About a month ago it was decided to go away on a road trip up to Byron Bay and Fraser Island; unfortunately, this didn’t happen but due to already asking for a week or so off it made sense to take advantage of that and go visit those who needed to be seen. So instead of the road trip, 6 days were spent in Melbourne and 4/5 days were spent up in Newcastle (Salamander Bay/Port Stephens).
Leaving Sydney on the 6th of July the plane landed in Melbourne around 7 pm. The sky bus was caught to go to the Southern Cross ($19 for a one way) where Damo a friend of mine picked me up. Picking up his housemates we headed to a pub to grab some food and play pool for a little while before the two of us snuck off back to his place. The following day after a long debate as to where to go, a train journey and a 5-minute walk later Brighton beach boxes were in our view.
The weather that day was cool but brisk, so as we walked down the beach the wind gently brushed over us causing all sorts of trouble with everyone’s hair. Walking towards the boxes to take photos you come across those types of people who think that they are models on a photo shoot and spend ages taking just one snap. It’s rather irritating, to be honest. But saying that the boxes are honestly not as exciting nor as good as people make them out to be. Half of them need some TLC whilst some looks as if they’re about to just crumble into pieces. Yet they sell for millions? How and why? They don’t even get used, maybe a couple of the nicer ones do. Eventually getting the snaps that were wanted we carried on with our walk to St Kilda’s stopping only to put my trainers back on and buy some ice-cream; it’s never too cold for ice cream. Once arriving at St Kilda a photo of Luna Park was taken then it was time to go home; first time ever on a tram!
The next day a trip into Melbourne was in order to go to Flinders Street (well Hosier Lane) to photograph the street art. My god, it’s incredible! The detail, imagination, colour etc was mind blowing. It is impressive knowing that people just go out and paint/spray paint whatever comes to mind. Every step was a different style, different pattern, technique. Literally walking down these lanes was pretty damn awesome. We must’ve spent about two hours there just going back and forward taking photos, embracing it all, standing in awe at the impressiveness of the art work. Once we’d walked the whole way round, a quick visit to the state library was needed. ‘Once a bookie, always a bookie’. Looking down at the library from the top is rather tantalizing. For a bookie, there’s this thrill of excitement you get from walking into a book store or library; so much imagination, history, knowledge just laying within arm’s reach. If a choice had been given my day would’ve been spent in that library running my fingers over every single book and cranny. Books would’ve been read and history would’ve been taught. But by the end of this day, the weekend with Damo had come to an end for in the morning a new adventure awaited with Chris and Monica.
Sunday morning came and it was time to catch the train down to Lara. Chris was waiting at the station for me in his BMW; taking me back to the house to drops off my bags and pick up the girls and Monica before heading to the grandparents to drop the girls off for the day. The grandparents have this beautiful German Shephard called Yogi, who is massive!! 20 minutes later after cuddling yogi to death, we hopped into the car and we’re on our way down the Great Ocean Road.
As we’re cruising along around these bendy roads the houses and views were just phenomenal. Stopping at the sign for the Great Ocean Road we waited and watched as these stupid people were standing in the middle of the road to ‘get that shot’, like how idiotic is that? People are so stupid sometimes it’s unreal; they had to run onto the path to get out of the way of oncoming cars. Eventually, we got the shot that we wanted, hopped back into the car and on our way we went. Coming to a village we stopped for lunch where on looking kookaburras sat on the ledges trying to steal chips whilst people weren’t looking. Rather amusing to watch. So again it was time to hit the road.
Looking out of the window a rainbow was spotted, not just one but two! At first, it looked like one then further down it was two and then the second one vanished leaving only one. At this point, it had started to rain and the clouds started to come down and cover the horizon making taking a photo of the rainbow nearly impossible. About half an hour and a quick rain shower later we ended up at the Twelve Apostles. There isn’t actually twelve anymore, more like 8 are left standing and even then they are falling away. In maybe 20 years or so the Twelve Apostles will no longer exist. If you get the chance go now whilst they are still standing. Even here to get a photo you had to wrestle all the other tourists and it was raining! Took us by surprise as to how many people were there considering the rain. But again the views were just astonishing. Trying to think up or find words to describe something that you’re not quite how to describe is kind of hard to do, and usually the same word gets used more than once. The Twelve Apostles are so worth seeing, even if you don’t find it that incredible, the colours; the waves the atmosphere makes it all worthwhile. The whole day was spent driving around the Great Ocean Road, Chris stopping every now and then to show me the views, so on the way home, you can imagine how tired we all got, starting to fall asleep in the car we pull up outside a noodle bar. Delicious! Picked the girls up went home and ate this delicious pot of chicken noodles; perfect dinner to a perfect day out.
The following few days were uneventful, we took the girls to the park and mostly just played with them home. Playing hide and seek, making trails out of all of their toys, watching films, playing with dolls, organising Sophia’s teddies on her bed and mostly spending every now and then out in the garden with their kelpie dogs Millie and Mack. We went into Melbourne one arvo to buy some donuts ended up grabbing a quick lunch down degraves street, had the best pizza ever! It’s safe to say that even the doughnuts were pretty damm good.
The day for me to leave came around far too quickly, but without a shadow of a doubt, they will see me again soon. Monica dropped me off at the train station, once arriving at the Southern Cross the sky bus took me back to the airport where my next adventure would begin.
Landing in Newcastle around 6 pm Christo picked me up, running out to help me put my stuff in the car as it was pouring it down! The car journey turned into me crying. A phone call from back home brought me some more bad news which wasn’t expected at all. The week before this phone call, a phone call was made to let me know that my granddad had passed away. Getting bad news from back home when you’re out exploring in a foreign land isn’t really what anyone wants to hear, and getting the second bad news a week later was a shock. This get away came at the perfect time but also at a very bad time. It still hasn’t set in even weeks down the line that my granddad is no longer with us, what makes it worse for me is that he was back home in England whereas I am in Australia. But back to my adventures, he wouldn’t want me to be upset over it, he’d want me to carry on doing exactly what it is that I’m doing. So this bad news hit me whilst in the car on the way to Christo’s and Tracyann’s, but getting to the house a beer was placed in my hands and pizza was eaten whilst watching the origins game. Sadly New South Wales lost badly, like it was so hard to watch how badly they played that last game. There are three matches for the state of origin game. New South Wales against Queensland, the first one NSW won the second QLD so the final game was the decided as to which state won and it was QLD.
The following day was stay at home look after the kids whilst the parents worked so myself and their current au pair Shara took the kids and their dog Wally to the park for a little bit before going home and popping out to the beach!! And then the next couple of days literally were just spent on a different beach. It was beautiful. Shara and I walked around Nelson Bay for a bit, went into some shops (there are some really nice ones but expensive) looking for a birthday present for Tracyann. Time goes by rather quickly so Sunday came and a 3-hour journey was taken to get back to Niagara Park. It had been an amazing yet upsetting week or so away.