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Published: January 8th 2009
Together again .....
Just before Xmas in a Lygon St Italian Restaurant with Brett, Brierley and Gavin
Well, it seems like AGES since my last Blog. Hope you all had a wonderful and happy Christmas and I wish you all good health and a safe 2009.
After leaving Ballarat we headed south to Lake Colac. As with most of the lakes throughout Victoria it was water-less!!! The drought is something that's just incomprehensible to us, coming from the wettest part of Australia, where rain is a darned nuisance !!! It was also smelly and blowing about 60 knotts so we left next morning.
Kept going south and ended up on The Great Ocean Road at Lorne. We pushed back east and spent a couple of days at Anglesea and about 4 or 5 in Barwon Heads. Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove are the closest rivals to our pick of the places so far - Merimbula on the NSW south coast. The Great Ocean Road has a reputation of being FANTASTIC and it didn't disappoint. The scenery, the rugged cliff faces, the surf -just magnificent. One day, we drove to Queenscliffe and got the ferry across to Sorrento on the other side of the heads into Port Phillip Bay. If you look at the map, Melbourne sits
Flinders St Station
Trains and Trams move thousand of people daily around Melbourne. Apparently, Melbourne's Tram system is the 3rd largest in the world!!!
at the top of a HUGE bay that is some 700sq km and the heads to that bay are only about 3km wide !!!!! Our van park in Barwon heads sits right on the beach and we had a magnificent view while there - magnificent winds too .... nonstop and quite cold. We're wondering where summer has gone to down in this region??? In the whole 5 months we've been gone, there's only been about 3 days when you could just wear a singlet top - the rest of the time has been flannelette shirts or jumpers !!!
We were booked into Coburg Caravan Park (about 9km north of the Melb CBD) from Saturday 20th Dec. So drove there and settled in. Geoff & Sharon had arrived a couple of days earlier and taken early flights home for Christmas. They were due back 29th December. Brett & Brierley came round that day - so wonderful to see them. Gavin flew in on Tuesday and the 5 of us had a sumptuous Italian meal in Lygon St that night - just yummmmmmmyyyyyy!!!! For those that don't know, Lygon St in Melbourne is like the Italy of Australia!!! There must be
The Yarra River
It is quite dirty and has lots of floating stuff in it. On the south bank and to the west is a very long restaurant walk ending at the Melbourne casino. To the east is the MCG and the Tennis Cente and Vodafone Arena
50 Italian restaurants all packed in along a few blocks of the street.
Spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Brett's house. Boxing Day we all trotted off to the cricket (The Boxing Day Test) and had a great day. Don't know if I spent more time watching the cricket or the yobbos is Bay 13!!! They had an absolute ball and were very well behaved. Sharon & Geoff arrived back on 29th and we spent New Years Eve in the CBD with half a million other people !!!! and an amazing fireworks display. Although I really enjoy watching fireworks, the money spent on it is just disgusting. It was reported that Melbourne's cost $5m !!!! Can you imagine that?? Then imagine what Sydney spent, what London spent, New York, Rio, etc etc etc. Just think - for 1 year only.....if every major city donated their fireworks money to the world's hungry/needy I reckon there'd be enough money to feed them all for a few years !!!! It is such a terrible waste of money....... Julie - the philanthropist !!!!! Melbourne is such an easy city to get around in - the public transport system is excellent. The trams
New Year's Eve
again at Flinders St Station. Half a million people and $5million worth of fireworks!!!! They were full-on for 10 minutes.
move A LOT of people.
On Friday 2nd Brett drove us on a dummy-run (without the vans) from our van park to Port Melbourne where we were to embark on The Spirit of Tasmania on Monday 5th. All pretty good actually and the real thing was easy and uneventful. It arrived on the horizon only about an hour before boarding time. After docking, we were all shunted into the bowels of the ship - cars, vans, bikes, people and about 50 semis. We left Melbourne about 8.30pm and had a rather rocky journey over (I'm sure it gets much worse so we should be grateful it was relatively calm). We has pre-booked a 4-berth cabin which was very claustrophic and Sharon & I hardly slept at all. Arrived in Davenport about 6.00am next morning - cold, wet, windy and tired. Left Davenport and headed to a van park south of Penguin and all hit the sack for a few hours!!!! That afternoon we drove to Leven Canyon - just stunning. Next day moved to Ulverstone and unhooked the van, then drove from there to Wynyard (west of Burnie) and viewed the rugged coastline along there. Went to Table Cape
part of the NY Eve fireworks
Sometimes, there was that many going off at once - you'd think you were actually in broad daylight !!!!!
- the views from the top were simply awesome. Tomorrow we shifting further west to Stanley and will do day trips from there to inspect the rest of the north-west.
All up, we're spending 9 weeks in Tassie, so expect to see most of it and without rushing. Will fill you in on the rest of Tassie in the next Blog. Bye all.........
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