Working at Base Backpackers Hostels

12 07 2011

“What is it about this job…?

I work at Base Backpackers hostel in Stkilda Melbourne, and I LOVE MY JOB!!

I’m pretty sure that most people have had those same aspirations in life.  Finish school, get a job, meet that girl, ‘settle down’, grow a beer belly and spend every second day talking about how next week you plan on going for a jog, spending more time with the dog …lest you actually enjoy that 35 hour a week job.

Somewhere along the way though you took a few months off and went to a South East Asian temple, you sun-baked on a tropical North Queensland beach, went an impossibly long time without showering in India, climbed a Mexican pyramid…and just generally basked in life. You lament….those really were the days.

No suits, No ties, no responsibilities, and just the promise of waking up and actually enjoying yourself, each and every day!

I have now worked at Base Hostel for over a year and reflecting back…I don’t really know exactly what makes this place so special.  Maybe its confiscating the 12 bottles of wine off of one lone Irish lad at 8am who was yet to head to bed (“sorry boss, sorry, never again boss”), or the  chirpy Dutch boys who seemed that touch queer if they weren’t so sleazy the entire time.  Maybe its  the  beautiful kiwi girl giving you that half a smile in the morning on her way to work, or the remarkably unintelligible accent of that Scottish man giving me advice on my air-conditioning at 3am in the morning??

Somewhere along the way I realised I really enjoy this life, this job. Base, and the people within it. Not buildings or facades, but the living breathing 250 beds a few metres above me. The short termers, the long termers, the friends becoming almost like family. The faces often changing, but so many staying the same. Welcoming hellos and teary good byes.

No suits, no ties, and just actually enjoying myself each and every day…

Happy Travels

Raph

Reception Pumper!

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Travelling to Airlie Beach..

7 07 2011

We have given one of our superstar crew members 3 weeks off to explore the East Coast of Australia. Stuart John from Base Backpackers Brisbane will be tweeting and blogging his experiences up the East Coast. This is an update of his travels.

UP  TO BASE AIRLIE BEACH HOSTEL…

 WORD of warning for those driving through Queensland. Before you go any further into this blog, I want you to go to Google Maps. Now find directions from Brisbane to Airlie Beach. Now have a look at the direction the road goes either side of Rockhampton (about the middle of the map). This is pretty much north-west, which by coincidence is the exact direction the sun sets in, making driving at the exact time I was somewhat of a dangerous task…

 It’s a little over 1100km from Brisbane to Airlie Beach and takes you past some of Queensland’s major attractions, including the Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. The Bruce Highway also takes you past some historic old towns that are well worth a look, including Childers, my first sight-seeing stop.

Childers itself is an attractive, old-style country town located on the Bruce Highway south-west of Bundaberg. Walking down the highway you get a glimpse of what Australian towns must have been like over 50 years ago (at least until you see the multi-national takeaway store); my destination was one such building.

Back in 2000 a deranged man set fire to the old Palace Backpackers Hostel, killing 15 people. Today it is rebuilt, with an art gallery and memorial open to the public. The memorial itself is extremely well done, with a large painting showing the victims in poses from photographs provided by the families, while on the back wall are small collages containing photos of all 15 victims. To see those photos, of people enjoying their Australian experience – including cuddling a koala at Lone Pine, something we encourage down in Brisbane – then realising these people would never make it home to share their experiences with friends and family was somewhat jolting. The lady at the desk was very informative about what exactly happened, and if you are travelling through Childers I highly recommend stopping in.

THE rest of the journey was a little less memorable. Driving through country Australia you realise a couple of things:

1) service station food is terrible; and 2) some people should not be allowed out on the road. Overtaking lanes are few and far between, so just north of Gympie I took the chance to fly past a truck that had been holding me up. Problem was a woman in a 4wd decided to jump into the right-hand lane for no reason and hold me up, which meant the truck zoomed back past me on my left before it went back to one lane each way. Seriously.

At Rockhampton I’d planned on stopping at the Tropic of Capricorn, but as the sun was shining directly in my face pretty much the last 50kms into town, I missed it completely. Oops.

After Rockhampton I kept driving north towards a very small town called Marlborough for possibly the worst chicken and chips at the local service station, before pulling into a rest area 66km up the road for some much-needed sleep.

MADE IT TO AIRLIE…

We resume our story at a rest stop some 170km south of Mackay, Queensland. Our hero has managed to set off his car alarm and try sleeping in about 30 different positions before the sun comes up and awakens him for the last time…

 WITH just over 300km to go until Airlie Beach, I decided to try and push straight through in the hope there was already a spare bed waiting for me. This was naturally foiled by my stomach wondering just where the hell breakfast was, and with that threatening to bring other parts of my body on strike, it was into another little service station for what was actually a half-decent bacon and egg roll.

This part of the Bruce Highway is dominated by sugar cane: all around were signs warning of cane trucks and train crossings. Eventually though I got through Sarina, Mackay and Proserpine without any problems before taking the turn-off to Airlie Beach itself, only to discover that a) the main road was closed and we had to detour; and b) I was stuck behind a large camper van whose driver had apparently forgotten the accelerator was the pedal on the right…

The scenery made up for Captain Slow though. Tree-covered hills rise over the town itself as you drive in while the blue waters of the Coral Sea tease you on the left. Even better than the view though was the available bed at Base Airlie Beach, complete with bath! One relaxing soak later and it was off to Whitsunday Sailing Adventures to check in for my cruise the next day.

The rest of the day was pretty chilled. I’m staying in Airlie Beach again after the cruise, so after a quick mission out to the docks to see where I leave from it was back to Base for a snooze before heading to their very own Down Under Bar for a $10 meal and pint deal, a few beers – and most importantly of all a few cracks at the pinball machine.

Next stop: Great Barrier Reef!!!

Stuart John (Base Brisbane)





Island Backpacking

5 07 2011

On a beautiful deserted island in the middle of nowhere,

the following Backpackers were shipwrecked and stranded.

 

2 Italian men and 1 Italian woman

2 French men and 1 French woman

2 German men and 1 German woman

2 Greek men and 1 Greek woman

2 English men and 1 English woman

2 Bulgarian men and 1 Bulgarian woman

2 Japanese men and 1 Japanese woman

2 American men and 1 American woman

2 Irish men and 1 Irish woman

One month later , the following had occurred.

One Italian man killed the other Italian man for the Italian woman.

The two French men and the French woman are living happily together in

a menage a trois.

The 2 German men have a strict weekly schedule of when they alternate with

the German woman.

The 2 Greek men are sleeping with each other and the Greek woman

is cleaning and cooking for them.

The 2 English men are waiting for someone to introduce them to the

English woman.

The Bulgarian men took a long look at the endless ocean and

one look at the Bulgarian woman and they started swimming.

The two American men are contemplating the virtues of suicide as they

listen to the American woman bitching about her body being her own,

and on the true nature of  feminism and how she can do everything that

they can do, about the necessity of fulfilment, the equal division of

household chores, how her last boyfriend respected her opinion and

treated her much nicer, how all men except her father are pigs, and how her

relationship with her mother is improving. But at least the taxes are

low and it is not raining.

The two Japanese men have faxed Tokyo and are waiting for instructions.

The Irish began by dividing the island into North and South and by

setting up a distillery. They do not remember if sex is in the picture

because it gets sort of foggy after the first few litres of coconut

whiskey, but they are satisfied in that at least the English are not

getting any so what the hell!!!

 

If you want to experience  Island life, check out Base Magnetic Island!!

David Fitzpatrick (Base Melbourne Stkilda)

 








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