Not the best start to Austin…. Once I arrived at the bus station, and after finally accepting to pay the extortionate an inflated Uber/Lyft fare ($60 instead of $20-25!!!!!!!!), to my hosts house. They won’t even come and pick me up from here, as it’s Saturday night and it’s so busy in town there is no need for them to come my way, even for this ridiculous price!!! I ring my host Christy and tell her that I will be late as the taxis are not heading this way and make my way over to the bus stop. Another slight lame part is the rain, it is chucking it down! Now being from the UK I should be pretty used to this but this is the first rain I have experienced over here and its coming down strong! I keep myself sane by trying to practice mindfulness and reminding myself of how amazing this how trip is and how lucky I am to even be over here.
The bus eventually gets here, though late and I get on soaking wet but I am so thankful to be on here and out of the rain. Over the next few stops, I am not the only one, the majority of passengers on this bus are actually homeless people just trying to get somewhere dry to be.. It’s crazy the amount of people who are on the streets out here. I eventually get to Christy’s place and I eat the delicious food she has prepared and we chat for a good few hours about life and experiences, really nice and kind lady. She has only fairly recently moved to Austin herself.
The next morning I head out to explore Austin, as my time here is pretty limited. The main reason I came to Austin is to see the bats under Congress bridge and meet with Bat Conservation International. BCI funded my research to Malawi in the summer of 2017 (I will eventually write some stuff up about the experience over there!). Now see, Texas has really surprised me, I was kind of expecting cowboys and guns and was definitely not expecting to love it quite as much as I do! Everything is super cool, there is great wildlife even in the cities, fantastic delicious food, great music and the people are so friendly and kind. Not what I was expecting if I am honest!