Saturday September 5th 2009 - Sunday September 13th 2009
Thankfully I checked the receipt for our flight to Melbourne a few days in advance as I had written down in my notebook that we flew out on Sunday but it was actually the Saturday. Crisis averted. :)
We returned to Melbourne and stayed in our good ol' hostel Bev'n'Micks for the first night to catch up with everyone. We learned that not much had changed and a lot of the people who had left to travel elsewhere had come back for a short while. The old gang was back together. We weren't able to just pay for one bunk, so that was disappointing and part of the reason we only stayed there for 1 night. We were able to store out luggage there though and for the next few days we stayed with our friend Jess and her mom and boyfriend. We had met Jess on our Croatia boat tour. They spoiled us by cooking fantastic meals, giving us wine and letting us watch movies all day on their couch while they were out. Such nice hospitality. :)
We were only supposed to be in Melbourne until Tuesday but there were complications with the car and ordering parts and having other things fixed and we were delayed until the week-end so in order to make the most of it we decided to do a little road trip to Wilson's Promontory for 3 days, 2 nights. We rented a little mini car and crammed the 5 of us into it with all our gear. We looked hilarious but it prepared us for the big road trip in the 4wd Pagero (so much more space that it felt luxurious after our mini-car). Wilson's Prom was beautiful, did some great hikes and had great goals so we ended up hiking around 25-30km in a single day. That was exhausting! But we got to see Sealy Cove beach and it was spectacular. The prom is nice because you can see all the re-growth that's taking place as it had some pretty serious fire damage recently but it's already trying to recover. Some parts the trees are just black and decaying but they'll have little green sprouts growing up out of it. Amazing to see. It was also full of wombats, they are the cutest animals ever and can crush your skull with their muscular bums if you try to follow them into their burroughs.
Also to note, on the first night we left the passenger window all the way down and discovered in the morning that an animal had climbed into the car and eaten some bread and gnawed on our dark chocolate. Our main culprits are the birds (since they would gnaw on chocolate) or a possum that was at our campsite the next night sniffing around. He looked suspicious, like he knew we had food.... and the birds swarmed our site the next morning, so they were on to us as well. Perhaps they teamed up. But we learned our lesson and locked and closed everything after that event. :)
It was a great road trip - camping under the stars, eating camp food and lots of hiking and adventure.
We made our way back to Melbourne and were lucky enough to be able to stay with the nice hostel manager - Josh. Who lived just around the corner and was missing having company since his roommate moved to Brisbane. There was enough space for the 5 of us and we just relaxed and cooked him dinner and tried to keep the place tidy as repayment to him.
And finally by Sunday night the car was returned and we were all set to head out on Monday morning. It's about time!