We”re currently staying in a backpackers in Katoomba. While we both perhaps feel a wee bit old and not so into the socialising aspect of backpacker travel, overall, the place is okay. Clean, friendly and reasonably functional. I’m pleased. After our last experience in Newcastle we vowed it would be our last….but we had already booked this one before deciding our preference was for camping with the grey nomads.
We had been looking forward to our day off in Newcastle. Things to see, time to relax and proper beds. With access to cooking and laundry facilities this often makes the backpackers a reasonable option here given cabins at campsites in Australia are much more expensive. We arrived around 12pm and it was not too bad…the two young girls on reception were very helpful, the room was fine, the pool area seemed pleasant and we could even take our bikes indoors. Posters clearly displayed “no drinking after 9pm” and one of the other guests actually spoke to us….something we have found rarely among the much younger brigade.
There was another chap at reception checking in a small group of guys and this I believe was the root of the trouble that followed. The pool area became busy, the music volume kept increasing, empty beer crate was soon filling and the ashtrays overflowed. By late afternoon the lounge area was full as people drank, slept and generally did nothing. We went out.
On arriving back from dinner – a reasonable curry house close by - we made a hasty retreat to our room. While fine at first even I couldn’t sleep through the 3.30am party and the 6am noise as folk finally trundeled or were dragged across the hallway to bed. So much for a good nights sleep.
We woke the following morning to find a young guy sleeping on the sofa in the hallway, an overwhelming stench of booze, food all over the floor in the kitchen and washing up filling the sink. So much for the kitchen facilities. Despite this we made toast and coffee and sat down at the sticky table. I needed to get away from the site of ketchup on toast…does no-one learn how to cook anymore? Even I was finding this disgusting.
I felt sorry for the two young girls clearing up after everyone else though I’m afraid I finally couldn’t hold back my feelings on our stay as I found out our food had also been taken from the fridge. We couldn’t wait to go out for the day. Unfortunately, by now the young guy on the sofa had slid out from his duvet and was now splayed out, with all on show. Not a pleasant site. We stayed out all day, dreading our return. At least there was some solace in our wee room.
Despite complaints there was little that could be done. It seems this is not unusual at backpacker hostels in cities at the weekend. What will now be very unusual is finding me in one at that time.
….as for the nosepicking. This was the poster in the toilets…