The next day me and scott chilled and took the dogs for the walk. It was so nice to sleep in a big comfy bed and have a bloody good shower to use. That evening I got to catch up with Auntie Joyce and Uncle Robert with some home cooked food and wine; Heaven!
The next few days where mainly spent catching up with various people I'd met travelling and exploring Melbourne. On one of the days I borrowed Joyces Mazda and drove to the countryside to hang out with a guy I'd met in Thailand. That was a great day, the car was sweet to drive and it was great to see some of the aussie country side and I even did a bit of fishing... . granted at a trout farm, but it was still good fun!
After a couple of weeks of slobbing around the house and generally not doing an awful lot (don't get me wrong, it was bliss, but I was starting to feel a bit guilty for not getting any culture) I decided to book a package tour to the 12 apostles, and it was a bloody good thing I did! Probably the best package tour I've done, but to be fair it was also the most expensive by a country mile. The tour was a 3 day package that went from the city to the 12 apostles via the great ocean road. I'd gone for the cheaper package that involved camping both nights where as most people on the tour where staying in hostel beds. Frankly I had far more fun in the tents than I would have had in the hostel room so I'm really glad I went for that option! What made the tour so great was the tour guide. He was a Kiwi in his mid thirties who had lead a really interesting life. He'd been working as a tour guide in Aus for a few months but before that he had been tour guide in South America so he had a bunch of cool hints and tips to give me and made me really excited about going. He had a bunch of cool jokes and stories and made the tour a really enjoyable experience. The first night we stayed at a place just down the road from the apostles. I got on the most with an English guy called Alex who was new to travelling so I enjoyed giving him some tips for travelling on his own. He was a great guy who was really modest and naturally funny without trying. He also had the sickest Phoenix tattoo I've ever seen! Me and him picked up a box of wine and took it down to have a quick peek at the sunset over the apostles. Then we all played a bunch of drinking games back at the hostel which was surprisingly tame considering how much everyone drank! This one English guy, a doctor in his final year, got really hammered and was totally useless at one of the drinking games we were playing. It was really funny to see his progression from smart sophisticated doctor to giggling mess. There were a few really cool characters there but too many to list here.
The next morning we got up bright and breezy and headed to the apostles to see them from ground level. It was great to see them from the beach and get some cool pics looking up at them. Me and Alex then decided to splash out a bit and take a helicopter ride over the apostles which was amazing (you can see the video on my facebook profile). The tour then continued to a few other spots along the great ocean road including the tower of london rock formation and a few other natural beauties. Then we headed north to the grampians where we would spend the night. The tour guide got us playing a bad ass game called highway bingo which basically involves everyone writing 0 to 9 in a random sequence on the window then tour guide would call out the final number on the number plate for you to tick off (but you had to tick it off in order). I did not win. By this stage everyone on the tour was getting on really well and we had some great banta going on between everyone. That night we set up camp at this cool farm where an aussie guy had a massive section of land. We had a killer BBQ then set up a bonfire and cracked out the guitar for a nice little sing along.
The next morning I decided to splash out again and go for a quad bike tour around the grounds chasing kangaroos. At the start of the safety brief the instructor, who was the same guy who owned the property, asked if anyone had ridden motorbikes before and then proceeded to say that they tend to be the most dangerous as they get over confident. Correct! I was ragging the nuts off the bike and power sliding all over the place before I got busted and he asked me to ride directly behind him so he could keep a closer eye on me! I felt like such a naughty school kid! After the quad biking we drove around the Grampians a bit more and saw some epic views of the landscape before heading back to Melbourne.
All in all my time in Melbourne was brilliant. It was a welcome break to the grime of asia, but at the same time I missed so much of the asian way of life. It reminded me of how negative and controlling the western world is, full of warning signs, moody people, worries over politics, work, possessions, taxes etc. The main negative was the cost, even though I was staying for free and got quite a few free meals I was still burning through money. This, of course, is all relative to the increased wages you get for working so I shall have to work a bit if I want to go back and travel aus again.
I won't bore you with my 3 day tour from Melbourne to Sydney via Canberra. It was a cool trip and I learnt a bunch of cool stuff about aussie politics and culture, but it's not really interesting enough for this blog. Besides, I've gotta go get my drink on!
By the way, I'm in Argentina in a place called Rosario having a ball!