Billie Ream's Travel Diary

By Billie Ream                                                                Published on July 1st, 2022

Monday 11.4.2022 Melbourne – Newcastle


Four-Thirty in the mourning Melbourne time. After a couple hours of sleep due to staying up late the night before packing our last minute bags for a two week long trip. Tash and grab the a couple of bags with a few yawns. Going to the elevator in her apartment complex that takes us down to her car.

Off we went out of the gate that slowly opens, the black covered sky in the horizon with a hint of a dark blue tinge indicating the suns arrival.

Tash decided to drive first-off, putting on Bluesfest Artists 2022 playlist on Spotify, we made our way to Newcastle. A ten hour drive that took about eleven or twelve counting rest stops along the way.

The scenery on the east coast is amazing when you get further up north Australia. Luscious green plants and trees surround the highways.

Pasing Coffs Harbour bringing back memories on a past adventure I had in the beginning of 2018 with a bloke I barely knew. I will save that story for another time.


Swapping drivers half-way and allowing her to rest, I enjoyed the drive just listening to music getting ready for bluesfest that would be happening in a couple of days.


We stopped off at a town (insert name here) that i can not remember and got breakfast. She got hashbrowns, tomatoes and bread and I got a country omelette. I got over half-way through, it was a massive omelette delicious all the same. Tash left a couple bits of cherry tomatoes and that’s all.


Heading back on the road, most of the drive was just us singing to music and enjoying the drive.

Making it to Newcastle at six in the evening, booking into our hostel at Backpackers Newcastle, an old layout with a security door at the front where you have to dial in a number to get in. We got our keys and basket for food to put in the fridge then went to our room. A double bed located against the wall as soon as you walk in, a desk to the left with USB power points in the wall and two bedside tables with a clothes rack on the furthest wall. The light switches were amazing, you could dim the lights and turn the fan on with this pad of buttons. It looked cool, more than my explanation.


Tash took advantage of the bed for a few minutes while I went to have a shower and roll a joint or two for our walk to the pub.


I walked up to a couple of guys playing pool before we went for a walk.


”Excuse me, do you know where we could get food from? Staggering over my words a little bit

”uhhh yes. Take a right out of here and you’ll see a pub called the Exchange on the corner, thats beaumont St. down thar youll find somethin” with a thick Irish accent.


Leaving the hostel following his directions, smoked a joint along the way. Finally getting to Beaumont Street took a right at the Exchange and found a bougie restaurant called The Blind Monk.

For drinks Tash ordered an Amaretto Sour and I got a French Panty Dropper. Dinner was shared between us, cajun spiced mushrooms with some kind of sauce, vegan dumplings with vegan nachos. Both of us loved the cajun spiced mushrooms the most, it had a lovely taste with a tiny bit of mushroom texture which we both don’t like.

I tried an exotic tropical beer, forget the name. I thought it was different, I had it at Tashs work, atleast it felt like a new experience.


After indulging in food and cocktails at The Blind Monk, making our way back to the hostel, smoking another joint along the way and having a good giggle at Tash already getting lost at the hostel trying to find our room.

We get to bed enough sleep for tomorrows drive.



Tuesday 12.4.22


Waking up with Tashs arm across my chest in our home for a night, I must admit a joyous waking up in a new place and lovely company on our second day. Our final drive before we get to Byron bay.

A nine hour drive until we reached Byron Bay’s Art Factory Hostel. A hostel for a bit of a party vibe. Our room was just for us, coloured white like a mental asylum. Surprised it wasn’t colorful to be honest.

Meeting up with Michal and Camilla, friends from London days. They were camping at Tweed Heads and came to meet us for a beer and dinner. Four of us walked down the main street of Byron Bay, buskers on every corner and all kinds of characters fill the streets. First place we try to go in didn’t allow us, Michal didn’t have I.D on him. Walking across the road, a burger place smelt delicious, it was full of people. Sitting down on a high table with stools almost yelling at each other to have a conversation having burgers and beer, can’t complain. Burgers were tasty and the beer went down a treat.

Heading back to the hostel, Michal and Camilla left to go back to their campsite.

I make a cup of tea and a joint and a I hear people making out on our window,


“Excuse me uhhh do you mind not doing that here?” I ask when I walk back in to my room after my smoke and tea.






                                                          ©TheCaliforniaPoppyTimesNews. All rights reserved.