Often the best defence is relaxation (Day 13)

Sadly I am not impressed with Brisbane at all. Okay, sure it has some nice bits. The boardwalk on the far sideof the river is neat if a little eclectic (with its fake beach, climbing wall, rainforest and Nepalese peace temple.

But it is pretty grotty all the same. The river is ick (only god knows how they take the postcard photos to make it look so lovely), and even the swanky hotels are prett dated and ordinary (although I recognise that I should be grateful to Cath for sponsoring what could be my last night of supreme luxury for some time).

I also had the world’s worst thickshake today in Brissy. Perhaps that is unfair. It met the specifications in some sense – at least it was very thick. It might be better to say that it was the world’s least appropriate straw. So thin was it that I found it impossible to actually suck up any of the shake. The straw just colapsed under the pressure. Most frustrating.

Last night in Brisbane was my first night alone. That is, my first night when I have to rely on my natural skills to meet people, rather than being able to depend on meeting up with people I know. It was a little bit scary – even though I knew it would work out fine (and it did).

It is also a little bit scary to look at my newly purchased map and see how far (and where) I have to go. I saw a book today in a shop where a guy recounted his journey from London to Sydney overland (technically he was not overland, cos he took boats to avoid getting too wet, but he did not fly). While he was going in the opposite direction to me, at least it shows that it is possible.

This guy ended up hitching a lift on a boat from Timor to Darwin okay. So maybe I will try that on. We shall see. Whatever happens I think I am going to have to speed up a little. I am running out of time for Asia and Russia by dawdling so long on he east coast of Aus.

I went out on the town last night with two English girls, two Kiwis (one an excellent fellow, the other drunk). I met two Dutch lads as well. I must say that I found it rather bizarre to be out at 2 in the morning with the pub trying (unsuccessfully) to close, and to suddenly realise that it was a Monday night. But I guess that is just part of the whole travelling thing as well.

As it turned out, I was out far too late, and I only got up with 10 minutes to spare before check-out time. Needless to say I am not perfectly packed.

But (good things happen in mysterious ways) the Doctor held me up anyway (I went for my final Hep B shot) and I had to rebook my appointment for the afternoon. So I could not leave Brisbane today anyway. Back to the hostel, back to my bed. So much for needing to hurry. Just breathe deep.