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Monday, March 9, 2009


Last week in Melbourne was freezing. According to the locals it was exceptionally cold. At night it was only 10-15 degrees, and the wind blew 120m/s… And I didn’t bring much warm clothes from Finland. Our house is like a freezer. It’s actually colder inside than outside. 

Bar crawl night was a disaster, at least for my part. I left home at 6 pm. I got off at the wrong train station and had to go back. I was trying to find Chapel Street, which is a long road full of good shops and bars. I walked for 2,5 hours in the crazy wind wearing only a tiny dress. I asked people for advice but everybody was pointing in different direction. Then I broke the heel in my shoe, so I had to walk without shoes. After that it started pouring with rain. I felt like crying and almost took a taxi home. When I finally got to the bar, I was soaking wet and everybody was already leaving.

On Thursday there was this Full Moon Party at another campus, and it was supposed to be ‘the’ party of the year, so we bought tickets. It was crap. The crowd was really young, and people were passing out in the toilet at 9 pm and they didn’t even sell buckets there!!!! It can’t be a full moon party without buckets!! So we went home early and decided that we've had enough of uni parties.

On Friday it was time to escape the cold and wind of Melbourne and we rented a campervan and headed towards the warmer inland areas, north from Melbourne, that’s called High Country. High country is a dry and hot area, with lots of high forests, hills and wilderness as far as you can see, it was beautiful. It’s the area where the worst bushfires were. On the way we saw burned down houses, signs and forests as far as the eye could reach, it was a devastating. Just dead black tree trunks and black grass. As I don’t have a driver’s licence, I was the navigator. In the end the trip took hours, because all the roads to High Country were still closed because of the bushfires.

We stayed at caravan parks for the nights, where we had proper showers and toilets. It was nice, camping in style, sleeping in the van under the stars (we had a skylight in the van).

On Saturday we went horseback riding. I’ve never been on a horse before, so I was really excited and it was so much fun1 It wasn’t just a nice walk on the beach, at first we practiced trotting and canter for awhile and then we rode around the hills and mountains on the horses. I have to do it again soon!!

After that we went to see rodeo. I’m pretty sure we were the first foreigners that the small village had ever seen. It was fun to see the real Aussie life and people. The guy that took us horseback riding told us a lot about their life, the area and the bushfires. The area had been evacuated, but the guy wanted to stay with his wife to protect the farm. So he had to stay awake for two nights and be alarmed if the fire hits the house. Luckily they were saved, but so many people lost their houses or family members, it’s tragic. And because of the roads being closed, there are no tourists (except us) so the businesses in the area are in trouble.

On Sunday we wanted to find koalas, because we had heard that there should be lots of them because they had escaped the bushfires. There were signs with koalas everywhere but not a trace of a koala. We even went to ask the information centre where we could find koalas. There was this wine festival nearby and we decided to spend the last night there. The weather was perfect, we just chilled by a ‘river’ in the sunshine and went to refill our glasses every now and then. In the evening we (=ME) lit a campfire (we weren’t quite sure if that was allowed but did it anyway) and listened to music and just chilled by the fire. Very relaxing…

Monday morning we returned to the information centre. There was this old lady who asked if we were the same guys that were so obsessed with finding koalas the other day. She told us to go to this sanctuary that was on the way back to Melbourne. In Healesville sanctuary I finally saw koalas, kangaroos, a platypus, dingos, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, emus, echidnas, lots of funny looking birds, little crocodiles and big lizards… I also saw wombats, not live ones though, on the side of the roads, upside down… :( But the koalas were the cutest!!

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