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Published: April 3rd 2009
We landed in Melbourne and picked up our hire car. We followed by cousins directions to his house but missed a turning and drove about five kilometres in the wrong direction before calling him and doubling back on ourselves. He was waiting in a parked beat up but much loved old Alpha Romeo and got out when we pulled up behind him. It was 1988 when we last saw each other and there was a moment when we just looked at each other grasping for some kind of recognition which I think I found in his eyes but twenty one years is a long time and I guess we had both changed quite a bit. We shook hands and we followed him back to his house, a task made no easier by his faulty indicators that seemed to bare no relation to which direction he turned. We arrive at his home where we were introduced to his lovely wife Vicky who gave us a warm welcome and chatted easily as Matt opened a couple of beers. We drank whilst chatting about family and when we were kids.
The next day we wandered into Melbourne via a small friendly florist come cafe. As we walked down the street I looked up to see 'Kay Marry Me' written in the sky in white smoke which seemly like quite a romantic and costly way to ask, I hope that she said yes. After a quick look at the centre of town we head over to Chapel Street which was pretty cool. There were boutiques, cafes, bars and music shops plus a cinema at an arcade called The Jam where later in the week we watch The Watchmen which is probably the best superhero movie I have ever seen or a least on a level par with The Dark Night. We had a few beers in a little cafe and bought ice cream before catching the wrong tram back and getting lost. We walked around trying to find a bus, taxi or someway to get back to Matt's house for about a hour in the hot sun before giving up and calling him and Vicky came to pick us up. We meet Matt and Vicky's kids Thomas, ten and Lucy, eight who were both on best behaviour and adorable kids. The kids and I play basket ball in their back garden while Matt cooks fish and chips. We eat on the balcony that overlooks their garden and out across Melbourne and enjoy a pleasant evening chatting and laughing over a few bottles of wine.
The next day Lou and I set off to drive down the Atlantic Coast road having arranged to meet Matt and family the following day at their family beach house. We drive for around an hour and a half before reaching the Atlantic Coast Road which winds along the coast line weaving in and out of small towns, farm land and woods. We want to see the Twelve Apostles which is group of rocks formed by crumbling cliffs its about a six hour drive and is almost worth it. They are pretty spectacular to look at but a little remote as they can only be viewed from a man made walk way with designated viewing points that does it's best to spoil the uniqueness of the view. We drive on to the next small town where we stop in a small motel before driving back the next morning. On the way back to the beach house we stop at a small deserted bay where there was once a reck from which the anchor remains sticking massive and rusty out of the rocks. We cool our feet off paddling in the rock pools and enjoy the solitude. It's early evening when we meet up with Matt and Family and I take a quick dip in the sea before we go out to eat at a beach front restaurant.
The next day we are all a little hung over and stagger around a little village centre half interested in browsing but actually just wanting to be in bed. I find it very difficult to have a lie in in Australia as the humidity drives me from my bed early all hot, bothered and uncomfortable. We drive back to Melbourne and Lou and I watch a movie before going home to pack. The next day we drive to the airport getting lost on the way to drop off the car hire but still making the flight to Sydney in plenty of time.
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