My trip to Newcastle turned out to be a lot more stressful than it should have been. From Katoomba I had to return to Sydney before catching another train to Newcastle. Knowing this, I left a couple of hours in Sydney so I could organise a flat for Christmas and pick up my ATM card from the bank. The first task went really well, I now have somewhere to stay in Brisbane which is very close to my volunteer placement at Lone Pine. Also it means I'm not spending the festive period on the street which is a plus too. However, the quick stop at the bank turns out to be a very long stop. First, I couldn't find them and once I finally located the branch they couldn't find me. After a long time searching on their system I was informed my card had been sent to another branch.
By this time I was cutting it quite close for catching my train to Newcastle so decided not to start searching for the second bank but to collect my backpack from its holding place and return to central station. By the time I had picked up Zippy I was already rushing and rather hot and bothered so carrying a pack that weighs half my own weight, up hill in sunny Sydney did not help. After reaching my bus stop to see my bus pull away I knew I had missed my train. I waited the 10mins for the next bus and continued in the hope the train had been delayed. It hadn't. I looked at the board and it was gone.
However, with amazing luck there was a CityRail train that had been delayed which, though my ticket wasn't valid for it, was headed to Newcastle. I enquired and a helpful little man at the Countrylink office (the trains I can travel on with my shiny pass) reminded me I was given a CityRail Daytripper ticket with my rail pass. These tickets are supposed to be for unlimited travel on one day so you can go sight seeing but I can't afford to buy a ticket so it'd do. Thankfully I hadn't used it and so managed to get a train after all. I was hot and sweaty, stressed, hungry and a little sunburnt and now travelling on an all stops commuter train that took twice as long as the express with the comfy seats (one in particular with my name on a little tab above it) but I was on my way.
|Koala mat Blackbutt Reserve|
Tomorrow I'm going a bit more remote and staying in Anna Bay, Port Stephens so have to buy food here to take with me as its 5km to the nearest food store and there's not a lot of transport. I'm told I'm staying in a patch of rainforest on the coast. Sounds good, but then so did this hostel......