South America here we come!

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February 20th 2016
Published: February 21st 2016
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Well, when did this holiday actually start? The line between being on holidays and not being on holidays has blurred for me since I stopped working!! However, the worker in the family finished up at the office on Friday so I reckon that's about when we started our vacation.

In which case we spent the first morning of our latest travel adventure finishing off washing and cleaning the house so it would be neat and tidy for the house sitters. We also managed to fit in a walk with Gidget and Finbar before Kerry arrived to have a quick lunch with us before driving us all back to her place.

At Kerry's I re-packed my bag after finally admitting that the only way my hiking boots would be going to South America was on my feet! I really didn't want to wear them while we were traveling to Santiago but, unfortunately, they were taking up too much room in my bag. Meanwhile Kerry prepared food for her dogs and Bernie was flat out on the sofa watching the test match (Australia vs New Zealand) using Foxtel Go on his iPad.

Kerry and I left Bernie on the couch and took her Greyhounds, Lilly and Blake, for a walk along the Merri Creek trail. Just as well I was getting all of this dog walking in before being cooped up in aeroplanes and airport lounges for about 24 hours on our epic journey to Santiago, Chile!

On Saturday evening we headed down Punt Road - in bumper to bumper traffic - bound for St Kilda. We parked the car behind The Palais and went looking for a quick bite to eat before the show. First try, Mexican. No, sorry it's about an hour's wait for a table! Not to worry, there are plenty of other restaurants in St Kilda and at the very next restaurant that we tried we secured a table. Although this restaurant had a Spanish theme Bernie and I ordered Nasi Goreng and Kerry opted for salt and pepper calamari. The paella was very tempting, but we thought it might take too long to be prepared and served.

Back to The Palais just in time for the start of the support act's performance. Rather surprisingly Alex Lloyd started at about 8.02pm which was very punctual indeed for a rock and roll performer. Before we left Kerry's place her next door neighbour had sung us the chorus from Alex Lloyd's big (only?) hit 'Amazing' which did ring some bells with Bernie and me. I had to find it on YouTube and play it to Kerry before she could recall it! As it turned out we actually recognised several other songs so maybe he is/was bigger than we recalled? To sum up his performance I would say that he has an incredible singing voice, but almost zero personality. When he tried a bit of patter between songs he was virtually tongue-tied!

At interval we ate ice-creams (Kerry and I) and drank beer (Bernie!) in the bar before returning to our seats for the headline act - Icehouse. Iva Davies actually came out with an acoustic guitar before the stated starting time and performed a quick warm up medley of Icehouse songs before exiting the stage and returning with the band to kick of the show properly.

WOW, WOW, WOW what a great show! Icehouse performed for just short of two hours and treated us to pretty much all of their greatest hits. I think I had forgotten what a huge part of the Australian music scene they were until my memory was jogged with song after song from my teenage years aka the 'Countdown' era! Seeing a performance at The Palais has so much more impact than a concert at Rod Laver Arena - you're just so much closer to the people on stage ... which was a good thing because I couldn't remember where I packed my glasses so ended up heading out to the concert without them!!

Even at 11.00 o'clock at night Melbourne's traffic was still gridlocked. Bernie was determined to fit in White Night - Melbourne's annual night of lights - as well so Kerry and I dropped him at a tram stop in St Kilda so he could take the tram into the CBD. It took us ages just to negotiate our way back to Punt Road and there would've been no point trying to drop Bernie any closer to the city with all the road closures and traffic diversions in place for the event.

It was midnight before Kerry and I arrived back at her place. I brushed my teeth, set the alarm for 3.30am (GROAN!) and fell into bed for a few hours of sleep. Maybe Bernie had the right idea to keep on going straight through till morning. I guess it might just about align his body clock with Chilean time??!

Steps for the day 19,546 (15.63km) AND my Apple watch reports that I was on my feet for 17 of the last 24 hours!


21st February 2016

I was there too!!
So surprised I didn't see Bernie @ White Night [lol !!!!!!]. This was my first time and I was really surprised that, after all the build up, there was a distinct lack of light projections in the CBD. Even Flinders St stn was not included; it was just lit up as it normally is at night! It was quite an experience though walking down Swanston St with thousands of people and NO trams or other vehicles. One night of People Power! It was a long walk from Fed Sq to Exhibition Blg but well worth it to see the Aboriginal themed light projections bring our iconic blg to life. Then it was the long walk back thru the crowds to where I got a park opp Rod Laver Arena. Wasn't I lucky? I've put my photos & videos on fb if you feel like a squiz. Take care. Looking forward to travelling "with you" thru yr blog.
22nd February 2016

Have fun
It's 16 yrs since my 3 months in Sth America but it seems like last year - you will have a fantastic time. Wishing you a wonderful wonderful trip and looking fwd to hearing all about it.

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