Once again I find it time to leave. It's 3:30 in the morning and I'm finding it hard to sleep. I have to get up at 5:30 but thoughts of my last day in Sydney fill my head. My last day of work (if you could call it that with the amount of actual work I did,) was a good one and I think I have made the right decision with leaving. Most of my good friends have moved on and I feel like I am the last one to go and I need to turn the light out as I close the door. I'm going to miss my usual walk through the park and the man playing guitar in the museum subway entrance and countless other aspects of Sydney. I hope one day I will get to return and rediscover all that it has to offer. My mind turns to my packing that is all but complete and I go through all that I have packed and the few bits that I need to do. Eventually I get back to sleep and get woken by my alarm. It's now 5:30 and I leave in an hour. I get everything sorted with 2 minutes to spare. I step outside and the bus is already there and the driver is very enthusiastic and bubbly for 6:30 in the morning. We wind our way out of Sydney and I look at the skyline for the last time.
We stop at a truck stop due to something to do with the bus (called Sheila.) I step outside and for the first time in Australia I can see my breath due to how cold/early it is. The scenery and the temperature on the way to Canberra reminds me of home and makes me think about what it will be like to return to the UK. I also think about the unfinished business I have in Australia. After this trip I am heading back over to Perth in search of regional work so that I have the opportunity to do a second year in Oz. I still plan to do a northern west coast tour and see Darwin as well before leaving. The Bus has a quick stop at a town called Goulburn so that we can have a look at the big Merino is a 15-metre tall concrete merino ram which has been nicknamed "Rambo" by the locals.
At Canberra are first proper stop is a war memorial which has every name of every soldier who lost his life in the Second World War. Then it’s off for a tour of the embassy before lunch in the town centre. The place makes Perth look like it is rammed. After that we visit parliament house and we have a tour round. From the top of the building it is easy to see the architects vision and ideas for Canberra. His idea was concentric circles and straight lines. Then it is off to Lake Ginderbyne in the snowy mountains region. The place is cold but the manmade lake is beautiful. After dinner at the lodge and a few drinks I head to bed in a t-shirt and trousers to try and stay warm through the night.
The next day we head into Jindabyne and rent snow gear and head to mount Cozsiusko. Hear we try sledging, have snow ball fights and make a snow man. I manage to grab some air while going head first on a sledge. The whole day was ace and makes me more excited about heading to Canada in 2013 and trying snowboarding. The rest of the day after lunch is spent counting the km's on the bus heading to lakes entrance. The only two noteworthy events are winning bus bingo and receiving a pack of Tim Tams (kind of like club biscuits) and crossing the state line into Victoria once more. A Roast pork dinner awaits in the Hostel and this is followed by a trip to the bottle o. The rest of the evening is spent drinking and watching hot fuzz. After the film is done I turn into my double bed.
I am awoken at 6:15 by my alarm clock and my brain struggles to work out what is going on and where I am. I engage my brain and manage to get dressed and ready for departure at 7. The morning has an amazing Sun rise and our first stop is at 90 mile beach. The beach is stunning even though the temperature is quite cold. The town reminds me a little of Skegness as they have a mini golf course, luckily they don't have the other things that Skeg is famous for. The next stop is Wilson's promontory. Here we see lots of wild Emu's and Kangaroos and a glimpse of a Wombat. Due to the wind it is very cold and the sun isn't shining for most of our time here. The landscape is very green and our guide tells us it is very similar to Tasmania which looks like the only state I won't get to visit on this trip. The next stop is squeaky beach. Which is a beach made up of 98% Silica (the same as White Haven up in the Whitsundays.) Which means that when you walk on the beach, it will squeak. I head out to a take my normal compliment of photos and then it is on to Melbourne which seems to take quite a while due the distance involved. We arrive after dark and I am surprised by how easily I can remember the city. I take the last spot in the room that the rest of the trip is staying in and we head out to dinner. Unfortunately for us an American joins us and lives up to most stereo types Americans have. We play some drinking games in the Hostel and head out to a local bar which is dead and shuts early and ends our night.
The next day I bid my farewells to the group who are carrying on to the Great Ocean Road (bin there, done that) and make my way to the airport for my flight to Perth. Little do I know that it will be the worst flight I have for comfort and entertainment, but it gets me to Perth where I get to try a new style of traveling.
Pictures can be found at http://sdrv.ms/MlsYRI
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