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Published: August 8th 2007
And before we knew it we were back in the land of Oz…….. Well unfortunately it wasn’t as simple as clicking ones heels together three times as it involved a 5 hour plane ride to Auckland where we found out we were not booked on our flight to Melbourne and instead had to wait about for a plane to Sydney and from there we eventually got to Melbourne.
We arrived at my lovely friend Robyn’s house in the dead of night waking up her dog that inturn barked and woke up the neighbourhood. After a goods night sleep Robyn took us for a drive around to orientate us, driving down Bridge Street (major shopping street) and then through the city and down St Kilda past some of the beaches. That evening Robyn had booked us tickets to the Moonlight cinema that is based in the botanical gardens. We came well prepared, maybe a little too well prepared, dragging two huge beanbags, a massive picnic hamper and blankets into the park- you certainly couldn’t miss us. After setting up camp in a square yard of grass we ate our picnic, which was lovely and Robyn even packed some bubbly. We
settled in under the big blankets that I was now pleased we had dragged with us as it was getting freezing. I was like a kid, totally over excited by the novelty of out door cinema and it was just magical watching the flying foxes fly in the dusky sky above our heads. But when the film, Babel, started playing on the huge screen I settled down. . Sadly half way through the film some w*nk*r's phone went off really loudly, disrupting the film……Ok it was me and I was mortified, they really should have those reminders to turn your mobile off at the moonlight cinema.
The following day we were up early as we were heading to Hanging Rock for the harvest picnic. In case any of you are unaware of this place it was made famous by a book and film about a girl who went missing there. We pulled up in the designated parking area, which was miles from where we were meant to be and attempted to drag a huge amount of equipment (the a theme of this weekend) through to the main area. The wind was noticeably strong and after we’d erected a canopy
kind of watched in slow motion as the wind blew it half way back to the car. Thankfully at that point some more of Robyn’s friends turned up and pegged the thing down. About this time the sun started to make its self known which was a blessing and after that the place really started to buzz.
Around the outskirts of the field were hundreds of tents selling food and drink. I had never seen anything like, let me try and give you a taster (excuse the pun), there was:
Beers, ciders, wines, daiquiris (of which I had more than my fair share), yoghurts, waffles, doughnuts, ice-cream, jams, chocolate, cheeses, olives, olive oil, breads and spices.
That is not to mention the hundreds of stalls selling actual meals. There was every cuisine from every country in the world imaginable and what I have neglected to mention is that every single stall was giving away free tastes.
OH MY GOD, I have never been so full up and never tasted so many delicious tastes in the space of 4 hours as I did that day. I cannot recommend highly enough the harvest picnic at Hanging Rock if you
are in Melbourne around the 24 of Feb next year then go!
Before leaving hanging Rock one of Robyn’s friends came running over to us. She said that people had seen a wild kangaroo with a Joey in the next field and because I was a pomme I would surely be interested in seeing it-Darn right!
So we trotted on over to the next field where I was expecting a crowd of people to be gathered but there was only a couple of families having picnics and of course the kangaroo, which was hanging out for a bit lunch. I tentatively approached it moving around the front of her where I was greeted with the strangest sight; I giant leg was protruding from her pouch at the front, this must have been a huge Joey. The family near by gave me a bread stick that a I timidly held about a mile away from the roo's mouth (yeah I was a bit little bit nervous of unleashing the motherly instinct to protect baby) but the dad came over and showed me the way. The kangaroo didn’t even mind being stroked, it must be a regular picnic goer. It
was just so cool.
The next day was spent trying to work out how best to get around Melbourne. I managed to get from Robyn’s house to the train station successfully but when on the train I thought I’d missed the flinders street stop so I got off at Melbourne central not knowing where the hell I was. After walking a few yards I though it best to duck into a coffee shop to look at my map and work out where to go. At this point my phone rang and Liz was on the other end and luckily she was only down the road so joined me for a coffee and proper gossip of her time spent in Melbourne with out me.
We then decided to go to the Aquarium. I adore aquariums and this one did not let me down. See pictures. I loved the turtle and the Jelly fish best and we spent what felt like hours inside the tunnel where the stingrays and sharks swim above you. The shark feeding was funny to watch as it was the sting rays that caused all the trouble, literally sitting on the diver’s heads and one pulled
out the diver’s mouth piece! Loving Melbourne already!
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