Jindabyne – Our Journey

Road to Jindabyne The reason we came back to Australia this time round was to try to get a job at one of the ski resorts. We had been unsuccessful with our online applications earlier in the year due to visa issues, so we thought the next best thing would be to turn up and find work the old fashion way, face to face. In order to do this we needed to get to a town called Jindabyne, which is at the bottom of the Snowy Mountains and the closest town to the three Ski resorts, Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. Once we had bought our car in Sydney it was late in the day so we decided to only drive to Canberra as this is only two hours away. We also realised it was the weekend and heading to the ski resorts to hand out CV’s might not be the best idea, so we hung out in Canberra for a few days. We explored the area, which included the shopping centres as it was only getting colder and our clothes we had been wearing in the Philippines weren’t going to cut it. Whilst exploring we went to the parliament building which is located on a huge roundabout and witnessed an aboriginal protest.

Cambera Parliment House

The next day we headed to Jindabyne not knowing what to expect. There is only one hostel in Jindabyne so when we checked in and found out we were pretty much the only guests.. we were a little surprised. We started printing Cv’s off, walking around this tiny town to get more of a feel for the area. As I (Milly) have never skied before I have no idea how anything works or where you stay when you ski, this is all a learning experience for me! It became quickly apparent that the two weeks before the ski season starts the whole town seems to go on holiday, a kind of calm before the snowy storm. This wasn’t helpful as our face to face approach for job hunting went straight out the window.

Lake Jindabyne

We drove to Thredbo which is one of the most popular ski resort and started to ask around about jobs. As it is located in a national park we have to pay $17 a day to enter to hand out CV’s or talk to people, which started to add up as most of the locals were also on holiday before the season kicks off, so we were told to come back in a few days. Not only were most of the shops closed, but the locals who had already started work were complaining to us how hard it is for them to find accommodation on the resort. They explained they were living in Jindabyne which is a half an hour drive in good conditions. Not ideal for a daily commute through the snow. We were only trying to buy coffee and we got a ‘you should have applied earlier’ from a barista…thanks HUN but I wasn’t about to bother you with our visa sob story…We suddenly realised that if they couldn’t find accommodation on the resort then neither could we and the hour drive to and from work in snow looked like it might be our only option. We also learnt that most of the work was housekeeping which didn’t offer accommodation so we started to let go of the dream of working and living at Thredbo. Some lovely locals told us about a Facebook page which most of the town of Jindabyne use to find staff for the winter season, so we went back to the hostel to check it out. This page proved extremely useful as we emailed every single person advertising work on there with lots of responses. We actually got offered 6 jobs, unfortunately none came with accommodation. 

Spencers Creek

We had spent a few days in the hostel in Jindabyne, mainly because I had the flu, sending emails etc and finally we received an email for a joint Skype interview with a couple from a lodge in Charlottes Pass. The WiFi wasn’t great but we managed to have our first joint interview for the roles of live-in help at a private members lodge. Having an interview with my boyfriend is probably one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever had. We have never had to sell ourselves as a couple before and I felt like it was an intense version of meet the parents. This particular job advertised for a couple, so we were pretty lucky to have seen this kind of job. It came with living quarters for me and Olly and it was helping out around the lodge with the couple that are running it this year. It seemed perfect! We knew there were others interviewing for this role but we fell in love with the idea of it. We were offered a chance to go and have a look around as Charlottes Pass is the most remote of the ski resorts, once it snows and shuts the roads you are stuck there…or you have to pay $$$$ to use the snow overground to the next ski resort. Over the next few days we went to see the lodge and meet Jules and Stephan. As soon as we left we both looked at each other knowing we both really loved it and really hope we were successful with the job. Being in the area helped us massively as the next day we received the call we had got the jobs!!!! We were so bloody excited we went out for a celebratory pizza..which is a luxury as eating out is so expensive here. 

 

We traveled back to Canberra to get some bits for the car and stock up on toiletries for the next few months and then headed back to Jindabyne. We stuck around for the ski sale which a few locals told us about and managed to get all our ski and snowboard gear for extremely cheap prices. The only thing we bought brand new were our boots as apparently that is the most important part. Safe to say my new boots are so much more comfortable than the rentals I’m used to! We stayed in a different location in Jindabyne which was essentially a cabin within a caravan park. It was amazing, there was a sauna and jacuzzi which was absolute luxury, we indulged!! 

Jindabyne Caravan Park

We took all of our heavy boots and toiletries back up to Charlotte’s Pass before it snows and they shut the roads. Once it snows we would have had to have bought chains for the car wheels and struggled to get there in our 2 wheel drive. We unloaded everything and waved goodbye to Jules and Stephan as we had 3 weeks until we officially started work.

Trader Joe's Garage

We made a plan to do a mini road trip which involves camping to try to save money as we have to make our savings stretch another month. We have done road trips before but in huge camper vans which had a bed and somewhere to sit and cooking facilities so we knew we could do it again. Olly was a scout so he loves camping and the outdoors, me on the other hand, I have never camped or willingly slept in a car. I asked my Dad why we had never camped as a family and he said because we wouldn’t have anywhere for my Mum to plug her hairdryer in. That moment right there, I could finally see myself in both parents, likes the outdoors but prefers nice hair. 

Wish us luck for our next journey on the road!

Perisher

 

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Sydney – Our Journey

Leaving the Philippines 😦

 We were in Coron and managed to catch a hell-ish ferry back to Manila which took a very long and hot 15 hours. Once we arrived in Manila we realised it was 7am and we couldn’t check in until  2pm. I had a brilliant idea of going back to the hostel we stayed in on our very first night in the Philippines, Lub D! They served good coffee and from memory, they had a Netflix room. As you can imagine we got a great nights sleep on an open air, 200 person bunk bed sleep over…not. We were exhausted, I was still slightly ill and didn’t fancy walking around Manila for the next 6 hours so we got a taxi straight to Lub D. Olly had some breakfast and we snuck into the Netflix room and I passed out straight away, it was one of the best naps I had ever had! I woke up and it was time to check into our hotel. We simply got up and walked out and no one said anything, it was brilliant! Our hotel was thankfully just around the corner and we checked in to our new digs. I say hotel, it was actually a residence apartment which meant we had access to the gym and swimming pool. We just chilled here, going to the shopping centre and watching a film in the cinema and just relaxing before we have to catch our flight to Sydney!
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WE HAVE ARRIVED IN SYDNEY!!!! Finally back in the land of OZ where we met! During the flight Olly passed out, shock! And I stayed up watching movies and starving as the food was probably the worst food I have ever had… I cant even remember what it was as I am typing this because I have tried to forget everything about it and push it into the depts of my mind. We landed super early and again had the issue of not being able to check in for a while. We took advantage of this and stopped for breakfast at the airport. POACHED EGGS AND SMOKED SALMON, My god it feels good to be back in a place that appreciates brunch as much as we do. I had been craving poached eggs since I left England.

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Olly being the travel savvy guy he is, had been to Sydney airport before and directed us to the train station. We both got a Opal card, which is basically an oyster card, and took the right train to our hostel. I haven’t actually used much public transport in Australia as last time I was used to either walking or jumping on the Greyhound. Being back here just feels right! I think its because I’m with Olly and he knows what he’s doing, and just being able to figure out how to use public transport in a foreign country makes you feel like your home. It might sound silly but when you are travelling the feeling of being ‘at home’ in the weirdest of situations is such a nice feeling. 

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We walk from the train to our hostel and it dawns on us how bloody cold it is! I know it wasn’t going to be philippine weather but still, it was freezing! We arrived at our hostel and checked into our rooms. Being back in australian hostel life for real was an eye opener!! The room stank of gross boys, we were put in a filthy room and there was 1 shower and toilet. There were some more downstairs but you would have to walk through a haze of smoke and drunk people to get to them and in your PJ’s.. its not the most comfortable of situations. We dumped our bags and headed out, freezing we decided to go shopping to try and buy a jumper or anything that could to keep us warm. Finding H&M and Benefit damaged my bank account, but I was able to be slightly warmer for us to face exploring Sydney. 

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The night we landed was our 2nd year anniversary to when we met, so we got slightly dressed up and headed to the Opera house for dinner and some drinks. It was so nice to actually take in Sydney as last time I was here I didn’t experience very much. This was due to the fact I had no money what so ever, I didn’t enjoy Sydney and I really wanted to. This time round felt so different, we took a stroll around the harbour area and walked home, we wanted to head out early and explore more. 

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We spent one day over at Manly beach which was a ferry ride away. This place was beautiful and so much more relaxed than the city. We got there quite late as when Olly has his camera out it takes us hours to get any where. Getting there later meant we had to rush to get the drone up before the sun went down but the golden hour proved to be worth all the rushing!

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The next day we got up early, got out of our disgusting room as quickly as we could and got the train back into the city. We spent hours walking around taking photos, having amazing food and taking in the sights. That night we were pooped, we had walked so much and just wanted to relax but we came back to hell. Two of our room mates had a fight in our room, so our room was a tip and had blood all over the walls, my bed was soaking from god knows what and Olly’s bag had been moved. I didn’t feel safe, others wanted to keep the lights on for when the boys came back from their night out so they wouldn’t fight again. It just put me in a bad mood as I didn’t remember travelling being this repulsive.. maybe thats just boys? Olly is so different to these cave men and I cant even put that down to him being older as they were the same age! It was just bizarre. We are all up for having a good night out and drinking but this hostel was just too much. We booked a different hostel and headed to Bondi to live out the rest of our Sydney days.

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Bondi was a different ball game altogether! The hostel was amazing, the people where nice and we had a private room which helped! It just blew our minds that everyone was cleaning up, making food and wanted to just chill and have a chat. This is what I remember travelling to be like! We noticed everyone was super healthy which prompted us to try and be healthier than we had been. The only happy hour we saw here was $5 off salads.

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Bondi beach is one of the most famous beaches there is in Australia and we could see why. Even in the freezing wind we went and relaxed in the sun on the beautiful beach and watched the surfers for hours. We got up early most days and explored to the max! We managed to do the Bondi to Coogee walk which was breath taking and we even had a healthy stop on the way thanks to my sisters friends recommendations!

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We even managed to spot some whales in the distance and was able to fly the drone out to capture it. Not only was this the furthest we had every flown the drone but it was so refreshing that we weren’t on a boat chasing the whales. It actually gives me hope for the future that technology like drones can get people closer to natural wonders, without the danger of getting too close and disturbing the whales.

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One of our main aims while we were in Sydney was to buy a car. A car that would be reliable, get us to the snowy mountains with the potential to sleep in her too if need be. We present to you…BASIC BETTY…! If you have ever seen Riverdale you will know how basic that Betty is, so she is named after her!

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We waved goodbye to Sydney and planned our route to Canberra for a night! We have booked one of only two hostels in the whole of Canberra. Until next time..

 

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