Oct 22, 2005
Arriving in Melbourne we saw glimpses of the city; our home
. It was great. The old Spencer Street station was no longer, replaced by the wavy roofed Southern Cross Station. As it was about 8AM we chucked our packs into a locker and headed into town to exchange some US dollars and have breakfast. After this we walked up to one of Rick's friends work, Cam, to surprise him. At this stage no one knew we were back in Australia. Cam was pretty surprised to see us and offered us a bed to stay in (big thanks Cam for putting up with us!). With some time to kill we wandered around Melbourne, the city covered in a thick layer of smoke from the bush fires. We also visited the Shrine of Remembrance, something we've been meaning to do for ages. Isn't it funny you can travel the world and see many things but not visit things in you own town?
That night Rick's old squash team was playing in their Grand Final so he figured he'd rock up and hopefully see them win. They were very surprised to see us both and to top off a good night they ended up winning four matches to none. Well done boys!
As we'd bought a heap of Christmas gifts in Peru and Bolivia our bags weighed a ton. This meant catching a flight to Melbourne with a budget airlines was out of the question (they wanted a heap for the excess baggage charges) so off the CountryLink train service we went. To be honest the price was great at $98 AUD each, no hassle with the heavy bags and you left and arrived in the heart of town, saving us the taxi fare at each end. Also as it was an overnight trip it saved us accommodation costs. Our carriage was really empty so we spread out on the seats and slept for most of the night. In the morning we awoke to the thick grey smoke outside, the smell entering the carriage as we passed through the Mallee District. We'd heard there were severe bush fires in Victoria with huge parts of the state ablaze. The smoke was so thick you could only see about ten meters.