. She treated me to a fancy Chinese dinner including Chinese soup (it's been over 45 days since I've had some proper soup) and peatips (dao miu)! I was in heaven! She cleared her entire schedule the next day so that she could bring me on a mini foodie tour. We had amazing coffee and pastries at Brunetti (check out the pictures!), lunch on the 35th floor of Sofitel with sweeping views of the city, a quick tour of Albert Park (the site of the Australian Grand Prix happening that weekend) and afternoon coffee at Seven Seeds, an uber secret (they have no signs) cafe that roasts their own coffee. To top it off, she got me a ticket to the season opener of the Australian Football League. I watched the game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which seats 100,000 people boy, was it was something else! The Melbournians sure are passionate about their game! I had no idea what was going on but luckily a couple of the locals next to me explained the Aussie rules to me. An extra bonus was eye candy on the field! The Australian footballers are hawt!
The next morning, I joined Groovy Grape for the 3 day tour from Melbourne to Adelaide. There were only 13 people on the tour so we instantly became one big happy family. For once, the tour wasn't dominated by Germans and Brits! We had travelers from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, England, Vietnam, France, Holland, and Korea! We made a quick stop at Torquay, the birthplace of surfing and the home of Quiksilver and Ripcurl
. I though I'd be able to score some deals but no luck! The drive down the coast was beautiful as expected. We saw the 12 Apostles (there's actually only 8 rocks), the Bay of Martyrs, London Bridge, and Loch Ard Gorge. The scenery was gorgeous but I think it still pales in comparison to New Zealand! The next couple of days, we traveled through the Grampians and went on some great hikes through Hall's Gap and Hollow Mountain. I finally got to try some kangaroo meat and it was quite delicious! The weird thing is that while we were enjoying our roo BBQ, there were wild kangaroos bouncing all around our accomodation. I felt guilty but only for a second. I spent a relaxing couple of days in Adelaide which included a trip to Glenegl beach, a fish & chips dinner on the pier while watching the sunset and a wine tour through the Barossa Valley. All in all, a great week from Melbourne to Adelaide! Tomorrow, I get picked up bright and early for my tour through Cooper Pedy into the Northern Territory where we'll see the famous Ayers Rock (even Oprah went there!). I have my mosquito hat net ready to go! (I promise I will upload pictures of the ridiculousness of my outfit) We'll see how many bites I get by the end of this week!
Pictures of Sydney/Great Ocean Road/Adelaide to come!!!
I flew back to Melbourne for a couple of days before the start of my tour through the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians. I was expecting to just chill and enjoy a lazy 40 hours in the city but it was anything but! I arrived in the afternoon and was craving Chinese food so I stopped by Pacific Seafood B.B.Q., a place quite well known for their Chinese bbq and the closest thing to a "cha chaan teng". I thought for sure they would have some lunch specials but I was in for a shock. I had a BBQ duck/soy chicken hor fun with a cold HK style milk tea. Total cost? $14.50. I could have had 2 meals with drinks at Cattle Cafe in Richmond for the same price! Ridiculous! It was however quite tasty. I went to check out the free ACMI Moving Image Exhibition (they had all the old school game systems like Atari, NES, SNES etc. set up!) when I suddenly remembered that my mom's high school friend lived in Melbourne. I promised my mom that I would try to contact her when I was in the city (I was being very disobedient 2 weeks ago when I was in Melbourne) so I texted her and it just so happened that she was walking around in the area of my hostel