Where I’ve Been: Sydney, Australia
Where I’ve Stayed: Ashfield Manor, Sydney
So I have moved into my new place and very nice it is too! Moving, without a car, was a bit of a nightmare and a very tiring day, but now I’ve been here for a couple of weeks I feel very at home and have made a good choice of where to live.
Life at Ashfield Manor
So my new home is Ashfield Manor – a B and B/hotel in the Ashfield suburb of Sydney. I am five minutes walk from the train station and then it is a ten minute train journey into the centre of Sydney so it is perfectly placed.
Ashfield Manor has 37 rooms and about 7 or 8 of them are used for people looking for longer term accommodation. I am paying $250 a week, which is $50 a week more than my flat in Neutral Bay, but I don’t have any bills to pay, I get breakfast every morning, I get unlimited free tea and coffee and every day they have all the national and local papers delivered so I can have a read through them.
My room is pretty small – just a bed, desk and chair, fridge/freezer, TV and DVD player, wardrobe and bedside table with alarm clock, but it is all I need. There are three shared shower rooms/toilets between about nine rooms – and they are all cleaned each day, my room is cleaned each week and I get fresh linen, they have a lovely communal area inside to eat, a really nice patio area outside to sit in the sun and a fully equipped kitchen, which is big and not overly busy as the majority of people staying here are tourists so eat out.
I’ve got to know a couple of the other long term guests and get on with them really well and Ashfield is a nice suburb with all I need, five minutes walk away is another suburb called Summer Hill which is also really nice and has some quirky cafes and restaurants.
This way of living is actually perfect after spending so many months backpacking as I don’t have that much stuff and don’t need that much space! There is a big choice for breakfast each morning, lots of cereals, breads, pastries, muesli, yoghurt, fruit, juices so I usually have a nice filling breakfast whilst reading the Sydney Morning Herald.
Ashfield is, in itself quite an interesting place, there seems to be a high Chinese population here and there are lots of shops with Chinese signage. There is also a small shopping mall – which has a couple of supermarkets, a Kmart and some speciality shops, as well as numerous restaurants, cafes, pubs and an internet cafe from which I Skype my dad every Monday!
A very different kind of run!
I’ve also mapped out a running route that I have done a couple of times now and I can say running in Sydney is a much more enjoyable experience than running back in Tonbridge! My route takes me from my accommodation and along a couple of back streets for around half a mile, then along a footpath for a while, before I then follow a canal through a park, which opens out onto a large lake with a footpath around it which I run around and across a bridge. Then I am on my way back to Ashfield Manor through a few more backstreets before cutting across Ashfield Park and back home!
The whole route is around 10 miles and for the majority of it I hardly see a car and see plenty of other runners and cyclists – especially as I run round the Lake where I can hardly go one minute without seeing a fellow fitness fanatic. This is in direct contrast to going for a run at home when I am running on pavements next to busy roads and might see three or four others runners if I am lucky!
I’ve booked my flights home
My contract at work has been extended again and it now looks like I will be here until the end of November when I my visa expires. Talking of which I have now booked my flights to New Zealand – I fly out on 28 November and, da da da, my flights home! I will return home on 15 March 2011 – 18 months to the day I left.