Sunday, May 1, 2016

Melbourne 2016 : Carpe Noctem

Australia has been on my bucket list of places to visit, and I had the opportunity to go for a week for work.  I wish I could've taken off some time to be able to see more of it, but work's on a tight timeline right now.

I arrived on Sunday and tried to make the most of it.  Picked up some geocaches along the Yarra River, which runs through the southern side of the city's center.

(Love good cammo)
(Grabbed this one off of a ledge under the bridge)

Saw some cool things along the way...

My first official stop was the NGV Australia Ian Potter museum for Australian Art.

 (Aboriginal art)

 (Stylized Melbourne)


Next, I went to a Thai food place.  I got soup that might've been made of pure pureed peppers... it was so painful to eat, but I downed maybe 2/3 of it, with probably a 5:1 ratio of water to soup.  I was so full of water by the end of it.

Visited an old Gaol (jail) next.  It reminded me a bit of Alcatraz.

 Then took a look at the Royal Exhibition building and Lygon Street, where I stopped for Italian desserts.


Then, I went back to the Yarra River to watch pyrotechnics that they do on the hour each night.

I went out to a Rugby match on one night:

Got in a single run on Thursday night, for 5 mi in 41:21, 8:16 pace, 2 degrees of incline.  Should've run more and taken advantage of the treadmill when I could.  Oh well.  Man, my body has been under a lot of stress and work and odd sleep and travel.  My running's never been this slack in like 6 hours.  Oh well, work's gotta come first.  Work makes the running and travel possible.

Got in a couple of other geocaches, one of which was a letterbox, giving me a new stamp from another country!

Got in an Australian Rules football game on Friday night:

Even after watching almost 2 hours of it, I still can't figure out what the rules are supposed to be.  They throw, punt, bounce, hot-potato the ball in unpredictable ways.  Rugby was more straightforward, with them having like 6 tackles to get the ball to the goal, with only being able to do backwards passes and forward runs, with lots of wrestling along the way.  In AFL, they were jumping all around, very little wrestling, and super acrobatic in their changing of directions and moving the ball all around in all kinds of ways.

Had to work a full day plus partial night on Saturday, but a local colleague had given me a tip on where I could find penguins in the city.  The most popular time to see them is just after sunset, but after finishing my last meeting at 9pm, I decided to give it a go.  Even if I didn't find them, it would be a good adventure just to try.  I went to St. Kilda by tram, met some fishermen on the pier, who pointed me the way (which was actually just down the pier).  And there they were!  They were hard to see, since it's not good for them to have photos with flash.  Red lights are recommended, to protect them.  They were on the rocks, hiding in the gaps and hanging out on some of the rocks, and unless you had a light, you wouldn't realize that some of them were there.  I stayed for a couple of hours.

This left me about 30 minutes to sleep before I had to speed-pack and head out to the airport at 3am.

Carpe Noctem.

If I ever come back, I want to see:
- Kangaroos and other animals
- The 12 Apostles (rock formations)

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