Monday, 8 September 2014

Melbourne: Hot Town, Summer in the City

Melbourne Part 2
Thanks to Rhys and Dan Shinners and Karl Shami, it was easy to make friends in Melbourne. I had met Dan and Karl a few years earlier on a trip in America and Mexico, and both hailing from Melbourne, introduced us to people and places which we would not have been able to nearly so easy if we were just backpacking in a hostel. We’re both very grateful to them and everyone else we met in Melbourne for their help and it certainly made everything even more enjoyable. (If any of you are reading thins, thanks very much again!)
Time moved on and Rhys moved into our flat, following the discovery by the boys of a futon on the street. We put this in the front room and went on rotation, so splitting everything by 3 made it even cheaper to live there. Happy days.
Despite being a basement flat, I never saw any spiders or insects which we had feared would be around, until one day when I thought I saw an enormous spider scuttling under the fridge.
After a seek and destroy mission, we assumed that it must have escaped through the hole in the wall behind the cooker, but after several weeks, and a few further sightings we realised that it was no more than a friendly mouse in the house. As a result, I decided to go to Specsavers, where I got a great deal; buy 1 pair of prescription glasses, get a pair of sunglasses free. I also tried out the contact lens trial, but after 30 minutes of repeatedly poking myself in the eye and dropping the lens, I realised that I was not going to get on with wearing them. N.B: I need to try again as I just can’t stop myself from blinking when I go to put the lens in. In the words of Rhys Neild, desperate times.
In Melbourne I learnt to Ice Skate under the instruction of Dan and Rhys, after only ever going to two previous sessions
1. Disco skating in Bradford in 2012,
2. A tiny ice rink in London where I realised it was much harder than I had imagined. 
Although it took quite a long time, I can now confidently do a lap, though I still have trouble with the turning to brake, but I imagine that will come in time.
The four of us drove down the Great Ocean Road, which was a beautifully scenic drive and one that I would say is a must to anyone who has enough time. The roads in Australia are very similar to those in Canada, New Zealand and America, with plenty of space to move, and although it is built into the cliff in places, like the route previously mentioned in my New Zealand post and the West Coast of America, it would be an easy drive even for those not too experienced behind the wheel. If I returned, I think I would get a camper van and stop at a couple of the beaches along the way, where there is a great sense of community and some great surf.
All too soon it was time for us to leave Melbourne and head up the coast. We drew up an itinerary as, although we had originally planned to drive, a surprise trip to Adelaide made us realise just how long and expensive this would be. (Thanks to Adie, her Mum, and all the people in Adelaide who made the drive worthwhile! We had a great time in Adelaide and I would describe it more, but unfortunately we were only there for one night so I don’t feel like I know it well enough to describe it, but from what I saw it see there’s much to see, mainly churches.) I would recommend booking all flights as soon as possible as the cost really does go up massively overnight so forward planning can really save you a lot of money.
The next stop was Sydney, and though it was hard to say goodbye to everyone, we knew that we had to move as the Working Visa was ticking down and we needed to either qualify for the second year or leave the country before November, which would mark 1 year from out original entry.

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