Booking accomodation on the internet can be a risky business. You never know quite what you’re going to get.
If you don’t know anything about the area, trying to work out the location is tricky. The house that we thought was in Hilo, a Hawaiian coastal town, was actually miles and miles inland, right in the middle of the jungle. But it was a great house and the nightly cacophany of tree frogs was an experience I’m glad I didn’t miss. Could have lived without the pesky mosquitos though.
You’re also never sure what you’re going to get accomodation-wise. Our very first room in Anaheim was huge, with comfortable beds and no extra charge for a bed for Dickon. In Waikiki, we thought we were getting something very similar, but it was cramped, the beds were horrible and they wanted to charge us $25 a night for a camp bed. Considering we were only paying about $75 for the room, this seemed a bit steep. So we bought him a $3 lilo. It was only a little bit squeaky.
Some places have had a palatial two bedrooms as well as kitchens, bathrooms and other such marvels. Others have had one bedroom and a living room, with extra matresses fitted in here and there. We’ve had hotel rooms with balconies, detached houses in large gardens, one room cabins with three bunk beds and nothing else. We’ve yet to sleep in a tent, but it’s only a matter of time.
When we arrive in a place, the first thing we do is check out the facilities. Is there internet and is it free? This is obviously extremely important indeed. Once we’ve established there’s free wifi or wept over the outrageous charges, we move onto counting beds, if there isn’t one each, then we improvise (see above). Where are the washing machines and how much do they cost? Are there saucepans in the kitchen? Has anyone left any children’s books behind? Is there a playground nearby and does the TV work? And where can we buy milk, cereal and ice cream?
There’s no doubt that some of the places we’ve stayed have been nicer than others, but nowhere’s been without redeeming features. I could have certainly done without traipsing across a drizzly carpark to the loo in Mount Cook, but the view was absolutely stunning (see pic above), and the stars outstanding. And while nowhere’s been too bad, some places have been altogether lovely. Our current flat is above a junk shop in a quirky street full of bookshops and cafes. It’s furnished with an electic assortment of stock from the shop and is a light-filled gem. It feels like exactly the right place to be in Sydney.
Three months in and we’ve slept in 18 different places. I wonder how many more places we’ll call home?
If you want to see a picture of everywhere we’ve stayed, click on Home Sweet Home.