From the Land of Smiles over to Gods Country!
14.03.2012 - 19.03.2012 26 °C
I am officially in Skippy land!
I had a great flight over from Bangkok into Melbourne. I slept for most of the journey (very rare) and the seat next to me was empty (super rare) so I had extra space. I'm staying with my university friend Alan for my first week or so in Melbourne.
Alan had given me directions on how to get to his apartment once I landed as he would be at work. It was all quite straight forward and I soon reached reception where I asked the concierge for the keys that had been left for me under Sarah Bavister.... to which he looked at me strangely and said are you sure? This went on ....when it was actually Alan thinking he was funny writing Bavi-L A R! (another new veriation on BaviSTER!)
Once inside I discovered Alan's balcony fairly quickly so I caught some rays for a few hours before he got home.
For out first evening we went out into the city to grab some food and Alan showed me around. Melbourne is lovely at night especially down by Southbank.
I had no jetlag as I was only moving forward 4 hours in time so on Thursday I was up early - as I had one mission - to locate Topshop Melbourne. Success!! Australia is not Thailand and I soon realised my beach shorts and vest tops were not quite suited to the city. So I picked up a couple of dresses and tops.
Topshop is located on Chapel Road which is quite a trendy area with some cool boutiques! I wondered around in the streets in the sun for a few hours then got the tram back over to the centre of town. It was nice to shop as my only purchase in Thailand were my Thai pants!
In the evening we headed out into an area called St Hilder. We found a good Italian restaurant which was listed in my lonely plannet guide. We both had Steak! Although mine was diced steak so I wanted to swap plates but Alan was having none of it!
Excited to see me?!
On Friday I had to pack for Avoca. Avoca is 2 hours North of Melbourne. We were going up for the weekend as Alan works for an event company and it so happened that this weekend was the first event that he had organised and was event managing. Helena was also joining us for the weekend too. Helena is was one of Alan's backpacking friends from Bali. Friday rained so I spent the day relaxing at the apartment. It was the first time in 7 weeks that I had crashed out on a sofa, watched TV and done little else. (Yes I know I've been laying on beaches in Thailand but it's not the same as being snuggled on the sofa at home!)
I got over to the office at about 5. The three of us went for dinner in East Richmond where the office is based and then we started our journey. It took about 2.5 hours. It was a fun drive up as Helena is like Alan they like to chat and when they are together they get even louder!
Hard at work
We must have arrived at our cottage at about 10.30. Avoca is right up in the countryside and its very much like, 'i dont know you you're not a local from round here are you?' Get the picture. So after a little confusion on the day that we were arriving we got shown to our cottage. We had some wine and chilled out as we would have a busy day setting up the event on Saturday.
The company Alan works for is called Big Hill Events. It's a very small company as only 3 employees run by Rohan. (or Jenson Button if you squint!) (I did alot of squinting that weekend!) The mountain bike event is known as the toughest mountain bike ride on the circuit. On the day they had approx 150 riders.
Helana and I helped Alan set up the registration desk, the marquee etc on the Saturday. Having just left an events company I was quite familiar with how events work.
Yes Im hard at work too!
In between set up Helena and I popped in to do some wine tasting. Ronda ran the wine tasting and had been working at the wine cellar for 28 years and works every Saturday, she was a very cool lady.
Helana + Rajah
The weather was a lot cooler where we were although if i you were in the sun it suddenly became t-shirt and shorts weather again.
I could see Rohan's bike sat on the grass so I excitedly asked if I could borrow the bike and go for a ride. Rohan said this was fine but just as I was about to set off Alan decided to let me know the bike cost £4K - just want you want to hear.
I think that the bike ride was one of the best parts of the weekend - it was beautiful to be cycling out in the Australian countryside. Yes, I took a few pictures on my bike journey.
In the evening Rohan had organized a BBQ for all family and friends who were helping out for the weekend. This was my first Aussie BBQ and it didn't disappoint.
Sunday was RACE DAY!
We were back at the event before at 6 in the morning which meant I got some great sunrise pictures.
Event day was so exciting! Helana and I were in charge of timings. This is quite an important role as we they were the official race times!
I couldn't believe how coooold it was on the Sunday which was mainly due to the wind. I had brought my shorts, t-shirts and dresses for the weekend but lucky more sensible people had lots of jackets and hoodys I could pile on!
Rohan aka Jenson!
The event was a success, Alan is a great Event Manager especially for first time hands on organising everything.
To celebrate the three of us headed to the pub for dinner and then that evening back at the cottage we sat outside with our glasses of wine and had the most amazing veiw of the stars, and decided that this is the life!