Docklands Wharf, Melbourne

I've only got this long left in Australia:
DHMS
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Townsville It Is

Arrived here about 3:20 this afternoon. Checked into a nice hostel, the Globetrotter’s (reminds me of Globtrekker’s, and therefore Lonely Planet, which has become my sole reliable travel guide these last few weeks). Have slightly more money than anticipated, perhaps even enough if I manage to get some temop job for a week. I’ll do that tomorrow when I’m looking for dive shops. Damage looks to be about $450-$580, which isn’t too dear if I manage to get another top up somewhere.

BTW, Mom / Dad, the reason I’ve not called you yet is because I discovered (after making a morning’s worth of calls around Australia) that I have $0.36 left on my calling card. They don’t take my EFTPOS card. And I don’t think there’s a recharge store in this particular town. So, you know… if you want to, in the next 2-3 days or so, do call me. Only if you want to.

In the meantime, I’m doing my research. I’m reading the Lonely Planet constantly–including the two flights I’ve taken in the past week. I do believe the most strenuous part of travelling is the actual travelling. But for now I’m gonna have to leave it at that. This computer, while still frustrating, is at least up to 2001 spec I’d say.

 

Brisbane is Kinda Hectic

Yes. You heard it here first. I’m all over this place but that’s because there are no directional signs in Brisbane. So, I’m literally all over the place. I had to cut through parkland last night just to find my way back to the hostel. And don’t even get me started on where I slept. You don’t wanna know. Allow me to read to you a selection of things on my to-do list that I’ve done so far:

  1. buy storage space near hostel
  2. pickup luggage at train station
  3. try to get train to Rockhampton @ 12:55, to get to Great Keppel Island
  4. make to State Library for email (You’ll note this is crossed off as, tragically, the Queensland State Library is stuck in 1998. They still use CD-rom based databases, for crissake.)
  5. call Qantas and officially reshedule for June 7th
  6. make appointment for dive medical check at 3:30
  7. call Hostels in Rockhamptom, Great Keppel, for rates and reservations
  8. call dive shops on Great Keppel Island
  9. totally reconsider and back out of trip to Great Keppel Island
  10. book flight to Townsville instead, tomorrow
  11. realize you have nowhere near as much money as you need

My time is so out even though I’ve got more to write. That’s right, more. Mom, if you’re reading this… you can probably expect a phone call of the sort where I ask for something I need really, really nicely.

 

Last Day Melbourne

Cleaned out apartment on Monday—technically checked out, but stayed there. Just stowed my impressive luggage collection back at the Friendly Backpacker and’ve returned the last library books of my time in Melbourne. It’s a bittersweet thing, leaving the city. Gah! there’s still so much I feel I want to do. But if I haven’t done them by now, I don’t expect I’ll get them done in the next 24 days.

24 days! I can’t believe that’s all I’ve got left! Things always seem to feel like forever, except when they’re about to be done. Pretty soon I’ll be saying: “24 hours! I can’t believe that’s all I’ve got left!” Or something very very similar. My time here has been good. My time here here, though, is over. Melbourne, you’ve been great.

I’m ready to go. My plane to Queensland will be leaving at 9:30 pm outta Tullamarine. But before that, I’ve still got postcards to send, a new friend to email, and a blog entry to write. Wait…

Nevermind.

 

Queensland Confirmed

As of not too long ago, I’ve got myself a ticket to Brisbane and a hostel for that night. Total cost: AU$135—which is good, cause as you may know I don’t have that much AU$ left. The flight gets in at 11:00 at night on Tuesday. From there, maybe the Whitsundays, maybe Fraser Island, maybe strait to the reef… I can’t say. But now, I’m pretty sure I’m going.

 

Wanting Home Again

It’s official. I wanna come home.

I mean, Australia’s a nice place. I like it. If it seemed like I could stay longer I would, really I would. Problem is it doesn’t look that way. The logistics of going to Queensland, getting work, changing my flight, getting a tourist visa, changing my flight again, and then travelling around on godknows how much money for how long and where… it’s a bit much. Not that I’m scared of doing something like that; quite the opposite. I’m tired of doing something like that. I would like to have my familiar bed, my familiar computer, some nice American food, cable (surprisingly, I miss having 6+ channels), and some people who talk the same as me. It’d be a nice change is what I’m saying.

So I guess this means no tourista programme. All those Australians who gave me travel advice… “you have to see Kakadu,” “Perth is amazing in winter,” “see Uluru once, even if it means you spend a week getting there,” to them I’d like to say:

Well, thanks anyways. You have a lovely country. But it’s kind of expensive for me, you see. I have to go now. No really; it’s been nice. Maybe we’ll meet again someday. But I’m busy for a little bit, so, you know… call me. Thanks for everything, Australia.

 

Urbex: Awesome

…just as I knew it would be. Yesterday, after I wrote about how I might be leaving soon, I decided to make good on my time left here. I went through some disused railyards near Spencer street where I live, then had to cross the very-used railyards to get across.
The Not-Empty Railyards Showing Some Age Fast Train, Tags
I needed to get to a collection of bridges over a small river where I thought there might be drains. No such luck. Moral: don’t trust satellite pictures. But I continued downstream until I found where it met the larger Yarra river. There I found an inexplicably undeveloped wharf, right near the high-rises of Melbourne’s Docklands.
Pier 21, Door Old Docklands Wharf: Bridge and Wharf View to the City
The next day I decided to go a little deeper down the rabbit hole. I went down to the Yarra river specifaically to look for drains. And I found one. Right away. Big one, too, and well visited. Seems the Cave Clan throws its annual award ceremonies down here. The place is called “Cafe le Chambre.” Which of course, means “Chamber Cafe,” in high-school french.
Drain, Where Church Crosses the Yarra The Cave Clan has been here Cafe le Chambre, Open
Altogether, a pretty interesting two days. And I’m just gettin’ started.
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