Sleepless in Melbourne

Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Sunday, March 20, 2011

I landed at 9 AM and I went straight to the hotel, dropped my bags off and walked to Queen Victoria market. From there I took the shuttle around the city checking out different areas. I went back to the hotel around 9 PM and called it a night. The next day I woke up and the following 24 hours might go down as some of my best consecutive hours of living. I have been a lot of great places with some amazing people but this might be my favorite.

1:00 PM I met Tariq when I was living in Washington State and he put me in touch with Viola who lives in Melbourne.  Viola and I meet outside one of the courthouses in the city and she took me around the laneways for lunch. Laneways are like tiny alleyways with cafes and restaurants lining each side of the tiny streets. Melbourne is known for their laneways and we grabbed some sushi and a latte and explored the area.

3:00 PM Viola headed back to work and I pulled out a map of the world and figured out where I wanted to go next. I stepped into an internet café and booked a flight for Sydney.  Being able to look at a world map and pick anywhere and when you want to go is one of the best feelings in the world.

5:00 PM I met up with Nerissa who I shared a shuttle bus ride with from the airport the previous day. Nerissa is a Kiwi (New Zealander) who was born in Fiji and lived in London and now Melbourne. She took me around to great rooftop bar for some Australian beers and great happy hour views.

7:00 PM Then Nerissa took me to a great bar in the heart of the city, it was outside and the DJ and bartenders were in old shipping containers which created the walls of this outdoor bar. Graffiti covered the containers and it was a very cool spot.  You could feel the heartbeat of Melbourne there.

9:00 PM Chinese food for dinner on a little side street.

10:00 PM At this point I was about ready to call it a night but we decided to get one more drink and I just said lets go to the next place we see figuring I would be back to my hotel by 11pm.

10:01 PM We walked into a great bar playing live music and I made just about the most intense eye contact with a woman you could imagine. Now there are girls, pretty girls, and beautiful girls and then there was this girl.

10:30ish PM Her name is Tina and I usually don't approach many women when I am out, but this one I had to. So a few minutes later I was in a conversation with her, she is Australian and her ethnicity is Australian, South African and Spanish. I would have to say she is one of the most stunningly beautiful women I have ever seen and that Aussie accent was a good thing.

10:30-2:00 AM I got to know Tina over the next few hours, we shared some drinks, stories and laughs with the perfect music playing in the background. There was a great live band playing different types of music and it all sounded great.  It was one of those times where if the building was on fire neither of us would have noticed.

2:01 AM We ended up on a Melbourne street corner outside the bar and said goodbye a few times.

3:00 AM I got back to my hotel and packed my suitcase and went to bed.

6:30 AM My alarm went off and boarded a bus for the Great Ocean Road which runs along the southern coast of Australia. Its 130 miles of perfect coastline and the bus makes about ten stops along the way where we can get out and explore.

9:00 AM First stop was at Bells Beach where they have the world surfing championships.

10:00 AM We saw some cool Koala's at Great Otway National Park.

11:00 AM Lunch in the great tiny beach town of Apollo Bay.

12:00 PM Guided rainforest tour, I didn't even know this was a stop on the trip and it was incredible.

1:00 PM The highlight of Great Ocean road is the 12 Apostles. It is actually seven rock formations which stick out of the ocean. Loch Ard Gorge is a beach that is surround by huge walls of stone and rock. London Bridge is a rock formation that has a circular cutout at the bottom with the most amazing free standing rock formation in water I have ever seen. If Great Ocean Road is not on your list of things to do before you die, put it on there and cross it off immediately. It is one of the most amazing natural landscape I have ever seen and I can't imagine it gets any better than that.

The bus dropped me back off in Melbourne at 10pm and Viola was nice enough to offer a place to stay for free. I have been traveling for about twenty days at this point so it was great to get a night in an actual home. I got to Viola's at about 10:30 and her place has floor to ceiling windows that look back at the Melbourne skyline. I was on three hours of sleep in the past two days so I was ready to just go to bed but her roommate, Ivan a big burley Croatian-Aussie full of life, popped out into the living room. He is one of those guys that just draw you in with his kindness and zest for life. He offered to take me around town that night but I was exhausted. I took a shower and knew that I didn't come on this trip to sleep. We jumped in his car and Ivan is one of those unexplainably great guys who is full of stories that you could listen to for days.  My favorite was when he thought his former employer was being unfair to him so he hid in the ceiling during a boardroom meeting.  He wanted to find out everything that was being said about him.  During that night we bounced around the city for a few hours and I finally put my head on the pillow at 3:30 am. The alarm went off three hours later and it’s off to Sydney.

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls"-Joseph Campbell
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