Saturday, February 5, 2011

Melbourne flash floods and out with the girls

Its been a good couple of days here in Melbourne.

After finishing the last blog entry the other night, I sat watching a proper TV for the first time in ages. Whilst flicking through the channels I came across Coronation street, which is about 10 years out of date – but it was good to see!!

I was pretty tired after the drive south so I had an early night and slumped down on the air-bed in Jennifer Parsonage's room and fell straight to sleep.

In the morning, we got up and watched the aftermath of the Cyclone on TV. I have definitely made the right decision to leave and drive to Melbourne though as there is just devastation everywhere on the coast and Townsville itself has problems with the water supply and flooding.

After watching the news I gave Jennifer Parsonage a lift to work and then drove out of the city to the airport to drop off the car. It has been a great car to drive and although expensive, I have loved every minute of it. On the way I got rid of the last few feathers from the radiator grill after a bird had flown into it early one morning. I noticed that the grill was pushed back a little and broken inside, but luckily when I dropped it off, nobody noticed, so I got away with the small amount of damage for free! Weirdly though, they had me named as 'Miss Karen Downes'. All the other details like address and credit card were mine, but just the wrong drivers name. It wasn’t a problem and I cleared the account and grabbed the shuttle bus back to Melbourne.

After a wander around town and a tram back to Jennifer Parsonage's I had a quick kip before getting a text from Lisa and Liv. They are going out tonight with Jaime and want to meet up at about 8pm in a bar called 'The Precinct'. I had a quick look at the map and found it easily, so said I would meet them there.

The plan was to catch a tram, drop off the house keys with Jennifer Parsonage at work and then get a second tram to the pub. But I was a little early and walked to Jennifer Parsonage's work. It then started to rain a little and over the space of less than 3 minutes, it just got really really silly. It matched the stupendous weather I had had up north and within a few minutes the road was inches deep in water. I stood in a tram stop and got absolutely soaked as there was a river of water running over my feet and water pouring down the walls and through the roof. Once again, I had been fucked off by the Aussie storms! I eventually got on the tram and saw that everyone else was in the same boat (Literally), they were all soaked to the skin.

When I got off the tram it was a 2 minute walk to the pub, but the roads and pavement were just rivers now. There was a car crash just next to me as one car aquaplaned in to the back of another. People stood in doorways and restaurants staring at the sky and the road, not believing that 10 minutes before it had been a lovely evening. As I neared the pub, there were a lot of building with alarms going off and no power, then I saw the railway bridge I had to pass under. There was a flash flood on the road and it was 3 feet deep in water. I joined the crowd and removed my socks and shoes, rolled up my jeans and waded through the water, while waves from passing cars and taxis soaked me up to the waist! It was like a disaster movie. I have never seen water rise so fast, but the pub was just the other side of the bridge, so I was really glad to make it there.

I had a burger and chips in the bar while I waited for the girls and when they all arrived, we had a really good fun night drinking, dancing and chatting. I was going to leave about midnight, but when I looked at the time it was nearly 2am!

Lisa was going back to stay with Jaime, as its the last time she will see her and so I walked with Liv to the city centre. It was a lovely warm evening now we really enjoyed the walk to the city, alongside the Yarra river and had a great time chatting about the bus and books. Plus my clothes were now beginning to dry. I eventually left Liv by Flinders street station just before 3am and started to walk home myself, but as I neared Jennifer Parsonage's house, I got caught in another downpour and grabbed a taxi to take me the last half a mile. It was 4am when I got in and I was straight to my air-bed and asleep within minutes.

This morning Jennifer Parsonage got up and left for work, whilst I booked the hostel in Auckland for myself, Lisa and Andrea. Its my final day in Australia till I return for the Grand Prix in March. It has been a fantastic few weeks, with Keri in Sydney, the road trip to Melbourne and the Great Ocean road. The east coast was great even with the flooding. Plus I saw England win the ashes. But, now I am all Australia'd out. Its time to leave and try somewhere new and exciting!

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