Backpackers’ wall

I’ve hit what can only really be described as backpackers’ wall.

It happened when I tried to wash my clothes in Venice.

To put it in context – I was sleep deprived thanks to the school group at my hostel playing a very late night game of spotlight where all the girls shrieked and screamed, which in turn whipped the dogs into a barking frenzy.

Bleary-eyed I train to Venice and settle into the luxury of my dorm tent before realising I have no clean clothes.

So I load two machines with pretty much the entire contents of my pack and head off to eat yet another plate of pasta.

But I return an hour later to discover I’ve put my clothes in the dryer opposed to the washer – so now everything smells like warm wet dog opposed to just standard wet dog.

In fairness, the dryer did look like a washer and the washer like a dryer.

And, I did actually see the funny side of it, until my search for eight euro coins to redo my washing failed, leaving me to spend my first day in Venice wearing filthy clothes and inside-out undies.

It was a low point.

But any feeling that I was turning into a feral backpacker was put to rest when I came home to discover I was sharing a room with a truly feral kiwi backpacker.

Travelling for five weeks, this girl only showered once every three days because she didn’t have a towel, she only carried a day bag, didn’t mind regularly sleeping at the airport to save on accommodation costs, and had exactly eight euro a day to spend on food.

But despite the lack of personal hygiene she didn’t smell and was a lot of fun to get lost in Venice with.

Our highlights included perving at the Carabinieri and trying to take covert photos of them – somewhat unsuccessfully.


Stumbling/getting stuck for a good hour by this parade through St Mark’s Square – although I’m still not entirely sure what it was for.


Getting yelled at by an angry whistle man for standing too close to this statue.


Finding some nice Venetian lanes.


And, feeding the pigeons at St Mark’s Square.

Now that was a big moment for me, as I not so secretly hate pigeons.

I think it stems back to that fateful day jogging in Wellington when one flew/got blown by the wind into me and the fact my journalistic career was once reduced to reporting on the backlash to the city council’s plan to cull the flying rats who shat in Midland Park.

Anyway, after having a total freak-out moment I did manage to compose myself just long enough to allow one to land on me.



And, I was stoked with myself until I stumbled across this uber composed little girl.



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