stayed. I threw all the knickers and socks off my bed and onto the floor below, sorted my stuff out and got into bed.

It was pleasing for me to realise I had picked another party hostel, and as the night went on, so the people in my dorm came back from their night out. One by one they came in, lights on, noise and conversations. One girl actually had a phone call at 3am, then again at 5am, asking a guy from another hostel to come to this hostel where she would let him into the dormitory. This angered another guy in the room, and at this point we all told the girl to put the phone away or have the conversation elsewhere. Luckily the guy she had invited into the room never showed up, and so we had peace for the remainder of the night.

Despite my obvious rants and displeasure at some hostels, I do love hosteling generally. I just dislike people who show complete disregard for anyone else in the room. Maybe it’s my age or maybe it’s the way I have been brought up. My parents have taught me to respect others, and this is exactly what I do. I just wish more people could be like this. It may be an idea in future for me to compare prices and find cheap hotels instead of booking hostels.

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Written by Daniel Stevens,
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