About 10 days passed without notice. I guess I was tired of blogging. I’ll try to catch up quickly, and write as much as I remember. (Which is usually not so much)
4/11: we drove from Kuantan to Johor Bahru to hand in the car. The only thing we stopped for was lunch. We got the car there just in time (read: an hour too late but they didn’t mind), and had dinner in Johor Bahru. Then we crossed the border, walked straight to Chinatown and found us a room. We managed to bargain down the price from idonnowwhat to 70. Nice!
5/11: checked out as late as possible. Our flights were only in the evening. We let ourselves get lost in the city and ate Chinese cookies. A big part of the day I spent on uploading my photos so I could never lose them. And finally we had a splendid peaceful last meal at lunch. So peaceful that I ended up almost missing my flight. And the final goodbye to Peter was in a rush. I was allowed to carry my check-in luggage all the way to the gate, where I handed it over to the staff to check it in just before boarding. Sigh!
6/11: arrived in Melbourne early in the morning. I gave myself some time to set things straight. The sun was shining, but to me it was awfully cold. Eventually I took the train to my couchsurfing host in Glen Waverly, a suburb. And there I nearly bumped into him as he was walking to pick me up. He took me to taste some champagnes in a local BWS (Beer Wines Spirits) and then dropped off my bag. I had a meeting with another couchsurfer to show me around that day, and with him I cycled along the beach of St-Kilda. Good weather for that. And I was amazed how sportive, active Aussies are! A lot of cyclers, walkers, runners, skaters along the beach! That first evening my host took me for diner at “lentils as anything”. What an atmosphere there! And an easy way to meet people! When it was getting dark he took me to watch the penguins at the pier in St-Kilda. I tried to take some pictures, but as you couldn’t use the flash (the penguins could go blind) I’m not sure if there’s a decent one between them. All in all a great and full first day in Aussie. Though, I was cold.
7/11: I think today my host took me to Dandenong, which is a park, and “William Ricketts”‘. Walking around and eating meat pie in a nice green environment as a picnic, a thing I couldn’t miss, according to him. And later on we went to the beach and I slept there. My memory is a bit blank here but in the evening I arrived by bike at my new couchsurfing host, in the suburb of Preston. We had a chat and played Carcassonne with his girlfriend. The house was cold.
8/11: I rode on my bike to the city. I had enrolled myself in an RSA course, to find work as a waitress in a restaurant, coffee bar, or pub. After that, I explored the city and walked around with another couchsurfer. From Kenya. I was a little indecisive about what to do. But what I did do was to to the climbing hall. And there I met a nice indoor climber (here indoor climbers don’t necessarily climb outdoors as well, Frey weird) and we talked a while. He told me about some sites with climber groups I could join. In the evening I first had a drink with my host, then there was a meeting with a whole bunch of couchsurfers in a bar in Brunswick. There were nice people, there were weird conversations, and it lasted until somewhere in the night. I had my birthday somewhere that night, but I didn’t want to mention it. Finally I slept at yet another couchsurfers’ place so I didn’t have to ride all the way to Preston in the middle of the night.
9/11: walked around in the city and biked back to Preston via Merri Creek Trail. Beautiful! And the sun was shining! Somewhere in the middle I heared music. So I turned around to see what it was. It was a tiny festival. And next to it a bike shed where you could repair your bike. I adjusted my brakes and when I was finished I asked for more information. The organization was called CERES and it was a community that worked mostly on volunteers. I got interested and asked if I could help the next day. Then I went further to Preston where they were preparing for a house concert, a party in the evening, with BBQ. I was going to see this a bit as my birthday, though I hadn’t told anyone. I mowed the lawn there and helped out a bit until the first guests came. Talking and laughing and drinking and eating all night, a very nice atmosphere. I finally told 3 people it was my birthday 🙂
10/11: I went to the bike shed and helped out with the brakes of several bikes. It was very satisfying. And in the evening I helped out at lentils. I stopped when I cut myself in the thumb. A tiny little cut, but it was the sign that it was enough for today. I went back to my first host, where a Finnish girl and climber was now, Sirja.
11/11: we had breakfast together at lentils, and lunch in a soup bar. In the afternoon the three of us had a nap back at home. In the evening me and Sirja went to a meeting from one of the climbing clubs to see if there were more climbers to go outdoors with.
12/11: I stayed at home for a day to do some internet things. And got tired of the weather and the cold of Melbourne. I arranged my visum for New Zealand, and booked a flight back in February to Tasmania. Late at night I made an impulsive decision to fly to Sydney the next morning, leaving Melbourne’s cold and rainy weather behind.
13/11: Arrival in Sydney with direct train to Katoomba in the Blue mountains.