So on my first leg of my journey after leaving the trap of all backpacker traps also known as Sydney, I had a quick stop over in Newcastle before catching the Greyhound up to Bryon Bay. My hostel that I stayed at called Backpackers Newcastle was absolutely excellent and probably one of the friendliest hostels I have ever stayed in. (you can read more about them here)
But beyond that nothing else in the city really came to my liking. Granted I only had one day in the city to really look around and the weather wasn’t brilliant, but still I don’t actually believe that would of made much difference.
Firstly I walked to Bar Beach, which didn’t look particularly special to me. And I don’t really understand the name considering I didn’t find one bar there to drown my sorrows in. (If anyone knows please feel free to comment and enlighten me) And as I looked down the beach and onto some of the suburbs, honestly I thought the whole city looked pretty ugly to be honest, and not meaning to sound rude or offend anyone from Brazil, but the look of the buildings built up on the hillside were reminiscent of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, except uglier. Then after walking the coast for a bit, still unimpressed, I decided to head back the hostel via what on my map was called The National Park. Now something named National Park must be good right? Well what I found was basically just an overgrown field with a basketball court with hoopless poles, not what I would choose to call The National Park put it that way.
And keeping on my earlier comparison, I managed to spend the best part of a month in Rio de Janeiro and not once was I ever threatened or had anyone try to mug me. And Rio is often listed (unfairly in my opinion) as one of the ten most dangerous cities in the world. Yet in only 3 hours of walking in Newcastle, and just outside of Coles of all places, I had some little rat try to shake me down and rob me. 3 hours, one walk, that’s as long as it took. Luckily I was wise to it and managed to get away with all belongings in tact without it turning to violence either, and quickly returned to the safe haven of my hostel to wait for the shuttle to the bus station and reflect on the fact that I’m not quite out of hell just yet….