Back in Melbourne
Trip Start Mar 11, 2009
22Trip End Mar 11, 2010
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Hello! Sorry I have been very lame at updating this blog since I returned to Melbourne but I have just been hanging out and there wasnt really much to tell. My search for a job continued but with little success. Looking at my file of job applications I have applied for hundreds of jobs and was totally unsuccessful until the middle of June when I was invited for an interview at the Pathology labs at St Vincents Hospital in Melbourne. The interview went well and I was offered the job. All good except as this was a maternity leave cover post they wanted me to stay until the end of January when I had planned to leave at the beginning & therefore cutting my New Zealand trip short. I would also have to squeeze my traveling down the east coast of Australia into a few short trips rather than one big chunk as planned. So in the end as disappointing as it was I had to turn the job down
So since I am on holiday I have been making the most of it and have organised a few outings and trips. My friends Sam and Kat (who I met in Cambodia/Vietnam) came to melbourne and we spent a couple of days exploring the city together and took a day trip out to Belgrave in the Dandenongs to ride the steam train Puffing Billy. We had a fab day out and the train journey was fun. We got talking to one of the old guys who volunteered on the train and told us stories of his trips to europe. The weather wasnt the best for our journey as it was cold and raining and most of the carriages didnt have windows but it was still fun to travel through the rain forests and fern gullies. I am sure my mum and dad will like a trip out to the Dandenongs so hopefully I will get to do it again in the summer when it is warmer and less wet!
My mate Dave (Kiwi who I met in London and now lives in Melbourne) bought us tickets for the State of Origin Rugby match at the Etihad Stadium so I had a great night cheering on the Queensland Moroons (they say Marone here - very infuriating use of the English language!) For some reason even though the match was Queensland vs New South Wales they decided to play one of the tournament games in Melbourne which was good for me anyway. Queensland have since gone on to win the competition so I managed to picked the winning side - yeah Go Maroons!
Over the first weekend in June there was a public holiday here in honour of the Queens birthday (not sure why we dont get to celebrate that one in the UK) so Heather and I went down the Great Ocean Road again with her friends Lee and Tanya to Skenes Creek
At the end of June the school holidays started which meant my friend Jenny was off work and I had someone to play with. We went on a few day trips around Melbourne to St Kilda (to go swimming only to find the pool closed!), to Williamstown and Hobson's Bay and to Port Melbourne. I had a few obligatory photos taken next to signs around Hobsons bay including the Hobsons Bay Yacht Club and I found the Hobsons Bay Hotel - my very own pub! In the second week of the school holidays one of Jenny's teaching friends Michelle joined us and we drove up to the Grampians (a hill range North west of Melbourne) stopping at Sovereign Hill (a mining village tourist attraction) on the way. Sovereign Hill is mainly for kids (think Alton Towers without the rides!) but we had a great time. As it was the winter school holidays they had snowy attractions such as ice sculptures, hourly snowfall on the main street and a snow slide which Jenny and I appeared to be the only adults on
So that just about brings me up to now. Last weekend we went snowboarding at Mount Buller. Not the first thing you think of doing in Australia but there are actually a few snow resorts, Mt Buller being the closest to Melbourne - only a couple of hours drive away. We drove up to a town called Mansfield at the bottom of the "mountain" on Friday so we had all day Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the snow. It was great fun and we were up on the snow by 9.30 on Saturday morning. Unfortunately the visibility was really bad and it was near impossible to see where you were going. A couple of the lifts had closed due to high winds as well and I was forced to tackle a T-bar (not fun on a snowboard). Having said that the snow was good and it was very strange seeing the pistes lined by Gum trees and not Pine trees as we are used to in Europe. Having got cold and wet Heather and I gave up on Saturday around 2pm and went and sampled the Apres Ski in the village - Heathers first Apres Ski since this is the first time she has been skiing when she was old enough to drink! A momentous occasion! On Sunday Dave came up to the resort on a day trip so we had the chance to board together, and leave the skiers to go off without having to wait for me to strap in after every lift. The sun actually came out for a little bit on Sunday so I could see where we had been boarding the day before but before we could get used to seeing where we were going the cloud came back down and we were boarding through the thick stuff again. Needless to say we also enjoyed a couple of beers after the second day on the slopes before the winding drive back down to Melbourne. When I think of Australia the last thing I think about is snow but there are some good slopes here. You would get a bit bored of Mt Buller after more than a weekend but there are more resorts and the slopes are good so ideal for improving technique. It has set me up quite nicely for my trip to the New Zealand mountains which I am now really looking forward to! Cant believe it is only 2 weeks away and then I will be on the move again. I have my Flights to Darwin booked and my Oz experience voucher ready....bus full of drunken teenagers here I come!!!!