Due to lack of planning and last minute decisions Chris and I ended up in Adelaide with nowhere to stay and a few days to kill before going to Sydney for New Years. So we booked into the cheapest hostel we could find and handed over $28 each for an 8-bed dorm.
It wasn’t the worst hostel ever. There was free internet, a decent TV room, and a balcony terrace area. But the rooms were cramped, the air con didn’t work, and the hostel was home to a cliquey group of backpackers who were staying long term and working in Adelaide. They spent the night playing drinking games and dares out on the terrace.
At 1am I was awoken by voices outside my room. They were whispering loudly and giggling. Next thing the door burst open and a guy came running in with another guy behind him filming on his phone. They turned on the light and started shouting, jumping on the people sleeping in the bottom bunks, then ran out again, laughing.
As far as I was concerned that was enough, I couldn’t be bothered with idiots like that, it’s hard enough getting a good nights sleep in a hostel as it is! So I made use of the free internet and started frantically sending out couchsurfing requests.
It wasn’t long until Roger got back to me, an Aussie living in Semaphore, a suburb of Adelaide. He said ‘no dramas’ we could stay for 2 nights. It was a great feeling packing up my bag, walking out the hostel doors, and jumping on a train out to the coast. Roger met us at the train station and walked us to his house, where straight away, he handed us a bottle each of cold home brewed beer. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Roger is such a down to earth, chilled out guy. He is obsessed with South America after travelling there, and hopes to go back soon on a more permanent basis. He joked that he really wanted South American couch surfers, but he’d never had Northern Irish so we’d do.
I still can’t believe that with less than a days notice, Rodger not only invited us into his home, but also cooked an amazing meal for us. We sat at the table filling up on good food and home brewed beer, chatting to his global housemates English Pete, American Laura and Italian couple Luca and Christina. It turned out Laura was also on a working holiday and had stayed with Roger as a couchsurfer, but didn’t want to leave, so decided to rent a room and settle down for a while. She’s recently taken up photography, so Pete drove us all down to the beach for sunset while she attempted a time-lapse photo.
By 11pm I felt exhausted and couldn’t wait to get a good nights sleep. “I’d offer you guys my bed but I haven’t washed the sheets!” Roger said. “I have a double swag, is that alright?” This was perfect! I’d never slept in a swag before and this seemed like a good time to give it a go. He said we could sleep in the living room if we wanted but I think a swag has to be slept in under the stars.
The next day Roger went to work so Chris and I went to the beach to chill out. During the day I got a text from Roger saying he was going to have a bbq. I asked if there was anything we could get for it, he said maybe some salad. I felt bad that Roger was doing all this for us so made sure it was the best salad I’d ever made.
The bbq was awesome. Roger bbqs South American style by cooking the food over burning wood. He invited some friends over, including a guy from Brazil, and it was another pretty good night of great food, beer, drunkenness and good conversation.
The next day it was time to catch our flight to Sydney. We said our goodbyes to everyone, incredibly grateful for the hospitality and generosity. We also promised Roger we’d be back after New Years to visit.