Another day spent holed up in the room after a very long evening, with lots of alcohol consumed the night before. We were definitely making most use of our own room and tv. With England still struggling in the cricket it was looking more than likely that our worst fears were going to come true and we would be 3-0 down and the Ashes over. It was going to be hard to bat out another day.
Come On You Irons
Unfortunately we couldn’t watch the West Ham vs Man Utd game live but we made sure we didn’t find out the result and watched the replay later. With England wickets falling like dominos it was more than a consolation to see us beat the Manc dogs. Even more reason to go out and celebrate but being a Monday night we had to settle for the Pool Competition in one of the nearby backpackers bars. With prize money up for grabs we were relying on Johno to come up trumps but it wasn’t to be as he was runner-up. How selfish!
Now that the 5 days of the Perth Test were over we could get back into our normal routine and head down to the beach. Quite a few innings of between us and an excellent 104 not out from Whitto was the highlight of the afternoon.
Tuesday night and backpackers night, another good night we hoped for. We did get out a bit late and by the time we made it to the Cushion Lounge it was too busy to stay for too long. We had a walk around and not much else was open so we went straight to our old friend Traffik for $2 pints. There was a very strange crowd in there this week and Johno and Whitto decided to make their way elsewhere. Meanwhile I was being complimented on my bum by some ‘9 bob note’ so swiftly moved on but found myself lonesome. I made tracks home and arrived first … as usual! I think Johno and Whitto had a good evening in the Casino and Jacko I’m not sure!
There wasn’t a lot of movement in the morning and some very tired eyes. I had to go and collect our tickets for the 4th Test and managed to drag Jacko out of his pit, the other 2 were non-runners. Off to the city and a trip up to the 28th floor of the second highest building in Melbourne. Some fantastic views were ruined by the smoke from the bush fires throughout the State.
It was time for us to make that trip back to Chinatown and then onto the Casino to watch Casino Royale. Still no other movement from the other 2 and they were still in their beds when we got back at 10pm, it must have been a long night for them previously.
Great Ocean Road
Nearly three weeks in Melbourne so we thought we’d at least do one trip before the other cranks turn up in a few days and the Boxing Day Test starts. It was a choice between Philip Island to see penguins and the Great Ocean Road which is a spectacular coastal road that runs around the southwest coast of Victoria, we decided on the latter.
An early start, we were picked up at 7.30am and set off on our trip. First stop was the aboriginal culture centre in Geelong where we learned about some aboriginal history and listened to Norm Stanley, the original aboriginal (sounds it!) play the didgeridoo. We also found out where the word didgeridoo comes from. Apparently it comes from an old Irish word - dodderidoo, meaning black trumpet player when Irish settlers came to Australia.
Next was Bells Beach which is the best surfing beach in the world as it has recorded the highest waves ever. It’s also famous for the beach mentioned in the film ‘Point Break’ although it wasn’t actually filmed there! Last week a young surfer was attacked here but survived with a metre long bite mark to his leg. This didn’t stop us walking in the water a metre out!
Before we hit the main attractions of the 12 Apostles, London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge we stopped off at a few seaside towns, see some wild Koalas and had a brief walk through the rainforest.
Our last leg of the trip was the 12 Apostles, London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge all carved out of soft limestone headland by fierce ocean waves. There are actually only 11 Apostles left now as one collapsed but they still showed amazing scenery. Part of London Bridge also collapsed recently as you can read in one of the pictures, two people were actually stranded when this happened and had to be rescued by helicopter.
Mixing With The Locals We had been kindly invited to my ex work colleagues house for a BBQ and as she had helped us to obtain our Ashes tickets we wanted to say a personal thanks. We loaded up with beer and wine and made our way over. We had a lovely evening with Lisa, Vince and little Michael, got plenty of tips for New Zealand as she is a Kiwi and even managed to get the football on at 12am! I think we might have stayed a bit longer than they anticipated but we were all enjoying ourselves so there was no need to leave in a hurry.