Ppppick up a penguin

Trip Start Jul 27, 2004
Trip End Dec 21, 2004

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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Not having much time in Melbourne until we leave Australia for Asian shores we decided that we needed to prioritise and visit the most important sites of the city. Therefore we hopped on the "neighbours tour bus" and went to Ramsey street!!

It was one of the funniest experiences we have had on the trip so far. On the bus on the way to Erinsborough we were treated to a DVD of all ex-neighbours stars music releases, the likes of Kylie, Jason, Craig Mclachlan, Stefan Dennis (who is due to return to the show soon), Delta Goodrum and Holly Valance in all their cheesy glory. It was really sad as everyone on the bus who was able to remember the early 80's sang along enthusiastically (except Paul).

Once we reached the street the excitement increased as everyone fought to have their photo taken outside Lou's and Harolds house. It was quite weird actually as it didn't really look like Ramsey street until you looked through your view finder of your camera. The tour guide had props for photo's like a Ramsey street sign and a cricket bat which added to the real cheddarness of the situation.

On the return journey we got to watch some classic neighbours episodes like Todd's death, Scott and Charlene's wedding and Daphnes death, Kerry embarrassed herself by crying when Todd died but she managed to hide it well. Paul pretended not to enjoy the trip but was upset that he missed the episode that evening to look at the street!

The other thing that we decided to do whilst in Melbourne was to visit the fairy penguins of Phillip Island. Phillip Island is a small island 90 minutes south of Melbourne attached to the mainland by a bridge. At sunset 1000's of little penguins about 30cm high waddle out of the sea and up the beach to nest in burrows in the sand dunes for the evening. They are the smallest penguins in the world and only live in Australia.

We arrived on the Island just before sunset and took up position sat on the beach. It was bloody freezing and being the organised couple that we are, we both had our summer clothes on with just a fleece for a smidging of warmth. It was worth it though, i have never seen anything so cute.

To begin with just a few penguins were brave enough to take the first steps out of the sea and waddle up the beach, but after a while there was hundreds spread up and down the shoreline. They really do waddle and look like they are walking down a catwalk, the funniest though was when they reached the soft sand and could see the cover of the grassy sand dunes, they absolutely pegged it!! Most of them stayed in groups of more than 6ish but one little penguin got scared when his group were on the beach and he ran back to the sea, unfortunately then he had to make the journey on his own which took him ages and he kept getting scared and running back, then getting lost, it was soooo cute.

At the end of the night we walked back to the info centre and car park bit via a wooden boardwalk at the side of the grass dunes. All along the walkway were little penguins either waddling to their burrows or getting settled in their nests for the night, they were so close it was amazing and they were making such a racket. I never realised that penguins made squeaky, growly noises, or that they waddled so far just to go to bed.

So during our time in Melbourne we visited penguins and Ramsey Street, neither of which are actually in the city but both of which were great fun.
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