Australia, you’re a bit weird… but I do love you.
Last week there wasn’t much holding us back when we got in the car to do the road trip from Sydney to Melbourne. With a bag of snacks, an empty car and a hunger to see those friends that I’ve missed for a year… we set off.
Man, there is some weird stuff in the middle of Australia. Despite all the ‘giant’ things Australia has to offer… we do weird well. in 2008 I drove across Australia from Perth to Melbourne, through the Nullabour Plains… and passed a Giant Koala, Cockatoo, Whale and more… but this time I was faced with some different anomalies. There is a very famous (why?) statue called the DOG ON THE TUCKER BOX. I don’t know why it is so famous… I don’t know what the point is at all really. It comes as you pass through southern New South Wales, and it is a small bronze statue of a dog on a tucker box (for those non-Australian readers – a tucker box is like a lunch box). It comes with a poem, an age old story of a guy, Bill, an Aussie guy with his gang, who once found a dog sitting on his tucker box. Why this had to be preserved as an important part of Australian history, I do not know. But I stopped to look at it in all it’s random glory regardless… at the site, if you feel the need to visit the doggy loo, you will be relieved to know, that is an option here.
Then we hit Holbrook, not too far from the Victorian – New South Wales boarder, where a giant submarine is the main tourist attraction. Holbrook was given the fin of the HMAS Otway Submarine as a gift by the Australian Navy, and such did the town develop a love for this aquatic metal machine… they raised $100,000 to buy the entire outside skin to be rebuilt and put on display, with its own submarine museum, hundreds of kilometers from the ocean, in a tiny little Australian outback village. Now, is it just me, or can you also think of A LOT more interesting things to buy for a little village with $100,000? I doubt it brings in bus loads of tourists… but again, out of sheer amazement at the strangeness of the whole thing, we stopped and looked at the bizarre structure… (must note, didn’t visit the museum, so don’t know the level of historical accuracy it holds).
As if the world was ending… we passed through New South Wales (with a short overnight-er in Albury) into the very different terrain of Northern Victoria and onward to Melbourne. We were brave, we dealt with flooding, plagues of locusts and container trucks, we watched as towns were submerged in the rain and locusts went on suicide missions into the windshield… and I braved the 8 hours of Christmas carols blasting from the stereo.
All in all, we made it, a little nuttier than we began, a little more deranged than before… In the wonderful, arty and busy city of Melbourne. A city that has always held a bit of my heart and been the mistress of a bit of my demise…
Barefoot, donning skinny black jeans, and jumpers of grey… it’s the Melbourne way.