Backpacking trip begins! Avebury and Bath
London Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
I've written my first two days in London in my other travelogue titled "London, August'05". This travelogue focuses on my backpacking and budget travel across the rest of England and Wales.
I got up at 6am. Not that I had a choice, the stupid sun came up by 5a and my room in the YHA was facing the east. Breakie was awful but had the pleasure of meeting some Canadian prof who was leaving for back home that day. I made my way to Haggis Adventures near Victoria Station and saw lots of backpackers there. It was a very weird experience I must tell. Lots of young people, from all over the world. I could hear everything from a Canadian to an Ocker accent, Europeans, just about everyone. This place was the starting point for lots of tours and not just Haggis.
I chose the last seat on the 16 seater bus, and we left London by 30 past 8am. Driving through London was a nice experience, although I can never imagine myself driving through those roads. 635 and I-35 for me baby! Sitting with me was Chris, cool transport engineer from Perth who was in the UK on a 2 year assignment. LOL, 3 weeks here and he already said he was hating it. We got to talk a lot, usual stuff - Dallas, Australia, lifestyle, and stuff.
Our first stop was Uffington White Horse. It was a long walk from the carpark through those hillocks, gates and finally to the horse.
Back on the bus and onwards to Avebury which was a charming little town. Those rocks as such were so-so, more tourists than sheep but it felt nice to walk around in the English countryside. We had lunch at a local pub and were on the bus again.... stopped midway in Lacock (a bit boring and overrated, can't believe 'Pride and Prejudice' was shot here) before reaching York late afternoon.
We made our way to the room and met up with our final busmate, a Brit named Russell. Everyone was wondering why a Brit would be doing a backpacking tour of England but he claims that he wanted to see his "backyard" first before seeing the rest of the world. He was also going to do an eight day tour of Scotland.
Anyways, the Ashes was going on so all the Aussies in the pack were obsessed with sitting in the pub downstairs and watching it. It was tempting I must admit, esp seeing as Aus was doing so well but I said f*** it, wanted to go see the sights. At times, the whole thing seemed so unreal, I was on a backpacking tour and these strangers would be my roommates for the next week. The first set of people I bonded well were a lovely family from Melbourne - Charles, his son Charlie Jr and daughter Fiona.
It was very interesting seeing it. Truth be told, it didn't strike me as anything spectacular initially, but when you start attaching a datestamp to that, you realise how truly surprising the whole thing is. I took the audio tour of the place down to the basements where the actual Roman baths were. I got done with this by 6pm but the sun was still high in the sky, so I went for a walk alone, around the city.
After this, we all popped into a local pub for some drinks. We met this really crazy Aussie bird Sandra whom Russell was badly trying to date. Shame for him that she decided to hook up with someone else instead. Anyways got back to the hostel room with Anna and Darlene, 2 Canadians on the bus. The room was weird, it was an 12 bed dorm that fit in ... well all the guys in the group. Slept by 12 after checking email upstairs. My first day of backpacking.... I have to say, it's just oh-so-much different than I'd ever imagined!