Who’s ready for part 2?! I am! I am. I left off with my mate Bryon picking me up at the airport in Sydney. Remember that even though it is about a 5 hour flight from Bali to Sydney, I took the long way round and flew from Bali to Kuala Lumpur and then from KL to Sydney. This took about 14 hours in the end so I was pretty tired by the time I got into Sydney.
We get to Bryon’s car and I notice it is full of boxes, “Interesting.” I think to myself and then ask Bryon about it. “Oh yeah. I have to drop some stuff off at my new place.” “Alright. That’s cool.” I answered. Then the cheeky Bryon smile appeared, “What?” “My new place is in Melbourne”.
For you people not in the know Australia is really big. Not Canada big but still multiple hour drives don’t get you very far on the map. Melbourne is about an 8 hour drive away from Sydney and you barely make a dent on the east coast. In my sleep deprived state I didn’t realize this but heck it seemed like fun and I hadn’t seen Bryon in a few months so it was a good time to catch up.
As we left Sydney we joined the Hume Highway to start the long drive to Melbourne. I am not sure if any readers have ever been on the Hume Highway but it is quite possibly the most boring stretch of road in the entire world. Bryon heard, “I hate you” a lot on the trip. To make the trip slightly more entertaining we played a game to pass the time and the game essentially was finding something interesting every hour. Yep, that is how boring the Hume Highway is, that you literally have to search out interesting things. We tried to make a few rules, like it obviously had to be something that you could see from the highway, it had to be real – no imaginary creatures and once said it couldn’t be taken back.
The first interesting thing was a HUGE wind farm on a not so distant hill. This was the level of boredom we suffered that the first interesting thing we saw on the road was a freaking wind farm. The second interesting thing we saw was actually pretty cool. It was an old brick bridge, which we tried to find on the return trip but alas we were unsuccessful and the most brilliant town called Holbrook…..more on that later. There were a few other funny things, like a guy who was advertising his business which was only signing Johnny Cash songs and I saw my first kangaroos (albeit dead ones).
Can I digress slightly for a moment and possibly sound really stupid…like I am a fairly well traveled person but I am still shocked that kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and wombats are real animals that exist in the wild. To pre-Oz Kate they were just zoo animals or nature documentary animals, but there they are just jumping around in people’s fields. And on the same note it is INCREDIBLY bizarre seeing these almost mythical animals as road kill. It’s like seeing a unicorn lying on the side of the road. I guess it would be the same for Australians to go to Canada and see bears, cougars and moose in the wild.
OK, digression over. After 8 hours in the car and about 15 smooshed Roos, we reached Melbourne. Well we reached the outskirts of Melbourne, an industrial estate / crack town pleasantly called Sunshine. Now, I have never seen anywhere that was less deserving of the name Sunshine. It was pretty grim. But we were there for a mission, Bryon had to drop his things off at his friends dive shop where they were also having some kind of members party as well. So after a 14 hour plane trip, an 8 hour drive, not having showered or slept in about 36 hours I was expected to socialize with a whole room full of scuba divers. Bryon knew most of the people who were there and I did the awkward standing against the wall thing that works so well in situations like that.
I might add that Bryon and my other friend had recently broken up so I was also in a awkward friend in the middle situation so when I heard 2 people talking about their break up I was interested to hear another side of the story but then I heard “Is that Bryon’s new girlfriend…..gone a bit down from the last one”. BITCH. 🙂
After a few hours of socializing and pretending to care about scuba diving, I was pretty tired and the owner of the shop suggested I sleep on the couch in the dive shop because everyone else was still drinking and talking. Within 2 mins I was out like a light and about an hour later I was woken up with the promise of a real bed and a shower in the morning. It was amazing.
The next morning came the drive back to Sydney, Bryon had had about 3 hours of sleep that night and my job was to keep his awake which at one terrifying point I failed miserably and we had a heart stopping swerve off the road but thankfully Bryon woke himself up in time. Ooops.
We were driving for a few hours we stopped in Holbrook. There is construction and road works the on sections of the Hume Highway (at the time of writing) and one section called for us to divert through this little town called Holbrook. Keep in mind this is the ONLY town we drove through on the whole Hume Highway….What drew our attention first was a house that was built like a castle and I don’t mean it was a castle, it was shaped like a medieval castle complete with heads on spikes in the front yard. Then further in town there was a submarine and two or three torpedoes, yep this is an inland town with it’s own submarine! Needless to say we had to stop and get out. It was pretty amazing so if you get the chance go to Holbrook. It was a cute little town and it is also home to the National Australian Pottery museum or something like that. Not bad for a town of 1300 people
I know I am full of touristy information.
Returning to Sydney, I got to visit ANOTHER dive shop, that second night Bryon’s shop was having a members party, and him being the manager I lost him to the crowd for the night but it was okay because Bryon’s dive shop put on a better spread than his friend’s shop in Melbourne and I was contented with my wine and cheese. I hadn’t had wine in about a year as wine is STUPIDLY expensive in Bali.
So that was my first 2 days in Australia and I had already been to 2 states. Not bad, eh?
Check in next time for my first week in Sydney.