Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
123Trip End Ongoing
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-- Full Metal Jacket
The last morning of our journey, Lola wouldn't start - her battery was simply having none of it. We took a good few minutes to appreciate the irony - we were, after all, about 60km from Melbourne, having traveled 5,500km without incident (which incidentally is 3,800 miles in the old money).
Irony fully appreciated, we gave her a push start and she started right away....
Since three became four we could no longer adopt the tactic of staying in car parks by the beach, as Rich had to have a bit of ground to put his tent on, and the local constabulary take none to kindly to tents in their car parks. So, we had to stay in camp sites at night, which had the added benefit of making the van smell better (or rather, less bad) with constant access to hot showers.
The Great Ocean Road itself is just a road like any other, that starts somewhere near Adelaide and ends up in Melbourne. Apparently it's the most bendy road in all of Australia. And the views are nice. Koalas and such can be found in the gum trees that line the road, and under the wheels of the cars that drive upon it.
It was all very nice, and the photos should speak for themselves (although as you'll no doubt notice, after 800 odd photos I'm running out of enthusiasm for coming up with captions).
On the way into Melbourne we popped in to see Dave Gray (of Tiger Leaping Gorge fame). Unfortunately due to Lola's little tantrum that morning we didn't get him before he started work, but we turned up at his cafe anyway, interrupting him and generally putting him off his job
So onto Melbourne then..... Rich checked us into Base Backpackers in St Kilda, where he's a receptionist. It's nice enough, but we want to leave as soon as possible. As we're going to be in Melbourne for a while, we're going to try and get a flat to save on costs, have a bit of privacy and generally get away from living like (and with) backpackers.
But first we had to have welcome to Melbourne drinks... Eddie (Baby) Holbrook, stalwart of Nottingham, Borderline Ex-Pat and Three Times Runner Up Junior Pipe Smoker Of The Year has been living in Melbourne for three and a half years, so got to see him for the first time in ages.... And he's still a legend, although now he's a legend with a little bit of an Australian twang, and mentions things like Kite Surfing every now and then.
Still. We ended up in a pub called the Elephant And Wheelbarrow, which is the place where they have the (in)famous Neighbours nights every Monday, where for $40 you can listen to Dr Karl Kennedy's band play, meet Toadfish and have your photo taken with Harold Bishop.... Whether we are able to spend several months in Melbourne without ever attending this car-crash entertainment remains to be seen
Eddie then pulled a random wild card out of his pocket, saw some of his friends, which included Roger Federer's Sister Diana, and so we had a couple of drinks with them. She was in Melbourne watching her brother win in straight sets, and his semi-final replay was on in the background. In terms of being able to casually introduce people to people who are famous by proxy, I've got to say Eddie did very well indeed - although it would have worked even better for him had I been a hot girl.... C'est la vie.
So now the reckless fun and gay abandon is over for a while again. We've got to get jobs, a flat, and start getting some money together to replace the chasm that day to day life has created.