Day 140 to 144 – (21st – 25th Jan) – Melbourne, Australia

3 03 2011

Welcome to the penal colony…

Tamar and Avril are very kindly putting us up in their flat close to trendy St Kilda. A borough kind of like Islington just out of Melbourne city centre, but with a lovely beach just five minutes away!

We fortunately happened to be in town the same time as the Australian Open and T and Av bought us all tickets for the Saturday. We got to see three games involving Ferrer vs Beranki, Valcover vs another Russian and a third doubles game. Aside from seeing some great tennis we were cooked alive in the 30 plus Melbourne sun.

I’ve always disagreed with running whilst on holiday, but Melbournians are fitness freaks – when in Rome and all that… To be fair if I had a 5-10km beach run on my doorstep I could be persuaded to do a little more running. After a brunch that undid the good work of the run we spent the afternoon in Melbourne’s stunning Botanical gardens – a lovely escape from the city right in the centre of Melbourne.

Jen and I had a tourist day trying to take in as many of the sights as we could, including China Town, the downtown region and the infamous Melbourne Prison.

Today was a big day for Jen. The fulfilment of a childhood dream… to go on the Neighbours Tour! This tour can only be described as a half day of complete  disappointment. Run by an over enthusiastic bus driver/ tour guide, we started with hours of ‘best of’ compilations of Neighbours on the overhead TV, interrupted by the guide saying, ‘do you remember that’,

Do you know who this is..?

or ‘who did so and so marry’. I was taking no part in this ludicrous tour and chose to read the paper at the back of the bus. However, when the final big question came, ‘who used to live here?’ I was old enough and sad enough to answer the question. It was in fact no less than Mrs Mangle. The crowning moment of the tour was when we got to meet Stingray… whoever that is.

We had hoped to buy a car in Melbourne and drive it the 5000+km up to Cairns, however time was running out for us to do this. To make this a reality drastic action was needed. After the neighbours tour we put some cash in our back pockets and hit the streets of Melbourne in search of a car. Fortunately we found ourselves a gem of a car – a ’97 Ford Falcon, only 353,000km’s! Janeen try not to freak out too much, instead channel that energy into hoping we make it the 5,000km to Cairns.

We tried to make the most of our short time in Melbourne, but unfortunately I don’t think we really got a chance to get our teeth into this city. I never really got my bearings around town. It was only when we got lost driving through town on our last day and finding new areas, that we realised there was a lot more to the city.




2 responses

11 03 2011

LIBBY KENNEDY! Haha, brilliant! Stingray Timmins too… You do realise, Jez, partaking in just that one question means you co-signed the whole thing – all or nothing. Loving the Ramsey street sign holding, Jen. Did you get to see Lasseters? Doesn’t “Hazzer” turn up for every tour?

13 03 2011

Unfortunately they were filming in Lassiters, so we couldn’t go in. I couldn’t believe the fuss everyone made over Libby Kennedy… Are you still watching Neighbours?

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