Getting to Port Barton was a bit of a mission… We took a tricycle to the bus terminal and then a bus to Port Barton on the wettest, bumpiest road I have ever been on! I carried on reading my book, Martin was a bit scared ;).
When we arrived in Port Barton we were dropped right at our accommodation – Monkey Family. We lived with monkeys! One morning we woke up and there was a monkey on the rafters above our mosquito net!
Port Barton was beautiful. Remote, a beach 100 metres away, with a jungle bordering it and no one there in low season!
The beach was pretty much deserted.
Martin and I hiked an hour to 2 waterfalls, one big and the other small. Once again, they were deserted. You could imagine they would be pretty busy in high season but we had them all to ourselves.
Port Barton felt like a ghost town except for roosters but we loved it.
That evening we enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the beach.
The next day we wanted to just go to the beach but decided to go to the next bay along. It was an adventure getting there!
We pulled ourselves across the water…
We hiked through the jungle…
We scrambled across rocks with a dog following us…
We reached the idyllic beach…
AND I GOT STUNG BY A JELLYFISH! It was the biggest jellyfish I’ve ever seen, with blue tentacles and it hurt! Luckily there were some local people who helped me – they put vinegar and coffee on the sting, which really helped! We made our way back to Port Barton just in time to miss the rain! Here’s my jellyfish sting:
Port Barton was wonderful and we ate some of the best food ever there!
After a few horrendous flights (Melbourne-Sydney-Darwin-Manila-Puerto Princesa), we finally arrived in the Philippines on Palawan! We were shattered but went for a walk around the town and ended up dancing with some kids to a massive boombox in the street! It felt good to be back in Asia with tricycles and chaos all about. The Philippines are rather different to the rest of South East Asia though as a Christian country with English as a main language.
The following day, we went island hopping around Honda Bay. It was nice to snorkel and sunbathe after wintery Melbourne!
In the boat on the way back to Puerto Princesa, it started pouring down! Luckily we were already wet from swimming.
Puerto itself wasn’t amazing but it was a good base to get over all the flights, start our journey North up towards El Nido and adjust to the heat and humidity.
Melbourne. A beautiful, crazy, arty city that I was proud to call my home for 5 months. An unbelievably photogenic city, day and night.
A city where dogs can have mohawks and no one blinks an eye.
This is my catch up on the final few months of living in a home from home.
Work completely took over my life – I became a team leader and also broke a sales record!
It wasn’t all bad though. I saved a fair amount of money, made friends for life and had a lot of fun. We had weekly occasions that kept us going;
– Pizza Tuesdays – cheap Tuesdays at Dominoes were great!
– Soft serve Wednesdays – the person with the least sales gets ice cream in the face.
– Thirsty Thursdays – free beer!
– Fast Food Fridays – fast food to cure Thursday’s hangover!
We also had dares to encourage more sales – us girls were made to brush our teeth with vegemite, Tom lost his beard and Alex had his makeup done!
Being a milkman sure was an experience!
I met Martin, a ridiculous Scotsman, at work and we’ve been together since!
At the weekends we could use the work van so we went away to Torquay surfing and I stood up on the board – yay! Then got smacked in the face with another board – boo!
I went to Future Music Festival in the baking heat and saw Dizzee Rascal, Bloc Party, Psy, Rita Ora, Prodigy, Temper Trap. It was an awesome day!
2 friends from Pai came to stay. Kristin stayed for a few weeks, it was cool to have a roomie! We went exploring in St Kilda, found an interesting art gallery and watched the kite surfers.
Louise was with us for Easter. It was so nice to hang out with her. We had a slightly disastrous Easter roast dinner!
The Aussie Farmers crew drove the Great Ocean Road and slept in the van for 2 nights (mental!) and we went to meet them. It was very cold! We had to leave all the eskies in my room before we left. There were a LOT.
My friend Jake left Melbourne for Perth and had an evening at the casino to say goodbye. I learnt I’m terrible at betting and was upset for him to leave. He was back in less than a week.
I went to Comic Con with some girls from work and ended up playing Quidditch, sitting in the DeLorean and pretending I was in Star Wars.
Martin and I kayaked down the Yarra river at sunset for his birthday. It was amazing to see the city from water level at night. We had fish and chips in our kayak and reached the casino in time to see fire balls go off, reflecting on the water. We went up the Eureka Tower (the tallest building in the southern hemisphere) to see where we’d kayaked. It was a magical evening!
The team I led at work won a competition to go to an Aussie Rules game at the Etihad Stadium – it was a great atmosphere.
I left my flat in Caulfield and moved to Prahran. I had so much stuff! We had a housemates leaving meal in Chinatown.
Joe and Nat came to visit from Rochester where they were doing their Farm work. We went to the jail and got locked up! It was a really interesting attraction and well worth a visit!
The following weekend, I went to the museum with Martin and saw stuff I’d missed last time.
That night there was a mad Aussie Farmers house party! We played ‘goon of Fortune’ and Martin got knocked out by a washing line.
Our last trip away for the weekend was to Lake’s Entrance. We had a barbecue and played soccer. It was a great final road trip.
I can’t finish describing Melbourne without mentioning the Lords Lodge. This was where we moved to in Prahran. It was a fantastic hostel to stay in, run by the coolest hostel owner ever, Pat. The were a lot of “long-timers” so it had a real homely vibe. There was interesting art everywhere, chilled music on and always someone to chat to.
On June 23rd, we left Melbourne in Mootilda, our work van. It was sad to leave but time to go – onward to the Philippines!
I’ll visit Melbourne again one day, I’m sure of it. How can I not with
such great memories?