An Absolutely Fantastic Australian Trip Report

As I write this blog, and when I wrote TalkMail over the years, I occasionally encounter posters on the forums who annoy me intensely because they are clearly better writers than I will ever hope to be.

Oh all right, it happens more regularly than I care to admit. Practically daily in fact.

Amy on the Fodor’s Travel forums is one such writer. In this particular thread she describes a trip taken with her nieces to Australia in Bill Brysonesque fashion. Her report is laced with wonderfully detailed descriptions and finely crafted witticisms that would make any humorist proud. A few samples:

We walked out into clean brisk Brisbane and found our way over to the River Walk, where tons of people were out playing in the Saturday sun. There were also fair numbers of ibis; I can see where they could get annoying, but they provided a nice change from pigeons. Later in the day we walked to Woolworths (supermarket, not the 5&10 Americans would be familiar with) and got supplies. I was in awe at the dairy case: cream, heavy cream, slightly thickened heavy cream, thicker yet heavy cream…All my dairy dreams come true, and I have to say in all due modesty that I made the best chicken fettucine alfredo ever with the leftovers of a Woolworths roast chicken and some of that cream and parmesan. I also loved the selection of eggs, although it was a bit bewildering to have to decide just how happy you wanted your chickens to have been.

Our room was tiny, with two yellow and two purple walls trying valiantly to cheer up the deep green linens. The girls handled it all bravely, but their first hostel experience was definitely an eye-opener. And the bathrooms are mighty cold in the morning! That said, it’s cheap and cheerful, with a nice guy at reception and very vivid signage about what to do and not do.

Most of the remainder of the group were doing a five day trip, so a great lady in a truck picked us up and took us back to Alice, including a stretch of dirt road that took her about an hour, bowling for bunnies the whole way. I’d reckon the road would have taken some people two hours, but we were air-borne part of the time.

Our home for our final four nights was the astounding Sydney Harbour YHA in the Rocks, over top an (open air) archaeological dig. Whilst it never forgets that it’s a hostel, it’s got the most extraordinary location for $48pp per night that I’ve ever seen, and you get a bathmat delivered daily. (Towels are extra…

To enjoy the full effect of Amy’s brilliant report you really should read the entire thread. Clicking through to Amy’s profile page I see that she is an Ultimate Fodorite Finalist. I’m not sure exactly what that entails, but after reading just this one thread I’m sure it’s deserved.

Image by gnuckx (Flickr: Roma Italy – Creative Commons by gnuckx) [Public domain or CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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