First week back in Oz!

Saturday 14th Jan – Monday 16th Jan

My mom, rich (step dad) and Joe (brother) drove me and my brother James (Jim) to the airport on the 14th Jan, they stayed with us while we checked our bags in and then said our goodbyes by the security check which obviously included some tears.

We walked through security and headed to our departure lounge where as grabbed some food and some drinks and waited until it was time to board the plane for our first journey to Guangzhou airport where we would have a three hour wait for our second plane to Melbourne.

 

We boarded the plane and headed to our seats and realised as soon as we got in them that it was going to be a tough journey. The seats were so small and had hardly any leg room and we had to sit on there for 11 hours! Not fun at all, but oh well hey! It’s a means to an end, pop a couple of sleeping tablets and wake up sore and tired on the other end.

When we were in Guangzhou the time seemed to go quite fast which was good because the airport is absolutely rubbish, hopped on the next plane to find we had more leg room for this one which was a delight! – pop another sleeping tablet and wake up half way through the journey thinking we were nearly there only to find we still had 5 ½ hours to go! Arghhhhh!! Back to sleep, and finally wake up in Melbourne!

We then got on our transfer to the hostel and went to check in but we were told that check in wasn’t until 2pm and it was around 11am at the time, so we dumped our bags and headed down to the beach where we were told we could shower. When we got there we went our separate ways into the men and women’s toilets and realised that the showers were communal! – How am I supposed to have a full on shower in here?? I walked out of the toilet and had a look around and found a unisex toilet which was just a single shower and lockable door, so I shouted into the men’s toilets to Jim and he was having the same dilemma! So I told him about the other shower and said we could just use that and take it in turns.

So I go in first and take all my clothes off and get my shower gel etc. all sorted, walk over to the shower and realise that there is no shower head and just an open pipe pointing upwards with nothing attached to the top of it…..brilliant how is this going to work then?

I turn the shower on and loads of water starts shooting out all up the wall….Hmmmm ok well this is going to be interesting! Guess it just a case of washing the important bits then, better than nothing I suppose, and oh yes of course the water is bloody arctic style Baltic! Let’s get this over and done with quickly! Face, pits, bits and feet – over and out.

Then out to Jim to inform him of the disappointing news and his turn to experience the worst shower ever! 10 minutes later he walks out looking mighty disappointed with the whole experience!

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After we were sort of clean and changed into our summer clothes we walked down Acland street and went to the common wealth bank to pick jims bank card up which took a while as it was really busy in there, but we got it all sorted and he now has a bank card and even set up a savings account where he transferred over half of his money to start gathering interest, good idea!! Think I need to do the same when my money comes in!

When all that was sorted we were starving so decided to have a stroll and go grab some food, I spotted Spud bar which I have eaten at before In Melbourne centre and it was delicious so I knew we could get something good from there, which we most certainly did! Nom nom nom!!!

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Then it was a quick walk up the road back to our hostel as it was time to check in, when we got there we asked about where the pool table was that we saw on hostel world when booking and they said it was in the bar that was unfortunately closed on Mondays, but they told us where we could go that was nice and cheap so…..dump the bags in our room and back out down to Lona bar which is at the top of Acland street, we signed up as members which was free and meant that we got happy hour prices all the time. Win!!!

We had couple of drinks at the bar and then decided to go for a stroll down St. Kilda beach which was really nice. Christy (little one, who I travelled with at the beginning of last year) had messaged saying she was going to meet us around 8pm that night, so we decided to go to the supermarket and grab some pasta for our dinner and head back to the hostel for a well needed nap!

I set my alarm for 7pm and got up to make me and Jim some pasta and then we left to go meet Christy down by the beach, where we were just in time to watch the sunset and It turned out to be one of the best sunsets I have ever seen! The photo doesn’t even do it justice, the sky light up with luminous pink, reds and oranges, it was incredible.

Once the sun had gone down we had a stroll up St. Kilda peer to go and see the penguins which we did see a couple but it was so busy it was hard to see anything so me and Jim decided that we would come back the following night when it was later and the crowds shouldn’t be there.

So me, Jim and little one walked down to Acland street and got some mint choc chip gelato and then all went home as little one had to get up for work and me and Jim were absolutely knackered.

 

Tuesday 17th Jan

We both woke up around 8am and went to take advantage of the free breakfast in the hostel kitchen which was just your simple toast or cereal with juice or coffee, but saves us paying for a meal which is always a good thing.

We then went and got changed and then walked down to a 7 eleven to top up the MiKey cards that me and my dad were using back in September and then jumped on a tram to the city.

When we got there we went to the laneways and had a coffee, and then did some strolling around the city so I could show Jim all the funky buildings and the graffiti streets which Melbourne is famous for.

We also managed to go and grab a coffee from brother baba budan coffee shop which I have wanted to try every time I have been in Melbourne but it’s always been way too busy and haven’t had the patience to stand around and wait for so long, luckily this time it was nice and quiet so we went in and had our coffee inside which was cool because they have loads of chairs hanging from the ceiling and the coffee tasted so god damn gooooood!!

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Then we had a stroll down to Southbank and chilled on the grass for a bit and made our snack of rice cakes, with peanut butter and banana – extra yummy, extra filling and extra cheap. After our snack we hopped back on the tram and went to check out the hostel bar where we played some pool or should I say I attempted to play pool but failed miserably compared to Jim and his pool skills. Then decided to go sit outside and take advantage of the $15 food and drink deal which got us a huge plate of chicken Parma with waffle fries and salad which one plate was big enough to feed 3 people, so I couldn’t finish it! It also came with a pot of your drink of choice.

Before we knew it, it was 7:30pm and a free comedy night had started down in the basement of the bar which was actually really funny. They had lots of different comedians come on each for about 15mins with 10 minute breaks in-between to go and grab a fresh drink from the bar, and it turned out to be a really good night.

We met some English girls outside the bar and got chatting to them for a while, and me and Jim came to the conclusion that we need to invest in some t-shirts that clearly state we are brother and sister and NOT A COUPLE FOR GOODNESS SICKING SAKE!!!

It got to 11pm and we decided to do the 20minute walk down to the peer to go and fingers crossed see some penguins, which we were in luck, as soon as we got to the top of the peer there was one little guy walking across the path way, and more sitting on the rocks grooming each other…..so so cute and well worth the walk down there.

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Unfortunately my dream of me sitting on the rocks and them all flocking to me to become my travel companions didn’t happen so I will have to settle for the memory of their cute little faces instead.

Then it was time to walk back to the hostel and get some sleep. Zzzz.

 

Wednesday 18th Jan

I woke up around 9:30am to a text from Jim saying ‘let me know when you’re up sis’ and I was thinking he was still lay in the bunk above me not wanting to speak to wake everyone else up but soon found out he was downstairs after being awake for a few hours and had decided to take a walk down to the beach.

He came back upstairs to meet me and I quickly got changed and we both decided we needed something more substantial than toast and cereal for breakfast so we had a stroll down to Acland street to find somewhere for a cheap breakfast. Most of the places were over $10 for just your plain eggs on toast so we decided to carry on walking all the way down and decide after we had seen all of the menus, when we got down to the bottom of the street we came across a little place called ‘La Roche’ which was doing $8 eggs and bacon so we of course decided to go there. It was bloody beautiful and a massive plateful which was just what the doctor ordered! Always pays to go for a bit of a wander to come across good deals. It was actually a cool little bar with some good music on too, so we will be definitely coming back on the weekend when they do a big breakfast deal for $15.

Once our food had gone down and I felt like I was no longer in a food coma we got up and walked down to the bank so Jim could update his bank details with his Aussie number and then did a bit of window shopping in the hippie shops.

Then quickly popped back to the hostel and showered and also to grab jims passport and other documents we needed and headed down to the library to use the free internet and sign Jim up to get a Tax file number so he can work and get paid when the day comes, and also do other bits and bobs like sorting the hire van registration out for Tasmania and checking out airport transfers etc.

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Once that was all done we walked down to the botanical gardens and chilled there for around an hour. I brought my laptop with me so I was trying to catch up on all my blog stuff and Jim brought his sketch pad with him and decided to sketch the statue in the centre of the little pond. We were sat there for about 30mins and then a guy called Jeff walked over and asked if Jim was drawing, he then sat down with us and showed us his drawing of the same statue and also showed us some of his other sketch books. His stuff was really amazing and he was giving Jim tips on drawing with ink instead of pencil.

We got to chatting about Uni and how Jim had dropped out of Uni as didn’t really enjoy it and the whole animation side of art, he then showed us a tv clip that he was involved in where he gets to travel the world and sketch chefs while they are cooking, and the sketch book that he showed us was the background for the tv clip, it was really interesting meeting him and hearing some of his stories, he is also a fantastic artist and he asked Jim to add him on Instagram so he could follow him back and see the end result of the statue drawing.

It was really nice meeting him, and just hearing about his stories of how he became an artist and really great to hear that he is doing a mixture of travel and art, and it seemed to give Jim inspiration to do the same kind of thing.

We walked back up to the hostel for some more rice cakes and then walked back down to the Lona bar at the top of Acland Street for a beer and to continue m blog and Jim to continue his drawing, only this time he got out his journal and started sketching in there. I wish I could draw, if I could I probably wouldn’t have a blog, and would do some kind of scrap/drawing book of my travels but unfortunately I am not gifted with the arty side of things, so best to stick to typing on a blog instead I think.

Then it was a pretty chilled night ready to pick the car up nice and early in the morning.

 

Thursday 19th Jan

I woke up around 6:30am to a text from Jim telling me to let him know when I was awake, our body clocks are all messed up still. I got up and walked to MacDonald’s to meet him and grab a breakfast while I was there. We couldn’t pick the car up until 9am so we were just pottering around for a while waiting for 9am.

9am finally arrived and we got the car, Jim wanted to drive first and we began the long journey down the great ocean road to the 12 apostles.

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It ended up taking us so long to get there because we kept stopping at beaches and viewpoints to look out at the stunning views. We did also stop in Lorne to grab some food from the supermarket as luckily I had been down this way before with the family I worked with at the farm and I knew there was no more supermarkets on the way.

So we got our little pots of salad and our rolls and meat to make ourselves some cheap but yummy food and got back on our way determined not to stop again until we got there.

Well……at 3pm we finally arrived, a whole 6 hours after we had picked the car up, but it didn’t disappoint, It was so beautiful and just incredible that these things were formed through fossils of dead fish.

It was really busy but we managed to push our way down to the stand to have a look out into the sea and then we drove a little way down the road where we could go down LOTS of steps to the beach and view them from there which was really cool. Although the tide was coming in as we got down there so me and Jim got absolutely soaked!

Time to go home! I did the driving on the way back and we went the short way, although I absolutely hated the car! It was a mix between automatic and manual and I just couldn’t work with it at all! So it stressed me out and I was happy to get back to the hostel.

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Friday 20th Jan

It was a rainy day and I wanted to find things to do inside, I woke up and was absolutely starving so decided to go for breakfast to somewhere called ‘The Banff’ in St Kilda. Jim wasn’t up properly yet so I went on my own as couldn’t wait. The food was delicious!! Most important meal of the day, so it has to be good!!

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While I was there I met a guy who lived nearby and got to chatting with him, he then gave me lots of suggestions of places to go to inside due to the rain. One of the places he suggested was the police museum where they have lots of information about Ned Kelly and even the armour he used to wear on display.

I messaged Jim and he came up and met me and we went off into the CBD, and went to check out the police museum, it was actually really cool in there, just to read about what the police had to do with all the Kelly Boys and how they managed to track them down etc.

Some of it was upsetting as they had a car on display that had been blown up by someone that hated the police and did kill one of the female police officers.

After the police museum we caught some trams up to an art shop I had found for Jim so he could get some new pens and paper for his drawings, while I was in there twiddling my thumbs because I don’t know the first thing about art so I found it a bit boring I realised I was starving and used good old google to find somewhere cheap for food. I found a place that was just around the corner called ‘WonderBao’ that was a fast food place but for Asian bread rolls. We went there and I had no idea what these things were but they were absolutely delicious I ended up having two.

Not having travelled Asia much I had never come across a Bao before but I asked them in there and they said it was bread but it was steamed instead of baked. Nom nom nom.

Once we had finished in there we walked to the library to meet one of the guys from our room and he was telling us about how much police there were around today and we hadn’t really noticed it ourselves, and thought nothing of it. Jumped on a tram and as soon as we did we noticed a massive crowd of people and lots of police around, we had no idea what was going on and at first thought there must be something happening in Bourke street, like someone famous there and need police escorts or something.

I decided to google it as I needed to know if it was Chris Hemsworth or not as we were deciding if we should walk back up or carry on to the ACMI.

When I read the news I was in shock and couldn’t stop thinking about it, and to be honest I don’t really want to write about it as it makes me so fucking angry and upset, anyone that doesn’t know what I’m on about can click here to read the news about it all…..

Anyways…..bypassing all that horrible news, we went to the ACMI which was actually really cool. It’s a history of the moving image so takes you right from the beginning when they managed to take photos and clip a book of photos together in a machine and turn the handle to flip the pages all the way up to the current day and has lots of games you can play too. I really enjoyed it.

When we had finished in there we went back to the hostel and stayed in the bar for the night drinking and meeting other backpackers.

Saturday 21st – Tuesday 24th Jan

So I’m not going to go much into these days, but basically we were supposed to be going to Tasmania on the Saturday and had got up to check out the hostel and get to the airport but Jim decided that he didn’t want to go so we ended up arguing and having to cancel the campervan etc. and booked in to stay in different places, I spoke to Tarsh (from the farm I worked at last year) and she said I could come up and stay with them.

Me and Jim ended up making up and he decided that he would come to the farm with me.

And that is all I am going to say about those few days!

Apart from that the night before we left Melbourne I went into the city to see little one again and we made healthy pizza and healthy ice cream and said our goodbyes! It’s sad because I don’t know when I will see her again now as I am pretty sure I won’t be heading back to Melbourne again before I leave for Bali & NZ in September! Waaaa. Sad times!!

Now……Onto the farm.

 

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