Saturday, January 22, 2005

Melbourne Day 5

That's right! I'm currently in Melbourne. WARNING: I have a LOT to say about what I've done in the past couple of weeks so this is going to be a LONG one. There are also lots and lots of PICTURES!!! Please note, I have to keep deleting old ones to put up newer ones so in the future, the links may not lead you to anywhere. Here goes:

I had my last shift at Jordon's on January 14th at 9am. It was a nice last shift. Not too busy and I got to enjoy myself one last time. After work, I went to the apartment to finish packing and then made my way to Cohi Bar to meet up with everyone from work for one last time. So many people came up to say goodbye, it was really something. Even George, one of my managers, made an effort to come and buy me a drink even though he still had work to do in the restaurant. He even gave me this super duper reference letter to help me find a job elsewhere in Australia!

The next morning, after having about 4 hours of sleep, I got up at 6:30am and made my way to the airport. After a 2 hour flight I landed in Adelaide. Adelaide is west of Sydney in the state of South Australia. I was only staying in Adelaide for one day so I just walked around for a bit. I ended up at the Adelaide Zoo. I quite liked it and got to see a lot of Australian animals as well as other anumals from around the world. You can see the pictures by clicking HERE!
After the zoo, I went to the hostel I was staying in called My Place. It was a nice little place and every guest was German except me.

The next morning I jumped on the tour I had payed for and started to make my way to Melbourne. It was a three day tour from Adelaide to Melbourne. I had originally booked with a company called Oz Experience, where youhop on a giant coach bus and travel with tons of other people. Well, it turns out there is not a big demands for a trip between Adelaide and Melbourne, so Oz Experience sold that leg of the journey to a smaller company called Adveture Tours Australia. We were on a smaller bus instead and the groups was only 13 people. The small group made it a lot of fun, actually. I was the only North American let alone Canadian. The others were from Switzerland, Belgium, England, Denmark, Germany and Holland. Two girls from Switzerland and one from Belgium happen to be french speaking so I spoke french with the for 3 days! I'm a little rusty but it was a lot of fun trying to practice my french.

In three days, I saw and did so much, it was just too much fun. I have a lot of photos to show so I'm going to change the format I normally have set up to see photos. For those of you who do not know, just click on the highlighted, underlined words and the photos will pop up (mom and dad I'm looking at you here).

The drivers nick name was Firie. He used to be a fireman and took a break from it to do these tours. Our first stop was a short one at Bordertown. Basically, it was a town halfway between Adelaide and the South Australi/Victoria border. We got off the bus to see a small jail cell that got converted into a bathroom stall. Also, the orginal police station was still around and it was so small that a large bakery was biult around it.

Afterwards, we stopped briefly at the Bordertown Wildlife Park and saw WHITE Kangaroos! Apperently in 1980 a guy found a white kangaroo in the wild. Kangaroos are normally not white so he took the kangaroo and sent it to his sister in Bordertown who owned an animal reserve. In 1984, they successfully breeded another white Kangaroo and now they have a whole park filled with them!

Next was a quick stop at Pink Lake. The water is pink because the lake is filled with the Alga plant that produced Keratine which leaves a film of pink on the surface of the lake. Really cool!

After a bit of a drive we finally came into view of The Grampians, a chain of jagged mountains. We then climbed up one of the mountains known as Hollow Mountain. The climb was well worth it because the views from the top were phenominal. Click HERE!

After a quick encounter of almost hitting a Kangaroo!!......sign.... we ended up at McKenzie Falls. This was followed by a trip to Reids Lookout where we got to see Wahtook Lake and then a short walk to a rock formation known as The Balconies. I also got to see a wallabie (small kangaroo) in the wild! The night ended by staying over in a tiny hostel in Hals Gap.

The second started early with another walk through mountains. We went through the Mt Williams Range where I got to see The Grand Canyon, Silent Street and at the top of the mountain, the Pinnacle. Click HERE! to see the view from the Pinnacle.

I still have a lot I want to say but it's a beatiful day outside and this is taking a lot longer then I had expected. I'll give all of you a while to sink all of this in and in my next post I'll write and show pictures about all the really awesome things I saw on the GREAT OCEAN ROAD!


Glen said...

Hey hey... Good to hear from you again, I was getting worried something happened to you between Sydney and Adelaide. Looks like you're enjoying the great outdoors down under. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Hey Josh!
Loved the whole entry! The pictures are beautiful, especially those of Mt Williams Range. Great to hear you had a memorable trip, full of kangaroo and mountain viewing :) Have a great segment of your year in Melbourne!