See You Later New Zealand! Shoots Melbourne, Australia!
With work finished, we woke up early and had to remove all our stuff quickly out Dorothy, we had to drop off our home to a new owner, an Australian working the vintage. He dropped us back off at Copper Beech on the way to his first day. It was then we realized its our last full day in New Zealand, our home for the past 13 months. Had a quick breakfast and tried to organize our stuff, figuring out what we need and what we don’t. A bottle of Whiskey and herbal medicine to finish, was the number one task of the day.
Finally, after somewhat packing our Estonian family/friends Egle and Hanna, took us one last time to Cloudy Bay to enjoy the final free glasses of the tasty Mustang, Pinot Noir and Te Wahi wines. Enjoyed the beautiful scenery with some more hostel family who joined us there. Took a stroll through the winery one last time, went on a mission to find some awesome people we got to meet; Mark the Gardener who gave us the freedom to eat so many different fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, the wine makers Tim and Dan Cowabunga people who are in charge of turning grapes into amazing wine, Marion she was responsible for deliveries and the museum which stocked six cases sometimes more of every wine ever made in the Cloudy Bay history, and finally our Cellar Door team Nikki, Wendy, Alison, Audrey and our cousin Sebastian who lived with us. After a quick stop to visit Mattew at Cloe Henri, there we tasted more amazing wine at an old church, amazing views and history.
Made it back to the hostel drunk, tried to organize our food space and cooking lunch at the same time. This made me (Junior) forget my laptop and GoPro, without knowing it. Took the last tour of the place we called home and the amazing family we made, our stuff packed in Egle and Hanna’s car along with the homie Carolina, they drove us to the Picton Ferry, shared smiles and hugs, left knowing we will all see each other soon some where on this beautiful world. Walking on the ship it was the first time with just our backpacks since we left California, on the ship I learned from Egle I left my GoPro and laptop at the hostel, which took us on a journey a week later. One last view of the beautiful New Zealand sunset. As we arrived in Wellington and a crazy taxi drive later we made it to the airport, still with Whiskey and medicine. Munched on cereal at the airport, learned they lock doors at 2 am. This lead to several trips outside to finish our task, which we failed, left the Whiskey near a country club and the same jar I found herbs in, for someone to find and Be Happy.
Finally, we arrived in Melbourne a lot earlier than we thought, ate breakfast at the airport wondering what to do. Audrey from Franz Josef responded and gave us directions to meet her in city, a bus ride gave us our first look of Australia, which was quite similar to the US. She along with her friend Juliet and a wild trip to our hostel took us to the Wilson Promontory National Park. Got our first view of The Bush, beautiful sunset, parrots and wombats, the park was the highlight of the day as we made it to the hostel at 11 pm and checked in. The room and place was interesting but it was a bed. The morning showed how disgusting it was, similar to a drug house, a place you don’t want to stay. We learned checking reviews is useful. (So do it) We left to town to open a bank account and get phones, after several circles and bullshit we eventually got them.
After a mission to find Audrey we got lunch then explored the city along with a new friend Hugo. Later at night we made it to the Queen Victoria Night Market. The night was very warm. As Melbourne becomes more and more Urbanized it still has amazing birds like some parrots, cockatoos and much more. Trams now were our source of transportation, off to Formula One, the reason of landing in Melbourne. Got to ride in a Land Rover up a 62° angle, along with changing tires on a F1 car. St. Patrick’s Day no one else was celebrating besides us two in the whole city, what ashamed. Our goal was to meet up with Ben’s cousin Kane who works on the Mercedes team, it wasn’t until the night before the big race we got to see him and go in the pits. The second day of F1 was rainy and so we sat in a display car for an hour, met some cool people. Our fourth day in Melbourne we were given a gift by the hostel as it was overbooked and could no longer stay at the crack den we had to move. So we eventually found an expensive hostel with no choice, several trams later we made it to the hostel. This place was a lot better, at night we had our friends come over and then their friends, a few drinks later climbed to the top of the National Institute of Circus Arts building. Eventually it was six of us in our two person room not bad for the first day. The morning was also the first time we cooked our own meal in Australia after many meals of bread sandwiches. Drank so much that I lost my passport for the first time, luckily someone in the hostel found it in the living room and returned it to me, I’m an idiot.
A week of being in Melbourne met Kertu and Sigrid from Estonia, Sigrid did me the best favor ever in bringing my laptop and GoPro from New Zealand that I forgot. She is friends with Egle and Hanna the Estonian Mafia. Spent the day with them and carried our newly bought tent with us. They invited us to go eat dinner so we joined, led to my first Uber ride. Strange, but the driver was cool, it was a new Mini Cooper as well. Lentils As Anything is where we went to eat, a pay as you feel vegetarian place. The concept is amazing and has a community feel to it. You can even volunteer for your meal.
After a few days in that Back of Chapel hostel and a few hundred dollars later, we moved to a third hostel in which was a hotel/dorm system. Weird place, 5 stories and workers always cleaning, strange. Started job searching along the Warf, went on a trial and got the job at an Italian Restaurant. Later cruised the city, checked out some street graffiti, interesting things. New graffiti art is painted constantly, two days later passed the same alley and it had a new mural. With constant searching, we found an apartment that was not too far from the city. It was now a waiting game to move in.
A trip to the Queen Victoria Market got us a big bag full of vegetables and fruit with $20, it was amazing. A trip back to the hostel, got our backpacks and now to our new apartment. All packed in, made a trip to the supermarket and just before going in passed the rubbish bin, noticed good capsicums thrown away. So we grabbed a few and a lady came, she was a PRO, gave us a box and then filled it with everything. Another lady joined, soon a worker popped out, quickly and discretely we walked away. Hid our box down the street and went back in to shop.
The more time in the city, it reassured we are not made for the city life; fast, busy, technology, screens, traffic, smelly, dirty, wasteful. To get out of this environment, we hired a car to check out The Great Ocean Road. It was a big Toyota Camry, took us a few hours to get to the beginning of the road, faster than we thought. The Ocean and beaches with these crazy Limestone cliffs, were spectacular from the beginning until the end. Although, the Pacific Coast Highway from home Oxnard to Los Angeles is just as special. Many stops along the way to my(Junior), dream destination 12 Apostles. Our goal was to see it at Sunset, eventually we made it there, to a crowd full of people. The place was incredible, these giant cliff rocks just chilling in the beach. A drive down the road took us to a campsite, it was dark and after a meal of chip sandwiches, we were too lazy to setup our tent. So we put the back seats down and slept in the car. Not too bad. The next day we went to a National Park where koalas roam free. Along the drive you can see cars pulled over taking photos of the sleeping ones chilling in the tree.
We did a track that led to nothing, no good view, no animals but on the way back I heard weird sounds, it was a koala on the ground. Walked through the bush which was hard and got to see them close up in the wild, they are very cool animals. Also got to see a small forest of California Red Wood Trees, they grew so well there, the power of Cali. Made it to our campsite early this day and able to walk a track. Part of it went through the backyard of someone and had a few kangaroos. At the end of the track, where there’s suppose to be a waterfall was just dry rocks. But on the way back those kangaroo’s we thought were the owners were actually wild. There must have been 30 or so kangaroos at that moment, they walk/bounce so strangely. The tail also seems to help their balance. At night spent time with some Australian cousin’s who were camping to get away from the family, they were nice and gave us some knowledge and places to see. Next morning capped off the Great Ocean Road which did not disappoint, it reassured we had to get out of Melbourne. The trip also gave us a chance to see our first view of koalas and kangaroos also more beautiful birds. This led to giving our two week notice off moving after living in the apartment for less than a week . Great choice.