Melbourne and The Dandenongs

It takes a little while to get used to this lifestyle, but I’m getting there. You have to get used to wearing the same shirt a few times and maybe not always smelling your best. You get used to being a little grossed out by the bathrooms you have to use, and then being a little less grossed out and then eventually accepting it. I’m getting there, with much thanks to the place I am staying, which is pretty bad 🙂

Anyway! It’s been a fun few days. I guess it was Saturday that I moved up to Melbourne, and I didn’t do a whole lot that day. Wandered around town, and checked out some of the sights. Ended up in bed pretty early. I did find an Internet cafe where I could hook up my laptop, so that was great. It’s nice to be able to check my email and do downloads with my laptop and such.

Sunday morning I got up fairly early and did a little shopping. I had to get some decent shoes that would last me this trip. I had been wearing my trusty Converse All Stars, which while stylish, are not great for putting down the miles. Err, kilometers. I finally ended up paying way too much for a pair of Merrell Chameleons, which are good for city walking and some light hiking. They were expensive but my feet have been worshiping me since, so that’s great.

With good shoes I was ready to get out of the city a bit. I caught a train to Upper Ferntree Gully, which is about an hour east of the city. It’s at the base of the Dandenong Mountains and I had read about some excellent hiking. I’m not exactly Mr. Hiking but I intend to be before I come home.

I found a visitors center that gave me a map and an idea and before long I was making my way up the mountain. There was a pretty steep grade on the path I chose and I was quickly out of breath; and then I got to the steps.

There is a feature called the 1000 steps memorial walk that is basically just that. 1000 concrete steps running up the side of the mountain to commemorate what the Aussie troops had to go through to defend something or the other from someone. It was grueling, for me at least. Plenty of other people were cruising right up, but I wasn’t the only one taking breaks every 50 steps or so. Along the way I saw some beautiful fern trees and some really cool red and blue parrot looking birds munching away on them. I eventually made it to the top, and it was a really good feeling, but man I was hurting.

The path back down might have been even worse. I didn’t have to stop to take breather breaks but there were no flat spots and my thighs were killing me by the end.

When I got back to my hostel I had intended to go to the free BBQ in the bar (Roo meat!) but instead I laid down for a few minutes and just slept and slept and slept. Completely worn out. I’ll have to eat a joey some other time.

Today I’ve been taking it slow and getting some errands done. I did laundry, which was much needed, mailed some stuff back home that I didn’t want to carry any more, am updating pictures and this blog and catching up on email. I had planned to try to get out to Phillip Island on my own, instead of with a tour, but mailing the package off and all this has taken longer than expected so I might do that tomorrow. I’m in no hurry.

And that’s all for now. I’m settling into a pace of life where I can just fuck off for a day and not worry about it. It’s hard. I feel like if I don’t go somewhere or see something every day I’m wasting time, but I’ve got months and months ahead of me and I can’t be a tourist for all of it. Somewhere in there I’ve got to just sit back and live. So that’s what I am doing.

I expect I’ll be moving on in a few days. Melbourne wasn’t all that interesting to me to begin with. I was only coming here to meet a friend who ended up not being available, but I’m having a nice time and I’m not bored yet. Next up, I am not sure. I may go down to Tasmania or up to Sydney. I missed a chance at a shared ride to Sydney this morning cause I forgot to check the bulletin board when I moved into Bakpak, so that was a bummer. Someone with a car was looking to share fuel costs up to Sydney and maybe beyond. I’d like to do something like that eventually. Sounds like a fun way to travel and get to know some new people.

Bye for now!

3 thoughts on “Melbourne and The Dandenongs”

  1. I just got back from Vegas and thought I’d catch up. I didn’t realize you had posted a novella since I checkd in. Keep it coming. The pics are great!

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