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The last bit – goodbye Albury and hello again Melbourne

February 27, 2016

We took a trip to Bright whilst we were based in Albury for a couple of nights, as I was desperate to see some kangaroos in the wild – the only ones we’d seen were road kill until now. It’s a myth that they are on every street corner in Australia – they doze in the shade far away from the roads during the day, and play hari-kari with the cars at dusk and into the night. We stayed in a gorgeous little cottage just outside Bright (which is at a higher altitude and much cooler than Albury, especially at night) making sleep much more comfortable. We weren’t disappointed, spotting 5 or 6 kangaroos nibbling the grass near the adjoining cottage to ours as we drove up. I was in animal heaven! The next two evening were spent with our eyes glued to the grassy hill taking hundreds of photos, at one point there were around 20 of them just outside our veranda. Unfortunately we were so transfixed that we completely forgot how the mosquitos come out to play at dusk too, so they had a free feast on us and our fresh British blood.

We also drove 1600 metres above sea level up Mount Buffalo, which is a ski resort during the winter (yes they really do have snow) and even on a February day the temperature drops like a stone from 30 degrees in Bright to a chilly 13 at the top – a 45 minute drive on a very twisty turny road. The gorgeous crisp air and incredible views are certainly worth the trip.

Back in Albury, the weather threatens to reach nearly 40 degrees, so we sit and read, have early-ish (we are on holiday after all) walks, visit the Marilyn Monroe exhibition and generally have a lazy time. After a moment of sheer madness on the internet and left alone with his credit card, Pete manages to secure VIP tickets to see Prince in Melbourne, and my review of this you can see in an earlier post. We had a blast. After only 5 hours sleep we drive back to Albury (three and a half hour trip) for a rest!

Soon it’s time to leave our lovely friends, and head back to Melbourne for the last three nights before flying home. Temperatures are getting ridiculous again, the day we choose to visit the NGV for the Ai Weiei/Andy Warhol exhibition it hits 40 – which is rather similar to walking into a giant sauna, complete with a huge hairdryer blowing in your face set to ‘extra-hot’ and it’s completely draining. So, we opt to stay in the gallery for three hours. Fascinating show, it’s interesting how the two complement each other in ways you wouldn’t have imagined. We pay a couple of visits while we are here to one of our favourite bars – The Gin Palace – which is like an upmarket dark and cosy boudoir. The waiters know everything there is to know about the 100 different gins they stock, and the cocktails are equally delicious – cue hangover the next day, which is something you don’t want to have in this kind of heat!

Last day – late check out, mooching about Melbourne, supper at Chocolate Buddha, then taxi to the airport for the long and painful flight home and a chilly 6 degrees which greets us at Heathrow. After 8 weeks away I am longing for my bed, but I will miss the warmth of Australia and all who sail in her. As they would say – awesome!

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