Bon voyageJanuary 9 in Australia
The day has finally arrived for us to pack our backpacks for the final time and start the mammoth journey back to, what people have been telling me, a very cold Bristol. I actually woke up to the rain coming in through the window and hitting me in the face, which is pretty impressive considering the bed is on the other side of the room. It almost feels like I'm home already. Even little Frank must have sensed we were sad about leaving as he bounced into our room for some morning cuddles. As we loaded up Kevin and Mandy with all of our souvenirs and excess winter clothes, our bags were very pretty easy to pack (even with the two huge bags of Scooby snacks I'm bringing home for my mother). We had to check out by 9am and our flight isn't until 10:20pm so we headed to the airport to put our bags into storage so we didn't have to lug them around all day. Fortunately Kev and Jake (our free walking tour guide) gave us some very useful tips of travelling to the airport. Instead of getting the train all the way to the airport, if you get off at Mascot and then get the bus you can save yourself $18. So that's exactly what we did and instead of paying $36 between us we only paid $0.30!
Not wanting to spend the day at the airport we decided to head out and explore Newtown. Newtown reminds me a lot of Gloucester Road, with heaps of vintage shops, cafes and other hippie delights. We broke the day up a bit with some lunch in a quirky little cafe called Cuckoo Callay just outside the station. You'd think I would have learnt from my snozcumber incident last night but instead of a coffee, I thought I would be all healthy (it is January after all) and try a Matcha latte. Now I knew it was going to be green but what I didn't realise is that it was going to smell like seaweed. It was so revolting I couldn't even finish it! Surprisingly Simon didn't mind it so he finished it off for me.
After a few hours of mooching around the shops and Simon taking some snaps of graffiti we headed back to the airport. Fortunately we were not in any rush as the trains were having a right mare, with signalling problems causing all kinds of delays. Then when we got on the bus from Mascot the driver beeped another car and the horn got stuck. The engine then started making all kinds of strange noises and stalled when we reached the next stop. It took him a good 15 minutes to get it started again but to be fair to the guy he was persistent. It's a miracle we made it to the airport though.
After a very long day wandering around and then 24 hours worth of flights ahead of us we decided to book ourselves into a lounge just so that we could have a shower and freshen up and not feel revolting before we even started. It turns out however that due to Simon's numerous flights in business class for work, he's acquired himself a silver membership with BA which gets him and one guest into the business lounge. Well what a waste of money that was! It does also get us both into a business lounge in Hong Kong for our 3 hour stopover which is a definite bonus. After paying for the lounge we thought we had better check it out so after the obligatory mooch around the perfumes, we headed over to the lounge. This is my first time in a lounge and I didn't know what to do with myself. Simon however, a seasoned business flyer, didn't waste any time in showing me the ropes and soon came back with a gin and tonic and a rum and ginger ale in his hands. After tucking into some grub we thought it rude not to check out the Qantas lounge as well. I'm glad we moved on quickly as this lounge is so much better than the other one. There is a fully stocked bar with lots of lovely wines and prosecco, a cracking cheese selection and a gelato bar. Before I got started on the wine and gelato I went for a shower which was also epic! My own little bathroom with a fresh towel, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and hair dryer. I even got my own fresh bath mat! I am actually living the dream right now. If it was socially acceptable to get into my pyjamas, I would be in heaven! This is definitely making the whole journey home a lot easier.
It's nearly time to board our flight so I will check in with you all again when we reach Hong Kong.Read more