Ok. Well. This is the third attempt of writing this post of Melbourne. The first one I actually did whilst I was in Melbourne and it deleted itself just as I clicked post. The second one decided to turn Korean half way through and then deleted itself. So I apologise if I seem slightly brief in some details, but quite frankly Melbourne obviously likes to think that "what happens in Melbourne, stays in Melbourne".
So, let me just think of how I started the last one. Right.
The flight from Auckland to Melbourne took around four hours and once again we were on one of those huge airbuses with the two decks. As per usual I was next to some screaming brat that wouldn't shut up. Its mother obviously hadn't tried the dummy dipped in rum hat trick yet and I was seriously considering suggesting it to her. But nonetheless, four hours is only short although we did seem to be flying over australia for at least an hour. Guess it gave us an introduction into just how large this country is. We have had a seven hour coach drive that is just a 'short' trip, but anyway more on that later.
Landing in Melbourne was a welcome break for my ears from screaming toddlers and a bus ride and tram ride took us pretty much right to our hostels door. Now, I love trams. My friends often get annoyed when I opt to taking the bus in London rather than the smelly tube. Yes it takes longer, but you get to see all the world you wouldn't (I am a nosey parker after all) and you don't get over heated and over gropped by smelly middle aged men down under ground. Trams get the best of both worlds - a train that runs on the roads - sorted.
Base hostel was the name of our home for the next five nights in Melbourne and Vick and I weren't sad to be not sharing a bed anymore. Vick didn't have to cope with Indie the bed hog and I was quite happy to nab top bunk. Some of you have been asking how Vick and I have been getting along since we left, and if I'm honest with you we couldn't be better travel buddies (aww). Vick and I know just when to give the other one a bit of space and to offer them the last chocolate in the packet, so even though we had seen each others face for every minute of a month we aren't at each others necks just yet!
Our first night we simply just crashed into bed. Travelling always seems to nacker you out even though you have sat on your lorrels all day, think it's something about getting from place to place and then from more places to places, and to top it off the screaming little maddams I am usually sat next to. But our sleep was needed for our shopping spree at St Kilda (the suburb we were in) Market the next day. Neither of us had treated ourselves to much yet (apart from my life saving warm socks the day we got drenched in Franz Josef), so we both invested in a painting. Vikki's is a black and white photograph on canvas of a back alley way covered in graffiti, but before you jump to conclusions the artist has made it awesome by colouring in all the graffiti so the piccy is actually pretty darn cool. Mine is slightly more PC and is oil on canvas of a boat in the sea with some seagulls on. Even so I can look at it on a cold rainy day in late January and think back to Melbourne and this incredible trip.
In the evening Vick and I had moved to a mixed dorm in the hopes of meeting some more people (we had originally been in an all girls dorm the night before). That night we didn't have quite so much of an early night, well we tried, until one of our roomies came in just as I was pulling the covers up and demanded we get up and go out on the razzle. So we went downstairs to the bar in our jim jams and got rather merry and didn't get into bed (again) till gone 3 in the morning....
The next day Vick and I went around town with our new Base family helping them hand out their cv's. When travelling you do form close friends very quickly. It's a bit like freshers at uni when no one knows each other so everyone makes friends with everyone. Most people we met in Melbourne were travelling (or settling down on a working visa) by themselves so everyone is all very friendly. After exploring town and the city I enjoyed a nice kip in the park under the palm trees in the afternoon sunshine. Bliss.
A tactical power nap for our night of "boozey bingo" at the hostel. Unfortunately Vick or myself didn't win anything (I wasn't quite fast enough to tackle someone to the floor or run across the bar and climb on top of the fridge) but we did meet up with one of the Liverpudlian guys we met on the road back in the glaciers in NZ. Filling up on wine we all headed out to town and before we new it we were all in a drag club. We didn't actually know it was a drag club before we had payed for entry and walked in to see some very tall and masculine looking ladies. Nonetheless, it was actually a pretty fun place and we all danced the night away before collapsing in bed for another non-early night.
The following day partying had started to take it's toll. We aren't 18 year old buzzing freshers anymore who can do five nights and more on the trot. Such old women. Even so it gave us a good oppotunity to book our next stages of our trip and a fairly productive afternoon meant we had booked our great ocean road trip, our hostel in adelaide and our bus trip to Alice Springs. Vick had possibly the biggest pizza I have ever seen (and ate nearly all of it) that evening before we hit the hay for a film night and trashy magazines!
As we hadn't really seen the city yet Vick and I headed in after my morning run along the beach. Melbourne has a huge array of architecture (well in Australia anyway!), and Vick was snapping away - she now has over 2000 pictures! We had an icecream aside the river watching all the school kids learn to row so that was quite amusing. A relaxing afternoon was necessary for the night to come, and the introduction to goon.
Now goon is the aussie go to drink for it's cheapness and efficiency of getting you some dutch courage and an alcohol jacket to keep the cold off you whilst you wait in the bar queues. It comes disguised in a four litre box of wine costing aroundabout a fiver. Beaut. Vick and I and our Base family consumed this vile stuff (which tasted suspiciously of rum and not white wine) and resulted in having a cracking night...and another very late bed time.
Our last day in Melbourne sped past whilst we topped up on caffeine to help the goon hangover out of our systems. Suspringly we didn't actually feel to bad, much to the disgust of the base family who were all nursing their heads in bed. Even so, knowing we had a 6.15am wake up call the next day and early night and films were in order so we could fuel ourselves for the next trip along what's thought to be one of the 7 natural wonders in the world.