June 3, 2016
Our alarms went off at 4:15am this morning so we could catch our 6:45am flight. We basically rolled out of bed, got changed, and went out the door. Jess and Robin woke up with us to send us off. It was really great to be able to travel and spend time with them while we were here on this side of the world. It was an added bonus that we got to explore New Zealand with them. It’ll be nice when they eventually move back to Canada so they’re closer.
The airport was about a 30 minute drive from Jo’s house. I always get a bit stressed before heading to the airport, especially when we have to drive to the airport and aren’t familiar with the roads. Thank goodness we had a GPS or else navigating around Wellington would create a lot of issues. There weren’t many cars at all on the roads until we got closer to the airport area. We dropped the car off at Hertz before they were even open, and walked to the departures terminal.
Wellington Airport is a pretty small airport. The coolest thing they have are props from Lord of the Rings. There were a few flights headed for Australia so the airport was quite busy for 6am. The flight from Wellington to Melbourne was around 3 hours and 45 minutes, but we left a little later than scheduled so we didn’t land in Melbourne until 9am (Melbourne time). As we were approaching Melbourne, there was a huge blanket of fog covering the city. The pilot said planes were having a hard time landing but we would try or else have to circle around to try again. Luckily, we were able to land on our first try. When we landed in Melbourne, there were a lot of planes who couldn’t take off due to weather, so we were dropped off at the Domestic terminal and had to take a shuttle to the international terminal.
The customs line up was a gong show. We landed at the same time as several international flights. Since I don’t have the new Canadian “e-passport”, we couldn’t go to the fast track line and had to line up with all other passports. We waited in line for about an hour and when we got to baggage claim, our bags were taken off the carousel and sitting off to the side.
We took the Skybus to Southern Cross Station and got something to eat. We hadn’t eaten all morning and were pretty hungry. We went to Hungry Jack’s before walking to the tram to Marcus’ apartment. We finally got to Marcus’ apartment shortly after 12pm. It felt like an extremely long day already. We showered, did a load of laundry, and caught up on some stuff. We’ll be using today and most of tomorrow to try to plan Vietnam out. Right now we only have our flights in and out of Ho Chi Minh City.
Since it was our last full day in Melbourne, we were having dinner with Chloe, Alex, Marcus, and Max. Chloe made dinner reservations at Kaprica, a pizza place in Melbourne’s Carlton neighbourhood. We figured we won’t be having pizza for a while so it was perfect. Kaprica was packed when we got there, so it was good Chloe made reservations! We decided to share five different pizzas. They were all really delicious. We definitely won’t be eating pizzas like this until we get back to Vancouver.
After dinner we walked to a gelato shop that Max and Marcus really like. It was also in the Carlton, which is an Italian part of Melbourne. It was the third day of winter and there was a long line up outside of Pidapipo for gelato! I guess it was good gelato weather because it would’t melt as quickly in the winter. Max recommended adding the warm nutella (for $1 AUD) to your gelato, where they carve a little well and pour the nutella into the centre.
We walked back to the car and said goodbye to Chloe and Alex. It was nice to see them a few times while we were down here, especially considering they’ve been away from home for two years. I’m happy they also got to meet Marcus, it’s another friend for them in Melbourne.
It’s our last day in Australia tomorrow and it’s always a bit bittersweet when we leave a place after a month. I’m a bit more nervous about the next month and a half while we’re in SE Asia. I think it’ll be the most challenging part of our trip so far since the countries and areas we’ll be visiting aren’t nearly as developed as where we’ve visited so far. Also, it’ll be the first time during our trip that we won’t be seeing anyone we know. We’ve been lucky so far to be able to see so many friends and family in the past 95 days.
Steps today: 6,000