Snoring and pouring

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
Trip End Mar 21, 2008

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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, November 13, 2006

Until about 2am today, all our impressions of Newcastle had been positive. That's when Jane and I are both woken up by what sounds like a chainsaw being cranked up in our room. It is, in fact, our dorm-mate, a vaguely creepy, older guy, snoring with such volume and gusto that his bunk bed is shaking. We lie still for a few minutes, to see if the noise suddenly disappears as abruptly as it started, but this guy seems to have a lot of pent up energy or anger or something that he is now expending while asleep. At one point he does soften briefly, like a few bars of pianissimo following a thundering crescendo, but this is violently broken by a long and loud fart, a few turkey-type gobbling noises and an enthusiastic resumption of the snoring. Even with our earplugs in, the noise is overwhelming and I don't know quite how we manage any further sleep at all.

Now, I realise that snoring is a natural and, in many cases unavoidable, human function. I have been known to tear up a few Z-tickets in my time too, especially after a few beers. However, if your snoring is so loud, irregular and persistant that you make things unbearable for others around you, you should at the very least get a private room.

So, after a noisy and smelly night, we wake up unrefreshed but optimistic. Our other roommate, a hippy from Edmonton, Canada, meets us downstairs and complains about the snorer as well. Fortunately, says the lady at reception, Mr. Snory is not booked to stay tonight.

Jane and I catch a local bus out to a place with the evocative name of Blackbutt Reserve, a kind of wildlife place that apparently has some nice bush walks as well. We see some koalas lazing around on trees, plenty of vividly-coloured birds, some emus, and a few uninspired kangaroos.

Just as we begin the 1.4km bush walk back to the park entrance, the sky becomes deathly dark and an eerie wind starts to shake the trees around. We can tell it is about to rain but we don't really have anywhere else that we can go, as we are basically past the point of no return. Sure enough, the first splashes of rain come down, followed by the most ferocious and intense downpour. Deep puddles are formed instantly, the raindrops hit the ground and bounce back up to ankle height and we can barely see where we are going for the wall of water in front of us. Then, just as we reach the carpark, the rain stops, as suddenly as it had begun. However, we are of course completely soaked from head to toe and we get a few interesting looks as we board the bus back into town.

After a shower and a nap we feel more or less normal again so we wander down to the beach. Jane doesn't feel like swimming but I charge in for a bit of bodysurfing and lolling around in the warm ocean water as the real surfers zip around us swimmers.

Tonight is another free meal night, this time it is a nice big fish & chips, plus a veggie & rice meal that was spare - bargain!
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