Kokoda Track Memorial Walk
Journal

Weekly Review – 10/12

If you’ve been wondering why my weekly review post is late, I’m sorry but I’ve spent about three days editing my first travel video.  It seems everyone these days is filming travel videos and uploading them to YouTube.  Some are of (very) questionable quality and I don’t want my videos to be in that category.  I want to publish videos that I would be happy watching.  I’m happy with my first video, of a night spent in St Kilda, although I’ve got so much to learn still.  I know nothing about codecs or bitrates!

Well if you’re interested and want to watch my first video, here it is.

We have actually done quite a lot this week despite me spending the best part of three days behind the computer and sulking over the Ashes.

Tuesday

Today’s choice was something that Emma had been excited about since we came.  High tea at Hopetoun Tea Rooms.  It’s so popular that it’s fully booked until February but somehow we managed to get in after a cancellation.  Hopetoun Tea Rooms was set up on the site of a tea room dating back to 1891.

When the food arrived it didn’t look too much and we though we could easily demolish it.  Although we were told that we would also be served two scones each afterwards.  It didn’t take long for us to fill up on impressive roast beef, chicken and ham sandwiches as well as quiche.  The cakes were great too although the selection in the window looked amazing and much bigger!

High Tea
Hopetoun Tea Rooms
Hopetoun Tea Rooms

With our bellies still full in the evening, I thought it would be a good idea to take a walk to see whether we could fly my new drone.  The rules on flying drones are quite strict in Australia but we would a few places that would be good to try out.  I really wanted a picture overlooking the sports precinct but it was far too busy.  Instead, we flew much closer to the city but where others were flying drones too.

CBD - Mavic Pro

My initial thoughts are that this is going to be one of my favourite purchases of all time.  Whilst I love my Fujifilm camera, the drone offers a completely different perspective in terms of both photos and videos.  Flying it feels like a computer game.

Wednesday

We are still trying to get as much done as possible whilst we are still in Melbourne.  We’re both not working at all so it’s good that there’s so many free things to do.

Shanghai Village

Before we headed to the Old Treasury Building, we ate a very cheap lunch in Chinatown.  Shanghai Village serves up a load of dumplings and we’ve been trying to get a taste of food that we’re not used to.  For $16, we got 15 fried pork dumplings and 10 wontons in chilli oil.  The only problem – chopsticks.  Emma managed to use them straight away whereas my co-ordination is terrible and I seriously considered asking the waiter for help.  It did not look pretty but I ate everything.

Shanghai Village

The Old Treasury Building is a free museum with, in my opinion, the best and most interesting exhibition on the history of Melbourne.  You’re also able to walk through the original gold vaults where gold was stored during the infamous gold rush.  It’s well worth a visit to the top end of Collins Street especially as it’s free.

Old Treasury Building
Old Treasury Building - Gold

We then walked 2km in 38 degree heat to the Queen Victoria Night Market.  It would have been rude not to stop at one of Melbourne’s oldest pubs for a quick beer and a vodka.  We didn’t stay long at the market as we were still full but there were some great products on sale.

Captain Melville

Thursday

We spent Thursday down in St Kilda and the result is the above video.  Let me know whether you enjoy it and please like and subscribe on YouTube itself if you have a Google account.

Friday

On Friday we probably did the most ‘Melbourne’ thing ever.  We ate burgers in a train on a rooftop.  Easey’s has taken the crown for my favourite restaurant.  The burgers were great (I made my own with Mac & Cheese croquette and jalapenos as extras), the views over the city were unbelievable during sunset and the beer, get this, was just $5 for any pint (on the ground floor).  $5! That’s got to be the cheapest beer in Australia.  I had three in thirty minutes.  The price increased up to $9 on the roof but that’s still not expensive in comparison.

The staff were really friendly and I spent quite some time talking cameras to the barman!

Easeys Melbourne
Sunset from Easeys, Melbourne

Saturday

Another boiling hot day and we went to check up on our campervan.  We wanted to take it out on a longer run so we drove 40 minutes or so up to the Dandenong Ranges.  I’m still getting used to driving the van and I quickly learnt that it doesn’t like steep hills.  The highest mountain in the ranges rises to just over 2,000 feet and they are covered in rainforest.

Kokoda Track Memorial Walk

We went for a 3.2km hike on the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk.  The only problem was that the first half was made up of 1,000 steep steps and was not for the fainthearted.  Most people we saw beforehand were in fitness gear so we weren’t sure what to expect.  Well, it was so hard.  So much so that there was a cardiovascular warning at the start of the track.  It took about fifty minutes to ascend the non-stop steps.  The glimpses of the view were fantastic and you could see how high you were.  Disappointingly there was no view at the top so we took a more steady track back to the car park.  I’ve just found out that if we’d carried on up another track for 800m, we would have ended up at a viewing platform at One Tree Hill.

Kokoda Track Memorial Walk
Kokoda Track Memorial Walk
Kookaburra
The View

The Aussie lifestyle is spent outdoors so we finally tried out one of the many public BBQ’s and rustled up some cheeseburgers (obviously).  We saw a massive spider skin which they shed just hanging off the side of the BBQ and had to put up with about 1,000 flies whilst trying to eat.  We also saw some unique birds for the first time too; a Kookaburra and plenty of Cockatoos.

Two hours of sorting out our campervan and throwing away plenty of the previous owner’s additions (fishing gear is not for us) and we’re pretty much ready for the start of our big adventure next week.  Nine months living in a campervan; let’s see how this goes!

Thanks as always if you do read these.  It’s nice to know people are still interested in what we’re doing over here!

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