Morning girls and boys! Well - the PR about Australia is all LIES i tell you!! Its bloody freezing and pissing it down! I even have my scarf out!!
Well im now in the highly 'un'tropical climates of Melbourne - and so far am love love lovin' it! (So far being me arriving late last night, trotting between a couple of bars with me new found friends and rolling out of bed 10 mins ago to use the hostel computer!)... but yeah dark and rainy St Kilda, Melbourne seems pretty cool!
Not much to report about my last few days in Adelaide really - couple of days id rather forget to be honest. Met up again with Sally which was really excited about, but all went a bit sour really, should have known, as we had a few words before she left Broome. Anyway - she got a bit arsey about something, I walked out and then when i came back, like the mature 28 year old she was, she decided to ignore me when i spoke to her. Anyhoo - few tears, and pangs for my good ol' nottingham girlies... missing you guys!! We've now parted ways - she's headed to Sydney and me to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Rd!
Booked a 3 day trip that left Monday morning - was pretty cool! Got picked up in this clapped out old bus that apparently had 'mechanical difficulties' and couldnt drive up hills at more than 10 mph! Fab with the distance we were travelling! Anyway - apart from one or 2 hills getting out of adelaide, luckily for us Oz is pretty flat! First stop was wine tasting... yum!! We stopped at the Stonehaven winery which is were they make Hardy's wine. No pics, as it wasnt particularly picturesque unlike the vineyards we visited in S.Africa. Tried some nice wines - Hidden Sea Rose was v.nice girlies...recommend that! And then a couple of reds, cant remember the names, but will email you them to look out for.
Anyhoo...with a couple of vino's and some port in me belly - we trundled off caving! ... yes you're probably thinking along the same lines as me... 'wouldnt it have made more sense to go to the winery after caving!?' anyway, we all made it out alive! Got donned up in the most fetching denim style mechanic boiler suit - dont think i was 'working' that look!! Was pretty dark inside the cave and managed to trip several times even with my head torch on. As you can see in the pics we had to fit ourselves through the most ridiculously small gaps in the rocks, the eye of the needle, the keyhole and then the worst one was this crevise at the end that took forever to get through and once you were in it you couldnt move your head it was that narrow... you had to shuffle along the wall. Had a few moments were i thought ' what the bloody hell are you doing hannah!' but when we came out at the end i felt pretty chuffed with myself that id done it...my legs are now black and blue though! The caves had a lot of archaeological remains in them (here we go again!!) ... remains of ancestors of Kangaroo's and koala's, showing much bigger species - have some pics of recreated models of what they might of looked like - v.amusing!
After the caving we went to Naracoorte, about 20mins down the road were we stayed for the night. It was the guy who ran the tours home, which him and his wife ran as a hostel as well as the tour company. Was nice, had a lovely home cooked meal and a few beers with the group. They had a cat which had 8 5week old kittens too so spent a large part of the night with 2 of them asleep on my knee - missing my cats at home. Hi to Oliver and Rupert - and not forgetting my honorary other cat - Ziggy! x
Left early the next morning in a supposedly fixed bus! We headed toward the great ocean road, but went to the Grampian mountains first. Hiked up to the top of one of the peaks... bloody hell it was well scary! We really were climbing up the rocks and i felt a bit like a mountain goat. Panicked a little - wasnt so worried about getting up, it was the getting back down again that bothered me... but i persisted which i was pretty chuffed about as several others didnt. Am really trying to do things this year that are out of my comfort zone and am finding that the more stuff im doing the more confident im getting about doing more things which is good. Anyway we made it to the top and the views were pretty good - pics didnt come out brilliantly as it was quite misty because of the weather. Slight worry when rain started to hit us as that would have made the descent dangerous, so we had to hot foot it back down. Held the tour guides hot sweaty hand on several occasions when i thought i was gonna hurl to my death...( think i would have preferred that though to be honest!)
After lunch we headed to McKenzies waterfall which was a nice short walk down to the bottom of the falls - b**** of a climb back up though - about a million steps!!
Went to an aboriginal culture centre about the area which was interesting. Its funny as always think of Australia as being a new country - and it is in relation to its city scapes which are only several hundred years old, but aboriginal people form one of the oldest living cultures on earth - them, their cultures and traditions still exist in modern society but have been around for thousands of years. One cooking pit found has been dated to 30,000 years.
Anyway - enough history stuff...!! Second night didnt do much, ate dinner and had an early night - to be honest we were all exhausted. A lot of the group was foreign - german, french and swiss and kept themselves to themselves, I spent most of my time with Eileen a girl from Ireland and Sonam a girl from Switzerland who both were really nice.
Wednesday - weather took a major nose dive and was no longer just cold but there was terrential rain too - fun! Headed onto the Great ocean road to see what is one of Australia's most visited natural sites. Coast line was beautiful, shame we didnt get to see more of it to be honest, but the bus windows were all steamed up and it was raining so hard! Got to see the 12 apostles and bay of islands ( limestone rock islands out in the sea which were once part of the land and have eroded away over the years) - waves were crashing all around them which was pretty fab to watch. London Bridge was a similar site, a rock arch in the water - there were once two but on 15 Jan 1990 the main arch connecting the bridge to the mainland cracked and fell into the sea. No one was injured but 2 people were trapped on the island and rescued hours later. They were plastered all over the news though and apparently the guy had phoned in sick to work that day and was also on the island with a woman who wasnt his wife... so not a good day for him really! Probably lost his job and his wife!! As you can see from the pics it was cagool weather... although think mine may no longer be waterproof... !Favourite bit of the day was the Koala spotting, was difiicult when every time you tried to look up you got rain in your eyes - but was worth it!! Saw quite a few and they were all wet and bedraggled looking - but still soooo cute!!
Got into hostel about 8 last night, its really nice and have already met some nice people. Met 2 girls in the loo last night (as you do!) and went out with them and their mates to a bar in St Kilda, was most bizarre, they had a midget who got on the bar and stripped whilst pouring Jagermeister shots into peoples mouths. Am sure thats exploitation of midgets - but he seemed to be enjoying himself! Am heading into Melbourne to have a look around today - fingers crossed weather may improve.
Miss you all!! Be in touch soon with more stories!
Right... now give me 10 mins and ill upload the piccies! x