. I discovered a few great Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants and ate noodle soup and sushi to my heart’s content. Something I have missed so far on this journey as sushi so far has been horrible, expensive or both and other restaurants in Australia are very expensive. Here I was able to eat at prices I am used to back in Vancouver. Melbourne actually felt a lot like Vancouver in many ways. Beautiful skylines, great parks and a compact walk able downtown. I can see why it’s listed with Vancouver as the top 2 cities in the world to live in. On Friday I met up with a friend from high school, Amanda. She had gone on a working holiday in 2003 and never left. We haven’t seen each other since high school, but it was really good to see a familiar face, and also keeping alive the Revelstoke connection in Australia! (Philip in Sunshine coast and Rachel in Darwin) We went to a great coffee house bakery in Carlton and we shopped at the Direct Factory Outlet (new shoes and a new camera!) then we explored Queen Victoria marketplace. Yesterday I went for a 3 hour walk along the Yarra River and into the botanical gardens and surrounding parkland. Right now I am again, on a train, this time going north. The group of friends from Mooloolaba are in Mildura right now and I am on my way to join them. I’ve got a 4 hour train ride to Swan hill and then a 3 hour bus ride to Mildura, which is in the Northwest corner of Victoria, right across the Murray river from New South Wales and not far from South Australia. I’m taking another chance here, moving on without knowing what is going to happen. But I am meeting up with friends, so if it doesn’t work out we are all in it together this time. I have found being alone the most difficult part of this- if I am with my friends, I’m going to be alright no matter what happens. Plus I have missed the Mooloolaba group since I left the hostel, and it s going to be so good to see everyone again!. If Mildura doesn’t provide any work, I plan to go to South Australia where the grape season is starting soon. I don’t know what will happen next- but for me, that is half the fun.
This was my third trip to Melbourne and this time I absolutely loved it! The first time, all I saw of it was the 2 blocks between Southern Cross Station and Nomads hostel before I headed out to Maffra. My second trip put me in St Kilda for a few days stressing out about where I was going to live. This time though I finally saw what makes Melbourne great and I have to say it is an amazing city. I booked 3 nights at Home @ the Mansion Hostel. A converted 1900s mansion on the edge of the CBD. With it’s central location and the most comfortable bed and duvet I have had in a long time it was quite an enjoyable stay. Other than taking the free city circle tram when I arrived, I was able to walk everywhere- and walk I did. I spent hours and hours simply wandering through the streets and lanes of Melbourne, savouring the atmosphere. Melbourne is full of little lanes and back alleys that have been spruced up and are full of little shops and cafes with outdoor tables. I was happy enough to just to sightsee, and around very corner a new little alleyway begged to be explored