Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport - 13th - 17th December 2011
The long train journey was worth it as we have had lots of fun in Melbourne. The main reason for the visit was to meet up with some work colleagues at Monash University. After months of not having to use my brain it was a relief to find that I have not completely forgotten everything about the world of careers! My meeting with Jon and Amanda was brilliant and a great way to gently ease myself back into the swing of things. I am really looking forward to getting back to WBS with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
After our meeting, Jon kindly gave Stuart and I a tour of some of the famous Melbourne landmarks. This included a visit to St Kilda to enjoy a refreshing pint in 'The Esplanade Pub' a huge three floor building with lots of traditional character. It is known for being the place where many famous bands such as INXS played their first gigs. We made a return visit a few days later where we observed a few aging rockers amongst young wannabe stars. At the end of our whistle stop tour, Jon gave us the biggest cake you can imagine - this was definitely a moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips kind of a cake - yum, yum in my tum!
It was time to get acquainted with the Ozzie wildlife so we booked an all day tour of Philip Island. Our first visit was to meet the very noisy and smelly flying fox bats. I have an irrational fear of bats as I always think they are going to get tangled in my hair! Lucky for me most were sleeping high up in the trees with only the odd one or two breaking all the rules and flying in daylight. They were huge and in my view really quite ugly.
Now koalas, wallabies and kangaroos on the hand are very cute. During a visit to a small wildlife sanctuary we had the pleasure of feeding these dozy but adorable creatures. It was great to see a few little Joey's in their mother's pouches and watch them bounce around. We also made friends with some Emus and two not so lovely Tasmanian devils. Whilst I enjoyed these encounters I still prefer to see animals in the wild and was pleased to see a few wallabies in their natural setting later in the day. See photos of our new furry friends.
The afternoon took us to a place called 'The Nobbies' which is where lots of baby Penguins are nesting and waiting for their Mummies to return with some food. The pictures aren't great but you can just about glimpse a few babies peaking out of their little burrows.
The highlight of the day was the famous and magical Penguin Parade. As the sun sets and darkness descends quite literally hundreds of the world's smallest Penguins return from a days fishing and waddle up the beach back to feed their little ones. Sadly we were not allowed to take pictures as the flash lights confuse the penguins but it was a spectacular sight and an amazing experience to watch nature in action. These little birds have heaps of character and were a joy to watch.
Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps
Those of you who know me from years gone by will know that in my youth I was partial to the odd pint or six. For one night only Stuart and I returned to form and did a pub crawl in St Kilda. This reminded us of Saturday afternoons when we lived in Brighton when pub crawling back from our weekly supermarket shop we a regular occurrence. Pubs visited included Big Mouth, a return visit to the Esplanade and The Prince Charles - another one full of old rockers. We ended the night with a yummy curry. Oh happy days! (Hic!)
These are the days of our lives
As I write this blog we are now safely back in the UK and our brilliant adventure has reached its end. I have so many happy memories and have met some truly amazing people along the way. On many occasions we have challenged ourselves and achieved things we did not think possible. We have faced a number of fears and most importantly have taken valuable time to appreciate the beautiful world that we live in and ponder on different perspectives.
Stuart's dry sense of humour and wit has kept me laughing throughout and our spirits high. He has shown no end of patience as I have bumbled my way along and especially during those many indecisive moments when I have had to make all important decisions about what we are going to eat, where are we going to stay and will the budget allow it! You are a real star Mr B!
Big thanks to everyone who has supported us along the way. We have enjoyed sharing our experiences with you via the blog and reading your messages. So, in the words of the late, great Freddie Mercury "Those were the days of our lives, The bad things in life were so few, Those days are all gone now but one thing is true. When I look and I find I still love STU……"
I will leave the final words to the blog Maestro who will post his final thoughts tomorrow. Farewell blog buddies and look forward to seeing you all in person very soon.
Lots of love and big hugs