Africa Blog Posts, Australia Blog Posts, Blog Posts

Week 84: Arriving in Australia

On Monday I met with my new friend Jedrek for a few hours before I had to head to the airport. Luckily I managed to share a taxi with some Japanese guys who were flying out of Cape Town too. In the end I decided to take the cheaper flight, rather than the direct one. The journey took 48 hours, from Cape Town to Perth, and cost just over 500 pounds. I had an eighteen hour stop over in Doha and was expecting to have to sit in the airport the whole time. Luckily the airline paid for my visa and a 4 star hotel in Doha, so I could rest and have a hot shower. I ended up having three breakfasts, a lunch and dinner, all for free. The first breakfast was on the plane, then I got another free breakfast in the airport restaurant by showing my boarding pass, then when I arrived at the hotel I was allowed a breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel food was amazing so I made sure I ate as much free food as possible.

The flight to Perth from Doha took around 10 hours, and left Doha at around 1 am. When I woke up on the plane it was 10 am, but then I changed my time to the new local Australian time and it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Not a great way to start my sleeping pattern. I headed into Perth from the airport using the free shuttle to the domestic airport and then local transport into town, this meant I paid 4 dollars instead of 33.

In Perth I headed to the bus station to make my way to my CouchSurfing hosts place in South Perth, at the bus stop I met two Argentinean guys who were actually heading to the same CouchSurfing place. The place is really awesome, there are 3 Australian guys living in the house with a French guy, but outside in the back garden are about 6 tents. There are maybe 14 people living here from all different places around the world, I really like it, there is such a great atmosphere. Hopefully I can stay here for the rest of my time in Perth.

On my second day I started my efforts to find work, mostly this was just preparation, I already have my working holiday visa, but you also need a local bank account and a Tax File Number. It took me a couple of days to sort these out but now I have started sending applications to quite a few jobs online. Yesterday another guy arrived at the house, he had lived here before but had just been on holiday, he told me about a job I really want to do, Jackarooing. He spent a few months living out in the bush herding cattle on a dirt bike.

After speaking with him I have changed my mind about the kind of work I want to do at the moment. I think instead of looking for IT help desk work it would be better to do some labouring work or get a job in a roadhouse. Labouring work pays well and is casual work, but if you work in a roadhouse you get accommodation and food, plus you are out of the city, so you wont spend the money you make. I have been told that roadhouse work is the best way to save money, so this is what I really want to do, unfortunately I haven’t seen many of these jobs advertised yet. Maybe I will do some labouring work in the meantime, I guess time will tell.

Africa Blog Posts, Blog Posts

Week 83: Cape Town

I spent this week in Cape Town, which is one of my favorite cities so far. I arrived on a local minibus taxi with a journey that should have taken 4 hours and actually took 10, luckily my CouchSurfing host didn’t mind too much that I arrived so late.

Cape Town is a beautiful city, you can see Table Mountain from almost anywhere in the city. As I walked around I was reminded of European cities that I have visited in the past. Although Cape Town is nothing at all like Africa, it is still a great place to be.

Finally I had arrived in a modern city so I decided to take my mobile phone and my camera into the shops to get them repaired. The phone was supposed to take 2 hours but they kept it for 4 days before I had to collect it in the same state it was in before. The camera was supposed to take 2 days but took 3 and again they hadn’t fixed it. I guess these things will have to wait until Australia.

On a more positive note, I bought myself a new GoPro 3 camera, I have been wanting one of these for some time now so that I can get some better video footage of the places I go. The only problem was that all the shops had sold out of the memory cards, so it took me another day or two of going to camera shops before I found the memory card to start using the camera.

I also met up with a friend, Camilla, I originally met her in Monkey Bay, Malawi about 9 months ago. We went out for some drinks and caught up before I went to the cinema, for the first time in over a year, to see The Hobbit. On the way back to town from the cinema I had an awesome view of the city, Table mountain towering behind the cityscape and ‘the cloth’ (the clouds blowing over the top of table mountain) constantly rolling off the top and disappearing as it fell.

I left my couch surfing hosts place after 3 nights and moved into a backpackers, luckily I had been contacted by a guy through CouchSurfing who wanted to meet up. He has been traveling for around 7 years and is a really fun guy to spend time with. He actually stayed in Australia at one point so has given me a few contacts there.

Now my time in Africa is over and I will start my 48 hour journey from Cape Town to Perth. I feel sad to be leaving Africa, I have so many great memories from this continent, so many people and places that I will miss so much that it is hard to leave. But still, I know that seeing new places means leaving behind others.