Day 01 : 36 Hours later …

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Invoking my own personal stereotype, there are a number of nationalities which, in my experience, are in general completely nuts. Apart from the Irish, who no matter what happens just seem to keep bouncing back with a casual shrug and a smile, without a doubt the most bonkers people I’ve come across are the Dutch. I’ve no idea what it is about them, but all the ones I’ve come across have been not just relaxed but also slightly ‘out there’, where there is more spaced out than the average UFO in the Cochiguaz Valley. Plus they have a really nice accent.

However, today I wandered around the waterfront of Sydney. It’s the middle of Winter, don’t forget, and it’s about 24 degrees. That’s Celsius. Which is pretty insane in itself (and I’m sure that the locals thought it was a bit cold). Now, the waterfront area is mostly a cycle-path running alongside the river, passing underneath the Harbour Bridge and overlooking the Opera House area. It’s therefore full of tourists, and they were milling around quite happily, taking pictures, enjoying the weather and the scene.
The locals were jogging.

They kept getting in my way as I was walking around; they weren’t generally looking where they were going – most of them also had the ubiquitous earphones in which made them pretty oblivious to all and sundry around them. They were also legion; I have never seen so many joggers in one area, and they just kept coming from both directions no matter where I moved.

Aside from the joggers, Sydney wasn’t too bad a place. I didn’t actually spend that long in the city centre though, due to still being a bit knackered from my flight over from Chile. I’d been travelling pretty much non-stop for around 36 hours, if you factor in starting off from the initial bus I caught out of Pisco Elqui, and although I slept for a lot of the plane journey, it was in ‘fits and starts’ rather than anything actually worthwhile
Fortunately I managed to ‘check-in’ to the hotel not long after arriving; this meant I could dump my bag etc – even though I’m only carrying hand-luggage, it’s still quite heavy to be carting around on a warm day. But being tired and warm meant that early in the afternoon I decided to head back to the hotel for a rest. I’d planned to go out again in the evening but in the event I couldn’t be mythered.

It’s actually a change to be in a hotel rather than a hostel, though interestingly though it’s more expensive and I have my own room, hostel accommodation is actually better; they generally have more facilities and are more ‘looked-after’ – one of the lights by the bed didn’t work, there was no soap in the soap dispenser, and I’ve never liked those fixed-in-position showers. I sound like a moaning Minnie Maybe I’m just used to places with a bit more life and soul.
(The reason I’m in a hotel is because I have an early-morning flight to Perth tomorrow and I needed somewhere close to the airport and where my getting up at like 4.30am wouldn’t disturb anyone).

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