So, we'd bought the car. But it was registered to Victoria State so we'd 14 days to get it down there and transferred over to our name. Pretty easy we hoped!
We decided to see if anyone needed a lift in that direction, especially after the festival. So, two Germans later, and a warning that they'd quite a bit of gear (our answer was “oh, it'll be fine, we've loads of room!”) we arrived in Sydney on the Tuesday morning to find that they had over 30kgs of gear each, and two bouldering mats. Hmmmm........ As you can guess, the mats ended up on the roof and we somehow managed to get all of their gear into the boot. I've never seen so much equipment go into one vehicle. In case anyone is wondering, I did get creative and wrap the fuel tank and spare wheel in gear also, of course!
So, one short drive for Australia, at only 12 hours, later we arrived into Melbourne and waved our goodbyes to our grateful Germans. I felt so sorry for the car that they'd somehow managed to arrange to borrow for two weeks from a local while they went off climbing........ We'd no accomodation, and it was 12 o'clock so off to the beach we went. A beautiful night later (our bed can be seen below) spent asleep on the beachfront, we set foot into Melbourne.
Bed in Melbourne :)
Register the car. Get it checked and certified. See some of Melbourne. Get out before it cost us a fortune!
The first bit went well, the second not so much. There was, ahem, some work required. For mechanics, lets just say it involved the rear diff..... And unfortunately, it was Friday by the time the spare parts arrived so we were stuck in Melbourne for the weekend. Could be worse I suppose!
My thoughts on Melbourne? Pretty cool city, with a major Italian district supplying some amazing coffee which really helped distract me from all the concrete :) But it's a beautiful chilled city, with a very, em, arty feel to it. Lots of people sitting around sipping latté's and looking very fasionable. But yet, for a city that seems to run on caffiene, it's a really laid back lifestyle. I'm impressed.
To tide us, over myself and Sean re-took up running. O.k., I re-took up running and Sean took up running :) But still, with a 50minute run each day, we were both adapting quickly to the excercise. Hopefully we can keep it up once we arrive in the outback of course. I continued on my pull-up binge ticking 300 in 3 days as well, I think I was in need of a sports fix.......taken care of a with a 12 km run, finished off with 2kms swimming in the olympic pool!
Of course, we did treat ourselves. Some visits to the brilliant National Gallery, and a fancy meal out in St. Kildas (the equivalent of Ranelagh back in Ireland) kept us sane. I highly recommend Yarra River wines if you can get them anywhere else! We also managed to fit in '300', a pretty interesting movie. Dawid thought it was rubbish, I was impressed, lots of subtle imagery that was more important to the movie than what was properly seen just by treating it as an action movie. It did it's job though, as I'm intrigued to re-read the original true story of the 300 Greeks that the film is based on. I have to say though, I'm surprised it's being treated as a main-stream movie (I've similar arthouse films over the years) – it just shows how much power the comic writer Frank Millar has these days!
iTaken at the National Art Gallery – part of the special exhibit showcasing trainers!
Melbourne city by night
So, we collected the car, not without a bit of a humbling. We'd been finding that our mechanic was being very unhelpful with giving us updates on what was actually happening. After slowly starting to get frustrated as the weekend dragged on, we were put in our place after it transpired that his mother had passed away on the Thursday. Puts things in perspective eh?