I may have mentioned this just once or twice, but for those who don’t know, I’m off to Australia for a whole month next week. This blog will be my main way to contact people – it keeps me from writing lots and lots of emails and filling up people’s inboxes with inane banter about how hot and sunburnt I am. Also, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than the mobile, which will only be used in emergencies and me showing off that I can see Sydney Harbour Bridge. Friends and family who don’t normally come to my crappy blog: welcome! This is the place where you come and find out I am safe and well and I’ve not been eaten by dingos . Feel free to leave any comments below, I think come Christmas day I’m going to want to hear from you.

Quite a lot of people have asked what my itinerary is for the trip so here it is. It’s as complete as I can make it (which is pretty complete as everything is booked now). I’ll leave phone numbers and address of hostels with Dave, just in case, like. All times are local times. You’re going to have to work out the time differences yourself!

I fly out on Thursday the 13th December at 2200hrs with Malaysia Airlines from Heathrow, flight number MH0001 (it’s a Boeing 747, plane fans). Arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 1820, Fri 14th Dec. There’s a three and a half hour wait if the plane isn’t delayed from London (and I hope to Goddess it isn’t) before I catch my connecting flight to Adelaide at 2145, flight no. MH0139 (Boeing 777 this time). All things going well, I’ll arrive in the southern hemisphere at 0715.

It’ll be at this point I’ll be checking which direction the water goes down the plug hole.

I shall be staying in Adelaide for three nights in Backpack Oz. I have plans to have walks around the city’s many galleries and museums and take in it’s amazing scenery, but more than likely I’ll be in my bed wondering exactly why jet lag feels so shit.

At 0645, Tuesday 18th December, I’ll be picked up in a mini van and taken on a three day tour along the Great Ocean Road. I’m not sure where I’m staying on this trip, but the tour company lists what takes place on these tours on its website . It sounds like an awful lot of travelling crammed into such little time, but being unable to drive I won’t be able to see these things for myself otherwise. I just hope that the jet lag has worn off by then; otherwise it’s going to be very hard going indeed…

When I arrive in Melbourne tired, hot and really wanting a bed on the 20th, I’ll be staying at the Greenhouse Backpacker, which Lonely Planet like a lot, which is good, I hope. It gives me a free breakfast every morning, so that’s got to be a good thing. Here I shall hopefully be stalking Dr Karl Kennedy and Harold Bishop and pretending I’m in an episode of Kath and Kim .

On Sunday, 23rd December at 1955 I shall embark on the longest train journey in my life ever, ever. For a whole 10 hours and one minute, I shall be travelling from Melbourne to Sydney (arr. 0656, Christmas Eve). But it’s first class, so at least I get a bit of room. Oooh! Look at me! First class! I’ve gone all la-de-da!

From Christmas Eve to the 30th, I’ll be staying at the YHA Sydney Central, which has its own swimming pool and sauna and everything (Ma, I know what you’re like, so I’ve found a video of the hostel here). That said, on the 27th, I’ll be heading off to Canberra for one night in a (probably failed) attempt to meet my work counterparts in the Australian parliament. I’m catching a Greyhound bus at 0800, staying at Victor Lodge B&B and catching a bus back to Sydney on the 28th at 1800. It’s almost a four hour ride!

This country is quite big isn’t it?

On the 30th December, I’m leaving shared bedrooms for a quite nice single room in the Y Hotel City South for three days, so I’ll be bringing in the New Year in some sort of comfort. Let’s just hope I actually get to see these fireworks, and they better be worth it too after all the trouble it took to get accommodation for NYE.

On the 2nd January at 1010, I’ll be catching a plane all the way to Perth. (Flight no. DJ427, not sure what plane but it does have TV and it’s with Virgin Blue.) I arrive in Western Australia at 1305 and will be staying at One World Backpackers until I leave for Britain. I have no plans for Perth at all (apart from attending Matt and Paula’s wedding, obviously, considering it’s the main reason I’m doing this trip, which is on the 5th) as other friends will be arriving on the 3rd.

Checking out some of the wineries there is somewhat of a priority though.

Heading home on the 12th Jan. Flight number MH0124 at 1730. Arrive at Kuala Lumpur 2200. The very last leg back to London departs at 2355 and arrives at Heathrow at 0525 (MH0002). Pity poor but the very lovely Dave who has to pick me up (and provide me with warm clothes) that morning and take me home.

I go back to work on Monday 14th Jan. I think I’m not going to be of much use that day.

That’s it. That’s my trip. Fun packed isn’t it? I can’t wait. It all seems a little unreal at the moment. I remember talking to Matt over email when he first announced his engagement and saying to him how much I’d love to be there and I’ll do my best to save money and book flights. I never actually thought I’d ever make it though; it was just one of the many ideas and plans that never come into fruition. So you’ll forgive me if I start to ramble on and on and get over excited and terribly nervous. I’ve never done anything like this before, especially doing this on my own and quite frankly I’m terrified (although once I’m in Australia I’m sure I’ll be fine, I’m just panicking about my flights at the moment), but I’m also very excited and sometimes it’s hard to work out which feeling is what. Meh, it’ll be alright.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank Dave for everything during all this planning. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be going at all. He helped me manage to pay for the flights and was forever getting an earful whenever something was booked or being planned and would sit for hours patiently listening to me going on and on about how brilliant the Blue Mountains are going to look (also thanks to Jen who has also had quite an ear bashing). He even tolerated me pointing at all the planes that flew over the M25 from Heathrow and making sounds that went a bit like “oooooohhhhhhh!!!” whenever we drove to mum and dad’s. So thank you Dave, you’re the greatest. I’m going to miss you a lot.

Have a great Christmas and Yule everyone, see you in the new year (unless I see you in the Blue Posts before I go)

I’m not actually going here


10 Responses

  1. My only advice is to check which way the toilet flushes here before you leave as i couldn’t remember when i got there and didnt know whether it was going the other way or not.

    Write out some random balderdash answers and send them down here with Joe.

  2. Surely if you are going to meet up with the Australian parliament version off you then when you turn up you will find that you missed them because they’ve been on leave since October but that they may well be returning to work for a few hours each day come March…
    If by chance they are in ‘work’ then I expect that they will be drunk, blogging and listening to OZ fm all day… 🙂

    Although I too am getting a whole month off work so same appies here… Hooray!

  3. That’s the second ever time I used an emoticon. Damn it.

  4. Have a great time Char, as Im sure you will. I look forward to reading all about your adventures. Will it be a BBQ on the beach for xmas lunch? Try and have some sympathy for us here in blighty shivering in the cold.

    See you in the new year!

    PS I’m afraid that thing about water running down pug holes in a different direction is a myth.

  5. Dave the Taller: I have spent most of today thinking of possible Balderdash answers. It is a joy to think about Wee Jimmy Cranky again.

    Joe: Parliament start their summer recess at the end of this week. It should be like here; there’s no MPs, but there should be a few people in the office, especially if they’re looking after the archive. That’s sweet you’re getting a month off – have you sorted your passport out yet?

    Peter: Seriously? If that’s true you’ve just ruined one of my childhood memories! One of the reasons why I’m a little obsessed about the direction of water is that when i was a kid I watched an episode of Wackerday and Timmy Mallet was near the equator and stood north of it and poured some liquid into a funnel and the water went down anti-clockwise, then he stood south of the equator and the water went clockwise, then he stood on the equator and the water went straight down. But my dreams are shattered! Shattered!

  6. Actually, if you are going to meet Australian Charlotte won’t you find that they left work 2 weeks ago to go to Europe and are vainly trying to find you in the office at Westminster’s parliamentary recording unit? I suggest you have a look for her round Kuala Lumpar airport. But don’t sleep with her or Biff will end up bullying your Dad. Have i got that right?

  7. You’re not actually going to the big rock? I’m disillusioned, me.

  8. What a great way to spend a month at this time of year! I’m sure that you’ll have a wonderful time, and I look forward to reading all about your exploits.
    Have a good weekend.

  9. Wait, can Oz Charlotte come down to eastbourne then? She sounds cool.

    Dave, can we take a photo of some balderdash answers and pop then on a website somewhere? this way charlotte can feel jealous of us sitting inside playing board games while she is stuck on a beach in some god forsaken country.

  10. Surely Oz Charlotte would be called something like Charley? That sounds much more likely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: