We are currently living in Geelong in Victoria (about 1 hour drive from Melbourne). This is a beautiful part of the country. We liked Geelong a lot more than Melbourne, even though this whole area seems to share very erratic weather patterns. We were told by a local when we first arrived "if you don't like the weather, come back in half an hour". Well, mostly this seems true. It can be glorious sunshine one minute, then windy, cold & raining the next. Crazy weather! Just of late however, we have had some incredibly hot weather, reaching highs of 43 degrees Celsius! Feeling hot hot hot!
Having decided to settle in Geelong for at least the next 6 months to top up the funds, we put our cv's about trying to look employable. I managed to pick up a job as a customer service advisor & Pete is working as concierge at the local football stadium. We are 'making hay while the sun shines', so to speak, and working as much as possible to save up.
After two weeks of living in our tent, we moved into a vacant cabin in the caravan park. It suits us really well, has a bedroom area, dining & kitchen with TV, a lounge area & ensuite. We have a huge black rabbit that lives onsite, and enjoys the occasional bit of carrot or lettuce scraps! Probably why its so big - I think everyone feeds it tit bits!! We even had the privilege of seeing a red back spider not too long ago. Apparently you don't see them very often. It is quite amazing, and has very elegant long legs with a big black bum & a red strip down the middle. The park manager was not best pleased at this, and so the red back didn't last for very long! But at least we got to see one, and believe it or not, I didn't even panic one little bit! Yay for me! We also have a resident sparrow that has devoted his life to chasing his reflection in our window! The poor bird goes pretty much from sunrise to sunset pecking at the window. It's very funny. There is some interesting wildlife in the area, and some other awesome birds I've spotted over the road near the river, although I still haven't been able to identify them properly. Still waiting on the ever elusive bird book!
We ummed & ahhed about getting a car when we got here, but decided against it in the end. Instead Pete came up with the brilliant idea of getting us a couple of old push bikes. This way we could get around for free & get fit at the same time. We were lucky enough to stumble across a garage sale that had a men's mountain bike & ladies bike that the guy wanted $20 each for. Bargain!! After a little bit of work on both they were ready to go. So now fully kitted out with bikes & bike helmets we can go just about wherever our legs can take us! On our days off we like to explore the local area, and seeing as there is such good bike tracks along the river & down on the seafront we are spoilt for choice. We have even been keeping up our wine journal & rode out the 20kms round trip to Waybourne winery a few weeks back to sample their wines. Taking a picnic with, we enjoyed trying various wines made by the Austrian couple who run the winery. We favoured their Riesling & bought a bottle of Trebbiano/Muscat sparkling which we enjoyed on New Years Eve whilst listening to the local fire works and watching some particularly bad television programmes!
The lead up to Christmas was exciting & we even treated ourselves to a $3 Christmas tree, some tinsel & some festive paper chains hanging from the ceiling that Pete spent a whole day making. It brightened the place up, and made us feel full of Christmas spirit! The rum helped with that too - strictly medicinal of course - as we both were feeling a bit poorly from a nasty cold. On Christmas day I worked 4 hours, and Pete had the day off. He spent the time I was away at work by cooking up an absolute storm! When I got home I was treated to a degustation menu (lots of smaller courses) of 8 different courses! It really was a fantastic Christmas & we raised our glasses many times to all family & friends all over the world! We really hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too, and that 2008 will bring many wonderful things for everyone.
In the next few months we intend to take a road trip along the Great Ocean Road, go back to Melbourne to see the bits we missed and also visit the Yarra Valley wine region, so will keep you updated on our adventures! In the meantime we will take pictures of the local area & post them shortly so you can see what I'm talking about. Don't worry if the next update isn't for a few months, we will be working most of the time, and will email and update as much as possible. Thank you to all of you who email us & post messages, its great to know there are so many people thinking about us, and interested in what we're doing. We love you all!!!
One more thing - while enquiring about travel insurance the other day, we asked where our bodies would be taken if we were to die overseas. The lady told us they would be sent back to the start destination of our journey. So Pete pipes up "Return to sender then?" I could not stop laughing!