Today marks 1 full week of living in Australia and here's what I've done.
Wednesday September 6 - Thursday September 7, 2017
My flight got into Melbourne at 7:00am, as planned I connected with the shuttle that was organized for me as one of the perks my buying my van with Travellers Autobarn. The shuttle took me straight to my hostel, The Greenhouse Backpacker. In order to kick any jet lag I made sure I stayed awake as long as I could. The best way to do this was to run myself around town! There was so much I had to get done before picking up my van that it was the perfect thing to keep me busy during the first 2 days I arrived.
Friday September 8, 2017
Today is pick up day!! I checked out of the hostel around 9:30am, got all my bags and headed down the street to catch the tram. It was about a 45min tram ride and then a 10min walk to the Travellers Autobarn office. As I waited they set me up with a little "learn about your van" video that covered all the necessary in the van. Then it was paperwork time, once all of that was sorted and the balance was paid I got to see the van! Thankfully the sales associate I was working with backed up the van and parked in the front parking lot to make it easier for me to get out. My first stop was to the gas station and then I headed to Crystal Brook Tourist Park where I had booked a few nights to stay while I got everything sorted in the van. It was a bit expensive at $34 (no power) $39 (with power) but the common kitchen and steaming hot shower was totally worth it.
My first drive... So I haven't driven a manual car in a couple years, re-learning that wasn't too bad and I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Driving on the left side of the road wasn't nearly as hard as I was expecting, and driving a square van for the first time was something to get used to but not hard at all. Now, put those 3 together and the 20min drive to get to the caravan park felt like an hour! There was a lot of swearing and then also some strong "BOOYA! That's right, I OWN YOU" when something went right. It was a whirlwind of emotions but it was so much fun in the end. However, as fun as it may have been once I got to Crystal Brook Tourist Park I parked the van locked up and then took the bus back into down town. That was enough driving for me that day.
Saturday September 9 - Monday September 11, 2017
These 3 days I spent at Crystal Brook Tourist Park where I ventured out in the van picking up groceries and additional supplies from stores like Kmart, Coles and Bunnings. I even stopped by an IKEA. In this time I also made the plan of what exactly I was going to do now that I have my van. It is spring time and Melbourne was a bit on the chilly side so I thought, what better way to break in the van then a road trip! This is why I bought the van so lets put it to use! With the end destination being Sydney (which is warmer then Melbourne), I connected with family friends who live in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Making sure I didn't push anything I took my time and split up the 8hr drive from Melbourne to Canberra into 2 days which left only 3 hours remaining to get to Sydney. With the plan in place I enjoyed my final day (for now) in Melbourne and got some pictures of these beautiful rainbow lorikeet parrots who hung around the camp grounds.