Monday, 29 April 2013

Parade, Penguins and all night Partying!

It was ANZAC day, 'Australia and New Zealand Army Corps', like the UK Remembrance Day except its a public holiday in Australia. As time was running out we thought it would be a good day to see a sunrise, checking on the Internet said it would be at 6.55, so we got up at 6.20 and headed down flinders lane and planned on going to the shrine of remembrance. While walking down it seemed too bright for sunrise to not have happened, it was a shame as it was cloudy and while we were sat in federation square it brightened up fully so we may have missed it through clouds!

There was a huge buzz in the city as hundreds of people came out from be dawn chorus service, it was a bit of a battle for breakfast but we found a little table in the corner of a bagel bar and had a couple of coffees to wake us up. We nipped back to the hostel and got our stuff for the day and went back up to federation square to watch the parade. It was so patriotic and they seemed to really look after their veterans, helping them in the back of 4x4s (zimmerframes and all!). There was a really nice atmosphere and some very cool vehicles about.

After what was already a busy morning we got picked up at 10.15 for the Phillip island tour. It was a bit of an old bus and there was a mixture of nationalities on the trip. Unfortunately we should have looked at the itinerary a bit better (we booked when hungry and tired, a lethal combination!) as there were some pointless stops and lunch wasn't great. Although the stop at the nature sanctuary was worth it for the active yoga shape making koala and albino kangaroo! The kangaroos were obviously happy for the food as kept lipsticking which was really gross! Miranda also made up for the chocolate stop by winning the quiz the driver did for a bar of the stuff. I asked about the race track and the driver made a detour for a quick photo. There was a track day on and it was a good 5 mins watching the bikes on the circuit.

The final stop was the centre where the penguins come in from the shore, it was a little commercial but the penguins were so funny. There were the breed 'little penguin' and only 33cm fully grown. They come in at sunset and on cue returned in groups at 6pm. They huddle in groups of 10-20 and spend a little time going in an out of the sea battling the seagulls and waiting until they feel confident to go up the bank to their burrows.

We watched them on the beach for 29 mins and then headed back up the boardwalks to watch them find their burrows. We actually saw a little more than we thought...they are frisky little things and were mating all over the place! We even saw a couple in the throws and then a 3rd penguin came along, flapped about and all 3 went into the same burrow!! The next couple we thought were teenagers as looked a little shy and awkward, kept almost getting down to it and shying away!! I'm not sure if the main aim of the trip is to guess the relationship status of the penguins but it was fun for us, there was also a pair who almost fell into a neighbouring burrow, an older couple who hugged afterwards and a couple having issues and likely on the brink or divorce who kept fighting!! One fact from the centre we took in was the divorce rate is between 18-50% in the little penguin breed.

We napped on the journey back to Melbourne and got back to the hose at 10.15. Had a quick shower and were in GoGo bar under ChinChin at 11 ish! We then went onto Madame Brussels, a French themed rooftop bar recommended by Quinnie which was really quaint. We had a couple of glasses of pink bubbles and went onto GP, Gin Palace. It smelled dodgy when we went in but was quite trendy, an awkward Indian guy came and chatted to me while Miranda went to the loo and he was a bit tricky to get rid off, I wasn't too subtle in the end. He kept saying he was poor but in Melbourne for a plastic surgery conference...bore off!! Then we got asked to go through to another bar by Francesco the manager of the restaurant attached, and it was nicer through the other bit. We had a couple of G&Ts with him and his friends and then onto another bar I don't know the name of. It was really late by this point and probably the only place open, Francesco ordered a bottle of wine (Miranda clocked the menu didn't have anything under $80 on it) and it was a shame the wine wasn't very nice!

We jumped in a taxi to the hostel and facetimed my sister, it was 5am our time, and I think we still made some sense!

Love Nikki xXx

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