On the road again....I can´t wait to be on the road again......

Melbourne Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 18 › view all entries
Time to pack up the bag and start moving again. I'm sure I haven't bought that much since I got to Oz but it would appear that my already full bag is bursting at the seams and even more impossible to pick up. I remember laughing at a couple I travelled through Russia/Mongolia with for having little portable trolleys for their rucksacks, I mean what sort of traveller has something like that, I now know the answer..........an experienced one!! Keep thinking I should leave some things behind - do I really need the white shirts and dress shoes I bought for work, probably not but you never know, besides I don't fancy walking through the snow in flip flops I'll need something to wear!

Oz has been a bit of a funny one for me, I think the combination of leaving somewhere that I'd been having the time of my life to come here and then having to get back into the real world and get a job meant that the country never really stood a chance of making it into the highlights of my travels, but that said I've done some pretty amazing things on the way. Managing to put my shark phobia to the back of my mind and just enjoy floating over the coral around the Whit Sundays felt like being in a different world, the surf rafting and hang gliding and obviously new year in the harbour to name but a few.

Then there was the work - the good, the bad and the ugly! Least said about the grape picking and fund-raising the better, they were equally painful in different ways! The other two were pretty good though, got paid to go to the horse races, Grand Prix and an AFL game.....hot men in fast cars or short shorts.....they were tough days but someone has to do it! Then there was the return to being bar staff, how I loved it, much as I liked the place when I went to hand my CV in I was a little unsure about where I'd gotten myself into when a couple of the guys that worked there started racking up lines of coke on the bar as soon as we'd closed on my first night, know it was quite prolific in Reading but never saw it that blatantly in a bar or in front of strangers. So to say it was just a little different from what I was used to in the UK would be an understatement! Was great all the same, you gotta love it when you boss tell you to stop serving and the customers to wait while all the staff snorkel a bottle (its been a very long time since I last did that, I nearly choked!!) or do a Jager bomb - happy days!

Decided to finish on a road trip down the Great Ocean Road and up through the Grampians, what an experience that was!

Someone said to me the other day that you have to make your 30th a big one as people will ask you about it later; I on the other hand seem to have an aversion to the thought of turning 30!! Can't say I celebrated in the traditional way with lots of alcohol, in fact I didn't have so much as a drink (I'm sure that'll shock the hell out of most of you!) but it is certainly one that I wont forget. Watched the sun setting over the Twelve Apostles on the eve of my birthday (very beautiful) and stayed in a lovely hostel in Port Campbell, it was so nice going to bed in a room of 3 rather than 13….oh the small things! Drove up to the Grampians the following day, apart from the odd kamikaze kangaroo and herd of sheep the roads were all quiet. Spent the afternoon walking in hills and pondering life, love and the universe, or maybe nothing quite so deep….just enjoyed being surrounded by stunning scenery and waterfalls. The fun really began on Thursday though; you know when you have one of those days that’s quite stressful and tests you but in a really good way - it sure did that!

So, I decided that I wanted to go to a few of the Aboriginal sites around Halls Gap that have the rock art. Off I went to the first one (Bunjil, depicting the creator of the land and his two dingoes), found the cave and made the suitable oooo-ing noises at the art (not that there was anyone to hear me, the car park was empty when I got there). Then decided I wanted to take a walk to the top of the hill. Felt like being in Crocodile Dundee only there was no Mick Dundee to guide me and I certainly didn’t feel as glamorous as I remember the female lead looking. Don’t know who was more stunned me or the Kangaroo I disturbed, know I jumped out of my skin when it shot out in front of me. I wandered around for a bit and then really needed a wee....sometimes when you gotta go you just have to...not like there was anyone around to see! How disorientated was I after that…..completely. Not that I'm superstitious or any thing, but I started to think that maybe it was a sacred site and I'd angered the spirits by baring my bum on the slopes and this was their revenge!!! I figured the good thing was it was still morning, I'd got a good 8 hours of light to find my way....after a while though one big rock or bush looks pretty much like another. What felt like a very long time later and just as panic was starting to rise (ok so it might have only been half an hour but it felt like an eternity!) I came across the art site again - phew potential crisis no.1 averted!

After lunch I was on the road again to another site, 40km of dirt track, (that could have rivalled anything I saw in Asia – made for some interesting driving in a car that wasn’t designed for it) another kamikaze kangaroo and lots of singing at the top of my voice to 80s tracks later, I was there. Stunning views and lots of cliffs surrounded the Gulgurn Manja Shelter (hands of young people). Back at the car I turned the ignition and nothing happened, not so much as a cough of the engine. A little concerned about lack of mobile battery and being so far from the nearest village – 40km away, I sat and scratched my head for a while. Lucky for me a family returned to their car, so I did what I do best in faulty car situations…..played the damsel in distress!! After joint head scratching me and the guy got it started by pushing it to jump start it. After much smiling and thankyous I was off, potential crisis no.2 averted!

So at this point with so far to get home, no mobile and on bad roads in the middle of nowhere the sensible thing to do I’m sure would have been to take a steady drive back. But when you’re only a few kms from another site that you really want to go to and you’re not going to be in the area again…..it seemed like a risk worth taking. Got to the site (Ngamadjidj Shelter – an Aboriginal camping place) and there wasn’t a soul around. Could have left the car running – after all it was only a 300meter round trip to the site, but, the townie instincts die hard and you never know who might jump in and drive off……..seriously what was I expecting…..car driving kangaroos?!?! Again on getting back to the car there was nothing….shit! At least this time I knew what I had to do…car in neutral, push like mad, jump in and pray to God, Budda, Allah or anyone else that might be listening that it would start……hmmmmm nothing, try again……nothing…….if praying doesn’t work swear a lot, hit the steering wheel, be thankful you’ve finally made it to a slope…..the smallest slope in the world granted and work on the third time lucky principle……..whoopee……did me a little celebratory dance in the car. All I had to do now was hope I didn’t stall on the way back!! I’m on here telling the tale so no prizes for guessing if I made it!

Back in Melbourne for a day of much pondering about what I can leave behind having struggled with the bags over the last three days (and that was with a car to cart them round in!).

Ready for New Zealand…………hell yeah let the fun begin!!
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photo by: jendara