At the start of the year I worked for one of the universities here in Melbourne and met Caitlin. After I left, Caitlin and I stayed in touch and last weekend I visited her for a second time on the Victorian peninsula – previous post here. The thing that I have loved about staying in one place for a long time, as opposed to constantly moving when you’re backpacking, is that I’ve been able to meet real locals and make real friends. Here, I’ve had so many expats and locals alike invite me into their personal lives with arms wide open. I feel very lucky and privileged to have experienced this.
On Saturday morning Caitlin’s partner managed to convince me to try vegemite. I hate marmite, but he insisted it was a different taste. I have to admit he was right. It was actually good – with butter and cheese on bread that is.
After breakfast we drove to the Dandenong ranges to do the Kokoda memorial walk, also known as the 1000 Steps. It was hard work, clearly I’m not in the same physical condition I was this time last year. A lot of dedicated runners do this walk and must be so well off for it. This part of Victoria is very lush and green – I felt like I was in the Lake District back in the UK to be honest. I’m really glad I got to do this because I love walking and running.
We also visited Warburton which reminded me even more of the UK (maybe because it’s the brand name of the bread my folks sometimes buy). I feel excited to get back home but I feel it’s only because I know I’m going back now.
On Sunday we spent the day with Caitlin’s family to celebrate various birthdays. It’s a real shame that Australia is so far from my family, the standard of living people can access out here is amazing.
On the drive home I stopped to take this photo. Now, if you look very closely towards the left of the picture, you might just be able to make out the skyline of Melbourne CBD.
Most people automatically think of Great Ocean Road when they consider getting out of Melbourne, but the Dandenong ranges and the Mornington Peninsula are just as good alternatives. This might now be the last time I come down here, which is a very, very strange feeling!