Penguins and peculiarity

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January 20th 2012
Published: January 31st 2012
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There's no room at the inn in my hostel tonight so I'm having to head down to St Kilda, one of Melbourne's beach locations, tonight. St Kilda has a dodgy past - prostitution and drugs mainly - but in recent years has cleaned up its act without losing some of the edge that made it the place it is.

My hostel down there is not great. I've come to realise that Base hostels are just for kids - anyone over 21 should avoid at all costs. My room is tiny, with what appears to be very dirty carpets. Bathroom is clean however so at least that's a good thing. There's a bar downstairs that sells overpriced beer and that no doubt will still be pumping music up into my dorm until the wee small hours. At least it's only one night down here, I tell myself...

At dusk, if you walk to St Kilda pier, you can see penguins. It's like the cheapskates' alternative to going to Phillp - aka Penguin - Island. Cheap I am, so off to the pier I went, forgetting just how cold it can get in Melbourne in the evening. Forgot my jumper, as did many others, and was frozen. The kite surfers and wakeboarders were making the most of the evening breeze which made the place look a bit like Sandbanks in summer. Man, I miss living down there....

The guides light up the rocks with red torches as red light doesn't damage the penguins' eyes like white light. I saw a few little furry fellas nestled in the rocks, and then we waited for the rest of their friends to come swimming in to take their sleeping spots for the night. And we waited and waited...and 2 penguins came in. 2. That was it. Not quite the Penguin Parade you get on Phillip Island but that's why you pay to go over there and here is free I guess...

As I walked back, there's a certain feeling of unease of walking around St Kilda at night. Just a little bit dodgy I'd say. Luna Park, like its Sydney sister, was lit up and still offering rollercoaster rides to passing visitors, which was the one shining light on the way home. Scuttled back to my hostel, grateful I'm only here one night and glad to be getting on the bus to Adelaide tomorrow...


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