So my bags are packed and I’m on the road again. This time Kodak and I are off to Kelowna to catch up with Darren whom we first met in Brazil. He’s quite the character and I’m looking forward to staying with him. The bus trip is rather long with comfort stops along the way and lunch in the middle of nowhere. I do remember going through Golden. You wind down a long hill into it. Bit like heading to Takaka in the Nelson region of NZ. We wind our way through the mountains which still had snow on the peaks. Our first stop in Banff I got off and what a shock. It was so cold compared to Calgary.
Canada is very picturesque and Canadians are big on camping to, just like kiwis. Beautiful lakes and little towns on the way. I was glad to get to Kelowna and finally off the bus around 4pm. Darren has rather a cool place. He calls it the Bates Motel. Its 2 houses joined together and he has permanent residents (14 in total) from several countries that work in Kelowna. Would I ever stay for a long period of time? Hell no, I couldn’t stand the long cold winters, but in having said that, they actually have very mild winters in Kelowna. Darren suggested the next morning that I might like to go swimming. Kelowna sits right on Lake Okanagan. ‘Yeah right’ I’m thinking to myself. It’s warm enough and I’m only in shorts and t-shirt but this lake is fed by the mountains. So the first thing I do when I get down to the lake is put my foot in. There is no way that I’m swimming in that!! I reckon it’s just above freezing point and after weeks in the warm Caribbean I am thinking I shall never swim anywhere but there.
Kelowna is a city and there is a lot to do and see. Wineries, Museums, Galleries, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, water-skiing, all manner of winter sports and activities. If you think of it, they probably have it for you to do. I spent most of my first full day in the city finding out where everything was and talking with lots of the shop owners. I can’t help myself and when you go in buying little souvenirs it’s not long before a conversation starts going.
The next day, for some reason, I stumble over a book at Darren’s. It’s one of Gary Zukav’s. That was it for me. I sat down for the day and read the whole thing. Darren caught up with me at dinner and invited me to head off with his mates to a bar then to see ‘The Dark Knight’ which has just been released into the movies theatres. I take that up and the last movie I saw comes to mind. That had been months ago in Colombia and it was in Spanish. Great movie. I can see why Heath Ledger got the Oscar for it, just a damn shame he wasn’t still here to receive it.
After writing another heap of post cards, and sending them off, I have another 2 days of doing what I want. With 14 other people from all walks of life in and out of the motel I am not lost for company and have several email addresses and offers that if I ever get stuck somewhere I have someone to call. While in Kelowna I had put time aside everyday to try getting in touch with Nicole in Whisper. I was having no luck with her phone number or email. We had met in Peru and travelled together to Copacabana in Bolivia. Not being able to get in touch with her, I decide I will stay only the one night in Vancouver and head straight onto Victoria. I want to meet up with Mike again, and some friends of my Mum whom I meet as a kid when they came out to NZ. No shortage of people to see and things to do.
Get in the bag Kodak – we are off to the bus station again. He never answers back!! We are off to Vancouver of course and I have agreed to come back for two nights at Darren’s before going onto Calgary. Vancouver is not too far from Kelowna and it’s on this stretch my camera battery died so I didn’t get half the photos I wanted to.
There are loads of weeping willows in this part of the country. I saw moose and deer. Even saw cows again. There are huge paddocks of round hay bales, silage and the Vernon plains with wheat and barley. Orchards everywhere – yep reminds me of home but on a much bigger scale of course. On arriving at the hostel I am back to my usual habit of dropping my bag and heading straight out the door. This time I forgot to get a map but take note off specific buildings. I don’t get lost, amazingly! I give myself a pat on the back for that one. Vancouver – what do I think of it? Well I was surprised at the number of beggars. God they stop you and ask for anything but mainly smokes and money. I never knew this about Vancouver and hadn’t encountered it in Kelowna or Calgary. Apart from that it seems a nice place but I didn’t really have any time to see much.
I managed to get a hold of Mike and can’t wait to catch up with him again. I haven’t seen him since Bolivia and he’s not big on emails. We have lots to talk about, but first a good night’s sleep, so I head to bed around midnight. At 3am I’m still wide awake and head downstairs and outside to have a smoke. To my amazement there is a street party. This has got to be the best sound proof hostel I have stayed in. There must have been close to a 1000 people. There were police everywhere, syringes in the gutter, beer bottles and cans, rubbish galore, noise, but no vehicles. Drunks and druggies yelling at whomever, it smelt of god knows what and you couldn’t hear a damn thing from inside. It was like stepping into another world. If I hadn’t seen it and someone had tried to tell me all this happened I wouldn’t have believed them. When I got down the next morning at 7am, the street was clean. It was like it had never happened. NO BS. I just stood there and shook my head. I know it took place because I talked with the receptionist on duty as I went back in last night. It was not a dream.
Kodak and I hop on our bus at 7.30am. This will take us to the port, on the ferry, over to Victoria and then bus us into the middle of Victoria to the bus station. Cruising to Victoria was great. Another reminder of taking the Cook Strait ferry in NZ. The scenery was a little different. I have a short walk from the bus station to my hostel. I must have been asked for money and smokes from 10 beggars along the way. They are everywhere. I didn’t even encounter this in the poorest countries in South America. Come to think of it, I didn’t see this in any of the countries of South or Central America. Come on Canada – what’s happened? Why are there beggars here? They aren’t sitting around with a can asking for money, they just approach you in the street. Some of them have the nerve to get angry when you tell them to get lost.
Anyway onwards and upwards. Mike meet up with me during his lunch hour. Boy he had a few stories to tell after leaving Bolivia. Damn it was good to see a familiar face. After he went back to work I ended up talking with Mark from Wales. We had met on the bus/ferry trip and he spotted me in the park. The temperature today is 22degrees. Pleasant enough but when Mike and I went to a restaurant for dinner they had the air-conditioning on. I ended up being cold, meanwhile Mike’s busy telling me that most of the locals think they are going to die from the heat. OMG I would hate to see them in Mexico, it probably would kill them.
I do some clothes shopping the next day. I’m feeling a little on the cold side. I shop, yet again, for family back home and send off another parcel. I then catch a bus to do the Butterfly house and the Buchart Gardens. These are both well known in Victoria and are very popular. I was snapping photos all day. Trying to get the butterflies on film was a mission. And the Buchart Gardens.
Wow! Flowers of every colour, shape, smell and size. This place was packed with tourists and like usual it is hard to get a photo without someone being in it. This was pretty much to take me all day and a couple of hundred photos later I’m back in the city.
After getting back to the hostel my next mission is to get washing done and cook myself a good dinner. While I’m having dinner this American guy sits down and we start talking. He’s a native Canadian and back in Victoria to see his mum who still lives there. This guy is really interesting and has a suggestion as to why every time I go through security at the airports I set the bells and whistles going. My age and the fact that I’m travelling alone. Oh great! I’m travelling alone for the rest of my travels. I like it that way. The number of arguments I was to witness while away would amaze you. Why can’t girls just go off and do what they want and the guys go do what they want. Man I don’t get it. Why drag your guy off to things he has absolutely no interest in? Anyway we stayed up talking till 5am.
The next night I talk a walking tour called the Ghost Walk. We get taken all around to these places that are supposedly still haunted. Interesting but not as long as I thought it was going to be and honestly not worth the money I paid. Live and learn aye.
My Mum has friends that live in Victoria so after working out the bus to catch I set off to see them. They weren’t home but no worries as this afternoon I am going whale watching. All boats from all the previous trips this week have seen whales and dolphins. Murphy, yet again, has a lot to answer for. We saw all of 3 dolphins. 3 ½ hours later and back at our departure point and I stand up to get out of the boat to find that the waterproof jumpsuit is not waterproof. I had to walk right through the middle of Victoria looking like I had wet myself. God I was so embarrassed! I just walked along saying ‘Whale watching’. It was even more annoying having to answer ‘ No didn’t see a damn thing’ You can imagine the number of people that got a good laugh out of this. And yes someone did take a photo – bugger! I must admit that I did look like a drowned rat.
After all that excitement I have a day sitting on the banks of the bay and watching these funny looking water-taxis go back and forward. I like people watching and do it quite often. I find it relaxing and this is the first chance I have to see squirrels and Canadian geese up close.
Mike and I catch up for lunch and in the afternoon I set off again to see my mum’s friends. Bob and Margot are home and after having a good catch up on everyone and things in NZ they take me out for a drive around Victoria in their car. Well we get up near the university and what do I see. Oh my god! I couldn’t believe my eyes. 1001 rabbits. Yes, rabbits. Not just brown rabbits, god no, they where all the colours of the rainbow. Evidently someone’s pet(s) rabbit got out and met a very nice other rabbit and HELLO there are now hundreds of multi-coloured bunnies living in the university grounds and expanding by the day. Half the people of Victoria want the little buggers shot and the other half are screaming out how cruel. Any NZ farmer seeing this would tear his hair out! I’m not kidding, there are hundreds of them.
I was so wrapped up in the fact that I was seeing so many rabbits in one place that I didn’t even get a photo of them. Sometimes the moment just overtakes you, you forget about the camera. Next time I won’t be forgetting. We go to a lookout point which gives a 360 degree grand view for miles. Nice spot but wouldn’t want to do it on a windy day.
I have been here for a week now and have crossed off everything I wanted to do and caught up with my friend and my mum’s friends so it is back to Kelowna for me. I have booked on Westjet. I have heard lots about Westjet and even though it’s a short flight I am looking forward to flying with this airline and over the Rocky Mountains.
I catch the shuttle to the airport and yep, like usual, set the security alarm off. I love flying, hate airports! Great flight over the Rockies to. Lakes of green and blue and no turbulence. Darren picked me up from the airport and I caught up with everyone at the motel again. Nice bunch of people. Spent another afternoon in the city and another late night. The next morning I woke with the most wicked of stomach aches. Nothing else but a beaut stomach ache and all day. I just sat outside under a veranda on a couch and let the day go by, thankful that I haven’t missed too many days from up illness up to this point. Darren went mountain-biking for the day. I had intended to go but being sick put an end to that. It was disappointing so I am going t o get on the bus again to Calgary. No doubt Darren and I will catch up somewhere in another country as he loves travelling to.
The next day seemed to go so slow. I think that was due to the fact that I still wasn’t a hundred percent well. Great to get back and see my aunt again. She had been away for the week or so that I was gone to. The following day I head to the library and book my nice hostel in the next city I’m going to and then go to the zoo.
I am especially interested in seeing the Bison. I’ve had this fascination of seeing bison close up after having watched every western movie that I could as a kid. They are just interesting to me for whatever reason. And I wasn’t disappointed. Large and fascinating creatures. I spent hours at the zoo. It brings out the kid in me and I love animals. Who doesn’t? All in the entire zoo visit was what I needed just to get back to nature after the many concrete jungles I had been in.
Tonight was rather a late one again as I don’t know when I will see my great aunt again. She has said that her age – which is young to me – that she is not up to flying long haul anymore so will not ever be going back to her homeland of New Zealand ever again. This has me thinking that I will make a special effort over the coming years to get back to see her. Besides I absolutely love her sense of humour.
I order a taxi, say my goodbye to my favourite aunt and head off to the airport. I have the usual security crap thing happening and an uneventful flight, like always, before flying into…
Chicago. Yes Kodak and I have made it to here. We get a shuttle to the hostel only to find that we can’t get booked in until 5pm. What! Thank god for a huge storage room. We are only 1 of about 15 people that turned up at lunch time trying to get booked in. We have done out booking on the net but today they are just so far behind with the house keeping so we all have to leave our bags in storage and head off. Not to worry as that’s what I do nearly every time I get to a new place.
We are staying at the HI Hostel. This is one of the better hostels I have been in. The dorms all have an ensuite, but the best part, they have a computer room with about 15 computers. You can print off and it’s all free. And to top it off they have a tourist desk with someone on duty from 7am to 8pm and they are busy. Ask them anything and if they didn’t know the answer they would find out for you. There is something organised for every night of the week and for my first night there I went to the park. About 20 of us put $3 in the kitty and off we went. Staff from the hostel had blankets for us to sit on, others took the money and went to get fish and chips and we had dinner in the park and watched on this huge screen ‘The Odd Couple’ which you will remember starred Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. There where people of all ages, mums and dads and their kids, people with blankets, deck chairs, pushchairs…..it was fun. Brilliant idea and only 10 minute walk from the hostel.
I put my name down the next morning for tonight’s outing and set off for the Sears Tower. This is on my list of places to go. The Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world many years ago, but of course is not any longer, so you can imagine the view from up there and out over Lake Michigan. After coming down from there I do a wonder about and hope I don’t get lost.
Tonight a group of us are off to Smoke Daddy. This is a blues music bar and restaurant. They are strict on not letting under age persons in but when I was asked for my ID I found it insulting, not amusing. One girl in our group ended up in an argument with door security as they wouldn’t believe the birthday in her passport. She did get in, in the end, but it put a dampener on our evening and every time we got a round of drinks they just stared at us. The hostel personal that came with us where pi..ed off to. The music was good so that made up for it.
Another thing that I haven’t yet got to doing is hitting a Macy’s store. So let’s hit a Macy’s store today and see what everyone raves about. Well I could get lost in here and be very happy. Things that you wouldn’t dream of seeing in NZ. Brands that I have never heard of, it’s like being in the biggest candy store but better. I love Macy’s. The temptation to shop till I drop was there but I resisted. I am learning great self control. There is just so much you can post home for the kids.
Where I am is situated in more or less the centre of Chicago. Not too far away is the lake where you can visit the Childrens Museum, Navy Pier, Millennium Park Garage, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, and lots of other parks and places of interest. I did a lot of walking while I was there so after all this afternoon and the following day seeing what I could, Kodak and I set off on the underground at 5pm for the airport and our flight to….
New York. We have arrived in the Big Apple at 10.15pm no less. I hate getting into new and unfamiliar places in the middle of the night. We have flown into LaGuardia and I am tired so I get a shuttle to my hostel. This turns out to be a bit of a problem. I have no idea where I’m going and the shuttle driver ends up having a hell of a time trying to work out where I need to be to. After many conversations on his radio we finally find it. It was not very well marked with just small numbers on the front door and of all places I am in Spanish Harlem. As it turned out I ended up loving the fact that I wasn’t right down in the thick of it closer to the city. I get to crawl into bed at 2am.
I head the door and up the street to find myself in the middle of Spanish Harlem. This is one great place to shop. When I had left Belize Paul had asked me that if I get the time and had the money could I buy him some shorts, t-shirts and Obsession cologne. This was the place to do it. Cheap but good quality clothing, every design, colour and size you could think of. And a local post office to boot. I got what he wanted and it posted off.
So what does a newcomer to New York want to see? It has to be the Statue of Liberty. I catch the underground train into Times Square and come up from it to suddenly be in the middle of just people. People, people, and more people. This place just hums and never sleeps. There are guys ready to step out and sell you tickets for a short cruise out to the statue and a city bus tour. This big guy steps out in front of me and immediately asks where I’m from. 10 minutes later I’m still standing there talking and have accepted a dinner invitation, got a phone number and I have my tickets for the trip out and around the statue, so the first port of call is down the street to catch my boat.
Hmmmm ok, why did I think the Statue of Liberty was bigger. TV and pictures can be deceiving. It’s not small by any means but I just thought it was going to be massive but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it is huge and I’m certainly glad I went to see it. I got some good photos so I’m happy. On getting back I then walk back to Times Square and do the second half of my ticket which is a Subway City Bus Tour. My main stopping off point is Ground Zero.
This is an immensely sad place. I remember back to the day when I first heard about this attack. I was driving my son to an agricultural course he was doing and thinking that the radio announcers were talking crap and trying to see how many people they could fool. By the time I got home, which was only a 5 minute drive, they had announced it so many times that I turned on the TV. Getting to Ground Zero and seeing the site, remembering watching TV, it was really hard not to cry. Senseless, pointless, did it change the world. NO, it just makes it bloody harder to get through an airport. (I have my own opinion on all this but I will leave it out.)
My new, New York friend picked me up from the hostel and we went out for a lovely dinner. It’s great to make new friends and have someone show you around to different things that you normally wouldn’t see. The next day we caught up again at Central Park and then went to the Museum of Natural History.
Where the hell is Kodak going now? We are going to London. We catch the train out to JFK, have the now normal hassle at security and fly out at 8pm. I took the underground train to my stop of point at London Bridge. On coming out of the underground I stopped in my tracks. God has the Queen died and I don’t know about it? WTF. Everyone is dressed in black. Black, black, black. Everywhere you looked they were wearing black clothing. How morbid is that. Well it turns out that is the dress code in London. As you can imagine I stuck out like a sore thumb. So if you want to be in fashion in London just wear black. You’ll fit right in.
Anyway after the shock of this I get to the next day and sort of another ATM card from my bank since mine was stolen in Ecuador and promptly get myself a cell phone. I sort out tickets on the train and ferry over to Dublin and go into the centre of London. I love the underground in this city. It’s very easy to use and trains come every few minutes.
The next day I take a hop-on-hop-off city and river tour. I got back early afternoon with a thumping headache. The day was actually really hot. Laundry done, hostel booked in Dublin, out to a restaurant for dinner and time spent in the hostel bar.
The added advantage of being in England is the extensive train system. Dead easy to catch the train from London Bridge to anywhere in the UK. It took around 2 ½ hours to get to Holyhead in Wales where you then get the ferry onto Dublin. The ferry then takes 3 hours to Dublin. It started raining on the ferry ride and by the time I got to Dublin it was cold. Just to brighten the day up the bus into the city decided it didn’t want to start so we all had to get off and get on a replacement bus. This gave me a chance to talk to a lovely Irish couple. Bernard and Helena gave me some info on what’s what in Dublin. I never miss the chance now to talk to the locals. The information they can give you is invaluable. Thanks guys!
I have a friend in Dublin but haven’t been able to get hold of her. We met in Ecuador and I am hoping she is not off tripping around somewhere in the world, but after not getting a reply from her, and the weather not so great I hit the pavement around the centre of Dublin to see what it’s all about. Nice city but very expensive. The old building and architecture are awesome. I think I spent most of the time looking up. With the weather being cold and wet I booked myself a Paddy Wagon tour around Ireland and had my fingers crossed that the weather might improve while I’m gone.
Kylie finally got around to reading her emails and turned up at my hostel getting me out of bed at 11.30pm. Fast asleep and snuggled up in bed I was hauled out and taken to the closed pub. I think I was one of the annoying people that night. You know the ones. They come in at 3.30am, drunk, try not to crash into everything, make heaps of noise telling themselves to be quiet. Hmmm, well I don’t do it too often. Hey, got to let your hair down and all that stuff…..
My first city stop on the PaddyWagon tour is in Dublin itself at the Guinness Brewery before our overnight stay in Belfast. Not long before getting into there the bus driver says that everyone will have to get out there passports as we are entering Northern Ireland. I just did a little chuckle to myself. You would be amazed at the number of people that thought it was for real. Some had no idea this guy was pulling their leg. Love the sense of humour of the Irish!! As we arrived late afternoon this didn’t give me much time to see Belfast so only walked into the city for a very quick look.
The next day is cloudy with a bit of rain mixed in but this is to be expected. It is Ireland after all. The name given as the ‘Emerald Isle’ is so appropriate. The grass is an emerald colour. It actually looks greener than NZ in a different way. Beautiful country.
Today we are heading all the way to Derry. Some people will also refer to it as Londonderry. We stop at several points of interest. One is Carrick- A-Rede and Larrybane and the Giants Causeway. All the places we visit are humming with tourists from every point of the globe.
By the end of this second day we have worked out who the clowns of our group are. Walter from Belgium had the ability to make everyone laugh about the most ridiculous things. What a hang man. Mel is from New Zealand but now lives in London. Ben is also from NZ and is heading back to his homeland soon to start a new job in Wellington. Mike is from Canada. Very nice guy who had the top of the line camera which I wished I had after looking at how brilliant and crisp his photos came out. For some reason I haven’t written down everyone’s name but there was another guy from Canada who got totally pissed every night and always took 2-3 hours on the bus each morning before he came alive.
After getting ourselves sorted at the hostel in Derry we went to walk the old Derry Wall and see the Bloody Sunday Murals. Out to dinner tonight and the first thing I spotted on the menu was NZ lamb burgers. Yes! NZ lamb. Best in the world. God it was good, so good.
Our 3rd day on the tour we travel through loads of little towns. There are endless opportunities for taking photos. I really like Ireland even though I was finding it rather cold and the rain was following us everywhere. Tonight we are in Galway. We go to a local pub for dinner then a traditional Irish music night. Walter is doing a fantastic job at keeping everyone amused. There a young guy from Australia and we have hit it off and spend lots of time talking.
The Cliffs of Moher was great. I got some photos that I am super proud of. The mist was hanging low with dark clouds above which made for some awesome photos. People have commented that I should enter them in competitions. I will save them for my web photo album. (This will be up and running when I get Filezilla fixed). Tonight we are in Randy staying at the Leprechaun Pub. Party tonight.
We make our way to Killarney. While in Killarney of course this means you have to go and kiss the Blarney Stone at the castle. It is reported that after kissing the Blarney stone you will never be lost for words. Senior, from Orange County Choppers has kissed the Blarney stone. Maybe that’s why he is never lost for words.
After our time in Killarney we are going back to Dublin. When we get there we have to turn back down 3 streets. It’s raining cats and dogs and it’s flooding in parts of the city. I catch a taxi and head to Kylies place for the night.
I woke the next morning with a sore throat. The rain has stopped and I go do a bit of shopping. Most of the day I just laze about and watch the Olympics. Kylie and I went to the Woolshed for dinner. Kylie loves this place apart from one thing. There is a huge poster on the wall of the All Blacks. She’s an Australian. I have much delight in commenting how wonderful that poster is!
We met up with Kylie’s friend Leanne and took the train out to Malahide to go through Malahide Castle. This is about a half hour train trip. Good day. The next day Kylie and I hit Grafton Street. We got absolutely soaking wet. As I have a full blown case of the flu Kylie thinks a good whisky or two will do me the world of good so it’s off to the Jameson Whisky Distillery for a tour through there. When we get there we have a little time to wait before our group starts its tour so Kylie gets me a whisky and promptly gives me her one. We each get a free one with our tickets so down the batch they go. Now the thing is that I love whisky so I end up having 7 in a half hour period. The other 3 came when on the tour they asked for taste testers. I put my hand up and that got me 2 more. Another tester sitting next to me gave me one of his as he didn’t like his. By the time I walked out of there I was a yapping, giggling mess. Before I knew it I was in a betting shop talking with a friend of Kylie’s, Alan, from Trinidad and getting another invitation out.
Somehow we got all the way back to Kylies on foot. It had to be close to 2kms, and I sobered up enough to go out that night to the Arlington Hotel to see a mini Riverdance show. While there I end up chatting with an American guy who invites me out to. I am on a roll! Think I need to get out of Ireland so I book the ferry and train back to London. I am going to meet up with Omar and Rogelio and a friend of theirs. These are the guys I met in Mexico City.
The morning of my departure from Dublin the weather is beautiful. Wouldn’t you know it! Getting the ferry and train back to London goes just as smoothly as the journey to Dublin. On getting back into London I head to the Flight Centre and book a flight to Perth, Western Australia for 2 weeks then onward to New Zealand for December. I am going home for Christmas.
I have a new best friend in London now. Andrew. He’s an Australian. I attract Aussie’s like they are going out of fashion. We are in the same dorm room and the others in the dorm aren’t overly friendly. I woke and looked over and this guy gets out of bed and says hello. I reply with a ‘Hi, how’s it going’ ‘You have to be a kiwi with that accent?’ he says. ‘Yep, I’m Ingrid’ ‘I’m Andrew. What are you up to in London?’ From there the conversation took off and to this day we are the best of friends. Andrew teachers in London.
I get up early the next morning, have breakfast and head to Heathrow to meet Omar, Rogelio and Tere. They are staying at the same hostel as me, which has a bar, so I know that I am in for another late night. As it happens I was so knackered and still have the flu so I went to bed early and left them to it. The following day Omar and the others head off to Chelmsford to a V music festival. Apparently they have V festivals in different countries throughout the year.
I am running low on medication that I need and after enquiring at the hostel the best way to go about getting some more they suggest going to Guy’s Hospital where I will be able to see a GP. Off Andrew and go. After a 2 hour wait I get in, get a prescription and then go to the hospital pharmacy to then be told that they can’t fill the prescription as the doctor has not ticked off the right boxes. Shit was I angry! 2 hours sitting there for absolutely nothing and I wasn’t about to go back and sit for another 2 hours! Now if you have been reading ‘Where the Hell is Kodak’ from the start you will know by now that that brought about a string of bad language. Andrew has worked out in the short time he has known me that this is how I express my anger and he was just as pissed off as me at the time we had wasted on this little excursion. Needless to say that I was feeling so yuck from the flu I went back to the hostel and sleep the rest of the day.
The next few days I just ate and sleep. My nose is sore from all the crap I have to blow out all the time. I have a constant headache and the whole body has started aching. The hostel I am staying is St Christopher’s and it has 3 hostels under the one banner. I am staying 50 metres down the street from the main one where the bar is so the next morning walking back from breakfast I run into Tere. She came yesterday from the V festival because she was wet, dirty from all the mud and there were no showers. She hated it. At around midday Omar and Rogelio turned up. I introduced them to Andrew and it was like we have all known each other for years.
Tonight is karaoke in the bar. We all spot this young guy just keeping to himself in the corner and invite him to join us. Poor Samuel. (From Switzerland) He is a real quiet guy and he was thrown in the deep end with us. We all talk 50 to the ton. The guys got on the karaoke and did the Village People –YMCA, we are getting loud as more alcohol is consumed and Omar and Rogelio are up dancing all the time. We did get him laughing and smiling but you could tell he was very shy and reserved, but you could also tell he enjoyed himself. Tomorrow Omar, Rog and Tere have to head back home to Mexico so when going to bed I set the alarm on my phone. They are so drunk and I know they aren’t going to wake up in time and their flight is 11am.
Glad I set the alarm because they weren’t up and taking one look at them I knew I had better go to the airport or they were going to go to sleep on the train and end up god knows where. What do you know. No sooner we hopped on the train all 3 of then went to sleep and I had to wake them to change trains at Green Park. After seeing them off I get back and have a much needed sleep. Tonight Andrew and I go to a Walkabout. This is an Australian bar chain in the UK. The Aussie soccer team – the Socceroos – are playing and we are hoping that it is being televised. It wasn’t. Never mind and better luck next time.
I have had an email from Kylie and she and Leanne are in London tonight and we are going to meet tomorrow. Good excuse to have an early night.