Melbourne, Gelantipy, Canberra and Sydney

Dear all,

Well the situation has changed recently. Unfortunately the Ford Cortina idea went down the pan. Ironically enough we missed the oportunity to get the car road worthied because we were in Melbourne putting up posters so I could sell my Oz Experience. In the end we realised I couldnt sell it, and I thought that with a week already spent at Scot’s G-Parents [as lovely as that was] we really needed to get a move on. So, to cut a short story even shorter, I went to Melbourne on Sunday and met up with w few old friends, went to the neighbours night and generally warmed myself up for the oncoming travels. Scot joined me in the city later on the tuesday, after buying a pass for the bus the same as mine [from UK travel agants as that was much cheaper – mad eh?] and we left on the Oz Experience on Wednesday.

Wednesday night we spent to Gelantipy in the heart of one of Oz’s national parks. It was a really nice joint and it was there we staged the Gelantipy Spoons Championship 2004 sponsored by Stainless Steel China Cutlery. This was pretty much the biggest game of spoons I’ve ever played – involving 14 players. I got nocked out around half way, but Scot made it to the Semis and refereed the final. We also didn some rock climbing at the hostel and went into the bush to spot some wildlife – after Scot got out to chase wombats [with me following barefooted to get the photos] my tally is up to – Kangeroos, Wallabies, Wombats, Possoms, Koala Bears and Emus – not bad eh?

The next day we travelled onto Canberra which is pretty much the Washington DC of Australia – ie a pre-planned city meant to look nice and house all the politicians. Funnily enough it is situated in the Australian Capital Territory which happens to have very lax laws on pornography and drugs – bloody politicians eh? Before we arrived there myself and scot had been to see some platypuses – which was nice. Scot had a close encounter with a snake, but being the true nutter that he actually is – he didnt really notice.

Unfortunately a lot of the travelling invloved with my 3 day journey from Melbourne to Sydney did involve – suprisingly enough – travelling. Yes, thats right, you guessed it, loads of hours on the blumin bus. However we did have a good driver who would entertain the hours with general facts and info about the area and the trip up to Cairns. On the final leg of our journey – one which i had to start at 6:30 in the morning, involved blow holes, and stopping at a really really nice beach. The photos will soon follow but the crux of it was that it was in a Kangeroo reserve, with loads of pelicans [and roos obviously] and the water was warm and crystal clear – so me and scot thought ‘dam this for a game of soldiers’ and went for a dip. Which was nice.

We got into Sydney yesterday evening, with a promise that Scot had mates somewhere near somewhere. But I was willing to see what happened so i followed and true to his word we ended up in a place called Coogee; a suburb of Sydney [a city of mass urban sprawl] with a lovely beach. We were met by Anna, one of scots mates from Fiji who I had briefly met in London at the teacher training, but also met up with Cameron – another guy from Fiji but one who I knew. Sort of.

Anyhow, we spent until the early hours at Anna’s place in coogee and had a decent nights sleep for once ie one which didnt involve getting up at some unearthly hour to catch a bus. That was last night and today we went to the beach for an hour and a bit and played in the surf, which was really good fun and reminded me a little of Tobago, where that latter activity was the main stay of my weekends. Later on that afternoon me Scot, Anna and Cameron went to the races. The Sydney race track was just a short bus ride away from Coogee so we went up there and managed to get in for free [well almost, i had to be the responsible paying adult with 3 minors]. It was a good laugh and we all had a little flutter on the horses. I did terribly, Scot did get a fourth on one of his horses, Cameron did much better – getting a couple of top 3’s; I think he ended up 2.90 a head or somat. But the bookie’s nightmare of the day was Anna who betted on two winners, both of whom were good odds and she came away about 40 bucks up – alright for some eh?

Anyhow I’ve since had to come back to the city centre because tommorrow I’m going on a day excursion up to the Blue Mountains which are just outside of Sydney. I was dead lucky – Sydney is packed because its the four day easter weekend and I managed to get the last booking at the Wake Up! hostel which is right opposite where i need to be tommorrow morning at 7:30. Mind you, I dont think the ozzies have quite grasped the idea of the easter weekend [well at least the non-christian student alcholics idea]. On good friday the pubs and bars shut at 10pm. Whats the deal with that eh? At home they open longer, the liscencing hours are longer here anyway but to cut em short on easter weeked is just madness!

Enough of that, its getting late for me [10:30pm] and I need to get some good nights sleep.



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