Happy belated Valentines Day from Hobart, Tasmania! This year was a very special occasion, because not only did I have an official valentine for the first time, but the city of Melbourne was very generous last week, and gave me a cell phone, a car, AND a credit card!
Last Monday (Feb 11th), I flew from Sydney to Melbourne to spend a few days with Howard from a-school and his crazy Portuguese co-worker Joao, who were visiting from Beijing for… work? While the first few days were typical explorations of the city for general familiarization, on the second day, one of us (I might hint guess who) had the brilliant idea to orchestrate a road trip to the famous natural attraction, the Twelve Apostles, about 4 hours southwest. Therefore, on Wednesday, while Howard and Joao were visiting RMIT, I made monumental trips to Vodafone, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and of course, Thrifty. While the act of renting a car in Australia was intimidatingly easy, I must admit I was more scared of the mirrored driving scene (steer on right, drive on left), a Toyota, and Howard’s lack of a license paired with an urge to drive . . . . but a rental GPS calmed my nerves. Temporarily. I picked them up from the main train station late that evening and we began our journey from Melbourne jamming out to ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen in a hot black compact car (pic 6). After about ten min we decided to pull over to a bar for a beer, beginning a trend for the trip, and to ‘learn’ the GPS. Instead we stumbled upon the most amazing outdoor market, with local beer stands, international food sampling, clothing boutiques, sunglass huts, and etc. Eight dresses, four beers, a pair of sunglass, lots of food, and a kite later we once again re-embarked on our trip; drove around in circles for thirty minutes due to advised ‘turn back in 40 kilometers’ from our electronic friend; finally asked residents for directions; and two hours later find our selves on the Great Ocean Road with zero cars and a pitch black sky. Awhile into the trip, shortly after Joao and I spotted our first koala, mooning us on the side of the road; Joao pointed out the side road bars on the entire left side of the extremely curvy road, suggesting we might be near the ocean; only to find the next morning, that we were actually driving on 200 – 500 foot cliffs overlooking the Antarctic Ocean! We arrived to our destination around midnight, and seeing as nothing was near us for miles, made camp in the car, and promptly fell asleep . . . . waking numerous times for location swap, and to turn off or on the car for much needed heat. It was painful. Yet the next morning, the site was worth it and absolutely gorgeous. Even though the drive there was about 4 hours, the drive home took us around 10 . . . . making stops for beer and beach naps, wine tasting, and of course, kite flying.
On Friday I migrated to St. Kilda, a must visit if ever in Melbourne, to spend a night by the beach before heading out to Tasmania Saturday night. It was there I realized my newfound latte addiction was making a niche in my pocketbook, when one day I had four (about $4 each), and the next day on my way to get a second I accidentally walked into the boutique next door instead, left with an authentic eel skin purse (skin addiction to match my snakeskin boots), and decided enough was enough. No more lattes. I took the Spirit of Tasmania overnight on Saturday to Devonport, followed by a bus ride to Hobart that morning. I find myself here in a pretty shitty hostel, but a quaint little town on the Southern coast of Tasmania. Nothing yet much to tell, other than internet is expensive here, I’m on the job search, and I have a new German friend, Babette from Munich.