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You can't be serious, you bloody peanut!

Day 154 - 174 Brisbane to Melbourne

No. of Greyhound bus journeys = 8
No. of Greyhound bus drivers without a moustache = 0
No. of everyday english words shortened and an 'o' added = infinite (e.g. Servo, Bowlo, Veggo, Bottlo)

Favourite overheard:

" You can't be serious, you bloody peanut" - Fan shouting at ref during aussie rules game.

So we're at the end of our Ozzie adventure and heading to New Zealand tomorrow. We were in Brisbane when we last 'blogged off' and have travelled down to Melbourne. Back in 'Brizzie' I (Richard) was forced to take part in the XXXX factory tour which included four beers as a taster. However, most likely due to a lack of english on the tour, three of us ended up with about 15 each when everyone else left! Hence I was a little late for my rendezvous with Pauline.
The day after next we were whisked off on another adventure with tour guide Jo who this time drove us to Lone Pine Koala sanctuary. Highlights included Pauline getting to hold a koala, Jo being chased by an ostrich as well as feeding and sitting amongst the kangaroos mimicking their porn star style poses.
Leaving Brisbane we headed south on the Greyhound again and stopped for the day in Coolangatta which was well worth it because we finally saw a pod of dolphins. We didn't even have the binoculars out scanning the waves tirelessly as on previous days. We picked up the bus again late afternoon to Byron Bay where we finished the night 'a la carte' with a cheese sandwich dinner. Classy! Byron had quite a hippie vibe going on and was a bit different to a lot of the previous stops. There was plenty to do and we took bikes up to the easternmost point in Australia (only to be overtaken by a retired german couple we met in the hostel) complete with lighthouse and, judging by the photography exhibition, the scene of some pretty rough storms and amazing wildlife. Not that we we're fortunate enough to see any that day. We did however witness a dramatic surfer rescue which at one point had seemed doomed. A couple had swam out to catch the best waves on the headland and got washed up onto the rocks. While one guy clung to the rocks and was repeatedly engulfed by the waves the lifeguard tried in vain to get close enough on their jetski's. In the end he got washed off but was also, fortunately, carried out by the tide during a brief lull and was dragged onto the jetski. Dramatic stuff. Later that day we watched the yearly triathlon which was a big event with some international stars (apparently!) and we're destroyed by the sea attempting to bodyboard.

Yet another night bus later (no sleep for me, plenty for Pauline) we arrived in Sydney and straight away hit the tourist spots of the Opera House and the Bridge, Pauline was delighted to prove the Teesside heritage of the Sydney harbour bridge. We then boarded a double or even triple decker train (counting the vestibules) to the suburbs to stay with the Skinners. Probably a good time to thank all of our great hosts in Australia, our stay would have been a lot duller, not to mention much more expensive, without your beds, meals, company and advice. We had a great time in Sydney and filled the rest of our few days with an extremely rough ferry crossing to Manly, a coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee and some people watching and window shopping in the lively centre.

On to Bulli to stay with Eric. The week started out action packed with regular picnics, walks and slightly scary abseiling, crab races in city pubsand failed attempts at waterfall leaps. We explored a bit more of New South Wales and even took a stroll along infamous 'Summer Bay' (home of 'home and away', for the more cultured readers). The rest of the week was a real chill out, for us more than Eric as he had to go back to work. We ate like royalty and had plenty of Aussie gold to quench our thirst too. Eric's truly Austalian pad was home to us for the longest time since leaving England nearly 6 months ago. It was really hard to put those backpacks on again but more fun awaited us in Melbs.

We stopped off briefly in Liverpool, NSW, mostly for the surreal feeling that using the internet in Liverpool City Library would bring. Then spent the day in Canberra. Certainly doesn't have a capital city vibe but was worth a look. It's easy to see why Melbourne and Sydney fought over the Capital City title, Melbs like Sydney is a bustling metropolis with plenty to do. Our hosts, the newlyweds James and Lauren were great and with them we experienced a real highlight of the trip so far, an Aussie rules footy match and The Melbourne Cricket Ground. We enjoyed the great food on offer here and overall in Australia it has been great to feel like normal people and not so 'backpacker' for a while.

SANY0078.jpg

Nearly forgot, Pauline satisfied another 'must do' here and went on the official neighbours tour. More on that soon. SANY0109.jpg

Posted by millfred 11:42 Archived in Australia

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Comments

Go Teesside steelworks!

In true Neighbours style you've left us on a cliff-hanger, pleeeeease hurry up with the details of the Neighbours tour before I combust!

xx

by Louise 'TellyOnMeEd' Kilkelly

Bit of one-upmanship,didn't see a pod of dolphins,but 2 jumped over the prow of the water taxi on the way to Fethiye,the girl dangling her legs over the side nearly fell off the boat.Back now hope to speak soon,Dad sends love, Val x

by val

Sorry Louise, just noticed your comment. I'll out together a full review of my time on Ramsay Street and get that to you asap. It was mega surreal to be on the set, I even went in Carpenter's Mechanics. Another girl on the tour had a wee in Lynn Scullies' house, even though it had just been ablaze! more soon I promise. Thanks for checking out the blog. xx

by Po Gallon

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