Wed 2 Aug 06 14 °C
Didn't really do a great deal on Monday. Got up late, went for a late lunch/dinner in a place in the Italian area of Melbourne (Lygon Street).
I sent a load of stuff home via sea mail (which takes upto 3 months), so if it turns up Dad/Les, just keep hold of it for time being. Ta.
It was a really busy little coffee shop/eatery (there was a queue for tables by the time I left), selling seriously wicked chocolate mousse and great (decaf) latte's.
In the evening, I went on a 'live' tour of Melbourne Gaol, which is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the City.
A group of you walk onto the floor of the cell block, in total darkness, appart from one candle in the middle of the floor.
Then, some guy dressed in prison clothes from the 1800's come out of a cell and takes you round the prison, with only the candle for light.
There are lots of interesting facts (21 people used to share a cell 12" by 18" during the gold rush), and a few chilling tales.
Finally, he talks you through the execution process, at the exact spot where 400 previous occupants of the prison were hung (including Ned Kelly) before a public audience.
Apparently, after a hanging, they used to decapitate the bodies and take 'deathmasks' of the deceased (god knows why). Anyway, some of these deathmasks are on display in the cells.
Did some shopping today to prepare for my trip into the outback (insect repellant, sunblock, etc). Also bought a new bag, so I can scuttle the Titanic luggage I set out with.
Went out for a few beers with Steph and an interesting chap from New Zealand, who told us some good stuff about Thailand and Burma.
No 21st birthday party going on this time....
Went on the free tour around the Victoria Parliament building (Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria, for those who don't know).
It was quite interesting, especially for a freebie !
We got to sit in the MP's chairs, and even the Speakers chair. Ahh, the power...
After that, I came to the pub to use the free internet access (which I discovered yesterday).
It's $4/hour for internet access at the hostel.
It's $5 for a schooner of nice Lager in the pub.
If use the internet for 2 hours, and drink 2 schooners, I'm only $2 worse off than using the hostel internet connection ... no brainer really.
I need to get an early night tonight, my tour picks up at 6:30am tommorrow. It lasts 10 days, and involves camping (outdoors, with NO tents). I may not survive. Should the worst happen, James, you can have my TV and the car.
The first couple of days of the tour are along the Victoria coastline, so my mobile may still work. After that, I expect it will be pretty sporadic. Anyhow, I'll update the blog when I can.