Living bare foot is such a free way to live. No bother of dirty toes or wet feet. In Cairns shoes were not really an item for me. Flip flops, or thongs as the Aussies say, would perhaps see my feet every now and again but it is definitely a no shoe zone. I have now flown down to Melbourne to start my backpacking. I haven’t a clue where or what I’m doing, but with winter quickly creeping in for Australia the weather down south could very much be likened to England. Having adapted to the extreme heat and humidity in Queensland it was quite a shock to walk off the plane and have to put a hoody and jeans on, plus actual shoes. So I now have very sore toes, hence the title!
I first met with my german friend Simon, who I worked with in Cape Town for a few weeks, and headed to our hostel for the week. Greenhouse backpackers, located right in the centre of the CBD of Melbourne. Surrounded by narrow alley ways full of buzzing bars and cafes, and on the corner of the main street of the city, Swanston Street, one of the best places to go shopping, eating and clubbing! Well not that I have experienced it quite yet.
Leaving Cairns was exciting but difficult to say goodbye to my brother and the comfort of living with him. A comfort of a home is one of the most important things to me. After being robbed in Zimbabwe and having everything stripped from me has made me extremely wary of my whereabouts and my belongings, but I guess it’s just about getting back into the hang of living out of a bag again and being amongst lots of other travellers, sharing bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens. The possibility of your food being taken, struggling to find appropriate clothing in the pitch black silence, with the worry of waking up your roommates and becoming their worst enemy, and making sure to wake up in time for the free breakfast.
Greenhouse backpackers is supposedly voted one of the best in Melbourne with its location and great vibes. Well my first reaction of the place was not up to the high standards which was recommended online. My room is shared with five other girls, whom none speak english and struggle to even say a hello, great start, and there is no window! Feels like a nice version of a prison cell. The shared bathrooms remind me of those you get at your local swimming pool, but at least there are hot showers! The communal area is one of the biggest I have experienced, with a large kitchen and dining area, movie corner, computers dotted around the sides and a personal travel advice desk with heaps of tour offers. A bonus is the rooftop terrace which I can imagine is great when the weather is the opposite to now. This hostel has great potential, however, despite only arriving two days ago, I have struggled to feel like other travellers want to interact with anyone other than their individual group of friends. Luckily being open-minded and desperately wanting to meet other travellers, having been living with just me, myself and I for the last few weeks and going slightly insane, I got chatting to a guy, Jakob, who instantly clicked with me. First friend in Australia: tick! How sad do I sound.
Anyway he mentioned a football match that was on later that evening, the AFL, Melbourne vs. Richmond. Not that I even like football or remotely understand the rules, I thought why the hell not, it’s an experience. Twenty dollars later I was in the stadium which seats up to 100,000 fans, with an amazing view sat up the top of the stands. To be honest I found the game terribly boring but it was good to see, plus I have now met a great group of people, which has resulted in us all planning a road trip along the Great Ocean Road after my week exploring Melbourne. I feel so happy to be travelling again and to have grasped back the confidence I felt I slightly lost after being robbed.